You don’t have to go dark overnight. “If you have blond hair, ask your colorist to add some darker shades to it,” suggests McCard. “Or go two shades — versus five shades — darker than your current color.” If you’re happy with it, then progress to deeper tones. If you’re curious to see what you’d look like as a brunette, you might want to try a temporary color like Touchback Hair Color ($29.95, touchbackgray.com) to add lowlights, or just a section of your hair. The dye is housed in a magic marker type device. It comes in eight colors and washes out in one shampoo.
“When going dark, particularly if you’re coming from having blond hair, the color needs to have dimension – in other words, not one solid shade,” she says. (We’re talking to you, Hayden!) Instead, work in some highlights to soften darker tresses. “When you say highlights people think ‘blond,’ but you can have tone-on-tone highlights and still be a brunette,” explains McCard. John Frieda’s Brilliant Brunette Shine Shock, Leave On Perfecting Glosser ($5.99, drugstore.com) adds gloss to color-treated brown hair.
Choose the right products.
Keep your newly colored locks looking luscious with Moroccan oil. “It restores shine to hair and it’s weightless so there’s no build-up,” says McCard. To keep color rich, use a color depositing shampoo (or cut the intensity by mixing your regular shampoo with a color-depositing one) once a week.
Moroccan Oil Treatment for all hair types ($28.89, buy.com)
Less is more.
“Your hair color should look good even if you have no makeup on,” McCard says. In other words, it should naturally complement your skin tone — not wash it out and force you to load on makeup to look good. “Darker hair will be the first thing people notice about you, so you don’t need heavy eye shadow — keep makeup simple and swipe on lip gloss to make lips shine,” says McCard.
ELF lip gloss 5 piece super glossy set ($5, target.com)
Tell us: Have you ever dramatically changed your hair color?
Rachel Grumman is a freelance health and beauty writer based in New York City.