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Your Best Light Brown Hair Color

Achieving salon beautiful brown hair is both easy and full of challenges. The challenges center around undertones directly associated with the varying shades of all hair color but particularly brown hair. As your brown hair is lightened, the color passes through a series 
of stages starting with red, finishing at orange. Salon beautiful home hair color is achieved with a (minimal) understanding of undertones. Of course if your goal is a reddish or golden brown hair color, neutralizing these tones is much less an issue. 
Follow these tips for easily perfect brown hair color:
  1. It's best to stay within a shade or two of your natural hair color. 
  2.    The greater the difference between your natural hair color and 
  3.     the color that you are hoping to achieve: 

  4. The quicker your roots will need to be retouched and
  5. The greater the challenge of bold undertones/ brassiness.

  6. As is so often mentioned in this website, refrain from "refreshing" your hair ends with your permanent hair color.
  7. Secondly, rinse your color with water-keeping your hands away from your hair, until the water runs clear. Then
  8. and only then, condition your hair.
  • Like a more dramatic hair color change? Neutralize your undertone challenge 2 ways:

    Go slightly darker with the color. Add a few (or more than a few) highlights. Slightly darkening the color will reduce the challenge of harsh pigments. The highlights will brighten the overall look
    • and give a feeling of lightness.
    • Or...go lighter. This is trickier. The goal is to go to a light enough color that you get "above" the undertone challenge.
    • The difficulty is that artificial hair color only lightens a certain amount.
    • The level of hair color that it lightens "to" is often an undesirable color.
Take a few minutes to watch the video on the color wheel page to better understand this. Before applying the color all over your hair, do a strand test. It only takes a few extra minutes and the payoff is priceless.


 Terry is ready for a makeover. Having just gone through a difficult divorce, she feels like a new hair color will give her a much needed lift. Her dark brown hair seems dull and lifeless to Terry. She would like to become a beautiful medium brown, with hints of a lighter brown/blonde woven throughout.

  The first step Terry takes is to look at the hair color chart to figure out her natural hair undertones and the undertones of both medium and light brown hair color. She discovers that she will have to counteract orange undertones if she lightens her hair to a medium or lighter brown. That's scary as Terry really doesn't like gold or red tones in her hair-she's pretty much an "ash" girl.

  Needing to save money, Terry decides rather than buy a home hair color "kit", she will mix her own hair color. She goes with Preference Liquid-Creme hair color because it begins with a violet base that helps fight brassiness. She chooses 7.1B Medium Ash Blonde understanding that the "B" is an abbreviation for "beige" which also counters orange undertones in hair. (A medium brown? Terry would like medium brown hair color-will this color lighten her hair enough? Yes. The lightening strength of a level 7 hair color on her dark brown  level 5 hair-should sufficiently lighten Terry's hair with minimum worries of brassiness.) Just to be sure, she does a strand test. She finds that the degree of lightness is just what she wants, but she would still like slightly less gold in her final hair color. She mixes 1/8 oz of 6.1 ash brown to her formula to add just a slight amount of depth to the hair color. The amount of "depth" (or darkness) added to the hair color formula is slight, but enough to counteract any remnants of gold in her hair:

Terry's formula:
1 oz. 20 peroxide
7/8 oz. 7.1B L'oreal LiquidCreme Color
1/8 oz (or less) 6.1 L'oreal LiquidCreme Color

  Lydia has very dark brown hair. She would like to lighten her hair, but only slightly. Thinking back to her youth, Lydia loved the way her hair looked after a summer in the sun, with red shimmering streaks throughout her hair.  

As her very dark hair lightens, red undertones begin to appear. Many women are opposed to any red showing in their hair, Lydia loves the red. 

Like everyone, Lydia lives a busy life and doesn't want to be tied down to a monthly coloring routine. She wonders about subtle highlights or more boldly, ombré hair color. Since this is the first time she has colored her hair, Lydia decides on just a few highlights.

 Permanent hair color is perfect to slightly lighten dark brown hair color. Lydia's dark brown hair is categorized as a level 4. Wanting to play it safe yet also wanting to see a distinct contrast in her color, she chooses to use a level 6 Medium Brown.

Lydia chooses #6 L'oreal LiquidCreme Light Brown. She decides to "paint" the hair color on so that she can place the highlights exactly where she would like them to be. As the color processes, Lydia keeps a close eye on the results by wiping the strand clean with a damp towel. Not quite ready? She reapplies the color. When ready, she rinses her hair thoroughly keeping the color away from her non-highlighted hair. Look at her beautiful results!

Desiring a greater hair color change than just a shade or two?  A brassy orange hair color often results when hair color is pushed beyond its intended limits. Always strand test-the few extra minutes it takes to do a strand test produces priceless results. © 2016 Design by InVogue Web