A Guide To Alternative Hair Colour Suitability.

By | January 9, 2014

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As a professional hair stylist, I recently had a customer ask me if Audrey Kitching’s current hair colour (pink with white streaks) would suite her darker more ‘bronze-ish’ skin tone.

Which got me thinking… the rules for which NATURAL hair colours suite different skin tones are well established. For example; if you have fair skin and light blonde eyebrows, then black hair colour will make you look washed out and like death (which might be the look some of you are going for!) but will not work if you want to look natural.

However the rules for UN-NATURAL, alternative hair colours are un-written. So whats a girl to do?

Well although there are no rules, I’d like to share with you some guide lines that I use when recommending funky, vibrant, alternative colours to my clients. Don’t think of this as ‘set-in-stone’, law, but more as a guide. Because at the end of the day, alternative hair is about being an individual, unique and yourself, and therefore is a very personal decision. This guide is simply to give you some things to consider when making your choice.

1.) Unlike natural hair colour, which needs to work with skin tones, alternative hair colour is more about matching your outfit and look. So to find what works for you, first look at your wardrobe! Ask yourself what your favorite item of clothing is? What colours do you love to wear? This is a question I always like to ask my customers, as it helps to narrow down the choice, and give me and idea of the sort of look they like to go for.

And if you colour your hair blue, I’m not saying that you have to wear blue everyday! That’s just silly! But you will want colourful outfits that would match blue hair. For example; what won’t work, is if you like the hippie look with more natural earth tones, but dye you hair candy floss pink. Brown, corduroy flairs definitely wouldn’t work with Audrey Kitching pink hair! However what would work if you like the hippie look, would be dark pine green dreads (or maybe even rainbow hair, to match your rainbow tie-dyed t-shirts!) You seen what I mean?

2.) Look at your make-up. When you have a night out and do a work of art on your face, what colours do you tend to favor? If you have and all black wardrobe, then maybe this will help you to decide your what would suite your hair. What are your favorite eye shadow colours? Or favorite lipstick? For example; if your favorite lipstick is turquoise, why not make this your hair colour? Or if you want to mix streaks of different hair colours, stick to aquatic colours, such as blues, greens and purples, as this will compliment your makeup! And don’t forget your eyes, if you naturally have very strong coloured eyes, such as green, or bright blue, uses a hair colour that will compliment. Red hair colour can look amazing on bright green eyes. And even if you like to use coloured contacts, again choose hair colours that will compliment!

3.) Accessories! Hats, bags, shoes, tights, jewelry, funky glasses…even piercings and tattoos! If you have a colourful bracelet that never leaves your wrist, go for multicoloured hair! Or a funky pair of bright red framed glasses? Why not add some red streaks to you hair too! Even if you have a colourful tattoo, then why not match your hair colour to it? Especially if its on your neck, behind you ear or on your chest or shoulders, as these areas are more visible with your hair.

4.) Think about what colours work together and what doesn’t. If you like pastel girly colours in your outfit, stick to baby blue instead of a dark blueberry shade. And use colours that work together, like baby blue, pearly pinks and snowy white. Or if you like hot colours, try red, orange and yellow together. (I once did this combination on a client with a Mohawk, we started with yellow at the roots fading into orange and red tips on the ends. Looked like flames coming out of his head when it was all styled up! Very cool.)

Other colours that look great together are aquatic tones, such as blues, greens and purples. Or for good contrasting colour combination’s, try green and dark pink, or purple and yellow, or bright blue and orange. Some colours I wouldn’t put together would be red, pink and purple, they are too similar and don’t compliment each other. Another to avoid would be yellow on its own, as this can just look like a bad bleach job! Orange is another tricky colour, if you do want this colour all over, keep it as dark and vibrant as you can, (so it looks intentional) and keep it topped up, because as it fades, again it can look like you just tried to bleach your hair from black to blonde in one go!! Not a good look.

5.) Don’t be scared to mix your dye to get the right colour for you. Unlike natural hair colour, alternative colours (like; Special Effects, Manic Panic, Stargazer, Crazy Color, Fudge & Directions) can all be mixed together just like you would with paint. So experiment! Its great fun and you can come up with some amazing colours! This way you can come up with a shade that is totally unique to you. Some of the most beautiful dye jobs I’ve done have come though mixing and experimenting! And the more you play around with colour the more you will understand what works best together, and what works best for you!

So there you have it! Anya Goy’s guide to alternative hair colour suitability! I hope that has helped, and gives you somethings to consider before you pick your next bottle of dye off the shelf! But just remember, as I said, its not about following rules, its about being true to yourself.

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