April 18, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Hot Flash- Do Blondes Really Have More Fun? I’m About to Find Out

By Barbara Bishop

So I’m having a little hair identity crisis. When I was born, I was a natural blonde. In my 20s, I began highlighting it, remaining in the same blonde range for 20 years.

After a while, it was getting very dry and too light. I decided that I wanted a little shine in my hair, so I went the other way; a medium ash brown, and I cut it short. It was a shock at first, but I’ve had my hair in the same brunette range and style for more than 10 years.

Now, as I approach (gulp) somewhere (far) north of age 50, I’m ready to brighten and lighten my look. Since I am medium brown, it’s taken a while to get it as light as I want it, but it’s getting there. I have an appointment with my colorist this week where I fully expect to reach the perfect shade of blonde for me; but I’m confused. Maybe it isn’t the super light platinum color that I was envisioning. I did some research before my appointment. Here’s what I uncovered:

Extreme colors are good for when you are in your 20s but, as we mature, they tend to make us look older. Several top L.A. colorists made the following suggestions:

Reds: Pick a more auburn tone – not a fiery red.

Browns: Pick a more chocolate brown. As we mature, our skin color changes and we lose pigment in our skin. Stay away from very dark colors like black or dark brown. Lighten up your color a few shades – this will take years off!

Blondes: Pick more of a honey blonde – never baby or platinum blonde. Blondes especially need golden tones to add a rosy and sun-kissed glow to the face. (My platinum dreams just went out the window.) I am not sure I agree, we’ll see.

Wash That Gray Out: When you start to notice gray hairs, use a vegetable dye in your natural color family. This will wash out rather than grow out, and it will last about three months. Never let your grays show – this is very aging! Vegetable dye also helps if you are trying to grow out a color you don’t like. This may be advantageous to most, but I know a beautiful woman with stunning, long silver/gray hair – yeah you Jane – and it’s perfect for her.

Monotone Hair Color: It doesn’t matter what color your hair is – blonde, brown, red, or even gray – if it’s one solid color, it’s going to make you look older. “It looks like a wig or a helmet, and that’s aging.”

Highlighted Hair Looks More Natural: Multidimensional, tone-on-tone highlights add movement to the hair. They keep hair looking natural and healthy, not fake. At the same time, too many highlights can look artificial and fake. You want to have a pretty base color and accent your base color with a few highlights. This will give you a more sophisticated but modern and sexy look.

If you have your hair colored in a salon, bring three pictures of hair color you like and three pictures of hair color you don’t like to your next appointment. Colorists are visual. Treat them like you would an interior designer.

If you color your hair at home, pick a shade that’s one shade lighter than the color you really want. Different sections of your hair will pick up different amounts of color, giving it dimension.

Split Ends: The quality of your hair is just as important as the cut and style. Frizzy, frazzled, damaged ends will make your hair – and you – look older. To keep split ends at bay, get a regular trim every six to eight weeks.

A Dated Look: If you’ve been sporting the same haircut for 20 years, it may be time for a change. The Farrah Fawcett and the Rachel were great cuts at the time, but now they’re stale and old-fashioned – the key word being old. However, if your look is classic, you can wear it forever. Think of someone like Carolina Herrera or Anna Wintour. Their haircuts are their signatures. When it’s classic and timeless, and looks good on you, it works.

Barbara Bishop

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