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Lowlighting Very Blonde Hair

Q: I have an oval type face shape and very thick hair. My hair is just below my shoulders and is very blonde. I often straighten it because of its thickness. I'm thinking about putting some darker colors in (e.g. Jennifer Aniston's color highlights) and having it shorter. Is this a good idea?
 
Jennifer Aniston's hair A: Given what you've described, it sounds as though the changes you are contemplating would be flattering. However, I cannot make a confident assessment on so little information.
 
       Adding darker colored segments into lighter hair is called lowlighting, and is an excellent way to add depth and interest to very blonde hair, particularly when the original haircolor is very even and monochromatic. Do make certain, however, that the color you add is compatible with your natural color.
 
       All haircolor has a base color, regardless of the tone or color level. Some blondes have a blue, blue-violet, and violet base. These are generally the brighter, whitish or platinum blondes. Some blondes have neutral bases, such as pale ash blondes. Other blondes will have red, red-orange orange and gold bases, which are your strawberry blondes, your honeyed blondes and pale yellow blondes.
 
       If you are planning to do the lowlighting yourself, you want to make sure that you identify the underlying base color in your own hair and select a lowlight color that works with it. The best way is to look at your hair in direct sunlight using a mirror. Pay close attention to the hints of color that glint of the individual hair strands. If the color glints are cool - bluish or purplish - then you should select a color that has the blue, blue-violet or violet base color.
 
       If the color glints are warm - reddish or orange - the select from haircolors with red, red-orange or orange base colors. If the hair shows greenish glints, then you can select either a haircolor with neutral base color, or you can warm or cool the hair's color by selecting a haircolor with either the cool spectrum bases or the warm spectrum bases. For those hair colors that show yellowish glints, you should either stick to gold bases or warmer spectrum colors.
 
       The hazard you encounter when you don't take the hair's natural base color into consideration is ending up with color errors in the color you add. For example, if you added a gold base haircolor to natural hair with a blue base color, or a blue base haircolor to natural hair with a gold base color you can end up with lowlights that look green. This is not a desired result. Other potential combinations are just as unpleasant.
 
       The adjustment in length is entirely based on personal choice and balance of the hairstyle to your build, head size and face shape. Oval faces can look fine with practically any hairstyle, but if you are very tall with a long lean build and neck, shorter hair can exaggerate the longness. Likewise, if you have a heavier build, the shorter hair can make you appear more squat at certain lengths. So use careful judgement as you make your choices.
 
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Related posts:
 
How to color hair
 
Hair colors and our color palette
 
The difference bewteen highlights and lowlights
 
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