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Ask a Hairstylist: The Best Hair Colours for Natural Brunettes with Fair Skin

You can wear more shades than you think.
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Q: Hi Bill! My biggest hair challenge has been trying to find the colour and cut that work best for me. I've tried pretty much every hair colour I possibly could over the years (except red). My natural hair colour is very dark brown, and I have extremely thick, wavy hair. 

From The Styling Edit Archives

Ashley wants to find a cut and colour that work for her thick, wavy, dark brown hair.

I'm extremely fair-skinned, my natural colour is dull and flat, and whether I curl it or straighten it, my hair always ends up back at its natural wavy state. 

Ashley has tried many hair colours, including blonde.

I'd love to hear your advice on what you think would be the best colour and cut for me! Thanks! — Ashley

A: Ashley, I think you are bang on with the cut and colour at the top. Really pretty! 

With your current colour—or any other colour—this style is for you. The wispy side sweep opens up your eye and cheek area.

I know there is a lot of effort put into styling, but this is worth it. If you are going to make an effort, may I suggest a part change and to use velcro or hot rollers? Riding your natural wave with a little control will add some volume.

Loosening up your style like this would be a great time to add a richer colour.

Rich brown hair colour.

This will fill the hair so it is less translucent; it will enhance the shine as well. (The more pigment in the hair—at any level of colour, from blondes to brunettes—the more it will do this.) All of the underlying pigments should be in the hair for the best light reflection possible.

Jessica Biel at the 2010 CFDA Fashion Awards.

You could throw bangs into the mix...

Alexis Bledel's bangs.

As for the blonde, I applaud you for your contrasts in hair colour choices, such great fun…

When doing a blonde this extreme from the natural colour, I like to see people stay true to their roots. A little less yellow and a with a hint of your real deal, and you can totally be a blonde.

Dakota Fanning at the 2011 premiere of 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse'.

Oh yes, and red hair as well…

Haley Bennett at the 2013 premiere of 'The Bling Ring'.

This soft hair colour and a strong lip colour will be a big hit for you as well!


Bill Angst is one of Canada’s top celebrity hairstylists and the owner of Angst Hair at 240 Queen Street East in Toronto. Call 416-360-5942 to book an appointment.