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bagley777's avatar

Should I go lighter or darker? (Hair)

Asked by bagley777 (42points) December 21st, 2012

There’s a recent picture of me. As you can see, I have medium/dark brown hair, blue eyes, and SUPER pale skin. I’m planning on dying my hair for the first time ever, but I don’t know if I should go lighter or darker. Not blonde or black, but a dark or light brown. Either way, I’d include highlights and lowlights so it wouldn’t be so flat. :)

Darker: Pros – Might make my eyes pop (I’ve always thought dark hair/blue eye looked pretty!) Don’t have to worry too much about roots, won’t damage my hair as much. Cons – Might make me look really flushed (because of my pale skin)
Lighter: Pros – Safer, would make me look “nicer” (I read that somewhere), might go better with my skin. Cons – More high maintenance, Might damage my hair, no “pop” to it.

I’m also looking for style suggestions, I’ve had this hairstyle for about four-five years now…I’m ready for something new! Bangs, layers? Short, long? What do you think? Thanks!

ADDITIONAL DETAILS: (Don’t have to read! Just some things that might be helpful, if you know a lot about this stuff.)
I have an oval face.
I normally wear contacts
My hair is naturally wavy, and I almost never style it.
I have a “cool” skin tone
I’m willing to go a lot shorter…but it needs to be passed the face, at least.
My hair is VERY thick
And another question is anyone knows about colors and skin tones, I was thinking about red-ish highlights in my darkish brown hair. Would that work with a “cool” skin tone?

I just asked like 3 questions :/ Sorry! I’m new, and curious. If you can answer any one, it would be much appreciated. :)

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20 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Let me start by welcoming you to Fluther. I hope you like it here.

I read your question and the details and studied your picture. It’s a tiny bit blurry, but it’s a good picture.

Personally, I can’t imagine very light hair on you. I believe you hit the nail on the head when you said dark hair would be a good contrast with your eyes. I’m imagining a dark shade of brown with the red highlights you mentioned at the end of your details. If it’s not too costly, get at least 2 shades of highlights.

I have an old friend who’s a long time hairdresser. He is always telling me one thing about naturally wavy or curly hair. He says to never get it cut with a razor. Use scissors only.

As for the style, I’m going to leave that one to someone else who might be better suited to come along and make suggestions.

Remember that you’re beautiful.

augustlan's avatar

You have beautiful coloring! I don’t think I’d go lighter if I were you. What about not changing the overall color (it’s fairly dark now, so you may not need to go any darker), but just adding high- and low-lights? I like your hair long, but maybe long layers would be good. Bangs would look nice, too.

Unbroken's avatar

I am not too sure on the color I think a purply (not over the top but just an undertone would be good. I also can’t visualize a lighter color. I also think you might like low lights instead of higlights. This advise is the part I am less confident on.

I wouldn’t overpower your delicate face with a lot of small face framing layers. Keep it light and mostly long around the face. I am guessing you have a smaller sized head anything more would detract from the classic beauty of ovals.

If your hair is thick layers are probably the best option. But I think you will love shorter. I also want to say that big waves or curls close to your face which should be easier to achieve with shorter hair are probably out. As irritating as that is. You could no doubt pull off a tighter curl or ringlets. But I think straight is your best look.

Much luck and success with your new do. However you do it. And welcome to Fluther.

FutureMemory's avatar

Well, I’m kind of a primitive guy so 95% of what you said in your details went way over my head, but I’ll tell you I had a girlfriend once that was very pale and liked to dye her hair constantly, and at least to me, she looked best when it was somewhere in the middle, rather than the black/dark brown she had when I met her. I found her pale skin to be quite hot, actually, but when she had her hair very very dark she kind of looked like a ghost. Medium brown/red though looked absolutely stunning on her.

Shippy's avatar

I am going to be boring I love your hair the way it is. The less you fuss with it, the better the condition. Maybe try blond bits in the front to see how it sits on your skin. But I’d leave it alone :)

hearkat's avatar

My skin tone is similar and I have blue-green eyes. I was golden blonde as a child, and that got darker and more ashy as I got older. I started coloring my hair at the age of 30. I get the most compliments with a light auburn color. If you wanted to try darker, a black-cherry color could look nice. If you go lighter, only go a couple shades or just put some highlights in.

If you’re doing it yourself, start with a semi-permanent color: “Level 2 – washes out in about 28 days” – because they are less damaging to the hair, and if you don’t like it, it’s not so drastic to change to something else. I have used these gentler colors for 16+ years, and if you go lighter consistently over time, it will lighten your hair gradually. I like that, because the change less drastic.

Now that I have a good amount of grey hair, the lighter hairs look like highlights, since they don’t hold the semi-permanent color. I earned every one of my grey hairs, so I’m not trying to hide them; but I don’t care for the ashy brown my hair had become , nor the the “pepper” of ‘salt and pepper’ phase that greying hair goes through.

Please share an “After” photo with us, and welcome to Fluther!

cookieman's avatar

Firstly: Welcome to Fluther!

Secondly: I agree with @augustlan (who knows a thing or two about SUPER pale). Your color is good. I would simply add some highs and lows to it.

Thirdly: Nice photo of you by the way. You’re adorable.

Fourthly: Got any cookies?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Welcome to fluther. You really don’t need to mess with anything. You look amazing just the way you are. You have beautiful eyes. The most beautiful woman I know of has similar striking eyes, but her hair is quite a bit thicker. Just a thought.

marinelife's avatar

With your pretty blue eyes, I’d go lighter.

Cupcake's avatar

Violet or blue tips. Leave the rest of your hair the natural color – it’s very pretty.

DrBill's avatar

I wouldn’t change a thing, beautiful just the way you are.

DigitalBlue's avatar

I could see you with bangs, I think that would be a good look. I think adding red to your hair, whether through highlights and lowlights, or by just doing an overall auburn. Not red-red, just add warmth. I have a very pink (and pale) complexion, and adding warmth to my hair tends to even that out.
Demi-permanent color would allow you to go darker (and add red), without damaging your hair. It only lasts about a month, but that gives you the option of playing with ideas frequently without frying your strands.

raddyya's avatar

I think you should go lighter;) you got an amazing blue eyes that fits a lighter hair

AshLeigh's avatar

I think you should just get the low lights and highlights. Your hair looks great that color.
Long layers would be cute too. :)

Sunny2's avatar

I vote with those who think you shouldn’t change a thing. If you want to play around with something, get your makeup done at a cosmetics department. That’s easiest to play with. Hair takes longer to grow out if you don’t like the results. Make up, you can wash off. You’re lovely just the way you are.

mazingerz88's avatar

Dark brown definitely. : )

zensky's avatar

My daughter says lighter because darker would make your skin look too pale.

You look fine to me but what do I know. Welcome to fluther.

bagley777's avatar

Wow, thank you for all of your advice! I wasn’t sure if I would get any replies at all. You guys are awesome! :) And thank you again for the compliments! You’ve talked me out of it, I think I’ll just put some high/low lights in my hair. Still undecided on the style, though. Thanks again, all of you. Every single person helped. :) <3

AshLeigh's avatar

Welcome to Fluther. :)

augustlan's avatar

@bagley777 Please post an “after” picture once you get it all done. We’d love to see the results!

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