“With very short hair, it’s best to stick to a warm, rich, solid color,” says Carey. If you try a multitonal look (that is, more than one color in your hair), you’ll see the lines where the different shades have been applied. If your bangs are longer (think Rihanna), you can add a contrasting streak or two.
This soft, beachy style cries out for highlights. Carey suggests balayage, a highlighting technique in which color is painted on midway down the hair shaft. The result mimics the way the sun naturally lightens hair. On darker hair, try golden-brown highlights instead of blond.
Solid hues also work best on this strong cut. Blond is beautiful, but if you can pull it off, a “dark, shiny color really shows off that sleek geometry,” Carey says. “The darker the color, the more you see the shape.” You can also put a few highlights on the top or sides.
“Layers shouldn’t be all one color,” says Carey. Try a blend of two or three shades in the same family. “Brunettes can ask for tones such as caramel, chocolate and mocha,” she says. Blondes and redheads can also mix in lighter and darker shades.
“The softer the shape, the more natural the color. The more structured the style, the bolder you can go with color.” —Kat Carey
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