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Ask a Hairstylist: How to Wear Blonde Highlights When You Have Brown Hair

The key to a natural look.
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Brown hair with blonde highlights

Q: Dear Bill, thank you for taking the time to share your expertise with those searching for answers to what to do with their hair!

Tiffany wants a new hair look before her wedding.

I am getting married, and my goal is to have longer and stronger hair with a nice, fresh glow to it. I would love to do a balayage Ombré look, but I want to make sure I can pull something like that off. I have been slowly adding highlights over time, but I want your advice on what my next steps should be. 

Tiffany has slowly been adding highlights to her brown hair.

I am Italian, with olive skin, and my natural hair colour is a medium/dark brown. My eyebrows are a dark brown as well. My eyes are hazel but they change colours to green and even gold sometimes.

I am also trying to grow my hair out instead of giving in to the fast, easy route of getting extensions. My hair is thick but it has some breakage due to colouring. I have a little cowlick in the front when I part my hair to the left, but it hasn't given me too many issues.

Tiffany's hair has breakage due to colouring.

Thank you for your advice! — Tiffany

A: Tiffany, thank you for your kind words. I love to help people with beauty and style decisions.

Right up front, I love your natural colour with your skin tone. It is perfect with your eye colour as well.

You mentioned that you have breakage from previous colour treatments... so why go messing around with more treatments prior to your wedding? Healthy, shiny hair is a woman's best friend.

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From The Skincare Edit Archives

I understand playing with trends such as Ombré—but at any other time, not before your wedding.

I am impressed by the tone of your highlights, but there is too much of a contrast from your own colour.

I'm not a big fan of stringy blonde streaks next to dark hair. It's not as polished-looking as the rest of your style.

If you meshed in other tones to beef up this look, I would like it way better for you.

Ashley Greene Teen Choice Awards 2010

Ashley Greene at the 2010 Teen Choice Awards.

Ashley Greene The Twilight Saga Eclipse Los Angeles premiere 2010

Ashley Greene at the 2010 Los Angeles premiere of 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.'

If you insist on being a lighter colour for your wedding, I prefer this blend with a lighter base.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Glamour Women of the Year Awards 2011

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley at Glamour's 2011 Women of the Year Awards.

The lighter pieces look like highlights, soft and pretty.

This says wedding colour to me...

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Guys Choice Awards 2011

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley at the 2011 Guys Choice Awards.

Trends come and go, but wedding photos are forever!


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