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How to Update Your Straight, Brown Hair

Beat boredom with these styles.
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Welcome to our Hair Consultation column. To request an online hair consultation from celebrity hairstylist Bill Angst, follow the instructions here.

Q: Hello Michelle and Bill! My natural hair colour is ashy brown and I currently have a few highlights growing out. It's soft, very straight and fine, but I have lots of it. 

Sarah has brown hair with a few highlights.

In the past, it has been blonde and long, but more recently, I cut it to around collarbone-length. I can curl it with the right products, but mostly blow-dry to try and create more volume.

My biggest problem is I am bored! If I wash and go, it dries stick-straight, but I don't mind a little maintenance with my hair. I'm sick of my medium brown. Super-blonde was fun, but not really flattering to my skin. 

So I'm not sure where to go from here, which results in one too many ponytails throughout the week. I am willing to try new cuts and colours, but with all of the options, I'm completely overwhelmed. Any help would be greatly appreciated! — Sarah

A: Sarah, I'm seeing that cheeks and eyes are what need tending to here. You are most fortunate to be able to wear different hair colours. Here are a few options I feel are worth playing with.

A stronger colour and a geometric bang with long, loose layers—this will do the trick.

Keira Knightley at Paris Fashion Week in 2009.

Your eyes will pop and the bangs will add another style element to your pony.

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From The Skincare Edit Archives

Keira Knightley at the 2007 premiere of 'Atonement.'

Here is a brown with caramel highlights.

Natalie Portman at the 2010 AFI Life Achievement Award.

More cheek is exposed with the long, side-swept fringe. 

A shorter length will show off your shoulders and great posture as well.

Jessica Alba at the 2006 Golden Globe Awards.

I think blonde looks great, and if there is any blonde left in you… I would suggest a shoulder-length cut with really crisp ends.

Naomi Watts at the 2010 premiere of 'Salt.'

A simple bang with this colour will be the only detail you could use, as the colour stands out enough.


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

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