Will That Hair Color Work on You?

If you've mustered up the courage the try a whole new hair color, it's generally best to know it will look fantastic well before you're halfway through the process. When you can't decide which shade to choose, always follow these tips below.

Your shade isn't right if
... You feel the need to pile on makeup (especially bronzer) to keep your skin from looking pale. Think your hair color is off? Don't worry, you can fix a bad dye job. Just make sure you see a stylist for help to avoid causing hair damage.

Rule of thumb: Pick a base color that's no more than two shades lighter or darker than your eyebrows.

Why it works: The brow color you're born with complements your skin tone perfectly. Stray too far from it and your complexion will appear washed out. (Dyeing your brows won't make a difference-the benchmark is always their natural color.) You can also use your true base shade as a barometer. But if you can't remember it exactly (or don't have pictures of yourself at age 12 handy), you're better off going by your brows. Want to return to your natural shade? Patience and a good colorist can do the trick.

Also keep in mind: Weaving blond highlights into your base color enhances any complexion. Logics colorist Jennifer J. taught us that, like self-tanner, golden tones illuminate your skin. Keep the streaks thin to ensure everything blends in well.

The best blond for dark skin: These days, lots of darker-skinned beauties are making a major mane statement by going blond - think Beyoncé, Tyra Banks, and Mary J. Blige. "The contrast between dark skin and light hair can be really striking, but it's tricky to do yourself," says stylist Kim Kimble. "A pro will know the right shade for your skin tone."

The basics: Women with deep brown skin should go with a rich honey hue. If your complexion is a medium tone, try a sandy color. And if you have lighter skin, you can pull off a pale golden blond. To keep strands healthy, do a deep-conditioning treatment at home twice a week, especially if you also relax your hair, says celebrity colorist Rita Hazan. It's also important to choose hair products that will extend the life of your hair color and avoid fading.

How do you decide what shade to color your hair? Have you experienced a bad dye job?

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.