Kelly Atterton

Kelly Atterton's advice for coloring brown hair.

on Aug 7, 2008

Few things rival the pure entertainment value of Christopher Guest's 2000 movie Best in Show, but this week's episode came close. When the stylists had to cut and color pet owners and their pooches, I knew things could get hairy. Some people get territorial even if you pet their dogs, let alone take a pair of clippers to them. (Turns out that Charlie was the difficult one that day.) But fun with animals aside, let's talk about Dee. Her ability to transform her client's hair--and her Pomeranian--was shear genius.

THE ALLURE ADVANTAGE When it comes to hair color, brown isn't basic. (Why does everybody assume that it is?) It's a shade that's extremely hard to make look natural. (Just ask Nekisa!) When someone is born with brown hair, they have countless strands of color that create depth and luster. Inexperienced colorists often don't take this into consideration, and the result can look flat, striped, or just plain artificial. This scenario is especially true if that inexperience colorist is you. If you've never been a brunette but plan to take the plunge, read on.

There are so many browns to choose from, the process can be overwhelming, says Laurie Edwards, a colorist at the Cutler SoHo Salon in New York City. "Rich chocolate, chocolate with a raspberry feel to it, a more reddish brown, or an auburn brown. Even then, there can be countless tones of that shade." But relax--just because you can't tell the difference between one brand's Mocha Caramel and another's Caramel Delight, a professional colorist will, so pay a visit to your salon.