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2015 is the year of color. Whether it’s Kylie Jenner donning pale baby blue locks or the silver haired trend that’s inspired women of all ages to go gray before age does it for them, this year has seen a variety of bold hair color trends on people ages 18 to 80. But it’s not always easy to pull off strong color statements. If done the wrong way, you could end up looking tacky instead of trendsetting. Luckily, there are some rules of thumb for pulling off bold colors without looking ridiculous.

Opt for Highlights Instead of Full Color

Some trends, like the rainbow hair color, look better when done in moderation. Take Selena Gomez for example. Her rainbow colored highlights add a bit of “umph” to her look without being so overwhelming that it completely dominates her overall look. The same goes for other bold colors. Choosing a bright hue that you can use to accent your current hair color can be more effective than doing a full color dye job.

Avoid Heat When Possible

Heat isn’t great for your hair. When you’re rocking a bold hair color, though, it’s even worse. Because hair color can be damaging to hair follicles on its own, adding extreme heat to the mixture can compound the issue. When washing your hair, try to rinse with cool water (or lukewarm at best), and avoid using hot heat from a hair dryer and styling tools like curling irons and flat irons. This will keep your hair from frizzing and becoming too dried out, and bold hair always looks more refined on hair that’s healthy and not damaged.

Commit to Hair Color Maintenance

Unlike other more traditional hair colors, bold shades like violet or light gray require a lot of maintenance and upkeep to keep it looking great. Light shades require bleaching hair first in order for light pastel shades to take hold of their hair follicles. This means that in order to keep your new bold color looking fresh and upkept, you’ll need to commit to monthly salon visits for touchups and consistently use a good conditioner that won’t damage your color.

 

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