Going brunette

ELLE's Beauty Writer takes the plunge

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By Amy Lawrenson

With a flurry of stars going brunette I wanted to get in on the action.

I have no loyalty to any particular hair colour, I'm not a fan of my naturally red hair and have dabbled with every other hair colour (in the last year alone) - a light blonde, rich copper, ombre (click on the links to see) and now I've taken the plunge and gone brunette.

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I decided to put the advice colourist to the stars Harry Josh, John Frieda International Creative Consultant, (who dyed Mary-Kate darker) gave ELLE last week into practice. He made some valid points that I made sure to follow:

If you're going for a drastic colour change (more than a few shades lighter or darker) you should see a professional.
Since going red last year I always book in with Claire Thorp at Daniel Hersheson.
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'A photograph is worth a thousand words.'
Like Josh advised I took a picture of Mary-Kate at the CFDAs with me and within moments Claire had mixed up the colour and I was well on my way to a new look. I made sure to ask for a brunette that wasn't too dark so as not to wash out my fair complexion. Honestly, if you live in London and you want a big change or a colour refresh Claire's your girl.
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You will probably need to tweak your make-up.
With my new brunette hair I have found that even though it's cloudy out I need just a little bronzer to warm up my complexion. I can also get away with more eye make-up now; too much eyeliner and eye shadow with my blonde hair had me looking like I was ready to party, but today it just appears to add focus to my features.

A piece of advice I want to add in here - think about your brows!
I have quite fair eyebrows so I booked in with Lisa Potter-Dixon (Benefit's brow guru and head make-up artist) to have my brows tinted a few shades darker so they match my new hair. It makes such a difference and it saves me spending ages filling them in every morning. (Brow Tinting is £11.50 at Benefit Boutiques. Click here to visit the Benefit website and find out all about the Brow Bars). Just a little grooming with Kevin Aucoin Precision Brow Pencil, £19 (at Space NK) is now all that's needed.

Also worth remembering, unlike a drastic haircut that can take years to grow out, with colour you can always get back to where you were before. If you're nervous, voice this and get your colourist to be clear about what's involved if you want to dye it back.

But chances are, like me, you'll love your new hair colour, so give it a try...

Claire Thorp is based at Daniel Hersheson on Conduit Street; Tint from £80, Highlights: Half head from £140, Full head from £190. danielhersheson.com

Want more hair tips? ELLE talks hair with Cheryl Cole's stylist...

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