While my biggest problem is thinning hair, as in I have open runways big enough to land a passenger jet on, our hair color can make us look washed out as we get…. as time goes by.
I will never go gray. That’s just not me. I may be 105 and stepping on boobs that drag the floor, but I won’t go gray. There are women I know, like the fabulous Lauren Ezersky—remember her long running cable show, “Behind the Velvet Ropes”—who are prematurely gray and oh, so chic, but I’m not one of them.
“I HAD TO FIGHT THE URGE TO STOP HER, AND INSTEAD, REMINDED MYSELF, “SHE IS RITA HAZAN.”
My original hair color was a rich auburn with golden highlights. After eight chemotherapies for breast cancer, my hair grew back black and silver. While it was still short, I tried an Annie Lennox look, but decided it wasn’t flattering. I then let some bozo talk me into going blonde… just for the summer. “It’ll be fun!” Not! Talk about washed out. Even if I wore bright colors, I was a body with no face.
Next I tried a darker base color with blonde highlights. Each time I needed my roots done, the colorist used the highlight color, so my hair got blonder and blonder, and I was back to being monochromatic. One thing to keep in mind when coloring your hair: Single colors are less maintenance, but they usually look like you color your hair because they’re flat and one-dimensional. Highlights can be tricky, but they add nature’s sun-kissed look, so your hair color looks more natural.
Now that I’m in New York City so often, I go to the Rita Hazan Salon, where Rita colors my hair. No wonder she’s long been an Oprah favorite and colorist to the stars! She’s spot on with my color.
I should have asked Rita for a quote here, but other than picking the right base and highlight colors—which is everything—your base color may need to be darker than you think it does. I’m fair-skinned and blue-eyed. While my original auburn hair color would be too harsh on me now, if my current base color was too light brown, with added blonde highlights, I’d still be washed out. Rita uses a dark brown for my base, almost a walnut. Scared me to death the first time I saw her applying it. I had to fight the urge to stop her, instead, reminding myself, “She IS Rita Hazan.”
The other secret to hair color so you don’t look washed out is to do your roots in the base color. If you keep adding highlights to cover your gray roots, your whole head becomes nothing but highlights and, again, you wind-up looking washed out. At some point, when you have more base color than you want, you’ll decide it’s time to start all over, doing all of your hair in the base color and adding new highlights.
Forgive me if I’m telling you something you already know, but until Rita, I was obviously clueless.