This fall, we say your hair is your ultimate accessory. Yes, that means putting your Alexander Wang booties aside (just for a moment though, we promise). Choose a rich, deep
brunette hair shade to complement the saturated hues of this year’s fashion trends, and create a look that’s dramatic and unforgettable. But if you’re not sure what shades are hot for the season or how to get the look of your fave celebs, Rob Pizzuti, master colourist with Blyss Salon Inc. in Toronto has the 4-1-1. We checked in with him to find out how to get a gorgeous brunette shade.

“My favourite celebrity brunettes are Nina Dobrev (
Vampire Diaries) and Paula Brancati (
Being Erica),” he says. “I know both of these performers personally and not only are they all class, all the time, but with their silky brown hair, with random touches of highlights, they stand out in a sea of bleach blondes.”

But Jennifer Lopez is the queen of seasonal changes, according to Pizzuti. “She was blondest of the blondes all this summer with her super highlighted hair and bronze skin,” he says. “Recently, my friends in Miami said they were just at a party and J-Lo was a deep golden brunette with pale
flawless skin.”

Ready to go from blonde to brunette? Or, current brunettes, are you ready to take your locks to the next level? Here’s how:

Why go brunette for fall?

Hair colour trends are often dictated by fashion trends. “With the summer sun ending, everyone is trying to keep their skin glowing by choosing strong, deep hues in their clothing, like
jewel reds, burnt oranges, wood-like browns and Canada’s favourite, any shade of black,” says Pizzuti. “To complement this fall clothing trend, your best accessory is a rich hair colour.”

Learn more about transitioning from blonde to brunette, the hottest brunette shades and more, on the next page…
What hues are hot?

Walnut brown, espresso and Pizzuti’s current favourite, dark rum or amber brown are all sizzling shades for the season. “They can instantly bring warmth to your skin and add some life to the muted colours of your ‘keep the cold out’ clothing,” says Pizzuti. “I always custom mix each shade to complement my client’s skin and eye colour. Any shade of brown that has warmth to it is hot right now,” he says. “The range of browns we are mixing the most this season have no red at all but rather a drop of amber or gold that you can see when the light hits it. These creamy shades are more like cashmere than the average boring polyester red browns we have seen years ago.”

How to go from blonde hair to brunette hair

Whether you’re a natural or box blonde, you can become part of the rich brunettes club … if you do it right. As tempting as it might be to throw a dark brown dye on your hair at home, hoping it’ll give you all-over coverage, the truth is, it’s not going to look as good as if you do it at the salon. “I strongly recommend that you have a professional deepen your blonde since
blonde hair is usually more fragile,” says Pizzuti. “Gradual low lighting or colour blocking are ways to ease into adding some depth back into your hair.”

One of the most common mistakes Pizzuti says he sees at the salon is women who have attempted to apply a permanent colour over a multi-level blonde, hoping to get an even brunette
hair colour shade. “There is no need to apply permanent colour to make any shade of blonde a shade of brown,” he says. “In fact, glosses and semi-permanent shades will give you a better result and last as long.”

Wondering what the perfect shade is for you? We tell you how to find that perfect brunette hue, on the next page..
Brunettes: How to get to the next level

If you’re a natural brunette, you’re halfway there! The key to getting those enviable locks is shine. “I love when a natural brunette’s hair looks wet and shiny,” says Pizzuti. The chances of your hair having this
natural shine once you’re past your early teens is slim, he says, but tinted conditioners, glosses and semi-permanents can add intense shine. “All of these products work on your hair like a ridge filler does for nails. They fill in tiny cracks or dry spots in the hair so light bounces off of it and looks healthy,” he says. “The best look of the season is hair that has surreal shine. Nothing says
healthy hair better than when it shines and glows when the light hits it.”

Choosing the right brunette for you

Since your hair frames your face, it’s one of the first things someone sees when they look at you. “Your hair will always be your best accessory, no matter what purse you are carrying or how big your diamond ring is,” says Pizzuti. If you’ve got very pale or fair skin, he recommends a brown shade that has a drop of red or amber in it. If your skin is olive or has a deeper tone, you can get away with any shade of brown but Pizzuti recommends a soft golden brown, which will add brightness and make the yellow undertones disappear. “If you have red, sensitive or uneven skin, you may want to stay away from true red tones or very cool tones as either choice will magnify your skin’s discolouration. Stay neutral or sandy.”

Read more:
Hair tips: Brunette basics
Fall 2012 hair colour trends
5 easy hair savers