Sandalwood for hair loss- can one whiff do the trick?

When it comes to hair loss remedies, you’d be right to be sceptical. A lot of the products out there are all talk and no action, with rarely any promising scientific evidence to accompany them. That’s not to say we haven’t tried and tested our fair share of hair growth oils, masks and creams- both the shop bought kind and the DIY recipes (mayonnaise hair mask, anyone?), with varying results. We were confident we knew of every hair growth ingredient out there… That is, until we found out about a new potential baldness treatment- sandalwood.

In case you didn’t know (and we wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t), sandalwood oil has a warm, woody odour and is commonly used as a fragrance in incense, cosmetics, perfumes, and soaps. It’s something you’re more likely to find at your local massage parlour than in your bathroom cupboard- but you may want to rethink that, if you’re struggling with hair loss, or you just want a way to grow your hair faster.

So what’s the hype about? Well, to go back to basics, new research has uncovered something pretty revolutionary: that human hair follicles express an olfactory receptor of their own called OR2AT4, and when OR2AT4 comes into contact with the molecular structure of a specific scent –synthetic sandalwood, as it turns out – it stimulates hair growth.

Lost? Us too. In readable terms, your hair follicles have the ability to “smell”, and if they sniff out the right chemical (in this case, sandalwood), it could be a radical new way of preventing hair loss.

If you’re feeling sceptical, the team did test the theory by using samples of human scalp donated by volunteers who had undergone facelift procedures, and immersed them in synthetic sandalwood odorant for six days. When they checked up on their experiment, they found a small but promising 25 to 30 per cent increase in the secretion of a growth hormone in the scalp. In other words, the hormone plays a key role in promoting hair growth.

So what’s in it for the future? Does that mean we should all take to Amazon and stock up on a generous amount of synthetic sandalwood to rub on our heads? Not so fast- the theory is still in it’s early stages, with the next step being to see if that result can be replicated in a larger clinical trial, which the researchers hope to conclude in January next year. As in, wait until the experiment can at least be tested on real skin attached to real human heads before we all deem it safe enough to get DIY-ing with.

Still, even if we can’t get too excited as of yet, things are looking promising- according to Nicola Clayton of the British Association of Dermatologists, the initial data is “very exciting”, although from clinical perspective she could only speculate about the extent to which such a treatment would improve outcomes for patients.

"It is a fascinating concept that the human hair follicle, as the authors put it, can 'smell' by utilising an olfactory receptor," she told The Independent.

We’ll be sure to follow up on this one as soon as we get a whiff (sorry) of more developments.

(Picture credit: Natural Food Series).

Laura Shallcross
Our top NYFW hair trends for you to try yourself

It might be starting to feel like every other week is some sort of “fashion week” around the world, but we don’t care: there’s no better procrastination than sitting looking through some of the crazy hairstyles that make it onto the runway. For once, though, we’re shying away from some of the edgier- to put it nicely- trends from New York Fashion Week, to focus on the sorts of hairstyles you can actually do yourself with a bit of patience and time on your hands. Thinking about changing up your look? Read on for inspiration.

Wet ends

Love it or hate it, the deliberate wet-look hair, in this case just the ends, comes in and out of fashion faster than we can keep up with. At the NYFW Calvin Klein runway the Jaws-inspired show meant models walked the runway with wet ends, which you can either interpret as A, a trend, or B, an excuse to leave the house with last night’s coconut oil still in.

We’ve got a whole other blog post on wet look hair, but in short, if you want to try the look out yourself (it makes a great evening ‘do style- Google it if you don’t believe us), simply comb your hair back without a parting, then apply a styling gel with strong hold. Don’t use too much- you’re going for sleek and elegant, not the kid in junior school with the sticky-up Sonic The Hedgehog look. Warm up a dab of gel between your palms then spread it through your hair from the roots to your ears, then gradually apply it to the rest of your hair according to the look you’re going for.

The ‘low’ do

As much as we’re fans of the high bobble, there’s something powerful about the understated low do. As proved on the Dion Lee runway, this season seems to be all about buns- both sleek and pristine, and feathered and messy- tied just above the nape of the neck, no one-hundred bobby pins of hairspray required.

If you fancy giving off sensible vibes, give the polished low bun look a go- simply comb your hair back into a low ponytail at the nape of your neck, divide your ponytail into two equal parts and tie off each one with a small rubber band, then at the bottom of each section, insert a bobby pin vertically, so one prong is inside the hair tie and the other is out. Next, grab both ends of the bobby pin and start rolling your hair away from your face and up towards the back of your head, all the way up to your ponytail, and place the pin in place with a few other bobby pins. Then repeat on the other side- and voila. A low bun with a difference.

Perfect pastels

Apparently, a grand total of 37 models dyed their hair for the Marc Jacobs show, to match the pastel coloured collection showcased on the runway. We know that pastel’s far from a new trend, but according to Marc Jacobs, it won’t be going anywhere for a while (remember Fashion Week was showing off pieces for spring/summer 2019), so we’re more than happy to continue with our pastel hair inspo Pinterest board.

Here’s a word of warning if you want to try pastel out for yourself: leave it to the experts. Unless your hair is naturally super-light or you give it a good bleaching (again, not a recommended DIY), you’re never going to achieve the shades advertised on that hair dye bottle. Your hairdresser can help get you to the exact shade you want, rather than the silver-that-looks-sort-of-blue, or pink-that-kind-of-resembles-orange. Trust us, we’ve seen it all. Get that hairdresser’s trip booked in, expect multiple sessions (Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all), and thank yourself later.   

Laura Shallcross
Flower vase hair- because you can now become a human ornament

We really thought we’d seen it all when it came to the hair trends of 2018. But it seems there’s still room to squeeze in a few more bizarre styles that are making the rounds on social media before the end of the year- one of them being this: flower vase hair. The weirdest part? We actually kind of like it.

If you still struggle to get your hair into something that resembles a neat pony tail, this one might not be for you. But for Hong Kong-based YouTuber Taylor R, who has the patience, creativity, and the adequate hair volume to make it work, the look went down pretty well, with her Instagram pic of the ‘do going viral and getting more than 43,000 likes (and counting).

Taylor captioned the pic: “Be truly ground breaking this fall.. wear florals 💐 #FlowerVaseHair” but we can’t help wondering whether she really thought her creation would hit the spotlight like it did. However, since then she’s created a full tutorial on her YouTube channel for those who want to copy her look, which has racked up a total of 75,000 views so far, so it looks like this really might be the thing of the season.

In a tutorial video, Taylor places a plastic bottle on top of her head, then gathers her hair around it and ties it up at the top. Then she uses a couple of extra-stretch hair bobbles to create the vase shape, and stuffs the spare hair sticking out of the top of the ponytail into the plastic bottle. After a bit of adjusting, there’s nothing left to do other than stick the bunch of flowers through the top of the water bottle.

Speaking to BBC Three, Taylor says that although it looks like a nightmare to do, the whole style only takes her “about five minutes”.

“The idea came to me when I saw the September Vogue covers (Beyonce and Rihanna), and I wanted to try a fun way to incorporate the floral theme into my look this autumn,” she adds.

Of course, it didn’t take long before a few other people were trying out the look too (with varying levels of success). We particularly loved a Tweet in response to Taylor’s look by user @Ellzababoon, who simply captioned her own rendition of the style: “The world isn't ready for this level of fashion #FlowerVaseHair”. Very Cindy Lou Who. 

But the question is, are we ready for it? Although we probably won’t be trying out this style for a day at work anytime soon, we can’t help thinking it would make a great add-on to a children’s fancy dress costume. Let’s hope someone attempts a creepier version of it on Halloween and shares it for us to see.

Laura Shallcross
How to rock bedhead hair

In an ideal world, we’d all love to have the time, energy and patience to jump out of bed an hour early every morning, and get to work with the straighteners/curlers/whatever other hair styling tools available to us to create a perfectly preened, I’ve-got-my-sh*t-together hairstyle that instantly makes us the envy of everyone we encounter. Unfortunately, it’s 2018, and we’re adults- so gone are the days of having endless time, replaced by the need to find a way to rock that just-woke-up look without looking like… you’ve just woke up.

Luckily, Blake Lively has made it perfectly acceptable- and possible- to rock the bedhead look, after stepping out on the red carpet at Ralph Lauren’s Spring 2019 show in a three piece tuxedo ensemble, along with the bedhead texture of dreams. Her feathery, tousled look might have been the product of a few hours in a salon, but it’s also totally achievable to do yourself, and doesn’t take up anywhere near as much time and effort.

So, how exactly can you do it? First off: we’re not recommending you take this post literally and show up to work without the tiniest bit of styling (although if that’s your thing, then why not?). But if you really want to achieve the look, you can either go for soft, messy waves or a casual, windswept-chic updo.

For the messy waves approach, you can choose to go all-out authentic and braid your hair the night before (just make sure those plaits aren’t too tight- no one wants uncomfortable pulling all night), or if you can’t be bothered the night before, you can achieve virtually the same look by braiding in the morning, pressing with straighteners and unravelling. Don’t be tempted to get the hairbrush out on your locks, unless you’re intentionally going for the humidity-frizz look. Your hair should look a little messy, but purposefully so, not like you slept in and didn’t have time to do more than put your coat on and leave.

For the windswept updo, simply rake your fingers through your hair a few times, tousling up the strands, and tie it back into a casual bobble. You’re not aiming for anything too high, here- it’s all about the slouch. Leave a couple of strands, one either side of your face- you can either leave these how they are, or style them into loose waves. Think Meghan Markle (if you haven’t seen just how well this woman can rock a laid back updo, get Google searching now).

For a bit of extra va-va-voom, you can always treat your hair to a styling product, if time permits. These days you have the choice of everything from styling powders, to sprays, to waxes and putties, to dry shampoos and oils, but we always think a traditional spray works best. Try a root boost spray if your hair could do with a bit more volume, like this one from Trevor Sorbie. Or if you want to add fullness to your tousled look, OGX Moroccan Sea Salt Spray promises to do exactly that.

Blake Lively, we salute you. Now to set our alarm for half an hour later tomorrow… we’ve got this.

Picture credit: Vogue

Laura Shallcross
Yellow hair- what’s it all about?

It might just be the brightest hair trend of the year- heck, the century- and love it or hate it, fluorescent-yellow hair is now a thing. We know, we know; say fluorescent yellow, think first-timer’s hair dye disaster, but trust us when we say there’s a way to work this colour so it actually looks flattering.

We saw it first on rapper Lil' Kim, who walked the VFiles runway at 2018 New York Fashion Week wearing a yellow dress and jacket combo with matching bright yellow hair, and it seems it went down well, with top beauty and style magazines promising it to be the next big thing.

Next came Nikki Minaj, whose hair, whether real or (arguably) not, is the same shade of yellow during her feature in a music video for Korean boyband BTS’s new single. Okay, so we all know Nikki Minaj is pretty famous for her out-there looks, but we still think this is a trend that’s going to catch on.

Now, the cheery shade, said to represent the sprightly optimism of that generation born between the mid-'90s and early '00s, is popping up all over Instagram, with 777k followers-strong @american-salon posting a pic of a model with dyed-bright locks that received over 1,300 likes.

But where, especially when it’s nearing pumpkin spice latte and jumper season, did our sudden love of such a sunny colour stem from? Apparently, according to the experts, part of the reason is that we’re bored of going blonde. Hairstylist Sophia Hilton, who founded Not Another Salon, says of the trend: "It's just a really fun update for blondes that doesn’t require a huge amount of commitment. Pastels and rose gold have been 'on trend' for what feels like forever, so we're now searching for something quite different."

But just how easy is bright yellow to master? First thing’s first, this isn’t one you want to have a go at yourself- it’s best leaving it to the experts. You should have a light natural base to begin with, so if you don’t, you may need several appointments, and normally several hours at a time, for your hair colour to be lifted. Once it’s at a suitably light shade, that’s where the experimenting with the bright yellows can begin.

Once you’ve got your colour, it’s important to remember that when it fades, it’s going to look more obvious than if your hair had been dyed, say, light brown to ash blonde. To keep your hair fresh, you'll need to remove any conditioners or shampoos that contain sulphates from your routine, as they could strip the colour. In between salon visits—which will definitely become more frequent if you want to commit to the trend—you should use a colour-depositing conditioner every other time you shower.

It’s a big commitment, and it’s definitely not for everyone, but if you’re brave enough to give the yellow hair trend a go, then good on you! As for us, we’ll probably sit this one out, but that won’t stop us admiring the trend from afar, even if we’re not quite daring enough to go the whole hog ourselves.

Laura Shallcross
How to sort out summer-dried hair

Had a bit too much of a good time over summer? If you spent your time off lounging in the sun, swimming in chlorinated pools or salty sea and generally shoving your hair back in a lazy bun and forgetting all about it during the UK's legendary, not-to-be-forgotten-for-years summer heatwave, chances are, it's been left a little worse for wear as a result. If this is you- don't fear, we're here to help you solve all of your summer-related hair issues and help you restore it back to its former beauty come autumn.

THE PROBLEM: Too many dips in the swimming pool

Chlorine is a chemical disinfectant added to the water of most swimming pools, to, y'know, keep things as hygienic as sharing a bath with multiple strangers can possibly be. As much fun as it might be to bob about on a lilo in Tenerife, living your best life, your hair isn't going to love you for it. Chlorine damages your hair when it comes into contact with it, by stripping the natural oils from your hair and leaving it dry and prone to all the horrible things in life, like frizz and knots. Your hair is more likely to have experienced chlorine damage this summer if it's colour treated, thin or fine, or previously damaged.

THE SOLUTION: Revitalising hair masks

Luckily, chlorine damage is only temporary if you know how to fix it, and there are plenty of treatments available for doing just that. Moisturising masks are great for giving your hair that hydration it badly needs. You can either buy them from your local drug store- there are plenty at a reasonable price- or make your own from coconut or argan oil. Simply apply your mask of choice twice a week after showering, leave on for twenty minutes, then wash off. Your hair'll be looking as sleek and shiny as before your pool-dipping in no time.


We're not going to tell you otherwise: when the whole point of going on holiday is to spend a week or so in the sun, there's no real avoiding it. But if you'll admit to maybe not wearing a hat when you could have done, or spending hours on the deckchair with your hair sizzling under the sun's rays, it might be fair to say that your hair has suffered from your actions. With prolonged exposure to the sun, UVA and UVB rays can damage the outside cover of the hair strand, causing discoloration, dry and brittle strands, broken or split ends, thinning and frizziness.

THE SOLUTION: Condition, condition, condition

You need a good moisturising conditioner for this- anything that contains argan oil is a good one, as well as honey, coconut oil, and shea butter. These ingredients are all natural, and so won't fall out with your hair once they're applied, and they're known for helping restore hair to its former glory by repairing and re-hydrating strands. Regularly conditioning the ends of your hair should help bring some life back to your locks. It may also be a good idea to visit your hairdresser's for a touch-up if you feel the sun has faded away some of your colour.

THE PROBLEM: Salt water + hair = a match made in hell

Salt water never usually gets a bad rep: after all, how bad can something that detoxes the skin, reduces swelling and treats wounds really be? But your innocent dip in the sea might not have been so innocent after all, as all that salt in the sea actually leeches water out of your hair, leaving it dry, parched, and brittle. Not a winning combination, we're sure you'll agree.

THE SOLUTION: Oil it (and avoid heat!)

Once the salt water damage has been done, the best solution is to grab your nearest oil- coconut, almond, argon, it doesn't matter which one, get applying it on your ends. If your hair feels really dry and brittle, apply a good helping of the oil and lather all over. Leave the oil in for at least half an hour before washing off and shampooing for good measure. The oils contain plenty of vitamins that will deposit in your hair, helping to re-nourish it and replace whatever has been lost from your frequent ocean dips. Try to avoid using any heat products on your hair, too, as they'll only dry your hair out even more.

Laura Shallcross
The easiest hair hacks you need to know

It’s getting to the end of summer. You’ve spent all your savings on that holiday to Malaga, and you’re back to wearing last year’s Christmas jumpers already. The last thing you can think about is buying all the new A/W products that promise to be the next best thing for your hair. But do you really have to? We’ve put together a list of hair hacks that cost next-to-nothing, and might be the answer to what your hair needs now it’s getting colder- without you having to blow the bank…

Sleep on a silk or satin pillow

If you’re sick of waking up to a head full of hair-frizz, switch your cotton pillow case for a silk or satin one- chances are, you already have one in a cupboard somewhere, without realising its night time benefits to your hair. Whilst cotton pillowcases create friction between your hair and the surface of the pillow, which can lead to hair breakage, satin pillowcases are very smooth, which means your hair won’t get tangled up while sleeping on them.

Forget about the curler- it’s all about braiding

This is an old hack that most of us probably haven’t considered since childhood. Simply plaiting your hair in multiple braids before you go to bed means that when you wake up and unravel the strands the next day, you’re going to be left with a head full of bouncy, heat-free curls. Not only are you saving spending unnecessary money on a curling iron, you’re doing your hair good by avoiding the heat, too. Just make sure you don’t tie the braids too tight- that would make for an uncomfortable night’s sleep and wouldn’t be the best for your hair, either.

Keep bobby pins in place with hairspray

Fed up of losing all your bobby pins and having to buy more? If you can get into the habit of spritzing them with hairspray before sliding them into your hair, that will be a thing of the past. With a bit of hair spray, a bobby pin should stay in place all day, meaning less hair-patting and re-adjusting for you, and a bobby pin collection that lasts longer than a couple of weeks.

Dry your hair with microfiber towels

Regular terrycloth towels do more damage to your hair than it’s worth, so if you usually scrub your hair from wet to damp with one of those, it’s time to switch up to a microfiber towel. Not only do they absorb excess moisture faster than a towel, but they also reduce blow-drying time and are much kinder on your hair in general.

Tame frizz with a toothbrush and hairspray

Who needs the latest frizz-taming product when you can DIY it on the cheap? Simply grab a toothbrush (a spare one, obviously) and a can of hairspray. Spray the toothbrush and run it over your flyaway strands, flattening down. The hairspray should hold them in place for a few hours at least. Warning: make sure you don’t spray too much hairspray onto the toothbrush! No one likes the feeling of dry-snap hair.

Laura Shallcross
Compulsive hair pulling- what it is, and how to treat it

I’m sure all of us at some point have used the expression “I want to tear my hair out!” when we’ve been particularly frustrated about something. We’re obviously not being literal, of course- but actually, pulling out your own hair is a real disorder that affects a small percentage of the population. It’s called trichotillomania, and involves irresistible urges to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body.

What are the symptoms to look out for? As hairdressers, we’re used to hair of every kind possible, and it’s usually obvious when we treat a client who suffers from trichotillomania. Pulling hair from the scalp often leaves patchy bald spots, which can be distressing for the individual suffering from the disorder. For some people, the urge to pull out the hair can be overwhelming, while for others, it is generally manageable. The symptoms include:

-          Repeatedly pulling your hair out, typically from your scalp, eyebrows or eyelashes,

-          An increasing sense of tension before pulling

-          Noticeable hair loss

It’s common for trichotillomania to cause feelings of shame and low self-esteem. Those affected may try to keep their condition to themselves.

You are more at risk of experiencing trichotillomania if you have a close relative with the disorder, suffer from other mental illnesses, or are undergoing a period of stress. The actual cause of trichotillomania is, frustratingly, unclear, and symptoms may come and go for weeks, months and years at a time.

If you believe you may be suffering from trichotillomania or a related disorder, it’s important that you seek help from a professional. You might feel embarrassed having to do this, but trichotillomania is a mental illness, just like anxiety and depression, and you shouldn’t be ashamed to admit that you need support in helping yourself feel better. Your doctor can work through your triggers with you and help you to reach the source of the problem in order to fight it.

As well as seeking medical help, it may also help you to start making a real effort to look after and pamper your hair. This may help to resist the urge to pull the hair, and give you a ‘reason’ not to do so. For example, treating it to a weekly coconut hair mask and shampooing and conditioning with nutrient-rich shampoos and conditioners may help to fight against the desire to pull at your hair. You could also try replacing hair pulling with another action, like squeezing a stress ball.

Trichotillomania might not be a common mental illness, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be made aware of it, especially those who work in the hairdressing industry. Victoria's Secret Angel Sara Sampaio recently opened up about suffering from the disorder, saying about her eyebrows on Instagram: "Well I try not to touch them, but unfortunately I suffer from trichotillomania and I pull on them! 😭 so I have lots of gaps in them, I just use a eyebrow pencil to fill out the gaps!" We hope that this will encourage others to come forward and realise that they’re not alone in their struggle.

Laura Shallcross
Why going natural will do wonders to your hair

We get it: everyone loves making their hair look good. What would be the point in having it, otherwise? Whether you're a serial straightner, a lover of the curling iron, or can't live without your hairdryer, it's all too tempting to use heat to mould your hair into whichever style you think is the perfect outcome. And even if you don't plan to use heat products regularly, it can be all too tempting to do so when your morning bedhead is proving all too hard to tame. But what about if you gave your hair a break from the heat? What would happen, other than the obvious? Here's what to know:

  1. Your hair health will massively improve
    If you refrain from using heat products regularly, your hair will be stronger and more durable, meaning it will look healthier and grow faster. Too much heat can make your hair feel knotty and brittle to touch, because it removes water that is bound to the hair, which is called water of hydration. The protective keratin layer of hair degrades, the nutrients are lost, and virtually every hair becomes rough and gets split ends. Just a couple of weeks of not using heat on your hair should improve its quality, and if you're really dedicated, you should get your ends trimmed and watch how much faster it grows when you're not using heat on it. 
  2. You can spend longer in bed
    Let's take a moment to talk about just. How. Long. It. Takes to perfect hair with a heat product. And who's got time for all that hair maintenance when you could be spending it doing other, more important things (i.e. sleeping?). That hour-long curling session can be spent far more wisely, trust us. You'll be doing yourself and your busy schedule a favour more than anything else by cutting it out.
  3. Your confidence in your natural hair will (eventually) return.
    You can get all too used to seeing your hair in its straightened/curled/blowdried form as 'perfect', rendering any other texture or appearence boring, or even ugly. It's worth remembering that actually, perfect hair looks different for everyone- you might spend ages every morning straightening your hair, while someone else thinks their straight hair is visually unappealing, and goes out of their way to give it a bit more bounce and volume. The point? Embracing your hair in its natural style is easier than you think. Even better, if you don't show off your natural hair a lot, you'll probably get loads of compliments when you do. Go on, try it. We dare you.

Obviously, natural hair isn't for everyone, and it's always fun to style it every now and then. But if you can try and cut it out from your daily routine- maybe make it an every-other-day thing to begin with, before going down even more- you'll notice that your hair will love you for it.If you do regularly use heat on your hair, make sure you're using heat protectant products at the same time, to reduce damage to your hair. There are plenty of products out there, but if you're unsure what to use, ask your hairdresser. They have the knowledge of all the best and latest hair styling products, so you're best following their advice if you're a lover of heat on your hair. 

Laura Shallcross
Iced coffee hair is the new colour of the season, and here's how to achieve it

It's been a long, hot summer (not that we're complaining), and we've drank a lot of cold beverages, including, of course, the humble iced coffee. You might be the same- in which case, you're a lot more used to seeing it go into your mouth through your straw than you are in people's hair. But it turns out you might just start seeing the latter... well, not people with literal coffee in their hair, that would be weird- but people with iced coffee coloured hair, as it's been dubbed as the new colour trend of the season.  

This most recent hair-colour craze originated, where all good things arguably do, in America, and has been sweeping New York and L.A., according to Refinery 29. Coffee hair- warm, brown tones with a hint of cocoa- was first brought to our attention by Pop Sugar, when the Instagram account @behindthechair_com shared a picture of @hairby_kimberlyy‘s client. It’s a rich, toffee-coloured shade that screams autumn. 

If you're keen to jump on the trend before your friends, your best chances of achieving the look are to visit a hairdresser (not, unfortunately, doing a DIY at-home dye, which, let's face it, could produce disastrous results). An NYC hairstylist, who claims she was the inventor of the cold coffee colour, explained to Refinery 29 exactly how to achieve the look at a hairdresser's:

  • The key is to ask your stylist to ribbon rich highlights and lowlights through your hair for dimension. 
  • Golden and neutral tones need to be swirled down the hair for the cold coffee effect-just like when you pour a little bit of milk into your coffee, for the sweet-toothed of us. 

Just like your coffee, you can customise the trend to suit your preferences. So, if you prefer, you can go darker with richer tones for a more classic look. Or you could up the milk factor and go lighter and warmer in certain areas. You could even add a dash of caramel highlights- syrup, anyone? It really is up to you.

The coffee colour seems to work best on long, layered hair, and we'd suggest that unless you're prepared for lots of work to be done (and money to be spent), that you only take your idea to the hairdressers if your hair is light-medium brunette or dark blonde already. Unless you really want the colour, of course, or if you're after more of a black coffee look, in which case we say just go for it. 

Image credit: Salon Magazine

Laura Shallcross