"Women who choose a darker color create more contrast, giving the hair a fuller look with more definition and texture," says Ludovic Audesson, celebrity colorist at Pierre Michel Salon in New York City. "In addition to being very chic, dark hair is not trendy or a fad -- it's really more of a statement!"
If that's the case, why do so many women choose to go lighter?
Audesson says it's because they believe getting older corresponds to going lighter.
"People also believe in the blonde myth," says Audesson. "The media has taught us that being blonde makes women feel sexy, hot, attractive, powerful, and men look more at blondes than brunettes. But in reality, what really happens when some women go lighter, is they end up looking washed out, so they don't wind up with any of those qualities."
The ideal woman to have dark hair is one with a dark or olive complexion and dark or very light eyes, according to Audesson. Age can be a factor, too. "Younger to middle aged woman look better with very dark hair," he says. Also, women who are naturally darker -- including Hispanics, Asians or Middle Easterners -- should lean towards the darker shades of hair color as their natural complexion complements it better.
But just like being a blonde is not for everyone, neither is being a brunette. If you have a very fair complexion or if your face has a lot of wrinkles or has been burned by the sun, go for a lighter hue.
When going dark, Audesson says leave it to the professionals. Go slowly, darkening two shades at a time and use a semi-permanent dye. Your colorist will also know how to choose the ideal shade depending on your base color. Ash colors can result in a green shade, red undertones won't always go with the skin, and a gloss can turn the hair red, so it's best not to experiment yourself unless you are sure of the results.
If you're in need of some inspiration, take cues from some of Hollywood's dark-haired mavens like Cher, Kim Kardashian, Cristina Ricci, Eva Longoria and Catherine Zeta Jones. Stars like Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson and Beyoncé would also look terrific if they darkened up, too.
Audesson's final tip? Don't forget to change your makeup. "After going darker, talk to a makeup artist to change the colors and the way you apply your makeup." Just like your favorite winter outfit, everything needs to work together.
Want more ways to get creative with your color? Check out these tips to make your locks look bolder!
And click here for the top 10 hairstyles for brunettes!
Watch our how-to video video below to learn how to style your lush, dark hair, and visit our Hair Basics section for more easy hair how-tos.