How she missed: Brassy blonde highlights on long dark brown hair are harsh, especially against a beautiful olive complexion like Sabrina's.
It's a hit! Frédéric cut off more than 18 inches, to Sabrina's delight. The shorter cut resulted in more volume and movement, so that when he added the highlights—lemonade and summer beach blonde around her face, and caramel and cinnamon in the back—they were warmer, more vivid, and more integrated into her new hazelnut base color. He also used different-size highlights to add depth and richness.
The point: Even pretty highlights can look stripey on extremely long, heavy hair. Go for a moderate cut.
How she missed: Orangey highlights look stark against a dark base color, and if hair lacks shine, as Natisha's did, the color looks flat and dull.
It's a hit! After Frédéric Fekkai lightened Natisha's hair to a soft brown tortoiseshell to accentuate her skin tone and bring out her deep brown eyes, he added fine, golden highlights for contrast and depth. She wanted to grow her hair a little bit, so rather than layer it he used a curling iron to make long waves, which enhanced the gold by separating it out and defining it, while giving her style a shape.
The point: Avoid stark contrasts; boosting shine intensifies color.
How she missed: Lisa was a study in black and white: her skirt, blouse, and shoes were either one or the other; even her black hair showed white roots.
It's a hit! Lisa's hair had to be stripped of the black dye before Frédéric could add a soft, iced-tea-brown base color. He pointed out that when hair is stripped and then re-dyed, the strands absorb different amounts of color, which often results in natural-looking highlights. He was right: Lisa's new color subtly shimmered with various rich, chocolate shades. Frédéric reshaped her cut, adding layers for body, and then painted only a few auburn highlights on the tips.
The point: Dark, unnaturally monotone haircolor looks severe, especially as you get older. Lighter is more forgiving.
How she missed: Lovely pink undertones in a complexion like Johanna's are overwhelmed by a red-pink haircolor.
It's a hit! Frédéric brought out Johanna's startling green eyes with a warm chestnut base color and amber and copper "flame" highlights applied at different places along the hair strand, including the tips. He gave her an angled cut to add body and movement without losing the length she liked. Keeping the highlights closer to the tips around her face, so that the warm brown contrasted with her skin tone, brought out Johanna's exquisite features.
The point: Your haircolor should complement, not match, your skin tone.
How she missed: Too much processing (coloring, straightening, perming) fries hair; Karen's blonde ends were frizzy and dead. And faded color can blend with skin tone, dulling the complexion.
It's a hit! Frédéric trimmed all dead ends and added layers to increase volume and give Karen's cut some shape. Then he gave her a hazelnut base color to warm up her skin tone before adding caramel highlights ("I want to give her lightness without making her blonde, which isn't right for her because of the yellow in her skin," Frédéric said). A golden brown gloss toned down any remaining brassiness and boosted shine.
The point: Hair has to be in good condition for color to look natural and fresh. Don't overprocess.