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Before doing anything else, consider your skin tone. If you're fair-skinned, don't go too light to avoid looking washed out or tired. Do you have medium to dark skin with olive undertones? Then choose shades that are described as "cool." Next, how long do you want this new color to stick around? Permanent color lasts until the next time you dye it, demipermanent color lasts about a month, and semipermanent color lasts approximately a week.
We like: L'Oreal Paris Natural Match, $11.99, a permanent formula featuring three new ultra-light blond shades, and Clairol's Natural Instincts, $8.99, a demipermanent formula with color-protective antioxidants.