Why Your Natural Hair Color Trumps All Trends


Michelle Williams for Louis Vuitton, hair color by Marie Robinson

Marie Robinson is a hair color rock star. Her celebrity clients include Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson, and Michelle Williams and her New York City salon is about to celebrate its fifth anniversary in April. So yeah, she’s a big deal. 

Always interested in artistic pursuits, she enrolled in beauty school at the suggestion of her grandmother. She became obsessed with hair color because of the immediate payoff. “One of the things that I find very satisfying about hair color that I didn’t find in painting or drawing, was that I could see immediate results,” says Robinson. 

Related: 8 Winter Hair Inspirations

Getting started, Robinson earned her stripes working under celebrity hairstylist Danilo and renowned colorist Christophe Robin. With years of experience at salons like Bumble and bumble and Sally Hershberger, Robinson broke out on her own in 2010 and the Marie Robinson Salon was born. I talked with Robinson about her predictions for hair color in 2015. If you’re ready to make a color change, listen up. 

Alexandra Perron: What can we expect to see in terms of hair color trends in 2015?

Marie Robinson: For me right now, it’s doing hair color that doesn’t look like it’s colored at all. Even reds right now are pretty beautifully natural. It’s the opposite of the pastel and ombré trends we have been seeing. 

Even with ombré, the transition has been to something much more natural. We wanted to find a way to do it that it is prettier and more elegant, without looking obviously done. 

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AP: What celebrities do you think are doing this look well?

MR: Sophia Vergara, Amy Adams, Mila Kunis, and Gisele.

AP: Do you think this move towards more natural color is tied to the no-makeup makeup trend we’ve also been seeing?

MR: Yeah! It’s about how to look natural when you’re still doing all of these un-natural things.

AP: When it comes to highlights, what kinds of trends are you seeing? 

MR: It’s more of a glimmer; it’s become a layering process. You don’t really see that it’s highlighted. It has a very natural, blended feel to it.

AP: What is the biggest mistake people make when making a hair color change?

MR: I think unless you have gray hair or you are someone that really has the time to maintain your hair on a regular basis, people have a tendency to make changes that are way too extreme for them.


Marie Robinson Salon in New York City.

AP: What kind of commitment does a more drastic color change need? 

MR: Any change that is more than a couple shades is going to require touch-ups every 4 to 6 weeks. It’s a little bit more time consuming. If you’re lifestyle doesn’t call for it, it’s not going to be pretty growing out.

If I see that someone can’t maintain their color regularly, I’ll work to taper their color so that it does grow in nicely. Maybe it’s making it darker or incorporating in more of their natural color and toning it down.

I also never suggest that you do an extreme change more than once a year, especially if your hair is shoulder length or longer. If your hair is a bob or shorter, two-three times a year is okay.

Related: The Impact of Rachel Green’s Ever-Changing Hair 

AP: What is the best way to make a big change that won’t be too high-maintenance?

MR: You can change your look considerably and still stay within two shade ranges of your natural color, whether you’re going lighter or darker. This still allows you to still go brighter or redder or darker—while still being believable.

As much as I love hair color, I really appreciate the beauty of natural hair color and working with it and not taking people so far away from their color. It’s about enhancing what people have naturally.


Marie Robinson

AP: How can you keep hair healthy after coloring?

MR: When you make extreme changes, it’s best not to wash your hair daily. Use a products made for color treated hair. The treatments should be both moisturizing and reparative. Colorist Cure is a treatment that revitalizes your color and conditions at the same time. 

Related: What You Need to Know Before Coloring Your Hair

AP: What celeb hair color requests do you get the most often at the salon?

MR: For red, people are drawn to Jessica Chastain’s naturally strawberry blonde color. For brunette it’s Liv Tyler and Natalie Portman, and for blonde it’s Reese Witherspoon and Naomi Watts. Everyone always loves Jennifer Aniston for her natural light brown and dark blonde.

AP: Do you have a celebrity whose hair you would love to color?

MR: I’ve had my eye on Julia Roberts and her blonder color. I always preferred her natural brown and would love to do it. She did the exact color that I think makes her look her most elegant and naturally beautiful in the new Givenchy campaign.