Anyone who\u2019s had their hair dyed a new shade knows the feeling: you walk into a salon, explain what you want to a stylist (bonus points if you bring pictures) and then sit back and nervously hope for the best. Even when you\u2019re the one calling the shots, it can be a bit daunting not knowing exactly how it will turn out. Now imagine that instead of choosing your own colour, you hand over full control to the colourist and agree to be completely surprised by the results. Scary? A bit. Exciting? Definitely. According to a recent poll, only 34% of LouisvuittonShop readers said they would be brave enough to take that risk, with 32% caveating that they'd only do it if they really trusted their colourist. But luckily we found one adventurous soul within our office: LouisvuittonShop picture editor Clare Pennington. Read on to find out what happened when Clare took our surprise makeover challenge... TIME FOR A CHANGE 'Last year, the year I turned 30, was a transitional year for me. I had a breakup, started a new job and moved house. It was empowering but also an overwhelming year, and it made me rethink everything - including what I thought I knew about my style and my identity,' Clare says. In her 20s, Clare did her share of hair experimenting. She dyed her naturally brown strands both darker and lighter - and even went for full-on platinum at one point. \u2018I did genuinely love it,\u2019 she says. \u2018Being that blonde was the best feeling. I felt like a confident person, all because of my hair. But the damage was unbelievable and the texture felt really dry. So I decided to grow out my roots. I ended up with a 50:50 look. At its best, it resembled an intentional dip dye, but I hated it. I was stuck in a rut.' CLARE'S HAIR HISTORY 'After turning 30, I was ready to embrace a change when it came to my hair, but I just didn't know where to begin.' Enter Zo\u00eb Irwin, award-winning hairdresser, session stylist and Wella Professionals UK Colour Trend Expert. Well-versed in transformations, she was the perfect person to pull off a covert makeover - and she fully understood the emotional implications of a big colour change. 'Hair is an extremely emotive topic,' Zo\u00eb says. 'More than clothes, or even make-up, there's just something about changing your hair that makes you feel like a new person. Leaving the decision-making up to your colourist is certainly daunting, but putting your transformation in the hands of a professional means you get a fresh set of eyes analysing how your colour suits your skin tone.\u2019 ROLL THE DICE \u2018I instantly trusted Zo\u00eb,\u2019 Clare says. \u2018She has great hair, of course, and she\u2019s well-renowned in the industry.\u2019 But Clare sat down in the chair knowing her hair could turn out platinum, pink or anything in between - so she admits she couldn\u2019t help feeling nervous. 'When Zo\u00eb was painting the colour onto my hair, I still didn\u2019t know what she\u2019d decided on. It was like playing roulette. But that was part of the fun.\u2019 With the blowdry finished, Clare was finally presented with a mirror - and was completely surprised by the results. 'The first thing I thought was that it made my eyes and skin look amazing! And my hair feels so soft and luscious. The colour is rich and interesting because it isn\u2019t only one tone. I never would have thought of choosing it, though.' But to a professional, the red-amber tone was a clear match for Clare\u2019s colouring. \u2018I wanted to really make her eyes pop by using a contrasting shade,' Zo\u00eb says. 'The colour is more vibrant next to her skin and at the roots, but has softer, multi-tones on the ends to give it depth.' For Clare, the impact of her makeover has lasted well beyond the initial surprise. 'It's definitely changed the way I see myself,\u2019 she says. \u2018I feel put together now, cooler and more stylish. The red is sophisticated, and I\u2019m changing up my wardrobe to suit that; opting for more green, wearing jumpsuits and heels rather than trainers. It feels feminine in a modern way.' TRY YOUR LUCK Tempted to brave a surprise change? With a trusted expert, it could be just the thing to push you out of your comfort zone and into a new hair era. Top tip: ask your stylist for a glass of champagne to calm your nerves while you await your dramatic reveal! But even if you don\u2019t fancy a full-on surprise, you can still get the benefit of an outsider\u2019s opinion by booking a consultation with a colourist at a salon you trust, so you can both share ideas. Zo\u00eb suggests booking an appointment just to discuss colour ideas a few weeks before your appointment to have the colour done. \u2018The consultation is your chance to bring in pictures and discuss ideas of what you do and don\u2019t want,\u2019 says Zo\u00eb. \u2018But it pays to be open to new suggestions from your colourist. Giving yourself a few weeks breathing time after chatting about new colouring ideas will let you mull over your colourist\u2019s suggestions before making a decision.\u2019 And if you\u2019re feeling semi-brave but not quite ready for a self-induced hair panic, why not meet in the middle? Agree on two looks you\u2019d be happy to rock and then let your stylist choose on the day. Just think of it as the professional alternative to whacking up an Instagram poll... Ready for your own hair transformation? Book a consultation with a Wella Professionals stylist for instant cool-girl hair.