Coloring tip: It's a fact. The longer your hair is the older the ends are. Okay no news there. What may be news is that this makes them more porous and open to accepting hair dye. Which is why you want to get to them last if coloring at home. Otherwise they may end up darker than the rest of your strands leaving you with a final result that is well, interesting looking. Just not in a cute and sexy way.
When you use the services of a real professional, go to the appointment with an open mind. You may have your heart set of pale blond, but if the colorist can prove to you that a deep strawberry is really your best shade, listen to her. She is trained to match color with skin tone. She knows what will work, and what won't.