Sweater weather is almost here and with the pumpkin spice lattes, layered ensembles, and darker nail polish comes another seasonal beauty change — hair color. If the sun’s lightened up your locks over summer and you’re looking for a new vibe (or simply want to get your hair looking vibrant again and less brassy), then by all means, consider a switch-up. But before you do, heed the advice of these hair gods who are here to tell you what’s hot and what’s not for fall, along with how to keep your tresses in tip-top shape with a little DIY maintenance.
When to Change Your Color:
A new season can ignite the desire to do a 180 with your color faster than a breakup can, yet according to Wella global creative artist Christophe Nicolas Biot, you may want to wait until fall settles into itself before jumping the gun. “When returning from summer or holiday the skin is often tan, and immediately going dark when you still have gold (and light) highlights and your skin is still golden, is not the best idea,” he explains. “I advise to wait about two weeks post-summer (once your complexion has returned to its origin), and then start to repigment.”
What’s In and Out, Trend Wise:
Extreme or dip-dyed ombré, half head highlights, lowlights that are saturated from roots to ends, and bold chunky colors. Think melded and blended instead.
Warm, dimensional, natural, low-maintenance color. “Everyone loves warm tones for fall, like Mandy Moore’s rich brunette color, Julianne Hough’s warm honey blonde, and Jessica Chastain’s deep red,” says Nine Zero One colorist Lindsey Neavitt.
You can also expect to see “thick ribbon painted highlights (à la Cindy Crawford) with soft root highlights closer to the top, but more lived-in,” according to Rachel Bodt, Master Colorist at The Red Door Salon & Spa. And full heads of highlights are back too, “Even if some depth is left throughout, it should be cohesive and continued,” she says.
As for you blondies out there, Frederic Fekkai Fifth Avenue colorist Daniel Villano recommends blondes shift to soft, deep, golden tones to transition from bright summer tones. “I’m loving Hailey Baldwin’s short blonde bob — it’s so refreshing! — as well as fashion shades like violet and blue for fall,” he adds.
What to Ask For at the Salon:
“Foilyage, babylights, and balayage techniques, if you’re lighter in the summer and want to go darker in the fall,” explains Nine Zero One colorist Melissa Trujillo. “And the healthiest way to transition from lighter to darker is low lights with demi-permanent color, or use a slightly darker toner. Working off a natural base creates the most natural look, which is perfect because you’re not fighting the darker color.”
How to Care for Your New Color:
While products can help (big time) for keeping color brilliant, there are some other tricks to making color last and last, like a shower filter. “Think of this as a Brita filter for your hair,” says Bodt. “It purifies the water, which is super important when the hair is really porous, so it doesn’t absorb all of the minerals and rust from the pipes. I also cannot stress enough how mineral buildup can change the way your hair and color look and feel, so I recommend using R+Co Acid Wash, $32, once a month to remove mineral buildup, hair products, and pollution from the hair and R + Co One Prep Spray, $21, or Kératase Nectar Thermique,$37, as a heat protector defense from blowdryers and hot tools.”
Colorist-artisan Christophe Robin also suggests trying a shade variation mask to transition into darker tones for fall, without having to commit to a totally different hue. “Brunette colored hair turns red over time and looks unnatural, while natural brunette hair often looks dull, but my single-use Warm Chestnut Mask, $18, will caramelize highlights and enhance your chestnut color,” he says. “There’s also the Ash Brown Mask, $18, which will remove the brassy or red tones you might get from natural oxidation and bring back a pure, brunette color.”
If you got completely confused by some of these hair coloring terms, then dw, we did at one point too! Check out ou rguide to hair coloring lingo from award-winning colorist Maria Dowling here.