While days spent in the sun and in chlorinated pools are fun, they may have dulled your colour and stripped your hair of its moisture and vibrancy, says Luis Pacheco, Clairol spokesperson and owner of Hair on the Avenue in Toronto.
Pacheco shares his tips on how to get your best hair colour this fall.
As we transition to fall, nearly everyone needs a hefty dose of hair hydration. Proper conditioning will coat your cuticles, making your hair less dry and unruly so you get a great colour result. (Hair that is too dry acts like a sponge and soaks up excess colour, making for patchy results.)
Infusing moisture into your hair by way of a deep conditioner or a hair mask will allow the colour to go on evenly and have a more lustrous finish. This is especially true if you have a lot of grey as grey hairs are coarser, more wiry and harder to manage.
Pacheco suggests an at-home remedy of heated olive oil to quench parched strands. "Warm it up in your microwave for about 30 seconds. Then, distribute the oil from your roots to your ends and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes. Follow up with a gentle shampoo." Once you've properly conditioned your hair, it's time to think about colour trends.
Colour trends for blonds
If you have blond hair, Pacheco suggests adjusting your base colour. A uniform, overall colour is in, while streaky highlights most definitely are not. "Take it down a notch," he says. "Darken your base shade one to two levels and use neutral-to-cool tones to counteract brassiness."
You may also want to ask your colourist for a few natural-looking lowlights to break up any blocked and bleached colour that has built up over time, Pacheco adds. Think more Rachel McAdams and Sienna Miller, less Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan.
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Colour trends for redheads
We can thank redheads like Christina Hendricks from "Mad Men" for keeping this fiery shade hot for fall.
This season's reds are lighter, more solid tones as opposed to the rich auburns that have been popular in recent years. While shades similar to Julianne Moore's hair colour have been hot for a few years, for a fresh change try lightening up to something more like what Emma Stone has been sporting. On fair skin, these lighter red tones can be absolutely striking. "Think about brandy, the liqueur, as this season's red inspiration," Pacheco says.
Colour trends for brunettes
If you want to stick to an all-over brown, Pacheco recommends pushing the brunette boundaries. "Brunettes are dark and striking this season – think espresso and blackened prune. Purple undertones are hot this fall."
If committing to a darker shade seems scary, Pacheco suggests a demi-permanent like Clairol Natural Instincts in No. 37 (Espresso Crème). Demi-permanents will gradually fade out in four to six weeks without leaving any roots. But if you want more coverage for your greys, opt for a permanent shade. "I like Clairol Nice 'n Easy in No. 123. It's a natural, soft black that isn't too garish and is great for grey coverage," Pacheco advises.
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More hair colour tips for brunettes
If you're feeling more adventurous and are interested in playing with two-tone colour without committing to highlights, definitely give the ombré trend a whirl. Ombré is a colour technique where several inches of darker roots fade gradually in to lighter ends, as seen recently on Sarah Jessica Parker and Rose Byrne.
"It's not just a trend," says Pacheco. "It really mimics the natural effects of the sun on the ends of your hair." When done subtly – you'll get the best results if it's done by a professional – ombré is a low-maintenance way to update your brown as you don't have to constantly touch up your roots.
Colour maintenance for all shades
To maintain your hair colour, keep moisture locked in with regular hair masks containing shea butter or vitamin B.
If you're a brunette, try a shine glaze once a week to maintain a high-wattage sheen. If your hair is blond or grey, invest in a high-quality purple shampoo and conditioner to help your colour stay true – the purple counteracts brassiness and dullness.
Red hair tends to fade the fastest, so use a sulfate-free shampoo. (Sulfates are harsh salts that will suck the colour out of your hair.) Pacheco recommends a minimum of four to six weeks between colouring to keep your hair at its healthiest and to prevent overprocessing. And to avoid dehydration, use heat tools minimally. Textures for fall are soft and unstructured, so play with air-drying and setting damp hair overnight in braids or a bun.
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