It's no secret, pulling off a new hair color depends your skin tone. But that doesn't mean you should shy away from that seasonal itch to switch things up—like electrifying your locks with sun-kissed highlights or, if a major color change is what you're craving, doing an about-face with an extreme shift in shades. Hues definitely tend to go lighter in the summer, because lighter hair works when your skin is bronzy or tan, but there's nothing wrong with looking for hair color inspiration that charmingly bucks the lightening up trend. To get a fresh take on the summer hair color trends, we got three top colorists to share some refreshingly wearable ways to heat things up, in any shade.
If you want to go blonde—Colorist Mike Petrizzi of De Berardinis Salon say this summer's blonde is all about the finish:. “It's a delicious mash up of a few previous trends, taking the best bits of each and mixing them together. This technique embodies a less-is-more approach to going blonde: Typically, most blondes get a gloss or toner at the end of the lightening process, but this season, it's about bringing your blonde to the point of perfection and then not reaching for a toner. Instead, I opt for a purple-based color depositing shampoo (like Davines Alchemist Silver) to marry the watercolor smear of ombré with the precision of the classic foiling technique. The end result is a brilliant, organic feeling blonde.”
If you want to go red—A cluster of celebs have gone red lately, but not all reds are created equal. If you're ready to jump on the bandwagon, take a cue from Rita Hazan, colorist and owner of the Rita Hazan Salon: "Summer reds should go for a coppery, ginger shade. It's not a dark look, it's an orange-red with gold highlights, so it works with a lot of skin tones. The golden highlights will also help it grow out better, so you won't need to as many touch ups. And make sure to keep hair hydrated—do a mask once or twice a week, and always apply a product with UV protection."
Above, from left: Organic John Patrick fall '11 image courtesy of Aveda; Dove Damage Therapy Nourishing Oil Care Daily Treatment Conditioner, $5.99, available at Drugstore.com; Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo, $9.29, available at Sally Beauty; Aveda Color Conserve Strengthening Treatment, $26, available at Aveda; Yigal Azrouël fall '11 image courtesy of Bumble and bumble.
If you want to go brunette or black—Colorist Marie Robinson of the Marie Robinson Salon, says to go for a rich brown with golden and caramel highlights throughout the ends, but suggests keeping darker hues a solid, one-color shade. "I used to have black hair and I loved it in the summer. The contrast of summer white cottons and bright colors looks beautiful against ultra dark hair. And dark or black hair will look good on most skin tones during the summer, as long as you're not too unnaturally tan!" Robinson recommends avoiding direct sunlight, applying SPF, or wearing a hat in the summer to avoid oxidation. "Also, use a leave-in conditioner when swimming to avoid brassy tones or dry out your hair."
Above, from left: Sebastian Professional Color Ignite Multi-Tone Shampoo, $14.95, and Conditioner, $16.95, visit Sebastian Professional for salons; Christian Siriano fall '11 images courtesy of Aveda; House of Waris fall '11 image courtesy of NARS; TIGI Bed Head Colour Goddess Leave-In Conditioner, $16.95, visit TIGI for salons; Kelly Van Gogh Wonderlust Hair Colour Protecting & Illuminating Tonic, $30, available at Kelly Van Gogh.
How to get temporary streaks or touch ups—Brightly colored streaks are still going strong and if you're feeling experimental but not ready to fully commit to a dramatic color change, check out stylist Kevin Murphys DIY trick to getting colored tips or streaks: Murphy uses colored pigment in his how-to video, but recommends using powder eyeshadow—a product easily picked up on-the-go or possibly already in your makeup bag. And for root touch ups, Rita Hazan's new Root Concealer spray keeps your roots temporarily in check, and Hazan says the red version will give brunettes a little color boost when sprayed on in streaks.