Summer’s over. Your glorious sun-kissed tan is fading, and so is your hair color! The first days of fall are a time for renewal — time to head to the salon for a seasonal snip, a deep conditioning treatment, and a vibrant new hue.

  Fall hair from Redken.

Whether you’re a bedazzling blonde, radiant redhead or bewitching brunette, you’ll want to take a more “lifestyle approach” to hair color this season, according to David Stanko, hair color consultant to New York’s Redken Fifth Avenue.

“Less is best,” Stanko says. “The trend is a little uncomplicated, a more lived-in color and that comes to life by highlighting from the mid-shaft to the ends of the hair. It adds dimension to the hair—a sexy undone sort of look.”

Stanko says there’s no need to take your fresh highlights all the way to the roots; that’s too Kelly Clarkson three years ago! Instead, think more Meredith Grey of Grey’s Anatomy or Sex in the City sweetheart Sarah Jessica Parker, whose textured locks were splashed on the cover of Elle magazine in August.

“The look she’s putting out, which is almost a little rooty with more of a concentration of color through the ends of the hair, is a fresh approach for fall and winter,” Stanko says.


Brunettes can tap into the trend by simply delving into a deeper hue, while redheads may add contrasting strawberry or light copper tones, and blondes can tone down a bit, while brightening select sections.

“For a traditional blonde, you would go with a light caramel tone for a highlight,” Stanko says. “You can achieve that by deepening the hair overall with a toffee-colored glaze, and draw excitement by adding brighter pieces strategically through the mid-shaft to ends.”Stanko emphasizes that the goal is to customize the color based on how a woman wears her hair.“If the hair is worn up,” he explains, “You might brighten strands from behind the ear down through the ponytail.”This fall, it’s all about adding nuances of color, says Lucie Doughty, editorial director for John Paul Mitchell Systems

.“You’re just adding movement and texture to the hair,” Doughty says. She suggests that blondes warm up their tresses with wheat tones, to add dimension and softness. Redheads can play around with bronze tones — and if you’re a cooler skin type, try dabbling in red wine or deep violet shades. For brunettes, a cool undertone (such as red-violet or violet”> or rich hues (like bronze and jewel tones”> can add vibrancy to your curly locks.

“I like to place color underneath and have glimpses of color coming through from the base,” Doughty explains. “It’s great to add dimension to curly hair, like adding different tones to the ends of the hair, so when you break up the curls you see these beautiful tones almost dancing through the hair. When you look at it, you don’t see the start or finish of the color, you just see that there are multiple tones.”


Multiplicity is also a key focus for fall at Christo Fifth Avenue Salon in New York. Curl expert Christo is introducing “Fusion Shades” for the new season.“They’re more daring than highlights,” Christo says. “We’re applying single-process color in different shades, placed in different areas onto one head of hair. The colors are related, and it’s a great technique that’s going to add dimension to your color, especially for curly hair. The shades have to be close to each other so they can interact and overlap, but at the same time they can be harmoniously processing at the same level.

”For golden blonds, he considers a variation of platinum blond and strawberry blond to add a bit of warmth. The infusion of color for brunettes may include caramel, gold-auburn, and dark-blond hues.

“From clothing to makeup to hair, everyone wants to differentiate themselves,” Christo says. “It’s a way to stand out and make a statement.”And the statement is a bold one this season, according to master colorist Mary Katherine Hecht of the National Artistic Team for Pureology. “It’s not chunky, but it’s vibrant. Your hair is like jewelry, it’s your accessory. You always wear it and, if you take good care of it, you can change it constantly.”

One of Matrix’s fall looks.  

If you’re a daring blonde, Hecht suggests stepping up to platinum this season (just remember all that maintenance!”>. For more conservative blonds, Hecht suggests adding a warm honey tone, or sun-kissed highlights. For fiery redheads, try a bright Tahitian red or keep it conservative with a demi-permanent shade. It is not as much of a commitment since it washes out after about eight shampoos. If you’re a brazen brunette, go for a bold copper or Tahitian red. Or, make a subtle change with a warm chestnut hue.While agreeing that warmth and richness in hair color is always welcome in the fall, Shari Harbinger of New York’s Devachan Salon says she doesn’t follow trends.“Someone may want to be trendy, but may not be able to keep it up because their lifestyle doesn’t allow it,” Harbinger says. “You have to consider skin tone, eye color and hair color. Ultimately, you need to really have a full grasp of the persona of the client to come up with the ultimate hair color and cut that best suits that person.

”During any fall season, Harbinger suggests blonds introduce a color glaze, like a honey, for renewed sparkle and warmth. Since redheads see their color fade the most, she recommends low-lights or a color glaze in deeper, cooler red tones, such as strawberry or auburn. For brunettes, consider richer tones, like a caramel or chocolate glaze.“The richer chocolate colors are usually best for olive skin,” Harbinger adds. “Look into the pupils of the eye. With someone with brown eyes, you can see reddish or gold undertones. With green eyes, there can be yellow specks. These help the colorist get an idea of what colors are best for the hair.

”Most important, make sure the hair color you choose truly suits your lifestyle. Whether your daring or conservative, analytical or a dreamer, there’s a new hue that’s right for you.

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