Transitioning your summer color for the fall can be a challenge — you definitely don’t want to look washed out or like you neglected your mane, but how dark is too dark? To help answer some of your reoccurring seasonal hair transition dilemmas, we tapped the pigmentation pros to find out exactly how they transition summer highlights for fall. Ask and you shall receive – here are their expert tips and tricks for toning down summer color to achieve a subtle (yet necessary) change.
“I always say that as the seasons change, so should your hair color. The goal of this change is to complement your client’s skin tone, which can lighten one or two shades in the fall and winter. For blondes, I love an all-over creamy color for the colder months. In the summer, blondes can look fabulous with more roots and less highlights, but for fall and winter, I like to transition my clients from beach-y highlights to a deeper, manicured blonde with more complete coverage. For brunettes, warm baby lights are the perfect “pick me up” to boost skin tone. This is perfect for a client who is experimenting with color for the first time, or someone who wants to brighten up their look with extra warmth. Redken Flash Lift is a great lightener for highlights, year round, and I always finish with Redken Shades EQ to customize the color, neutralize any unwanted brassiness and add condition and shine.”
“This is one of my most favorite things to do! There are endless possibilities of how you can transition highlights for fall. It really depends on the look you are going for! Some blondes like to transition their white blonde highlights to more of a warm caramel highlight. I have a lot of fun transitioning my brunettes to something darker while still providing dimension. One of my favorite transitions is brunette to more of a merlot tone. You get a unique sexy burgundy reflection.”
Image via Guy Tang
Chad Kenyon, Colormelt® Creator, Celebrity Colorist and Olaplex Ambassador
“I start to shift my color clients from summer to autumnn bit earlier than most colorists because I like it to be a seamlessly subtle transition. For my blonder/lighter clients, I progressively balayage more depth-entailed reflections between the tail-end of July and the beginning of September (balayage placement is key here, as we cannot simply rely on a shadow root — that would just be a bandaid!). This way, the autumn-winter highlight foundation/structure is in place, leaving only the easy-peasy ‘gloss & Olaplex’ salon maintenance appointments (a 20-min appointment every 4-6 weeks) until we do another balayage just before the holidays.
Now the topic of going warmer for Autumn: I’m at a place in my career where girls coming to me year-round for red, strawberry-blonde, apricot, fiery hair colors and fall-time is no exception. I do, however, love to buck the trend, so if you’re feeling the same way, come see me as I love to stir things up and make some noise!”
"As we move toward fall, clients want to go warmer. To do that without glossing the all over color monochromatically warm, I start adding in lowlights to add depth and amp up the warmth with my midlight technique. That way, I can gloss them a bit warmer all over and keep maximum color and tonal contrast!"
“Summer is coming to a close, let’s pour one out for the highlights and warm nights, and get ready to fall in love with autumn tones. The fall season is transitioning us from summer to winter. This is also a transitional time for your hair!
My go-to? I use a gloss to tone out highlights and give my client a root shadow close to his/hers natural color. This adds depth to my client's color! I’ll always leave highlights just around the face and ends, to keep that summer glow and ease my client into their new fall look! The best thing about a toner? It can be a quick and affordable appointment while transforming your look.
If your ends are solid, you can add some lowlights to break it up, then add a gloss all over to refresh those bleached ends. The gloss will also add shine that sun and salty water stripped out! The possibilities are endless with toners. You can go darker, warmer, richer, and cooler... your stylist can customize them just for you!"
Image via Instagram
Elisabeth Leary, Founder and Creative Director of WHITEROOM.
“To transition you color you can add a root shadow to blend the highlights with your natural color and tone them down by one to two shades to create a softer ombré effect. To warm up highlights, add a gloss with gold or Carmel tones to bleached out hair, for a healthier warmer glow.
You can also try a copper conditioner, the Christophe Robin shade variation offers enough tone that if it’s left on for 10-20 minutes on blonde hair it gives a temporary copper glow. Or you could go brunette all together! Use the variation in your already highlighted hair to go all-over darker while keeping a dimensional brunette with your existing highlights."
Image via WHITEROOM
Min Kim, Colorist at Butterfly Studio & L’Oréal Professionnel Artist
“Glossing is the easiest way to transition highlights for fall. It's a low commitment option that helps to add shine and enhance color while making the hair feel better. Ask your colorist to keep the gloss deeper at the crown and lighter around the face to maintain a natural vibe, whether you choose to go with a neutral or more daring look. I like using L’Oréal Professionnel’s DIA Light demi-permanent color for my glossing services.”
"My main tips for transitioning your summer color is to find something that works with your life/maintenance schedule. If you are somebody who likes to change quite often, semi or demi hair color is the better option. Remember that showing inspirational photos is helpful, but be open to suggestions from your stylist as every head of hair is different! Adding a root smudge is great for a lower maintenance, more lived in look, while lowlights will keep your hair looking dimensional. If you want to still feel ‘light’ ask for a ‘money piece,’ which means hair is brighter towards the face. Adding a glaze to tone down your bright highlights can give you a whole new look—it’s fun to be open to playing around with different tones from season to season!"
Image via Taryn Arellano
Have you seen fall’s hottest color? Hint – you can brew it. The answer lives HERE.