As I spent my teenage years in CT, pictorial reminders of the glorious change of season in New England really strike a chord within.Though the temperature starts to steadily drop, a warmth permeates the air of the region as the landscape becomes alive in technicolor tones of gold, red and brown.
The fall foliage has also been a long source of inspiration for me as a colorist, as my aesthetic has always leaned towards colors found in nature. Many clients have finally begun to start their own hair color transitions for fall, and I’ve been thrilled with the numerous requests for warm, rich golden tones, as it’s the perfect solution to compensate for the paler complexion that inevitably awaits all of us ahead. Darker, warmer hair reflects light and will give hair amazing shine throughout the colder months, achieving an effect of the hair being lit from within, which is key since our skin will no longer have that effortless glow that comes with summer.
Though the color process begins at the salon, it really is a process that continues at home. Scalp care is key, and two of my favorite tips include massaging one or two vitamin E capsules directly onto the scalp, and coating the lengths of the hair with pure coconut oil for at least 2 hours and then shampooing at most 3 times a week. I like to do a light clarifying shampoo with apple cider for extra shine, followed with a color safe moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. When styling, it is key to remember to use a thermal protectant, because though slick straight styles are everywhere for fall, your beloved blowdryer and flatiron can strip your color at twice the rate of oxidation, quickly taking your color from rich and warm, to brassy and dull.
Ladies, it’s also time to put the harsh, contrasted ombré trend of summer to bed. Seriously. The trend is beyond played out. In transitioning your color to fall, focus on a softer blend, still keeping ends light, but toned down a notch. If you are a blond, beige, buttery and golden tones will keep your hair looking healthy all season. Brunettes should focus on brown on brown highlights, keeping the shade variance to 3 shades at most. Honey, chestnut, coppery and rich chocolate browns give a wide array of choices to keep brunettes interesting and versatile for fall. I haven’t yet decided what direction to take my own hair color yet for fall, but I’m leading towards a rich chestnut brown. Even darker skin like mine can appear sallow and flat, and I’ve begun to notice the last remnants of my summer glow fading away. If I can sit still long enough, it may be time to follow the lead of my clients, and warm my locks up too…..
A huge thanks to my client Barbara Hall for allowing me use of her fall foliage picture, my fellow (amazing) colorist Kaytee Joyce and my irreplaceable assistant Evelyn for letting me photograph their gorgeous brunette hair, and my clients Moe Razi, Alana Stewart, and Michelle Engstrom for being such beautiful muses….