Hue New: Gorgeous Summer Hair Color Tips

Get brilliant, glossy color, in the salon or at home, that stays fresh through fall.

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Keep it bright and light, says Nicola Clarke, creative color director for John Frieda. Think sun-kissed. If you're heading into the salon, ask for balayage highlights—a technique in which color just a shade or two lighter than the base is painted onto strands—around the face.

Tip: Since summer is all about lightening up, it is a great time to add highlights, says Doug Macintosh, color director at Sahag Workshop. When trying at home, the trickiest part is knowing where to put the streaks. If possible, get a friend to help you.

Tip: Wearing a hat outside (tightly woven, preferably) is the best way to protect color. But if you'd rather not cover up, apply a few drops of one of three types of oil—argan, vitamin E, or baby—to hair to prevent fading, suggests Sharon Dorram, cofounder of Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger.

Top, Boden. Earrings, Viv & Ingrid.

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Fiery locks fade the fastest, according Macintosh. Redheads should keep their base color the same—to minimize the need for touch-ups—while adding warm golden highlights that create a strawberry blonde effect.

Tip: Always use products that are formulated for color-treated hair, says Macintosh. Avoid clear shampoos; they tend to be sudsy, which removes pigment. Instead, opt for a nourishing cream formula.

Tip: Chlorine and salt water strip dye and cause dryness. Before diving in, wet your head thoroughly with cold tap water, then apply a few drops of conditioner. Hair is like a sponge—if already saturated, nothing else can penetrate and cause damage. Rinse with water right after swimming, and shampoo, if possible.

Top, Boden. Earrings, Viv & Ingrid.

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Leave your darker days behind you and choose a lighter, softer shade of brown, suggests Dorram. Brunettes need to be particularly wary of the sun as it can turn hair orange and brassy.

For a Flawless DIY Dye Job:

1. Stay within two shades of your natural hue.2. Do a strand test first to make sure you like your selected tone. Apply product to a 1/2-inch section of hair and check after half the time the label suggests, holding the strand against a white towel.3. If you have thick or super-long hair, buy two or three boxes of color.4. Trace hairline with lip balm or Vaseline to prevent staining on skin. When color does migrate, gently remove with an astringent, like Sea Breeze.5. Dab conditioner on ends to prevent them from getting too dark—color looks most natural when it is lightest at the ends.

Dress, LC Lauren Conrad. Earrings, Dogeared.

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Wise Buys


Stay true to your shade with the right products.

A light spritz of Nexxus Dualiste Leave-In Conditioning Spray hydrates with vitamin E, coconut oil and honey extract. $12

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Garnier HerbaShine Color Creme's ammonia-free formula not only makes for healthier hair, it also has a light, fruity scent. Read: no harsh chemical smell. $8

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Pantene Color Preserve Smooth Shampoo gently removes product buildup without stripping color. $4

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Sally Hershberger Hyper Hydration Super Argan Serum is a triple threat—it protects with sunscreen, controls frizz and smoothes strands simultaneously. $15

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Wash with Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo to neutralize brassiness—its violet undertones bring brightness back. Plus, this supersize bottle will last the entire summer. $30

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For gorgeous glossiness, use John Frieda Clear Shine Luminous Glaze after you shampoo. A once-a-week application will do the trick. $10

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Apply L'Oreal Paris EverPure Moisture Deep Restorative Masque from root to end and let it soak in for 10 minutes. Rinse and voila—instant nourishment. $9

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Clairol Natural Instincts Vibrant with Week 2 Color Refresher includes a two-week color booster. $9

Originally published in the August 2011 issue of Family Circle magazine.

This piece was accurate at publication time, but all prices, offerings and styles are subject to change.