Easy, Subtle Ways to Transition Your Hair Color for Fall

Victoria Moorhouse

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We’re all for making drastic hair changes in the blink of an eye – it’s the best way to get over a breakup, trust – but who wants to spend the last few moments of summer sitting in a salon chair? Not exactly where you’ll get the most sun. Luckily, going from a beachy platinum blonde to a rich brunette isn’t the only way to transition your look into fall.

You can put the full-on makeover on a pause for a few weeks, and ease your way into the season ahead with a quick, easy, and subtle dye job. From getting just a gloss to change the hue to taking your hair just a touch darker, these expert color tips should help you out if you’re not yet ready to completely change your hair color status.

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blondes Easy, Subtle Ways to Transition Your Hair Color for Fall

Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

If you’re a golden blonde like Karlie Kloss… ask for ashy, cool tones similar to Taylor Swift.
A sun-kissed, golden blonde may rule in the summer, but you might want to cool things off for fall. If that’s the case, L’Oréal Professionnel Colorist Jennifer MacDougall suggests “Everything that looks cooler in tone reflects less light, so it tends to look deeper, but it’s not really. It’s like turning the lights down on it,” she says. To get there, mention the terms “ashy” or “beige” to your colorist or request a glossing that will tone down the overall colors and add depth.

red hair

Photo: L to R: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Redheads have some solid options for going into fall. If you’re the proud owner of a strawberry hue like Bella Thorne, try out a rich auburn shade that Emma Stone is well known for.
“It’s a subtle multi-dimensional change for fall,” explains celebrity colorist Rita Hazan of this color change. “In general, when you transition from summer fashion to fall fashion the colors are richer and darker, so changing your color a little will help the overall look for fall.” And honestly, upkeep will be a lot easier, too. “This is good for the fall because you aren’t out in the sun as often so it won’t fade and turn a brassy color,” mentions Miguel Angarita, master colorist at mizu salon in New York City.

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Photo: L to R: Jamie McCarthy/FilmMagic; Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Think highlights are only for summer? Think again. If you’re a solid brunette like Dakota Johnson, opt for a shade like Lily Aldridge that incorporates different tones around the face. “Hair contouring is a fantastic way to stay brunette while highlighting your best facial features,” notes MacDougall. She notes that you can ask your colorist to add depth or highlights around your face—and don’t think blonde. To keep it in line for fall, ask for shades like mocha, caramel, or bronde.

Photo: L to R: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic; David Becker/Getty Images

Photo: L to R: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic; David Becker/Getty Images

If you still have a more exaggerated ombre like Drew Barrymore, try connecting the highlights and bringing them up higher like Khloe Kardashian did. “This is a good choice because most ombre clients are looking for color that is on the low-maintenance side and this look is just as easy to keep up with,” notes Adrian Wallace, celebrity colorist at the Rita Hazan salon. “It’s perfect for fall because it softens up the entire look while still adding brightness—two things everyone wants for fall.” Mention to your colorist that you want new highlights that “connect” with the ombre highlights you already have.