Expert Tips To Warm Up Your Hair For Fall

Aly Walansky


We may have escaped the dreaded humidity of the summer months, but fall issues a whole new bag of challenges for our hair. Prepare for dried out, drab concerns – but also a whole new color consideration. Your summer hair color may not be right for the cooler months of the year. Remember, your hair changes with the seasons, just like your wardrobe; the question is: Are you prepared to make that change?

Find what works for you
“Take into consideration your skin tone and eye color,” says Scott Fontana, a celebrity hair stylist and owner of Cristophe Salon Newport Beach. “Hair color acts as a base for the rest of your look and has the power to impact many other features.” For example, certain shades can bring out particular eye colors and flatter certain skin tones while other shades can wash a person out completely. It is important to remember that when updating your look for fall, start with your hair color while analyzing your skin and eye color.

Fall skin tones are earthy, deep and natural with warmer undertones. The rich eye colors of fall tend to look best with intense and vibrant hair colors. Think medium to deep golden blonde for the girls looking to go light. These will be the most flattering without muting the overall coloring. Scott Fontana suggests: “Fall skin tones that want to go red should request rich, warm red tones or auburn. When it comes to going brunette, girls can try almost all shades from medium to black – brown with red undertones, which can make eye and skin color truly pop.”

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Warmth vs. depth
There is a difference in adding warmth and depth (darkness) to your hair. Many people make the mistake of adding depth when what they really want is warmth and end up unhappy with the results, says Douglas Carroll Salon Senior Stylist and Expert Women’s Colorist, Brenneman Anderson. To add warmth to your hair for the fall, what you probably need is a simple toner, glaze, or color treatment pulled through the hair in a shade that takes the existing base color and adds softer, warmer tones. When speaking with a colorist at a salon, use adjectives like golden, sun-kissed, reflective, rich, soft, and warm when describing the type of warm color you’d like. If you want depth and dimension in your hair (darkness) as opposed to true warmth, then you would consider lowlights, root shades (darker color shade applied only to the roots of the hair), or having your colorist take down the overall brightness of your hair, says Anderson.

For everything, there is a season
Color is the key component to anyone’s look. This is true for all seasons, however, during the fall months, hair colors must be darker and monochromatic because with all the extra clothes that come with the heaviness of fall, one’s hair must make a congruent statement: deep, dark, and bold—yes, even if you are blonde, you must subdue the highlights and enrich the lowlights, says Colin Lively, a New York City society stylist and co-founder of Lively En Mode.

For those with blonde hair, adding hints or rose gold highlights are ideal for transitioning from summer to fall, says Michael Boychuck, colorist and owner of COLOR Salon located at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Additionally, blondes can add caramel or honey lowlights to bring out the color in their eyes and skin tone, giving off the perfect warm look. Brunettes, on the other hand, can rely on adding light and dark caramel lowlights to give their hair a beautiful natural and warm looking tone, says Boychuck, who furthers that redheads can focus on adding either deep brown lowlights to add dimension or adding some blonde highlights to create a stunning strawberry blonde look.

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Don’t be afraid to play
Moran Gallagher, master colorist and educator at mizu new york, loves rich warm tones, but: “I don’t as a rule believe you should necessarily go darker but maybe play with tones. If you have a light, beachy ombre or sombre maybe warm it up a bit. You can add soft painted low lights. I still believe color should be dimensional in winter. Maybe even more so when it’s dark and dreary out – at least we’re not!” Reds are great with some warm golden or caramel painting brunettes as well. For the rebels out there are the winter white hair, silver grey hair.

Get a gloss
Glosses are a great way to make a change for winter for a couple of reasons, says Gallagher. You can change the tone, warm it up, for example but it’s non-committal. It’s also a great way to keep one’s hair shiny. It also helps with the dry flyaway hair through the dry winter months.

Add some dimension
For fall, everyone loves the warm, rich look of a darker glaze. It adds shine, a luxurious feel and often makes clients’ eyes “pop”. However, for a multi-dimensional, more interesting look, try darkening your base a level or two and then painting lighter balayage pieces throughout. “That is my favorite way to transition from summer hair to fall hair – from blonde to bronde!” says Allison Sasson, a Westport, Connecticut stylist.