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Dying Your Hair Darker for Fall

With August almost here, Fall is around the corner. The air will get crisper, the sun will shine a little less brightly, and you might start thinking about a richer hair color. Many women like to lighten up in the summer with highlights and darken their hair in the fall or winter. Skin tends to pale once summer ends, and a too light hair color can make you look drab. If you'd like to go a little darker for fall, follow these tips below for the best results:

  1. Bring Pictures: Don't attempt to describe your desired color in words to your stylists. "Honey" and "Rich" and "Chocolate" mean very different things to people, depending on who you ask. Instead, get online or flip through a magazine and find pictures of the hair color you want. Try to choose celebrities who have similar coloring to you, otherwise your stylist ends up having to translate the photo to suit your coloring.
  2. At Home, Use a Demi-Permanent: If you want to try a darker color at home, use a demi-permanent. Clairol makes Natural Instincts and Nice n' Easy, two demi-permanent dyes available in most drugstores. Air on the side of not going dark enough the first time around. It's easy to take your hair a shade or two darker if need be, but if you make it too dark, you'll either need to wait until it fades or head to your salon.
  3. At the Salon, Try Lowlights: Lowlights, which darken and deepen individual strands of hair, help create depth and give your hair a fuller look. The darker strands will give your hair an overall darker appearance, but still allow you to highlight later and quickly get back to your lighter color.
  4. Consider a Double Process: Most of the gorgeous brunette hair we see in Hollywood has at least some subtle face framing highlights. Dark hair looks best with a little lighter contrast. Some subtle highlights keep the look from being too harsh. You can get this look by having your stylist do all over color and leave out a few strands of your current color. OR, if your current color just won't work well to highlight your new color, you can do a double process (all over color followed by highlights). Just be aware that double processing should only be done on very healthy hair since you're basically abusing your hair twice in one day.
  5. Use the Right Shampoo: If you are darkening your hair, your lighter underlying base color is going to want to come through. Your hair will gradually lighten up as you wash you hair, but using the right shampoo can prevent it from lightening too much. Make sure you shampoo bottle specifies that it is safe for color-treated hair. Sulfate-free shampoos are generally going to cause less fading than shampoos containing SLS.
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