A New Hue: The Hottest Summer Hair Colors

Get your strands ready for the summer heat with glistening new hair color that will sparkle in the sunlight. Find the right hair hue by checking out our new virtual makeover tool, Makeover Magic. Get the scoop on the dying dos and don’ts. By Qianna Smith
ESSENCE.COM Jun, 23, 2009

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Get your strands ready for the summer heat with hot new hair color that will sparkle in the sunlight. We give you the scoop on the dying do’s and don’ts plus show you exciting hair color trends that you can play and experiment with using our new virtual makeover tool, Makeover Magic.

By Qianna Smith

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“Staying within two levels of your natural color is a safe bet, so if you are naturally dark brown, the lightest that you should go is light brown and the darkest you should go is soft black or natural black. Going further than that increases the level of maintenance needed for upkeep and may not be flattering next to your skin,” says Norma Dacres, director of the L’Oreal USA New York Technical Center, on how to pick the right hair color for your skin tone and complexion.

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Color-specific products are always a good bet for color-treated hair. Try using Redken Color Extend Conditioner, $14, redken.com for salons, to maintain your vibrant hue.

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Deep-conditioning treatments should be done a week prior to coloring. Why? Pigment is unstable for the first 12 to 24 hours. A heavy treatment can rinse color out faster.

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“If you like to keep up with hair color trends, remember, the flashier the trend the more maintenance it will need. Be sure to keep your hair in good condition by using EverPure Sulfate-Free Masques, especially moisturizing and smoothing, or anything that is designed for color or chemically-treated hair so that your hair is strong enough to keep up with the changes and has good shine and integrity,” says Dacres.

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One of top color-treated specific products is Ted Gibson Clarity Color Shampoo and Conditioner, $26 each, sephora.com, which helps keep strands strong and color vibrant.

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If your hair isn’t in the best condition from previous color damage and breakage, weave in colored hair or try detachable pieces.

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If you prefer a more subtle approach to red, go for a wash of semipermanent color on a small section of the hair like our model pictured here.

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Interested in making a drastic hair color change? “If you want to see what going farther away from your natural hair color may look like, try a wig or some extensions. Pick a color similar to what you had in mind, put it up next to your skin and you will know immediately if it flatters your complexion,” says Dacres our L’Oreal color expert.

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Guard against the sun, salt and chlorine with protective products like Redken Color Extend Sun After-Sun Mask, $15, visit redken.com for a salon near you. Check out the July issue of ESSENCE magazine featuring an article called “For Colored Girls” for more hair-coloring tips and tricks.

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