If You’re Going Light, Do It Right!

By Katie Faulkner

Lots of ladies like to lighten their hair as the summer months approach. But to protect your hair’s health and appearance, there are some steps you should never skip. We spoke with local color expert Julie Thomas, owner of Juliet’s Beauty Lounge, to get some advice.

Condition

Deep conditioning treatments are a great preparation and/or follow up to hair coloring. It helps maintain the health and moisture of your hair, which in turn helps your hair accept and retain color better. Thomas says, “If you are considering going lighter for the summer, a good way to maintain the health of your hair is to do conditioning treatments prior and post appointment! My favorite thing to do while poolside or beachside is have some kind of treatment in my hair – either my go-to coconut oil treatment or my new favorite, the Kevin Murphy RE.STORE treatment.”

Clear Out Dead Ends

Trim dead ends before coloring to save time and promote more even color coverage. “I have a hard time acknowledging that my hair needs a good trim, but the reality is that to gain length you have to trim off those dead ends! I typically do most of my haircutting dry, that way I can see exactly where the ends are starting to look dead and to make sure I can maintain as much length for my clients as they want,” Thomas explains.

Lay Off the Heat

During the blistering summer months, when your hair is bombarded by UV rays, chlorine, salt, dry air, and heat, lay off the hot tools as much as possible. Defending your hair’s moisture and strength will go a long way toward maintaining your beautiful color! Thomas shares, “We all know how harsh summertime activities can be on our hair. Embrace the season to let your hair be more natural. Avoid hot tools, and make sure you have quality products you can rely on. (For blondes, find a good purple shampoo that doesn’t dry your hair.) Remember that braiding your hair when you are on the lake or beach is always a good trick to avoid any type of serious tangles!”

Make It Easy

There are coloring techniques that are easier to apply, maintain, and transition into and out of. Balayage is a method of highlighting made to appear more like natural, sun-kissed highlights that begin at various points throughout your hair and are hand-painted into the lay of your locks. Thomas says, “Going lighter is definitely a process. There are so many new techniques in the hair industry for going lighter, but balayage is one of the best for maintaining a more ’lived-in’ hair color.” Thomas also says that this technique is the perfect start for anyone who is new to hair color and just wants to add subtle contrast.

Foilayage is a different technique that gives the same look as balayage by using foils and helps avoid any type of brassiness (or oversaturation of color on blondes). “A good tip for between your appointments is to come in for a toning gloss, which adds shine and maintains the tone of your highlights,” Thomas adds.

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