Summer haircolor can be beautiful or faded. Here, Brad discusses how to achieve the perfect shades and protect hair from the elements.

Now is the perfect time to change your clients' haircolor for the season. During the summer months, the sunlight becomes a more golden color. As a result, you will want to make the hair lighter, brighter and paler for most clients than it was in the winter. And once you find the perfect summer shade for your clients, you'll need to educate them on how to keep their haircolor looking its best. Here, some strategies that have worked for me.

 Brad Johns
Brad Johns


Discuss with your client her plans for the summer. Will she be at the beach every weekend? If you know she will be spending time in the sun, you might not make her hair as light as you normally would. I like to make haircolor appear as though it was lightened by the sun: chunky, bright and pale. I recommend making clients lighter than their winter shades, because in summer the hair will lighten anyway. If she wants to remain dark in the summer, make sure she protects her hair from the elements, as they have a lightening effect.


Any shade will get lighter, warmer and dryer in the sun, salt water and chlorine, even with protection. For this reason, it's very important to educate your clients on how elements damage the hair and what they can do to keep their color and style looking its best.
  • Chlorine will ruin any haircolor—reds will go orange; brunettes will go brassy; and blondes possibly will go green. Chlorine also causes hair to lose its natural sheen and develop split ends. If your clients frequent the pool, advise them to apply conditioner and then wear a swim cap, or immediately rinse their hair with fresh water when they come out of the pool. They should use a wide-tooth comb for detangling and pat the hair dry—never rub.
  • Salt water usually gives hair more texture without drying it out. However, it leaves a residue that can deplete hair's natural moisture and cause split ends. Advise clients who will be in the ocean frequently to apply a deep conditioner to their hair after swimming, rinse hair with fresh water when leaving the beach and shampoo when they get home. They may also need a deep conditioning treatment once a week.
  • For clients with darker shades or who are in a correctional mode with their haircolor, the sun can wreak havoc by depleting moisture. Wearing a hat or scarf while outdoors offers the best protection. They can also use hair sunscreen products with UV protection or apply conditioners or pomades to coat the hair for protection. For clients with fading color, recommend replenishing color shampoos and conditioners that will impart enough pigment to the hair without coloring it with the wrong shade.
  • Finally, let clients know that hair grows faster in warmer weather. They will have roots sooner, and since it's sunny and bright out, the regrowth will be more obvious. Suggest that they rebook for a touch-up earlier than normal and condition hair more often to keep it looking and feeling its best. Educate them now and you will have less work repairing end-of-summer damage this fall.