THE BLOG

Go for a Color Correction After All the Summer Fun

08/21/2014 03:14 pm ET | Updated Oct 21, 2014

This has been a great summer ... So great that it's probably time for a correction.

I'm referring to color correction, something we do after taking our hair color for a roller coaster ride, which we tend to do during the summer because we're going beachy light, we throw in some platinum highlights, some of the crayon colors, maybe a box color (or two). As a result, we can end up with some pretty 'interesting' looks, in addition to the damage that comes from going really light over and over again.

Really, it isn't just about recovering from a wild summer. We're headed into fall, so we're moving toward darker shades, maybe some very dark colors, including the deep reds. And the natural color of our hair is likely to be darker than what we've had all summer. So, let's get to it:

• Go to a good stylist for a color correction. This is not just about finding a box of brown and throwing it into your hair. Try to do this at home and you can get into a mess quickly.

• Don't think you can do this all in one sitting. Particularly if you are shooting for a particularly dark shade for fall, this will take more than one visit. Some stylists will tell you that it can be done in one and, depending on the hair and the color, that may work but I typically won't try that for big shifts. In fact, it may take two or three treatments to make the full transformation.

• Get ready for your appointment. Two or three days ahead of your color correction, use a clarifying shampoo that will help remove a lot of the buildup and chemicals that can interfere with absorption of the new color. Do another clarifying shampoo even sooner if you have time. Your stylist will probably do a clarifying wash the day of the appointment just before coloring. You can make this out of baking soda and water. Also, go with a protein treatment and daily protein spray to help restore the hair follicle before you go in. You want your hair to be as clean and strong as it can be before you go for a correction.

Think of your hair as a canvas. Color correction is for those times when you have too many colors, including some that you never intended. We've all seen it, even in the mirror, someone with that calico 'look' that just isn't quite right. The other reason is to change direction, typically to go darker and when you have too many colors.

A correction isn't just about color. Getting those really light, bright summer shades is typically harder on hair, requiring more peroxides and other chemicals to open up the hair cuticle and lift out existing color before depositing the new color. Moving toward darker shades will give our hair a great breather from the tough chemicals. Also, finer color lines include oils and other nutrients that give your hair terrific shine and feel. Cutting to the chase, this is good for your hair. You'll probably see and feel a difference.

As always, be open to change!