03/18/2015 09:30 am ET Updated May 17, 2015

Spring Is Nearly Here,Time for Lighter Hair Color

After a very long, very cold winter, spring time is just around the corner ... finally! A lot of us across the country had a blast of heat in recent days to remind of us of just how great it feels to be warm.

It's only natural that we begin to think more about lightening our hair. Making the
transition slowly into those lighter shades is important. I say "slowly" because we should, in my professional opinion, make the move without blasting the hair shaft with harsh chemicals to make the leap to blonde all at once.

Going from darker shades to lighter shades can be very hard on the hair so you want to work with your stylist on this to make sure that results are beautiful and that your hair stays healthy.
Some suggestions:

Work with pictures. Collect a gallery on your phone and show your stylist what you want your hair to look like. I always recommend pictures ... worth a thousand words, right? Then you can decide how to take a couple intermediate steps. Unless you want to make a big splash, this is a better way to make the transition 'naturally' and, like I said, it's better for your hair. Initially, go just a few shades lighter than the base color.

More Sun, More Conditioner
This is also the time of year when your hair is exposed to more sun, and with the warmer weather and vacationing we tend to be in the water a lot. You have got to use moisturizing shampoo and conditioners to keep your hair healthy and pretty. Dried-out, burned-out hair does not look or feel nice. Don't go there.

Really, the stress on your hair is coming from all sides. The sun dries your hair, swimming washes out all the moisture, chemicals in the water can leave deposits on your hair, as can the dirt and dust from all those happy trails.

Don't forget clarifying shampoo
It's easy to forget amid all the fun that we should occasionally use a clarifying shampoo to get our hair really clean. This is particularly important right before an appointment with our stylist because chemical build-up can interfere with the absorption of hair coloring.

A great time for change
I believe hair is like seasons: every season you should change something. That change might be subtle or it might be dramatic. Your call, it keeps us from falling into a hair rut. Think about braids, twists, fishtails and top notes, hair accessories. Head bands are hot right now.

Be open to change!