Freshly coloured hair starts off summer just like we do—shiny, and full of life. And keeping golden brown locks rich and vibrant well into fall is possible with the right summer hair care routine. We chatted with Alain Larivée, creative consultant for John Frieda, about summer hair colour ideas for brunettes, and his expert tips on keeping your shade its brightest all season long.

Hair colour ideas for brunettes: Find your best shade
Jessica Biel’s dark, honeyed hues or Jennifer Lopez’s sun-kissed ombré shade? Choosing the perfect tone and richness ultimately comes down to personal preference, and, in all honesty, genetics—though most people prefer a natural shade of brown, says Larivée. For his fool-proof colour gauge, gather hair at the back of the head and part completely down the middle. “This is where your hair is naturally darkest,” he says, referring to the roots. “Take the colour tone and match that for a natural look.”

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Hair colour ideas for brunettes: Stay true to your tone
While we’ll always have a soft spot for a rich, satiny hue, this summer hair is all about the ashy brunette—think Mila Kunis’ raven locks. “It’s about neutralizing the warm tones and cooling down the red,” says Larivée.

Hair colour ideas for brunettes: Lock in colour
“The main thing when it comes to brown hair is stopping pigment loss when colour is on the hair,” says Larivée. Whether it’s copper-toned highlights or sultry mocha lowlights, all brunettes crave that rich, glossy tone. “When hair colour fades from wash, you lose pigment, the integrity of the tone and that feeling of freshly coloured hair.”

To prevent your summer hair colour from literally going down the drain, using a colour-protecting shampoo and conditioner is essential. “This stops water from entering the hair shaft and stripping the colour.” And use immediately after a fresh dye. “This is where you will keep most of the shine,” he says. Try John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Colour Protecting Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner.

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Read on to the next page for sun protection tips for brown hair colour...

Hair colour ideas for brunettes: Wash, rinse, repeat—when necessary

The key to sealing in a rich shade that will last all summer long is to avoid over-washing hair. For a quick refresher, simply rinse hair and restyle. “Or work a colour-protecting conditioner into the hair to detangle and rinse out,” Larivée says. “Exposure to water opens up the hair cuticle and makes colour bleed and fade.” And rinse hair with cold water to seal in shine. “It’s the oldest trick in the book.” Or try his grandmother’s gloss-inducing tip: Spritz one-tenths apple cider vinegar and water into hair right out of the shower. “For hair that shines under the lights at a bar,
apply serum to sopping wet hair and comb through to seal cuticles.” We won’t argue with that, will we fellow brunettes?

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Hair colour ideas for brunettes: Style hair to emphasize colour
While a great summer hair colour is like a beautiful interior design, the perfect cut is the thoughtful architecture that displays it so well. “Cut has a great effect on colour,” Larivée affirms. Try an upgraded ombré where highlights are on the inside of hair, instead of the surface. “It has a beautiful light effect and creates an aerated feeling in hair in the summer, which will transcend into fall.”

Showcase underlying streaks of copper with a double fishtail braid inspired by Tory Burch’s Spring 2013 runway look. “Last year we proposed braids, this year people are asking for them,” he says. “It’s a fun transition."

Hair colour ideas for brunettes: Provide sun protection
It’s summer after all, so just like with our skin, shielding our summer hair from the sun is crucial to maintaining healthy-looking locks. “Avoid spending time in the direct sun to avoid fading,” Larivée advises. Or tie a beautifully patterned scarf around your hair when outside all day at a summer music festival. And look for styling products that contain SPF. Before going for a swim, comb a colour-protecting conditioner through hair. Brunettes, summer just got a whole light brighter.

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