Go Lighter and Brighter
Summer means lighter clothes, lighter makeup and lighter haircolor! Rita offers the dos and don'ts of summer fabulous hair.

First Things First
Before you color your hair, a conditioning mask is key. There are many hair masks available at your local drugstore, which range in price from $5 (L'Oreal) to $30 (Phyto Citrus Mask). Keep the mask on for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Kissed by the Sun
In the summer your hair gets a little lighter because of the sun's natural effect. Your skintone starts to get a little more color allowing you to go a little lighter if you want. Keep your base color the same and add highlights, or go one or two shades lighter with your base color. Remember: the lighter you make your natural haircolor, the more golden it gets. Choose a shade or two lighter than usual. To make your hair appear lightened by the sun, add a few highlights to your base color. If you pick a pretty base color you really only need a few highlights to make the color "pop" a little bit—don't go crazy! The effect is supposed to be a pretty, natural sunkissed look.

Blondes Sure Do Have Fun…
If you're blonde, add some very pale blond highlights, like I just did for Jessica Simpson to transition her look from Spring to Summer. To keep that lighter look healthy and natural, conditioning treatments are key. Apply a hair mask once a week for best results.

…And Brunettes Do Too
For brunettes, lighten the base color a little and then add some honey highlights. If you have auburn hair, add some strawberry highlights. Jennifer Lopez wanted a warm all-over glow that says summer year-round. I took her base color two shades lighter for a warmer appearance, and it's become her trademark "J. Lo glow" look!

Maintaining Your Shine
The great thing about the summer when it comes to coloring your hair is that since the sun naturally lightens your hair, you can go a little longer without having to maintain your roots. Most of my clients experience a longer "color life" of their color treatments by about three weeks. But the lightening effect of the sun also mean you need to condition your color more often so hair doesn't get dry and brittle.

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