Well, it happened, and much earlier than expected. The first chilly morning when you walk outside and wonder where your sweater is stored – the first sign that the weather is shifting. Most of you are relieved and cautiously excited — I’m not sure why I continue to analyze the weather, when my numerous years in Colorado have told me it is a wasted effort –to update your look for the cooler months ahead.  You have probably spent enough time with your current summer haircut to move on and enjoy the hair trends of the fall season. This time of year encourages a shift to a more polished hairstyle that will translate into a sleek winter look. Take this time to be proactive with your hair and prep it for the styling overload that was so wonderfully avoidable during the warm summer months. Here are five ways to prime your locks for Autumn:

  1. Cut Loose.The first and easiest suggestion is to get a haircut. Now is a great time to dive head first into a bold style. Blunt bangs or a layered bob are styles that have proven in recent years to be just risky enough without the world speculating that you’ve lost your mind (ahem, Miley Cyrus). Even if you’re not in the market for a change of style, a healthy trim will still give you the fresh start your hair needs to take on all the products and styling tools that will soon be making a reappearance.
  2. Make a Clean Start. Hopefully, you were able to enjoy some quality pool time over the summer. It was nice while is lasted, but now you need to rid your hair of all the chlorine deposits and other variables that may be wearing your hair down. Use a clarifying shampoo to regain the weightlessness your hair is likely craving. My favorite product is the Kenra Clarifying Shampoo ($13) because of its gentle approach to colored hair. Not only does it strip your hair of heavy particles but it also works simultaneously to keep hair moisturized.
  3.  Nurture with Protein. Turns out, that impossibly perfect, healthy hair that celebrities flaunt is actually possible. Who knew? Protein strengthens hair and is especially useful for fine hair that struggles with becoming brittle in the harsh temperatures of  winter, especially if you’re hair is color treated.  If you’re the DIY type, try a homemade protein recipe. Ingredients: 2 eggs, 1tbsp oil (coconut, almond, or olive oil) and 1tbsp honey | Directions: Mix all ingredients. Apply to hair with a brush (make sure you cover each strand). Let stand for 30 minutes – 1 hour. (A shower cap helps). Shampoo and condition as usual.  Or, if you lack the time or patience, Redken Extreme CAT Protein Treatment ($13) is a steal and only takes 5 minutes.Personal tip – use shampoo when you rinse the mixture out if you plan on being seen in public in the hours following. Failure to follow this advice will put you at risk for looking like you rolled out of bed and into the 90’s (that’s one interview I’ll never get a call back from).
  4. The Ombre Effect.  Ombre, the French term for shading or graduating, is still cool. This style – recognized by dark hair at the scalp and lighter hair towards the ends – is being spotted on celebrities including Drew Barrymore and Jessica Biel. Pick a shade that doesn’t overwhelm your natural – or, what you now call your natural – hair color. The ombre effect can be a tricky one to achieve on your own because of the subtle transitions of color, so if you’re not much of a risk-taker, leave it to the pros.
    • Deep reds and coppers look stunning on dark-haired beauties.
    • Rich caramels and browns best compliment the slightly lighter brunettes.
    • Subtle blondes or ash tones give just enough oomph to the fair-haired
  5. Color Me Pretty. Still enjoying the bright colors of summer? Incorporate radiant hues into streaks of hair. Clip-ins or dye, salon or DIY, this trend is all about preference. Yes, it may be daring but it also provides instant personality.  Look to Kelly Osbourne for pastel color inspiration or Jordin Sparks for the edgier yet classy purple streaks. A few strategically placed streaks that come through from the midline of your scalp will add a pop of edgy without even a hint of trashy. Not one for commitment? Try hair chalk.  It typically lasts up to one week but results vary based on a variety of hair factors.