How To Freshen Up Dark Hair For Spring

With spring approaching, most of your friends will be heading to the nearest salon for their customary warm weather highlights. But take it from Ariel Hauck, one of IGK‘s celebrity colorists, and the all-around coolest girl ever — a fresh, dark color might just be the move this spring, and it’s super attainable.

Ariel’s got the Instagram to prove it. She frequently posts before-and-after photos of her clients, and even while coloring for the likes of Uma Thurman and Coco Rocha, Ariel stays true to the low-key philosophy that famed Los Angeles salon owner Johnny Ramirez taught her.

“I was taught by the best colorist in the world,” she says of her time training at Ramirez Tran. The salon is known for its signature technique that lies between balayage and ombré, styled in Barbie princess waves.

And as soon as I sat down in Ariel’s chair, she taught me something I didn’t know.

“The first problem that people have when they go darker,” she said, “is that they don’t understand what kind of process they need. If your hair has 70-100% gray in it, you’ll use a permanent dye, but otherwise, always go for demi or semi-permanent coloring. Permanents wash out over time, and oxidize in the sun. That’s why dark hair will often fade to a brassy orange color.”

“That’s always been my issue!” I exclaimed. Well, no longer.

See her amazing work on me, and check out the 5 tips I learned from Ariel on how to keep dark hair fresh for spring.


My perfect post-Ariel hair

  1. 1. Staying away from shampoo and conditioners with sulfates is always best.

    Sulfates are never good for your hair, and can even dry out and irritate your scalp.

  2. 2. The less you wash your hair, the better.

    You probably already knew this, but it’s especially important for color. Glosses easily come out of the hair the more you wash it.

  3. 3. Get good products on hand.

    Ariel specifically recommends Oribe’s Shampoo and Conditioner for Beautiful Color. 

  4. 4. Try a different style.

    After dying my hair, Ariel curled my hair, which I never do. Dark hair naturally looks shinier than light-colored hair, so experimenting with waves made me feel like a new, fabulous being.

  5. 5. Go to the right stylist for you.

    The entire process of dying my hair took under an hour, and I was amazed. It was intentional. She just gets me.

    “I’m trying to make it so my clients can get in and out as fast as possible. There’s no need for color processes to take as long as they do.” Ariel said. “And nobody wants to sit in a salon for hours, especially not in New York City.”

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