Lady Gaga gray hair Vanity Fair

Lady Gaga sports long gray locks on the cover of Vanity Fair's September 2010 style issue. Photo courtesy of Vanity Fair

Is your hair color a real snoozer? Probably, according to Johnathan Gale from the Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon in L.A.

"I was on an airplane recently and counted the number of heads that looked the same," recalls Gale. "It was shocking that the majority of women all had similar hair color. There was no bling!"

We have grown accustomed to doing the same thing with our hair, month after month, year after year, and it's time to break out of that box, says Gale.

And what better time to do so than fall? Our tresses love this season because the weather cools off and the humidity dies down. The other wonderful part of fall is that we can get more creative with our color and not worry as much about the damaging effects of the sun and chlorine.

Working with celebrity clients like Charlize Theron, Diane Keaton, Keri Russell, Michelle Monaghan, Meg Ryan and Jennifer Garner, Gale is used to pushing the envelope when it comes to color. His most recent claim to fame has been Lady Gaga's shocking gray hair for the September cover of Vanity Fair.

That was the start of an inspired "mild to wild" hair color revolution as Gale puts it, and he is encouraging clients now more than ever to do the same: set red hair on fire, pump up the blonde and get bold with brunettes. With that in mind, Gale breaks down the top trendy hues for fall:

Highlights
When it comes to the highlighted crowd, nothing looks better than bold, thick, creamy highlights to revitalize drab, worn out, stale shades. The key is to place them discreetly under the hair so you don't take on a stripey look. Heavily tipped ends -- the newest trend for Fall -- also give a bright pop of color, and they don't require a full head of highlights which saves you from opening your wallet as much. Bonus!

Full Color and Highlights
If you're going for an all-over color with a punch of highlights, Gales says this calls for a much darker base with lots of lowlights. Then, a flash of bright lights around the face gives your hair all the contrast it needs to illuminate your healthy skin tones. Another trendy look is the "ombre" effect, where the hair color gradually fades from dark to light. You've seen this on runways and the streets of Hollywood -- and no, it's not just because these women haven't tended to their roots.

Rachel Bilson Charlize Theron

Rachel Bilson stands out with ombre hair color and Charlize Theron's blonde hair warms up her milky complexion. Photos: Francois Durand, Getty Images | Todd Williamson/WireImage.com

Blondes
If you're a blonde, go lighter, says Gale.

Solid blondes can revitalize their glow with a color bath. Using a really mild coloring solution that is two shades lighter than your base, you can bathe away the dull tones and add some oomph to your baby blondes. Pair the color bath with a bit of gloss to instantly bring back that bling, and you will be hot to go!

If you're brave enough to try this at home, buy the lightest blonde hair dye you can get. Mix an ounce of shampoo with it to dilute the color and leave on your tresses for five minutes. That will give you an instant lift.

Highlighted blondes can go with thick, wide bands of color applied under the hair so you don't wind up with a head full of stripes around the part line. Again, choose a color that is lighter than your base and don't be afraid to take it a step further than normal.

If you're a natural blonde, keep your natural base but tip out the ends with a much brighter color for an extreme look. "Tipping is a hot, bold look," says Gale. "Natural is so boring!"

Jennifer Love Hewitt Julianne Moore

This rich, dark shade is perfect for Jennifer Love Hewitt and Julianne Moore reigns supreme with red hair. Photos: Arlene Richie/jpistudios.com | Amy Sussman/FilmMagic.com

Brunettes
Jazz up darker hair with a warm, vibrant tone. "If you are a brunette, go darker with your base," says Gale. "Think stronger, more brilliant browns." Paul Mitchell makes a great semi-permanent shine color.

Once your strands are dark, don't be afraid to leave them as is. "There is a tendency to always highlight brunettes," says Gale. "But that's too subdued." Going darker and staying darker is the way to go.

To do this yourself, buy two different shades of brown dye. Go one shade darker the first week, then another shade darker the following week. This will allow your hair -- and you -- to adjust and absorb the new hue better. The key is to end up two shades deeper than your normal color.

If you insist on highlights though, choose a more modern tone like honey. And again, tipping the ends can add a bold contrast.

Redheads
The new look for redheads is to deepen the roots and add copper-orange on the ends. "Here you will have a look that is stunning and vibrant," says Gale.

At home, pick two colors: one darker and one lighter. L'Oreal Professional makes a great ammonia-free hair dye, INOA (which stands for Innovation No Ammonia) for copper, auburn or bright red tones. Flip your hair upside down over the bathtub and apply the darker dye to your roots and the tops of your hair. Then, at the same time, apply the lighter color just to the ends.

Gray Hair
If you choose to keep your silvery strands, add some life to them with creamy white highlights. Not only will this create a beautiful halo around the face, it will give thinning strands some much-needed volume and texture.

If you want to shed the gray, Gale says to start by pulling out an old photo of your teenage years. "Go back to that color," he says. "Too many people go lighter when they get older which can make them look washed out -- and the same as everyone else." "I ask clients all the time why they are coloring," adds Gale. "If you're going to color, color!"

Jamie Lee Curtis gray hair

Jamie Lee Curtis enhances her gray locks with soft, neutral makeup. Photo: Getty Images

Besides Lady Gaga, Hollywood has some new trend-setters for color. Gale's top picks? "Charlize Theron looks amazing when she goes extremely blonde; Jennifer Love Hewitt looks best with really dark, sultry hair; and Julianne Moore can pull off virtually any bold shade of red."

Pumping up your hair color for Fall can be as easy as trusting your colorist. "My advice," says Gale, "is to not control the issue." Go to a professional and say, 'What if I said you could do anything you want with my hair today? What would you do?' Tell them you want to add more playfulness, more energy, more life.

"After all," says Gale, "Why should we just leave it to Lady Gaga to look crazy? Why can't we all go a little crazy?"

Speaking of crazy, check out this woman who dyed her cat's fur pink to match her locks!


Now that you know how to upgrade your hair, click here to learn 3 easy ways to update your makeup.