Hello, sunshine! After months of dark weather, clothes and makeup, it’s time to lighten up that head of hair. But before you make your way to the salon, read these five tips from Bumble + Bumble’s color specialist, Zoe Wiepert. No one knows hair color better.

1. Determine How Much of a Hair Diva You Are: Wiepert says the most important thing to consider if you’re trying to decide between getting highlights and going all out and dying your hair is how high maintenance you are. Dying your hair can be a lot of upkeep and expensive since you have to get touch-ups every four to six weeks. If you get highlights, you can get away with going six to 12 weeks between hair appointments.

2. Know What Works for Your Skin Tone: You may want that Gwen Stefani platinum blonde, but if your skin is more golden than milky, it isn’t your best shade. “If your skin has yellow or pink undertones, you don’t want to go too golden blonde because it will bring out more golden tones in your skin,” Wiepert advises. If you have dark skin, Wiepert recommends staying a shade darker near the roots than the color you are highlighting or dying your hair to so it looks more natural. If you’re unsure what undertones your skin has, look for pictures of celebrities whose skin tone is close to yours. “Bring in photos of what you like and don’t like so make it easier,” she says.

3. Frame Your Face: Using highlights to frame your face will make it look more natural. “The hair around your face is naturally lighter because it’s finer, so you want to make sure your highlights are lighter around your face and at the ends,” Wiepert says.

4. Don’t Go ‘80s: Remember what you used to get those brassy highlights back in the day? Well, forget it! “I would strongly suggest not using Sun-In,” Wiepert says. “It’s a metallic dye so once it’s in your hair, you can’t get it out.” She warns that it will turn brunette hair orange and blonde hair yellow.

If you can’t afford to go to a professional and want to naturally lighten your hair, Wiepert recommends using lemon juice or chamomile tea instead. And if you are a brunette who wants some natural red undertones, Wiepert says you can get the look by boiling cinnamon and applying it to your hair. We love a DIY beauty tip with a side of hair hacks ;)

5. Condition, Condition, Condition: Winter may be brutal to your skin, but summer – with all the sun, chlorine and seawater – can really damage your hair. “Before you go swimming, wet your hair with natural water. This will keep your hair from turning green,” Wiepert says. But don’t freak out if your hair does turn green; she says you can get the green out with a mixture of dish soap and baking soda, followed by a conditioning treatment. Phew! She says conditioning is something you want to be doing at home, anyway. “There’s a big craze right now of using raw coconut oil,” she says. “You can apply it on wet or dry hair and it will condition your hair and add shine without changing the color.” And after all that work, why would you want to? You know, until fall.

Do you lighten up when the summer sun hits? Let us know which tips you’ll take to the salon in the comments below!