This season, soft, lived-in shades are the rage. Even bottle blonde has a shimmering, translucent twist.
Just like after a break-up or a significant career milestone, it often feels necessary to start a season by asking your stylist for something new.
Regardless of where you are on the scale of commitment to cutting (ours extends from a Kate Hudson buzzcut to Kim Kardashian’s extreme extensions), there’s always an update to be had in the colourist’s chair. And if you’re not keen on a step away from what you’ve got now, that’s fine too. Focus on adding a glow with shine instead, says Ruth Irwin of Oscar & Co salon in Auckland.
“Because styling is heading in a more natural direction with ‘less is more’, the key to great hair this summer is a natural shine. This can be achieved by always using a treatment with your colour.”
The variation in hair colour right now definitely reflects the movement to celebrate the hair you were born with, be it texture or tone. While some of the shades making their mark might not be natural, it’s great to see red starring: Long overdue, Victoria’s Secret welcomed its first natural red-head ‘Angel’ to its runway show this year. “It’s back in fashion with a vengeance in all different varieties of shades,” says Michael Beel, Creative Director at Buoy Salon in Wellington, “whether it’s cherry, a fiery red, or an intensified rich, deep red.”
Think you knew bleach-blonde? Think again. Translucent, shimmering , icy platinum has suddenly skyrocketed in popularity. The development of protective treatments applied during the lightening process makes the change more achievable than ever before, although the age-old issue of regrowth remains.
If a major blonde moment is on your horizon, commit wholeheartedly says Beel. “It isn’t for the low-maintenance type of girl — think regrowth touch-ups every four weeks and deep conditioning treatments and purple toning shampoos becoming your best friend. I personally prefer it on mid-length to shorter based haircuts and on medium to fine hair it helps give the hair a little more body and texture.”
Pastel colours and more vibrant acid brights are now achievable thanks to both in-salon options and home-kit colours making temporary adjustments simple. Most desirable? Soft, almost washed-out shades. During New York Fashion Week it was Austrian model Stella Lucia’s rose quartz at the Alexander Wang show that turned heads. The multi-tonal look was created by hair maestro Guido Palau.
Irwin suggests asking for a toner adjustment if you’re blonde and keen to try the trend. “A perfect way to embrace the pastel trend without being too out there is with babylights (soft blended highlights) to keep light around the face and going with more of a beige toner with just a hint of rose gold or pastel pink through the ends.”
Single-shade colours are still an option and they are no better than when paired with the perfectly imperfect throwback bobs that are increasingly making an impact, with or without fringes cut in. “This summer there’s a nod to the ’90s in hair trends,” explains Rodney Wayne creative director Richard Kavanagh. “Brunettes are chocolate-y and natural with cool gold tones.”
Hair contouring, or using carefully placed, slightly lighter tones to flatter your features is ideal for brunettes according to Irwin. “You can also mix things up by using two slightly different reflects through the ends of the hair to create more movement without having to go blonder or darker,” she says.
A ’70s vibe brought squarely up to date, the golden blonde with slightly deeper beige tones woven between is the hot ticket for summer. Whether your starting point is blonde or brunette, it’s easy to adopt this look and its lighter sections around the face can be supremely flattering. Reflecting a runway trend for air-dried locks with flowing, natural texture, colour that smoothly blends in the way you could have been born with is the goal of colour technicians everywhere right now.