With summer rounding into fall, blondes are going smokier, richer and–dare we say it–toasted.
The bright vibrancy of blonde is an undeniable classic and a hair colour many of your clients are likely coveting. Interestingly, that’s all about to change with a new, softer, subtler and some might even say “toastier” shade hitting salons this season. We spoke with colourists to find out more about this natural shift, why it’s happening and how you can translate this into even more business in your salon.
When it comes to this smoky marshmallow side of blondes, Diana Vivilecchia (@DVColour on Instagram), owner of Vivid Salon in Mississauga, Ont. says it’s all about the dimension. “It came to a point where everyone wanted really light and now they want more depth because it gives you a softened look around the face, from your forehead to your lips,” she says.
“Depending on how highlighted the person’s hair has been, our approach is to take more a blended approach to create that toasted blonde,” says Darek Wierzbicki, owner of 237 Salon in Belleville, Ont.
Although there is still a lot of lightening happening to the hair, Vivilecchia says clients can now go longer in between visits, which can be a
good thing for maintaining healthy hair. “I pre-book all clients, but I do push my clients to go a little longer between visits because that time frame helps reinforce the integrity of their hair,” she says. “Sometimes, they will come in sooner and I will try to guide them a little and I’ll do a few highlights so that they feel that it’s lighter, but [my goal is always to] maintain hair health.”
According to Wierzbicki, the secret to this look is getting the placement correct from the beginning. “We balayage for refresher light, more around the face because that is where the client sees it first,” he says. For the toasted blondes, “we pre-lighten the hair then blend around the face, so that you get that toasted or smoky blonde that is very popular right now.”
For Vivilecchia, the key is working in stages. “In my consultation, I let them know they won’t see a change in that first visit and they are paying for a work in progress,” she says. When you’re creating a blend like this smoky marshmallow look, seeing the difference and the end result will take time depending on many variables in the process of achieving your client’s hair goals.
Challenge for Change
“I think the biggest challenge is getting to that clean blonde, and actually getting the lift and the blend,” she says. When it comes to the blend it’s all based on your technique, which takes a lot of practice. “From the soft regrowth that is intertwined with the colour you create, to flowing the blend evenly with really soft transitions from down to the lightest smokiest area, but still leaving enough darkness in there to give the shadowing, this takes work and practice,” says Vivilecchia. A trick Vivilecchia employs for achieving this toasty marshmallow look is working in very small sections to create enough depth without over-lightening the hair, while Wierzbicki’s colour placement advice is to use mid-lights. “We put mid-lights in between because they accentuate the blonde and enhance it,” he says.
Vivilecchia also recommends using the texture of the hair you’re working on as a guide for determining the size of your sections, and the darkness is what will add the depth. “Keep in mind you want to have enough negative space, leaving the darkness in there to allow the lightness of hair,” she says. “For thinner hair you leave more darkness and the thicker hair, less darkness.”
(Credits: Photos: Hair: Daren Borthwick For Hair Expo Australia 2019, Makeup: Linda Jefferyes, Styling: Rachel Wayman, Photo: Georges Antoni)