Move over fiery, saturated reds—softer tones are stronger than ever. Learn how to make these tones fresh for fall.
If you haven’t already guessed, crazy, high-intensity reds are slowly morphing into more subdued coppery tones and dusty rosés, making your need to master these colour palettes paramount. “Younger women want hair colour that’s more transparent and shows additional light, and they’re also concerned with keeping the health of their hair a priority,” says Patrick G. Nadeau, an Essential Looks trainer for Schwarzkopf Professional Canada, and a hairstylist for Paris Fashion Week. As in fashion, where trends are ever-changing, so too is the case with cuts and colour.
And just when you may have thought that ash, purple-y blondes were having a moment, the focus has shifted (again) to colour that’s more lived-in and luminous. “With the introduction of Living Coral, the 2019 Pantone Color of the year, it brought us into a slightly subdued direction of colour,” says Connor Lange, a Goldwell master colourist at Bob + Paige Salon in Toronto. “Though there’s still a saturated appearance, Living Coral has influenced the reds we’re seeing for the fall season.”
Creating The Perfect Canvas
To create these new, fabulous and dreamy red-infused colours, you first need to bring the hair to the desired level, of course.
“For lived-in pastels, it really comes down to the canvas you’re putting them on,” says Lange. What was once a full bleach and tone using pastel shades root to end, is now becoming more of a highlight to maintain some depth at the base.
“Work with the hair’s natural pigment when lightening it, even if that means achieving a level four that has a copper tone,” says Nadeau, who sometimes
uses the Dusted Rouge range of colours from Schwarzkopf Professional to create warmer balayages. “You don’t need to lift hair as much if you want a lived-in shade of reds, but you will want to go further than orange because if not, you’ll end up more with a peach.” These new on-trend vintage reds are cooler shades, “so you can also add a touch of violet on a base that’s warmer, to achieve the desired effect.”
Lange favours a different approach: “For these projects, I often reach for Goldwell Elumen for the durability, incredible shine and repair effect it has on the hair. By borrowing some depth from deeper ash shades, using just a couple millilitres, you are able to take a pastel shade and give it a smoky tonality.”
But both experts agree on the fact that “you need to make sure all warmth is eliminated from the hair prior to applying the pastels.”
Secrets to a Perfect Application
Traditionally when it came to rose gold, mixing a rose and a gold shade in one formula would create an off-brown tone, so you would use fine slices back to back, alternating a rose and a gold formula to create the illusion of one single colour. But in order to make these special shades come alive with luminosity, Goldwell partnered with Fuji Film to create @Pure Pigments.
“These are high-definition direct dyes that don’t intermix. Instead, they layer themselves within the hair shaft so that when the hair moves you’re actually seeing the different tones you added,” says Lange. “So, for rose gold we are able to add drops of Pure Yellow or Pure Orange and Pure Red @Pure Pigments to a soft blonde shade, and each pigment will live separately within the hair and morph, depending on how light is hitting the hair.”
Nadeau adds: “I’m a big fan of nudes and beiges; colours that have that pearly, dusty finish, which is what we’re seeing now. And to get this lived-in, vintage effect, your best bet is to use a clear to dilute the stronger shades. You start by lightening the hair to come down to its natural pigment, and then you correct it by adding diluted reds and pinks.
(Credits: Photos: Colour: Kristie Kesic For Hair Expo Australia 2019, Hair: Elle Schoemaker & Tegan Bozier, Makeup: Gemma Elaine, Styling: Jess Collins, Photo: Anniss And Barton; Hair: The Fellowship For British Hairdressing Colour Project 2019, Makeup: Lucy Flower, Styling: Stacey Jane Shaw, Photo: Richard Miles)