Whether your brunettes are looking to lighten up this spring, or blondes are seeking a seasonal change, mushroom blonde is a perfect hybrid tone that can be the solution they’ve been waiting for. “The mushroom trend is a great choice for natural blondes wanting to go darker and for brunettes wanting to go lighter,” says Lisa Schoor, a Winnipeg-based colourist at Cutting Loose Hair Design and artist for Joico. “It’s a new take on the silver trend and the ash version of the bronde trend. It’s a very low-maintenance colour full of dimension, which I believe a lot of clients are wanting now.”
Less is More
The pandemic has brought about a rising demand for more natural-looking colour with a softer grow- out. Mushroom blonde checks all of the boxes! “The trend of ‘less is more’ is really in,” says Safiya Abaoen (aka. @hairbysafiyaa on Instagram), a salon owner and colourist based in St. Catharines, Ont. “Something more sun-kissed—that Victoria’s Secret model, natural and sexy look—is really in. It’s one of those colours that when you see it on the skin, it’s just so gorgeous. It’s so soft and beautiful—there’s no other colour like it.” While the result is meant to be natural, Abaoen says there is still a considerable amount of work involved to create the right tone. “Hair needs to achieve a certain level of lightness. You almost have to cancel out all yellow or orange in the hair,” she says. “We don’t need to make people overly blonde. If someone lifts more orange or more blonde, you’ll tone accordingly.”
PRO TIP: While Abaoen is often asked for her colour formulas on instagram, she advises against getting too fixated on formulas and says it all comes down to the toning. “One formula can’t work for everything. Don’t get stuck on it because everyone lifts differently. Focus on the lightness and you’ll figure out the formula along the way.”
Work Smarter, Not Harder
During the application, Schoor says it’s important to use techniques that will enhance the end result. “As long as there is dimension within the application, anything goes, but it depends on the length of hair and style of haircut,” she says. “For longer hair, I would do either a balayage, foilayage or melt, or highlights or freehand tip-out for shorter lengths.” Not only does the application technique differ based on the hair’s length, but on your client’s features, skin tone and personality. “When I do a consultation, the things I always look at are eye colour, skin tone, body shape and percentage of grey,” says Schoor, who says mushroom blonde can be a universal colour if tailored to the client. “When you look at the top and bottom of a mushroom, there is a whole variety of shades to be found, so in my opinion I think it can be adjusted to suit almost anyone.” For Stephanie Goguen, a Montreal-based hairstylist and creative artist for Oligo Professionnel, she will utilize different techniques, and even combine techniques to get her clients to their desired result. “You can do a mushroom blonde with balayage or colour graduation if they don’t want a lot of maintenance, or a shadow base with blurring or foilayage and it’s going to have a very natural, flowy look to it,” she says. “I do so much foilayage and it grows out so beautifully, but there are so many cool techniques now. Sometimes I’ll blend techniques together, like with a money piece in front, with shadow base and colour graduation in the back.”
“I tell a lot of my clients that it’s time to get away from the overly blonde, harsh root, harsh grow- out look, and just focus on creating that beautiful dimension in the hair.”
— Safiya Abaoen, Owner of Hair By Safiyaa, St. Catharines, Ont.
PRO TIP: Goguen advises against adding highlights, which can create too much definition and appear streaky. “When you look at mushroom blond, it’s a soft, blurred, deeper blonde. you can see dimension but it’s more melted. Just like a mushroom— colours are blended together.”
As many clients are still experiencing harsh grow- outs—thanks to the pandemic’s lockdowns— more are looking at ways to embrace their natural grey. Introducing mushroom blonde as a way to create a blended, polished result may be the pick-me-up their hair needs. “For clients with grey hair who want something lower maintenance than covering regrowth every three weeks to blend greys, mushroom blonde can be a great colour,” says Goguen. “It’s a deep, multidimensional look that’s good if you want to hide white hairs. Or if you have grey, ashy hair and you want a colour that will blend with your natural colour, but with a pop of blonde lightness. You get the multitones without the maintenance of having to come back all the time. It’s on the ash beige side, but with a sparkle of warmth.” “I had so many clients come back [after the first lockdown] and say they want something low- maintenance with more of a natural look,” echoes Abaoen. “It’s one of those tones that will last quite a bit and will fade beautifully.” When it comes to at-home maintenance, mushroom blonde can be easy to care for, as long as it’s followed by an in-salon toner. “This trend is very low-maintenance, so for longer hair you could definitely go three, six or nine months between visits,” says Schoor. “If it’s grey coverage, then aim for every five to six weeks, though you won’t have to add dimension every time.”
Joico LumiShine Ash Ash Series
A line of seven permanent and demi- permanent liquid shades that neutralize warm tones while protecting hair and reducing breakage.
L’Oréal Professionnel Majirel
A permanent colour cream that offers 100 per cent grey coverage and can lighten up to three levels.
Oligo Blacklight Extra Blonde
This high- performance, dust-free lightener can be used on and off the scalp to lift up to nine levels.
Revlon Professional Nutri Color Creme
A three-in-one blend of colour, care and shine to condition and maintain hair colour.