While the colder weather is upon us, clients are continuing to embrace lived- in, low-maintenance looks.
Bronde—think walnut blonde and mushroom blonde—has been trending, and with this melange of brown and blonde making waves this season, there’s no better time to start talking to your clients about changing up their colour. Combining blonde and brunette tones is a great way to transition blonde clients to darker tones that are warm enough for fall and winter or add a bit of lightness to darker shades for the ultimate bronde glow.
“Everybody wants to flaunt their mane right now with blended, customizable and natural looks that are low maintenance and colour that looks lived in,” says Maral Poladian Marin, owner of Danny’s Coiffure Unisex in Montreal and a member of Schwarzkopf Professional’s #SKPCANSquad. “We’ve been seeing a shift from balayage and overprocessed looks that are high maintenance to simplicity with hair integrity.”
“Every fall and winter season, we have less sunlight, so we must put it somewhere and the hair is a good way to make people shine,” adds Fanny Villeneuve, a master colourist based in Saint-Jérôme, Que., and portfolio artist for L’Oréal Professionnel. “For blondes and brunettes, it’s the season to play with dimension, light and shadows.”
Before jumping directly into the colour service, it’s important to talk to your clients about their expectations, hair habits and the amount of time and maintenance they want to spend on their new hue.
POLADIAN MARIN RECOMMENDS ASKING YOUR CLIENT IF THEY WOULD RATHER BE CONSIDERED A BLONDE OR A BRUNETTE. IF THEY WANT TO BE KNOWN AS A BLONDE, MAKE SURE TO KEEP DEPTH IN THE BACK AND MAINTAIN A BRIGHT FACE FRAME.
“The first thing I ask is what kind of maintenance they want to bring to their colour,” says Villeneuve. “If they don’t want to come to the salon very often, I will adjust the placement of the light effect to make it easy to grow out over time, with very little touch-up required. The second question I ask is if they’re ready to invest in good haircare products because that’s the key to keeping the colour bright and the hair super-strong.”
While Villeneuve starts by asking her clients their expectations and goals for the service, Poladian Marin likes to bring out her wig collection so she can see her clients’ vision with her own eyes.
“The wigs help showcase which colour best complements their skin tone and eye colour,” she says. “We choose the colour together and make their hair dreams come true.”
Whether your client needs a bit more depth or lightness to achieve their perfect bronde, every colourist has their own set of tips and techniques to create their dream shade.
“To make a blonde darker, my favourite technique is a combination of shadow roots and reverse balayage—this adds depth and dimension but keeps the hair looking blonde,” says Villeneuve. “For brunettes, I use just a little piece of balayage to get the roots darker and keep the depth. I also avoid adding pieces on top of the head to really keep it natural- looking.”
“For a brunette who doesn’t necessarily want to feel completely blonde, a good way to achieve the ideal colour is by adding just a little piece of balayage or contouring,” she adds. “And the best way to make it feel natural is to keep tone-on-tone colour, so one to two levels lighter is best. For blondes, I like to play with a shadow or stretch root with ammonia-free colour. As with brunettes, I suggest going a maximum of two levels darker, and I like to add some pieces of reverse balayage to make the blonde textured and full of dimension.”
When it comes to placement, Poladian Marin likes to use a lighter shade where light would naturally hit the hairstyle to create a sun-kissed look. She suggests using a classic face-framing or colour- blocking technique to combine blonde and brunette tones. Or for a softer look, she recommends using a colour-melting technique.
“BRONDE IS CURRENTLY TRENDING BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE WALKING AWAY FROM OVER-PROCESSED AND BALAYAGE LOOKS. BYE-BYE HIGH MAINTENANCE! WE’RE ALL FALLING IN LOVE WITH SIMPLICITY AND INTEGRITY THIS FALL AND WINTER. IT’S NOT BRUNETTE, IT’S NOT BLONDE. IT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL IN BETWEEN… IT’S BRONDE!” — MARAL POLADIAN MARIN, OWNER OF DANNY’S COIFFURE UNISEX, MONTREAL
“The key to bronde is to add dimension and depth to the hair colour,” she says. “Add several shades of colour and use different developers to get maximum dimension. You can maintain a bright face frame by using a sweeping motion to hand-paint colour or lightener directly on the hair.”
WHEN TRANSITIONING BLONDE CLIENTS TO DARKER TONES FOR FALL, CONSIDER USING SLICES RATHER THAN WEAVES TO ADD DARKER PANELS. SLICES ARE EASIER TO TRANSITION BACK TO BLONDE, WHEREAS EXTREMELY SMALL WEAVES CAN BE TRICKY TO PICK OUT AND REDO.
Having conversations with your clients about trending shades and what it takes to achieve—and maintain—the ultimate bronde look will also help get more clients into the salon, which in turn builds business through your colour services.
“Before my clients leave after a colour service, I like to suggest an in-between service,” says Villeneuve. “For my brunette clients, I suggest a little contouring to make the rest of the balayage ‘pop’ without having to do the full head.”
Poladian Marin uses product sales to build business by encouraging her clients to purchase a hair mask to maintain their new colour between visits.
PHOTOS: HAIR: 2021 CLUBSTAR ARTISTIC TEAM, U. K MAKEUP: JO SUGAR, WARDROBE STYLING: BERNARD CONNOLLY, PHOTO: AYO BANTON, HAIR: SALLY BROOKS, BROOKS & BROOKS, U.K., MAKEUP: VIOLET ZENG, PHOTO: DENIS ROBINSON, L’ORÉAL PROFESSIONNEL, SCHWARZKOPF PROFESSIONAL. IMAGES: GETTY