The latest colour trends and techniques span the whole spectrum of shades, from ultra-natural looks to super-graphic treatments to bright, bright colours. With best practices and tips from some of the pros, we navigate through it all in this three-part series.
Key looks: Balayage, sombré, bronde, tortoiseshell, contour lightening, babylights, stretching technique
The trend: The natural-looking method of colouring has taken an artistic, painterly turn, and with fresh, less-is-more approach we’re seeing throughout the entire beauty industry, it’s no surprise. Richy Kandasamy, creative technical director with TIGI, explains “your clients don’t want to look like they’ve been to the hair salon; they want to look like they were born with this colour—something found in nature.” This move into painted-on, deliberately placed and timed colour requires much more patience and attention than some of the other methods of highlighting we’ve seen in the past. Catherine Allard, a Redken artist, explains that one of the ways to keep colour fresh and your clients coming back with these natural, easy-to-grow-out looks is “to add babylights eight weeks after the colour service to preserve the technique.”
How to get it: Easily translated from a more natural, neutral palette to pastels, Kandasamy describes a stretching technique where you “apply the same colour all over but change your timing in different sections” or apply pressure in certain areas, equating this technique to drawing with a pencil: “When you put more pressure on a pencil, you get more depth, but it’s still the same colour as when you take the pressure off the pencil.” For contour lightening, one of the most-talked about colour techniques that many clients and celebrities are already requesting, is another natural finish that is going to be here to stay. Kandasamy explains, “contour lightening is bringing all of the light to frame the face with lighter palettes; you can change the palettes and tones with the seasons, but the level always remains lighter.”
Match it up: When it comes to matching shades for the most natural finish, Kandasamy recommends keeping in mind the season and your client’s complexion. For Allard, this also means making the client’s face shape and bone structure work with the final look: “If the client has a square face and wants sombré, I’ll start at the jawline to accentuate [her features], which I explain during the consultation process.”
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