When it comes to embracing beauty trends, hair colour is a tricky one. After all, few of us would undergo a drastic change in colour just to make a fashion statement. Fortunately, you don’t need to go Lady Gaga platinum to feel current and fresh.
British celebrity colourist Louise Galvin explains how it’s done. “Good hair colour should always enhance skin tone and eye colour,” she says. “That means staying within two shades — darker or lighter — of your natural base. For example, Emily Blunt and Keira Knightley are classic English beauties who never move too far from their own colour, but instead change the tone throughout the year, going lighter and brighter through the summer and then richer in fall and winter.”
Here, the top hair colour trends for 2011:
Just say no to ashy blond or beige-blonde shades, which can make the skin look dull and grey. “Cold colours like that are not flattering to the face, especially on winter-pale skin,” says Lea Journo, owner of The Lea Journo Salon, which attracts A-listers such as Brad Pitt, Sienna Miller and Kate Bosworth. Instead, go for warmer tones: If you normally wear bright blond highlights, take them down to golden. Red hair is still on trend for 2011, but will be richer and warmer, in the strawberry or auburn family. As for brunettes, check out Journo’s client Katie Cassidy of Gossip Girl. “We gave her warm-honey highlights and lowlights that stay within the brown family, but are still lustrous and multi-tonal,” Journo says.
Skinny streaks are out. What’s in: chunky highlights that vary in size and in depth of brightness, depending on where they’re placed on the scalp. It’s a look best created by a method known as balliage — painting colour directly on the hair instead of using traditional foils.
“After the client’s hair is cut, I ask her to show me how she wears it every day, how she moves with it, how she puts it up,” says Journo. “This helps me design where the lowlights and highlights should go. Since I don’t want a thick chunk of blond at the roots, I use a paintbrush to sketch the colour on softly and then gradually widen the streak as I go down the hair. The strength of the colour also changes, becoming brighter on the ends.” This technique is shown at its best on her client Ellen DeGeneres, “whose highlights and lowlights are bright and shiny and full of dimension, thanks to balliage. We could never achieve that look with foils.”
Forget the matte grunge look; lustrous, light-reflective locks that show off your multi-dimensional colour will feel more chic in 2011. Galvin says you can achieve this glossy finish by tweaking your conditioning habits. “Apply your conditioner or deep treatment liberally to the mid-lengths and ends, skipping the roots,” she suggests. “Massage it through using your fingers — not a comb — and allow the product to penetrate the hair for as long as you can. When you’re ready to rinse, apply a little water to loosen the product, and then begin combing it out, starting from the ends and gently teasing out any tangles while you work up to the root. Once you’ve combed it through, rinse.”
While this system takes a little longer, treating your hair as gently as you treat your skin will leave it nourished and moisturised — plus it will keep your hair looking shiny and healthy.