We’ve spent far too many hours on Zoom and are just a teensy bit tired of looking at ourselves. Maybe it’s the hair. The same hair. Day after day, after day. So, it’s time to call it. We’re in a hair rut and it’s time for a change. But sometimes a major hairstyle change such as bangs, layers or extensions isn’t what we’re after. Instead, it might be the perfect time to play with our hair color. And the bonus is that with the right shade and technique, you can knock a decade off your look. Here are a few of my favorite options (I’ve tried and worn them all!) to consider on your next salon visit.
“I want something subtle and fresh but have zero time for maintenance.”
Balayage is a color application technique (sweeping/painting technique, no foils), rather than a specific color itself. It’s bright around the face, blended at the roots, with lighter ends, and very natural. It requires little maintenance, grows out beautifully and naturally, and looks great on both light and dark hair since the same technique can be used to create caramel and espresso shades. It’s also very low maintenance. You get softer regrowth lines so your hair can grow out longer in between color appointments. Color glosses (I love dpHUE Color Boosting Gloss in Sheer and IGK Expensive Hi-Shine Gloss Treatment) and shine-enhancing conditioners such as Schwarzkopf BlondMe Shine Enhancing Spray Conditioner are ideal to help show off the technique’s cool factor. Expect a refresh in about 6-8 months.
“I’m ready for something a little edgy but still subtle with minimal upkeep.”
Few hair color trends stand the test of time to become classics. But the ombre look is here to stay. This color method gives you a drastic fade from dark roots to gradually lighter hair through the middle, then very light or blonde ends. Most ombre colors are super easy to maintain. The color is based on your natural hair color, so it will grow out naturally since there’s a seamless color transition between lowlights (adding dark pieces) and highlights. A rich and nourishing hair oil like budget-friendly OGX Renewing Argan Oil will really show it off, too. This Gold Lust Set from Oribe is dreamy! Ombre can also be done in many different colors such as blonde, brown, or red.
Full or Partial Highlights
“It’s time for a noticeable change and I’m okay with upkeep!”
Foil highlights (called partial or full weaves) are the blonding technique for adding a pop of dimension in the face-frame. Just like most hair color applications, it can be customized to achieve different results. For example, baby lights – about two shades lighter than your base color, create a soft shimmer and subtle dimension while providing a natural separation throughout the hair. If you’re craving something more dramatic, then ask your stylist for foil ‘slicing’ which is more about positioning the foils vertically, horizontally, or on the diagonal. You’ll get a stronger, more defined look which has the added bonus of outlining the shape of a haircut. I’m a big fan of going lighter in fall/winter, so this is what I’ve been sporting the last couple of months.
If you’re like me and have a tendency to skew a little brassy, then purple/blue shampoo like L’Oreal Everpure Purple Shampoo is something to keep in the shower. Used in place of your normal shampoo (every two weeks or so) tones down orange and perks up highlights. I just started using Fanola No Orange Shampoo. And as a natural brunette, I can’t believe how amazing it is at getting rid of the brassiness! No matter the color, foiled highlights generally require more maintenance, so prepare for a refresh anywhere from 3-4 months.
Full Color Change
“It’s time to forget 2020 ever existed. I want bold change!”
Well, if we’ve learned anything from 2020, it’s that life is too short, and we should seek joy wherever – and however – we can. Experiment! Are you a gorgeous brunette and have fantasized about going platinum? Try it! With the right colorist and a solid afternoon in the salon chair, it will be amazing. (Just promise to treat it gently and use a weekly hair masque like Olaplex No. 3) You’re a blonde but dreaming about becoming a luscious redhead, don’t hesitate. (Red shades fade fast. Keep it fresh with Pureology’s Reviving Red Shampoo & Conditioner.) Tired of monthly tints and curious to see if going 100% gray is for you? Do it! (This shampoo from Redken works wonders!)
No matter what color you choose, love it, own it and revel in the change. Anyway, it’s just hair. Nothing is permanent. Color can be re-done. Hair will grow back. And when it does, you can always try A.I. Aqua, Pantone’s color of the year for 2021.
We’d love to hear what shades, techniques and products are calling your name, so please be sure to leave a comment below.
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