Hair colouring has become so popular that few of us can honestly lay claim to 100 percent natural locks. The cutting-edge technology of new dyes and lighteners and new techniques, now provide more options for altering our natural hair colour than ever before.
Colour + condition
Once, having dyed or lightened hair meant sacrificing shine and condition. Now, the latest colour formulas can actually make hair look shinier and healthier.
"The concentration of colour pigment is so strong in today's tints that companies are able to use less peroxide", says Geoffrey Herberg, of Chemistry for Hair in Brisbane, and Professional Hair Director for Schwarzkopf at Mercedes Australian Fashion Week. "The result is a new generation of hair colour that actually adds shine and makes hair look healthier, as opposed to the old-fashioned dyes that stripped hair and made it coarse and dry."
While traditional highlights and all-over tints are still popular, there are a variety of other innovative colour techniques now hitting the mainstream. These include:
Most salons now offer a "gloss", the new version of what used to be called a tone-on-tone or a semi-permanent. "A gloss adds richness and high shine to natural or permanent colour", says Herberg. "It is also often applied over highlights to seal the hair and to add a 'glossing' effect."
A big trend at the moment is to apply highlights to the underneath, rather than to the top of the hair. "Women tend to wear their hair looser now", says Herberg. "When hair is highlighted from the underneath it complements the fluidity in the hair as hints of colour show through as it moves."
This clever technique, often used on a fringe, enhances the 'shine line' in the hair, making it appear like a natural reflection of light. "The hair is lightened slightly on the area where it would reflect the light, depending on the haircut", says Herberg. "Then a gloss is put over the top, and where the hair was lightened comes out a little shinier and brighter."
This look, revived from the '80s, allows maximum versatility for anyone who loves to change hair colour regularly. "You have the hair in a side-parting and put, say, blonde highlights through one side, then part it on the other side and put another colour, maybe red highlights, through the other side", explains Mark Hayes, Creative Director at Vidal Sassoon, UK. "Then, depending on the way you wear your hair you can change the colour of it."
"In general a good guide is to remain two shades lighter or darker than your natural colour as the right colour is one that enhances your skin tone and eye colour. If the skin is quite red go for a cooler nuance to counterbalance, rather than a very warm shade, which will accentuate the redness. You should aim to make the most of yourself, rather than to transform yourself with an overly visible colour, which may draw attention away from your face."