Posted by All-Nutrient Professional on Apr 4, 2017
What's next for haircolor? Look-no-lines approaches! Look-no-lines haircolor is fast overtaking ombré as sparkling shades merge and intermingle on a single strand. Just in time for summer, all your beautiful shades are melting!
Two trends are emerging right now. First, there are several playful new ways to mix and mingle natural shades with new ones, and they’re all about technique. Second is the dominant color-trend story, which says that all-over Punk-inspired colors are giving way to “hint-of-the-hue” looks. Now, even when neon brights, turquoise or “Greenery” (the Pantone color of 2017) goes on, it’ll be mostly in splashes or dashes—or blended onto a single section.
The main exception is Rainbow Roots, which do have an obvious line at the end of the rainbow. Still, these concentrated colors always get hidden away until you change the part, braid the hair or brush it straight back.
If you’re ready for some exciting color comingling, here are the hottest ways to melt your shades this summer:
Blending and Blurring
Much like natural makeup is always well-blended, two or three different hair color shades are being blended onto a single section. Each time there’s a color change, shades are overlapped, so that all you see are blurred lines—not hard or distinct ones. Brushes, sponges and even glove-covered fingers are used to blend the colors but the biggest thing to remember is that a light touch matters most.
Colors are feathered-on to help enhance better bending, brushes are held vertically and shades are artfully overlapped for an ice-melting-on-the counter effect. When foil highlights are “smushed” or pressed just a bit after sealing, shades merge even more, like the dusty hues in impressionist paintings.
Starting with two closely related shades enlightens the midshafts and ends without going all ombré, while adding three brings root boosts into play. Creative colorists are carefully staggering color-blended strands throughout the hair and even subtly changing shades, as they move up or across the head, adding just a few melted colors to sliced or woven pieces. Who says there’s nothing new in highlights?
Even when bleaches are feathered onto a strand to taper off at the natural roots, two different toners can blended onto the highlights after processing for the most subtle of color changes. For an extra edge, pastels like lilac and petal pink add soft hues and fashionable fusions to the pre-lightened pieces.
Backcombing is Back
Even one of the few remaining trends with a true line of demarcation—the dark-to-blonde rooted look—is going all soft for summer with backcombed, then blended roots. The effect changes completely, depending on whether you backcomb the hair tightly to the scalp or loosely to the head and partially up the strands. Then, color is meshed into the backcombed area. While it’s a great way to blend roots at the hairline, part line or all over, it requires true expertise and a perfect shade selection to come out right. DIY types could end up with a blob of color, or a single dark trail, moving from the backcombed area down the strand.
Balayage is one of the easiest ways to upgrade ombré. It can create a gradual root-to-end transition for a sun-kissed look or produce beautifully matched root re-touches without the bleed from foils.
Lighter shades add brightness and a seamless blend but every shade under the rainbow can be added to the color-medley with post-bleach toning. Because subtle shade shifts are part of the blended and blurred color shift, using two lightening formulas with different developer volumes can also create subtle changes in lightness and brightness. Blend them on the same strand or use them on alternating ones.
Far more than simple “hair painting,” balayage (which means “sweeping” in French) relies on intricate artistry and the following of curved shapes, not square foils. It’s strategic and natural-looking, and can be personalized to enhance any haircut or hair type, as well as the hair’s natural movement. Often it requires a formula of thicker consistency and uses tools like a balayage board for added control and full-strand saturation. Hand-painting hair with the usual bleach mixture just won’t do it, as YouTube-inspired home jobs attest.
Custom Color Concoctions
One of the coolest new ways to mix and meld ever-shifting shades is to opt for different custom-color formulas with altered ratios of, say, brunette to red. Each one can have just a little more red or gold, or an ever-increasing amount of “clear.” The subtly different shades get melted onto highlights or all the hair in various ways, and the mathematical possibilities are endless.
When it comes to bright fashion hues and neon blues, it’s true that they’re most likely show up as hidden pieces. But that doesn’t mean they’re any less exciting. The progressive-color formula technique can be used in underlayers to add flashes of sea foam merged with turquoise or volcanic-ash roots that blend and end in volcanic-red eruptions. Now, fashion-shade fans can conceal their color-intent but boost the interest once it emerges.
Keeping flashier fashion shades under wraps has another advantage: They won’t fade so fast in the summer sun. If you really want them to show, subtly scatter them through a strategic area, like just front (from midstrands down) for a face-framing effect. After all, it’s hard to keep bleaching all of the hair all of the time before adding intense tones over the top. The new precisely placed and melted hues are healthier for hair in the long run and lots easier to change next time around.
*Haircolor in images done by Andrea Harbison of La Dolce Vita Salon in Franklin, Tennessee