Trend Report: Fall 2016
Posted by All-Nutrient Professional on Aug 16, 2016
For autumn 2016, tri-tones beautify blondes, red hair goes cuivre (French for copper), and brunettes head for the woods. In a season of fresh refinement, balayage is for everyone because it gives waves a boost, allows off-root coloring and lets everyone keep a natural thread of sunlight straight through winter.
There’s a new femininity and color intensity for fall, and even last season’s Athleisure trend, which blurred the lines from locker room to street, evolved from hair with braided fronts and ponied backs to French pleats and ballerina buns. While red and blonde battle it out for the biggest buzz in shades like blood orange, cinnamon swirl and butterscotch, brunettes are either absolute or share so much with blondes (buttered toast and honey ginger) that they even go bi-toned from top to bottom.
While the top color-trend trio includes natural, artsy (not avant-garde) and dramatic, cuts are finally seeing the emergence of truly sassy shorts for women. Which isn’t to say that long is long dead—it’s just getting more character. Styling is all about the texture and from waves to crimps, center-parted “curtain” bangs to jeweled accents (including Elizabethan-style crowns), long and straight is having its couture moment.
Here’s your guide to most salonable trends of the season, from subtle to Sauvage:
1. Start-Motion Color, Straight from Salons
Stop motion animation physically manipulates an object so that it appears to move on its own. Start-Motion Color manipulates the eye in a way that magnifies the movement of a cut or texture, and it’s behind the many placement-based techniques that took salon color right over the top of box color last season. When techniques matter more than the specific shade, technical training is a must. In addition to summer trends that stick around (balayage, color contouring, sombre), color melts, color layering, shadowing, shading, flashing, edging and outlining will all be big for fall.
In most of these techniques, the goal is to create or boost the illusion of movement without harsh lines, obvious streaks or evident regrowth. Haloing also adds motion when color is lightened and toned right where a cut curves or sunlight hits hair. A post-summer off shoot of tie-dying involves backcombing and coloring small top knots; the more colors you use, the more knots you need next to one another. There’s even a new approach to coloring inner-curl just on the inside of twists. The ultimate endgame: local motion.
2. Physically Fit Hair
The Athleisure trend tapped being health-proud but when it comes to color, hair is getting too much of a work-out. With all the lightening, toning and crazy-color changing going on, the next big discussion is all about healthy hair that’s physically fit enough to withstand changes. With the fall focus on color depth, richness, dimension and shine, there’s no better time to talk about the avoidance of over-bleaching, as well as bond protection, healthier hair color and the use of demi-shades for frequent color changers.
While most colorists understand that porosity affects the hair’s ability to absorb and hold moisture and color, hair is no longer porous or not. Some colorists discuss it in terms of grades of porosity, while curl experts talk about low, medium and high porosity. Whatever the measure, the need for conditioning treatments and moisture/protein balancing comes smack in the middle.
3. Bewitching Blondes and Raving Reds
The world’s population may be brunette-dominant, but the most requested hair color is still blonde in some flavor or form. Seasonal Blondes lean one of two ways: pure and platinum or multi-dimensional. Either is an accessible luxury. For those who can’t pull of a winter white, a light base gets tri-tones that even mix up warms and cools, with the complementary shade always closest to the face. Rock-and-roll rooted blondes are great for short cuts, summer’s sand shade has evolved into smoky blonde and color-animated waves make longer blonde hair haute again.
Reds are being seen in a couture context, too, with copper and burgundy packing the most punch. It’s easy to take the traditional “warmer/richer for fall” route with a red, and since it goes warm or cool, it naturally suits almost any complexion. Red is also the newest way to add sizzle to brunette, whether you use traditional foiling and toning or fast flashing for amplified dimension.
4. Gender Neutral and Identity Influences
With the roll-out of a gender-neutral fashion line (Zara’s Ungendered), salons ditching “men’s or women’s cut” pricing, girls going to the barber and a slew of new girl barbers themselves, hair and fashion are all about personal identity, binary or not. This is taking short looks for her into either gender-neutral or super-feminine territory with ‘20s inspired bobs, Eton crops, playful pixies and big-on-bangs looks leading the way. Styling is wet, slicked back or root-boosted for texture. And while guys have never embraced sharp barber shapes as much as they do now, the divergent trend is long hair for fall. Make no mistake: none of these looks are old hippie or unisex styles. Personalized color and textured styling make them of-the-moment.
Authentic “identity” looks have also led in part to the movement to eliminate “ethnic” or “multicultural” aisles in stores or displays in salons. Think hair texture and type instead. Hair and its care focuses on celebration of the individual. And no, it’s not really about looking entirely natural, it’s about creating style and character that enhances true beauty.
5. Textured Expressions
Trends in showcasing natural texture of all types involve working with the soul of a strand and keeping that hair healthy. Naturally, braids, plaits, waves pleats and twists are blanketing social media, and the old-time trick of sleeping in braids, then letting them loose is suddenly being rediscovered.
Ultra-voluminous hair—big, sexy and even a tad trashy—was a fall runway hit, with amped-up volume coming from bakcombing, heat styling and ‘80s influenced sets. When hair wasn’t being iron curled for volume waves, it was being fingerwaved or pin curled close to the head for a retro look, or roller set for ‘50s inspired waves. Crimping also made a catwalk comeback, supplying a hint that the ‘80s are the place to look for edgy influence...as though the new set-in-the-‘80s Netflix series Stranger Things wasn’t a strong enough signal.
When texture isn’t styled for twists, waves and shapes, it’s cut to celebrate it just as is, with everything from super straight to incredibly coiled making wearers hair-proud. The opposite tact—and there always is one—is for those with fine and thinning hair. These men and women will do anything to fight what they have, or rather, to look like they have what they don’t. Increasingly, this ginormous consumer group is looking to color contouring and rooting for thickening illusions, as well as hair extensions, texture-specific cuts and new styling products that make fine hair look fatter, younger and healthier. That overnight braiding idea just might do the trick.