The old rule with highlights was simple: all your hairdresser had to do was paint them as close to the root as possible. That way, you could eek out your dye job for as long as was feasible and kid people into thinking you were born with the colour you chose to don from root to tips.
Those days are over. Balayage saw to that – or, more specifically, the trend for hand painted sections that looked like they’d *slightly* grown out saw to that. A new era of hair colour is dawning, with the biggest trend emerging for 2018 being that look of having had highlights, then getting really, really busy and simply not having had time to top up your roots.
The poster girls for this one are Sarah Jessica Parker, with her deep chocolate brown roots and flaxen ends, or Jennifer Aniston, who rocks the ear-level colour contrast with aplomb. The added bonus that I suspect the A-list fans have cottoned onto? Having a bit of a root situation going on means that your hair looks like it has more movement just by dint of having lighter ends – and it’s easy to take that up a notch by adding a spritz of hair texturising spray.
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Want in? In theory, this one’s easy – all you’d have to do is have your hair highlighted, and then leave it for a long time. But in actuality, it may not be that simple, especially if, like me, you’re a bit grey or and your natural colour is really rather meh.
In that case, the answer lies in the root stretch hair technique, which is also commonly referred to by hairdressing folk as the root smudge or root drag. I went in to see colour maverick Jack Howard at Paul Edmonds to give it a whirl and was pretty pleased with the outcome. Jack smudged the edges of my ‘natural colour’ (read: an entirely fake lovely, chocolatey brown that is about three tones from my natural colour) into my highlights to do away with what he describes as the telltale ‘strong demarcation line.’
The result is a rich, warm head of hair that has a bit of interest at the ends thanks to the remaining chunks of balayage/sun-bleached locks I had over summer. And the best bit? All I have to do is head back for some more root stretch action in whenever my greys threaten to take over may roots once more. Simple.