Fall 2011 Hair Color Trends

Self Magazine sent me a list of questions about Fall 2011 hair color trends. Here are their questions and my unedited answers.

How to choose your ombré color (including what to look for on hair color boxes, what type of color to ask the colorist for, etc.)

If someone wants to do their own Ombré highlights, it’s really easy. There is no box you can pick up in the drug store. Just let your professionally done highlights grow out. That’s how the trend started.

Women (notably celebrities and models) got tired of the frequent salon visits necessary to keep their highlights looking fresh all the time. The model, Giselle Bundchen and Drew Barrymore were among the first to be seen sporting the trendy look. Although Carrie Bradshaw (Sex in the City) always rocked the dark-root look.

The Ombré look is a bit more refined because the highlights gradually fade from naturally darker roots to a brighter and lighter color toward the ends.

To get this look at the Vince Smith Hair Experience, we use 2 different techniques. One way we do it is to separate a section on top of the head about an inch wide on both sides of the part. We then foil in the highlights around the roundness of the head, leaving the part section without any highlights. So when the hair is styled the top is your natural color and the highlights peek through and show more toward the ends. It’s a great technique and a great look with little or no maintenance necessary.

The other method we like to use is to do the foil highlights for a sun-kissed effect. Then we glaze the hair with a darker glaze near the root and a lighter glaze toward the ends. We overlap the 2 glazes in the middle of the hair shaft so there is a seamless blend of color. It’s another beautiful look with a gorgeous shine all over, working towards more brightness towards the ends.

How to
 choose the right red (taking skin tone and existing hair color into account) – How to do either at home – What to ask for in a salon for either – How to maintain either color.

The best way to choose the right red hair color is to first analyze your skin tone and eye color. If you have a warm, golden skin tone and green or warm brown eyes, a warmer red hair color like a copper, auburn or golden red will look better on you. If you have an olive complexion or cool blue undertones in your skin and hazel or brown eyes, a cool or neutral red hair color will look better.

The golden rule for choosing the right red is to stay at the same level of lightness or darkness as your natural hair. The color will that last the longest, fade the least and look the most flattering and believable. The best candidates for red hair are clients who have natural light brown to dark blonde hair. The red tones are the most beautiful and most intense at these levels. It’s impossible to see red tones on hair that’s darker than medium brown. And when it’s lighter than medium blonde, it looks brassy or faded.

It’s really important to use the best products to maintain your new red hair. Red hair color fades the fastest of any hair color. Always use salon products that are designed to prolong the color and reduce fading. I recommend Redken Color Extend Shampoo and Conditioner and L’Anza Healing Color Care and Healing Moisture. These products will protect your hair from fading. Also, be sure to cover your head if you’re planning to be in the sun. And stay out of the swimming pool.

And for the eyebrow portion:

How to make a decision about brow color being either definitively darker or definitely lighter than current hair color. What to do if:

You have blonde hair and want dark brows, You have blonde hair and want light brows, You have brown hair and want light brows, You have brown hair and want dark brows, You have red hair and want light brows, You have red hair and want dark brows:

It’s natural to have a different color brow than your hair. When there is too much of a difference between the brow color and hair color, it can look unflattering and a little disconcerting. For a client with very blonde hair and very dark brows, we like to gently soften the color to a lighter brown. Bleached eyebrows almost never look good, so we don’t recommend that for our clients. For clients whose eyebrows are much lighter than their hair color, we recommend darkening the brows to add definition to the eye. For redheads, we recommend using the same or slightly darker formula when coloring the brows.