Fall Hair Color Trends – Finding Inspiration in Fashion

Dakota Fanning Bazar MagazineFall is here. What are you doing with your hair color? What’s trending in haircolor? Ombre has taken over the color world in the last 2 years and seems to still be going strong. It’s pretty, organic, and is a low maintenance way to add beautiful dimension to hair. Now this trend is evolving. I want to share what I am seeing for fall through inspiration from fashion and how it translates to hair.

Fall Fashion

Last week I was part of a Redken team facilitating at an industry show for hairstylists. Our job was to help identify what hair color is going to be popular for fall and the next year. I always start my search by looking at the runway and fall fashion campaigns. In addition to the hair, I am looking at the clothes. The themes, colors, and inspiration for collections all influence what will happen with hair.

This fall, I loved Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Juicy Couture, Proenza Schouler, Brian Atwood and Kenzo campaigns. I love the representation of what fashion, colors, and textures are popular for fall. Here is a slide show of my favorite images.

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After I pull images, I look for the prominent themes.

Playing With Light

Marc Jacobs 2013Ombre hair color is a graduation of dark to light color moving from the scalp to the ends. The effect looks like it was created by the sun with a natural effect. This fall I am seeing designers play with how light affects fabrics and textiles. Metallics from Marc Jacobs reflect light giving a ripple effect and Kenzo’s use of colorful iridescent butterflies and beetles creates the same inspiration. Splash Lights is a hair color technique that is a new way to consider how color lives in hair. A colorist adds a highlighted focus to the hair as if it was being hit by a spot of light. The images below are a great example of the technique. A colorist at Sally Hershberger salon in New York created the first look. The second two images are created by colorist and Redken Artist Justin Isaac. Both have such a fresh take on color placement, and we will see more variations of this effect in the next year.

Reverse Ombre/Jewel Tones

Fendi Fall 2013I love the color placement in the Fendi fall collection. You can see an inspiration of fur, while adding pops of color. Their looks are predominately blacks and grays with pops of bright color. Hot pinks, vibrant blues and strong purples make a strong statement. You can see how they have created a reverse ombre effect with the fur like fabrics. Instead of the lightest color on the ends, they have placed the darkest color at the ends and the pops of color at the base.

Pastels were a big influence last spring and summer, but as the season changes jewel tones are the new focus. Violet and purple are my favorite colors for fall. Rose gold for blondes and cool reds and fiery coppers.

Unexpected Color Placement

Proenza Schouler 2013I love the images from the Proenza Schouler campaign. There is a great balance of the pastel palette with a jewel tone pallet. When you look at the images notice where the color lives. It is soft unexpected placement. The image of Dakota Fanning at the top of the page is a perfect translation of the Schouler campaign into hair color.

After identifying what I loved from these images I created looks to share at the hair industry show. Strong pops of color, reverse ombre, cool violets and golds.

Mandy McCullough

What is inspiring your hair color for fall? What colors and trends stand out to you and get you excited for a change? Find images of hair or fashion that you love and take them to your next color appointment to share with your colorist. The results will be amazing.

Color Correction – Christin’s Path to Peach

Pastel hair color–it’s everywhere right now! We’ve seen pictures of celebrities or images online of pinks, lavenders, baby blues. At Fix, it is a common request from our clients of all ages. To do it successfully, the process aligns itself with a classic color correction process. It can be time-consuming and expensive, but it certainly makes you stand out in a crowd. Today I want to share Christin’s story to peach. It’s a perfect example of what steps it takes to go from a dark hair color to a light hair color, whether it is pastel, blonde, or even light brown.

Here’s what Christin looked like before we began:

In order to get a perfect pastel, the hair needs to be lightened as much as possible. Christin had been coloring her hair at home, so our first step was to lighten her existing color to pale blonde. It can be a delicate process to make this happen. You can never be sure if the color is going to lighten easily or with bands of color. That’s why I am a huge believer of test strands. This is where I take a small section of the hair and treat it with lightener to read how it will perform overall. It took a few applications, but it lifted pretty evenly giving me the result pictured below. You can see the lightened hair in contrast to her original color.

I then repeated the process on the rest of Christin’s hair. Again it took 3 separate applications of lightener to get to blonde. After each process I applied a protein based strengthening treatment to help maintain the hair’s health. Here is Christin at the end of the lightening process.

Next up, choosing a peach formula. This, too, can be a tricky process. I have two goals when I create this type of formula. First, it needs to be the peach my client has in mind. Color shades can vary drastically, so I want to ensure the results match the client’s expectations. Second, I want it to be set in the hair to give it the best longevity of color. Again, here is where I depend on test strands to see what my final formula will be.

Before applying the pastel formula on Christin’s hair, I applied another strengthening treatment. This infuses protein into the hair, in turn giving color molecules a place to embed and creating a longer lasting color. It’s a non-negotiable step that creates healthy, beautiful end results.

After the first color application, the pastel peach was pretty, but too light. This happens sometimes when laying color back into the hair. Sometimes color has to be laid in a couple of times to get a real, pure tone. Here is Christin after her first peach application.

We then went on to add a second layer of color. This application did the trick. We achieved an amazing color, but a little strong in intensity. Christin loved it and wore it for the next 6 weeks. Here’s how it looked.

When Christin came back to the salon 6 weeks later the color had lightened up. She decided this time she wanted to go for a softer peach. After tweaking her formula a bit, I loved the final color.

This color was beautiful. And because of the series of salon treatments performed on her hair, we were able to achieve the look while also ensuring her hair was in great condition. Christin has been peach for about 10 months now and gets tons of compliments on her look.

As you can see, this type of service is time-consuming. From beginning to end, our Intense Peach look took three appointments lasting 4 hours each time. I charge $100 per hour for this service, so if you do the math you quickly realize this is a big investment. Choosing to do this in a salon with an experienced stylist ensures that you will get the precise color you want and keep your hair shiny and healthy. I’ve seen many hair lightening “home jobs” and it’s not pretty. People who try the “do-it-yourself” route usually end up in the salon to get it fixed, so why not just do it the right way from the start?

If you are considering any type of color correction service, going from light to dark or dark to light, a consultation is imperative. If any stylist tells you he/she can perform this type of service in one day, I would go somewhere else. Remember when you are lightening hair from brown to blonde we are working with a fiber. There is only so much you can ask of that fiber in a short period of time. Slow, control lifting is the best way to get where you want to go and still have hair to show at the end of it. Ask your stylist if they have any pictures of clients who have received similar treatments so you can see the end results.

It’s also worth mentioning the value of salon treatments through any color process. Every time a chemical color service is performed on a hair strand, that fiber is weakened. Without protein based treatments, your hair will not survive the correction course and the color will fall out much more quickly.

Drastically changing your color can be a rewarding “feel good” event. Take the time to find a colorist who is experience in color correction. To help with the process, read my post How to Find Your Perfect Stylist. Then go for it! Changing your hair color can give you a new outlook on life and your identity. Embrace it!