By Jennifer-Short Published 08/28/2015 07:47:00 | Views: 2492
Get Ready To Dye

Whether you're ready to make a dramatic change or just want to update your existing hair color, 2015 will see the long-awaited return to softer, more natural hair shades across the color spectrum. Softer definitely doesn't mean boring, though. We're simply making way for hair color that's both high-impact and low-maintenance.

The past few years have given rise to hair colors with a bold feel, featuring graphic lines of demarcation and major upkeep. However, the severity of traditional ombres, platinum blondes, jet blacks and dip-dyes has confined hair into very limited color parameters. In 2015, blondes and brunettes will have a more polished, born-with-it look. Black hair will get a much-needed update, and redheads will finally have some more fun.

For insider tips and expert insight into these welcome color trends, we spoke to hairstylists on opposite sides of the country: Rachel Packer, senior colorist at Cutler/Redken Salon NYC, and Ash Bazaejian, a colorist at the Hive Salon in Los Angeles. Packer believes that hair is a canvas to paint on and that no two clients are the same. Bazarjian has been coloring hair for over a decade, recently taking his talents to the Hive, a boutique salon with locations in two of LA's most artsy neighborhoods.

Both Parker and Bazarjian noted the shift from the flat, blunt colors of last year to the fluid colors they're now giving clients at their respective salons.

"We are moving forward from harsher looks into something softer, hence the name sombre - a soft ombre," Bazarjian said. "The fun part is that this effect can be used on clients with any hair color."

These more sophisticated renditions of color have more tonal varieties with softer delineation, blending colors together seamlessly, according to our experts. The extra depth and dimension these colors provide give your hair movement, which makes it look healthier and shinier.

The best part is that these shades add both mystery and longevity to your hair color, making a statement without shouting. The placement is so graceful that it requires no trial-and-error period - you'll have zero regrets, and the finished effect will look effortless.


It's time to ditch the bottle of bleach - sort of. Platinum blonde has been having its moment of glory for the past few years, but the stark, high-maintenance shade is falling out of favor. "Icy cool blonde will be phased out for wheat-like, soft beige tones and golden honey shades," Packer predicts. If you're transitioning hair from a double process, she suggests having your colorist go through and apply a golden base color similar in depth to your natural color as well as painting some highlights around the face and on the ends. "With this technique, the finished color looks soft and organic," she said.

If you haven't gone platinum but still want to take the edge off bleached-out hair, she advises having a few lowlights painted throughout the head to add depth. "Have your colorist leave out some ends to keep it looking natural." The result is still very blonde, but it looks easy, not forced. Another option is going "blonde" - the ideal combination of brown and blonde tones that's perfect for darker-haired clients seeking a lighter hue and for blondes who want something darker without going fully brunette. To achieve this look, have your colorist paint on freehand highlights, making sure the color is soft near the mid-section and thicker toward the ends. Avoiding foils is key, as they leave behind too obvious of a color difference that ends up looking like streaks, highlights or severe ombre look you're trying to leave behind.


Having gorgeous hair has never been easier for brown-haired beauties. Both Bazarjian and Packer concur that, for darker hair tones, the sombre technique is the way to go. Packer loves this effect as it works for any brunette client since you're simply warming up your color and adding radiance to your skin with understated, sun-kissed highlights. You don't need to feel obligated to stay in your color family, either. You can add caramel, honey or red-gold highlights to your hair to wake up and revive your look.

"Sombre is about getting away from drastic ombre, and you can make this special to every client," she said. "On very dark-haired clients, I paint the highlights more from underneath and on the mid-shaft to the ends: My client will still visually read as having dark hair, but it has much more interest. On medium-to-light brown clients, I add more highlights around the face and throughout. I also love glazing brunettes with bronze tones."

As for Bazarjian, he says sombre is perfect for brunettes who want change but not commitment - you'll remain a true brunette, but you'll also have some fun with your color.


Solid jet-black hair lacks dimension. If your hair is already black, naturally or otherwise, you know the opaque shade might be easy to maintain, but it can occasionally look a little dull or lackluster. More than that, hair that's been dyed black can be difficult to lift, as well as time-comsuming, costly and potentially damaging to your hair. However, you can still have fun with this difficult shade - and you should.

For those who don't want to let go of their black hair but are still looking for a change, Bazarjian recommends asking that your colorist use a toner with a drop of color additive, such as red or blue (depending on the desired outcome), which gives a subtly different look to your black hair.

In the same vein, Packer suggests experimenting with glazes, which are semi-permanent translucent shades that rinse out with every wash. Since the pigments aren't dark or strong enough to stain black hair, a colored glaze can add a subdued but effective update to yourr color. "You can glaze black hair with violets, blues and even yellows, as your hair will reflect those tones in the sun." A glaze will also add shine and work with the tone that your hair color already has, negating the need to lighten up your your hair first. "For my clients with black hair who something different, I paint really soft highlights on the ends and glaze it to a soft brown, so there's dimension," Packer said.

If your hair isn't black but you're thinking of going to the dark side, both of our stylists urge you to start that process gradually. if you're on the fair side, ask your colorist to start a couple of shades lighter than the color you ultimately want, taking your color deeper and warmer by degrees, to eliminate any shock factor upon seeing the final look.

Bazarjian recommends starting with natural-looking black hair with a touch of warmth, "a deep shade that fades into soft, metallic-inspired ash tones," he said.


Spice things up by ditching uniform shades of red. As most redheads know, the most pressing concern of having flame-colored hair is keeping the color true to itself. Cooler shades of red can turn brassy, while deeper or brighter shades fade pretty quickly. Because of this, red hair needs to be refreshed on a regular basis. However, you can add longevity to your hair color by having your colorist mix both warm and cool tones of red.

Bazarjian recommends combining the tones by having the deep, velvety reds melt into the coppery reds. "This color combination is perfect for the client who can't decide whether or not she wants to be a violet red or a copper red. Utilizing the sombre effect here can help achieve the combination of all spectrums of red


By Jennifer-Short 08/28/2015 07:47:00

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