If you happened to see Taylor Swift on this month’s issue of Elle magazine and Jennifer Lopez on Bazaar, you may have realized something very simple: natural colors are huge right now. After going through every mermaid color known to man and outerspace over the past five years, haircolor has come back home.
When you think about today’s trends and how they relate to your look, the question to ask yourself is, “Who is my audience?” As much as your inner Khaleesi/alien goddess wants to express fantasy hair, it may not be an appealing look for those who are most important to you: your fans. It can, and often is, a distraction and an endless trip to the beauty salon for a retouch. Tedious and expensive, fashion colors have begun to calm down in the mainstream.
Instead, we find ourselves back at custom highlighting, balayage and babylights. Designed to create shimmer and lift, these salon services are low-maintenance and enhancing. Your beauty shines and your advantage grows, bringing you more overall freedom, happiness and time away from needed salon visits.
What’s the difference between babylights and contouring? Both are balayage, which means “sweeping” in French. The technique is a painting on of lightener or color, in a gentle sweeping effect, rather than the classic application of roots to ends highlights or lowlights. With balayage, the color is blended up to an area of the hair and muted so that the line of demarcation is invisible. There is no need to retouch balayage when the hair grows-it is an as needed service.
Babylights are very thin balayage-almost a tiny shimmer of lightener. This is used to brighten your look without showing any highlighting lines. Contouring, though, is bulky. It means taking huge chunks around your face and creating either light or depth with darkening or lightening. In J-Lo’s case, the contouring is blonde and is used to highlight around her medium skin color, creating a splash of brightness.
Should you color at home? Although home-coloring has it’s place, highlights will usually go wrong if you try do DIY it. Besides, unless you have greys at your root line and need monthly touchups, balayage is designed for the once or twice-a-year client. Let a professional you believe in take care our your lightening services and you will love your hair every day.
Rebecca Schembri is a Published Hair and Makeup Artist and Director of Breeze Salon in Reno, Nevada