Blonde Series | techniques and terminology...

For the next installment of my blonde series I thought I'd cover a few terms and techniques us hairdressers like to use which make perfect sense to us, but may be baffling to hear.

As you may already be aware, blonde is such a huge trend which means there are now so many application techniques available to stylists that can achieve all sorts of stunning results, no more stripey highlights here. Colour is becoming more bespoke and exclusive to the stylist doing it, they can pick and choose where to place colour in order to achieve a real individual style, tailored to you!

Fun activity - count how many times I say natural, blended and natural blend...

Balayage: This is perhaps the most current way of lightening hair and the foundation for a lot of newer techniques, including ombre and dipdye. From the french 'to sweep', colour is painted onto the hair and left uncovered, this creates a beautiful, soft and more natural looking blend. It's also a great way to play with regrowth styles, rather than having a harsh line, roots can look natural and blended, a lot less maintenance enabling clients to go much longer between appointments. This technique doesn't have to be done alone, colour can also be balayaged in between regular foil patterns. This is usually a darker tone and is a great way of breaking up your blonde if it's become too blocky looking after months of highlights as well as creating a blended out regrowth, it's also great if you fancy trying a slightly darker blonde without taking too much of a plunge.

Diffused and multi tonal colour: I've included these together as I think you can't have one without the other. Balayage is a great technique for achieving this overall look. You can use up to three colours when balayaging and as they are left open rather than wrapped in foil, the colour then diffuses onto each other creating a soft multi tonal effect, not stripey, but beautifully blended and natural looking tones. Tissue can also be used to slightly separate the shade but as it's so thin, the colour still blends together for a soft, natural looking blend.

Winter blonde: Not so much a technique, but a real buzz word to use in salon. This is also known as bronde (brown blonde) but stylists can play with just how dark they want to go. Usually a more gold based or neutral tone is added into the colour pattern to darken and tone down lighter blondes in order to create a richer, more natural looking, blended colour. Really low maintenance and a great way to update your colour for the colder season without too much commitment, as in it won't be difficult to lighten back up come summertime next year. This is usually done using the balayage technique.

Smudged roots: Another way of describing intended regrowth, this can be done using foils or balayage and is used a lot to create ombre styles. Hair is backcombed at the roots, or in the case of ombre further down the hair length, colour is then painted up to and slightly onto this gradient. This creates a soft, natural blend and is a really easy way to banish a harsh line of colour, 'diffusing' the roots for a more natural blend.

Bespoke: I love this word when describing colour. As balayage has allowed stylists to be much more free with colour application, we can pretty much tailor our techniques to you personally, meaning no two colours we do will be the same. We'll take into account your cut, lifestyle and individuality to create a perfect look, exclusive to you, what more could you ask for!

Toner: A semi permanent colour applied over the top of lightened hair to tone down any unwanted tones, ie: oranges or yellows as well as creating a more blended blonde. Basically raw bleach doesn't ever really look good by itself, toners create better depth, richness and blend in blondes, especially if you are quite dark to begin with. They also even out blonde if hair doesn't lift equally. I loooove toners and would never lighten my hair without one. These are especially important if you are doing a full head of scalp bleach, Gwen Stefani style.

I haven't covered everything but these are the terms I think are key right now for understanding all the different options available to you as a client. It's great to have a basic understanding of techniques so you can better visualize the finished result as well as what looks you may prefer.

Look out for next weeks blonde series all about products and preparation!

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