Most brunettes like being brown, they hate orange and red tones and when it come to grey coverage they just want to look natural. Yet whatever city you’re in you always see that client – the one in the 40-65 year old range with that orange brown glow of coloured hair… Maybe it’s a home job, maybe not: it’s hard to keep the brassy tones away in the sunshine and colour does oxidize so our job as colourists is to work hard at keeping the brass away. Fortunately, recent developments are making this easier.
We don’t see many celebs around with orange hues unless they are copper.
Brunettes are hot right now, I mean really hot – lots of clients have been wanting to go darker and I’m sure that this has something to do with celebrity culture. Look at some of the amazing brunettes out there, Kim Kardashian looks amazing as a brunette not a blonde, Alexa Chung (who went from dark to light at Neville) can slide between lighter browns and deeper ones, Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Lopez, Mila Kunis, Angelina Jolie to name a few… But it doesn’t have to be solid colour and this is where Balayage has really evolved, adding dimension and texture without totally altering the overall feel of brunettes. Recently I’ve had 2 actresses and models wanting to go darker from blondes which have been for film roles, but who knows, they might stay that way till the next job requires another colour change! For both Vanessa Kirby and Suki Waterhouse I had to pre-colour because they both had very blonde balayage. Pre-colouring is really important to stop the colour being muddy or even green, and to give an even finish. With the launch of dia light by L’Oreal that is now a very simple step, it’s quick, effective and never fails me, and I have never had to do it again because its PH is acid and doesn’t damage the hair. After that, it was all about picking the right tone… For Vanessa I went for a level 5 with a touch of warmth while for Suki we opted to stay on the level of a six, and both colour changes involved lots of conversations with agents to make sure we where all on the right page.
The launch of Majirel cool cover and the .17 ranges in Majirel and Inoa have been a godsend to me and all my brunettes… they don’t want to see red or warmth but want to look natural and I now have more tools to play with.
Are you finding more blondes are going darker or even brunette? It’s a big step for a blonde as so much of a woman’s identity can be in her blonde, but I’ve found the ladies who do love it, and don’t want to go back.
When I talk to a brunette client and we are talking Balayage I always talk about browns on brown or what I like to call French Brown, I know it’s all about a taste level for the client and the colourist, but a level 1-5 naturally does not I believe look good with level 22 highlights or brassy orange tones. Many darker brunettes are scared of lightners because they have had bad experiences with them, but you do need to lift the natural hair up a few levels, again I believe 3 levels lighter is enough, but its all in the glaze.
The model below is a prime example of how natural yet modern Balayage can be on our darker bases.
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