The Colour Blog #1: The New 50-50 Colour, Is It For You?

You either love it or hate it: “50/50 hair colour” is the new salon marmite. If you’re thinking about a new statement hair colour, you may be wondering whether this is the one to go for. The answer, as with many new trends, depends on you and your ‘tribe’ (the HOB term for your personal style). 

50/50 hair colour can be worn in both a classic or creative style. This technique was trending way before Dua Lipa braved the salon chair, and it was also seen at Marc Jacobs fall show 2018/2019. As with most trends, it then takes 1 to 2 years to filter down and for people to start requesting it in the salon. 

Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, the likes of Gwen Stefani and Christina (X-tina?) Aguileria were paving the way for this trend, but it dates back even further to the late 70’s and early 80’s when Blondie rocked it with conviction. So far we’ve seen 50/50 worn very bold, with a high amount of contrast between the two colours, but I feel it can be worn more simplistic and more classic.

So, what to ask my colourist for? 

Depends on your hair length:

Short hair - work with more of a panelled section of colour, creating more of a focal area that adds strength to the hair cut. Also, work with harmonising colours, so the overall effect is not too busy. Take inspiration from the 2000’s like our model Anna-Sophia: here we have worked with an overall colour of rich terracotta whilst the focal area has been toned to a mustard blonde.  

Bobs - chic, one-length bobs are huge this season, with geometry giving your bob a 60’s Carnaby-girl-feel. With our model Maya we created a classic modern approach to the trend, creating a triangle section on her parting and lifting the hair to a bark-coloured brunette, while maintaining her rich espresso colour throughout. With brunettes consider going softer with the result with 1- 2 levels of difference between the colour shades.

Long hair - Blondes can still have fun! Take inspiration from the 90’s! Go strong and bold with the colour placement but soften the dark/light contrast for a more delicate finish. With Tamsyn we did a toning technique on pre-lightened hair, working with a star-like section. Both colours were created with the same tones, but pushing the deeper and lighter levels to give the illusion of 50/50 hair. Overall, we wanted to create darker and paler mink shades.

So there you have it! 50/50 hair colour: a hot trend that is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Warren Boodaghian 

Warren Boodaghian is Head of Technical at HOB Salons & Academy, heading up all colour-related activity and education across the company and the training school. He has a long and established career history which includes working on a global level for worldwide colour product brands, and has looked after the hair colour of a string of household celebrity names. He lives in Highgate with his partner Jonathan and when he’s not colouring hair, or in quarantine, he’s out running. 

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