The Colour Blog #4: Calling All Blondes

“Calling all blondes, or those wanting to convert to the lighter side… we’ve got two fresh new colour techniques that you need to be asking us for this summer!

Balayage has now become a modern classic in the salon, but we often get clients asking how they can update this style and change it up with a mini-makeover.

So, we’ve got the answer. What you should now consider asking us for is “Chromalights”. This is a blonding service that draws attention to the facial canvas and frames the face perfectly. It extenuates and draws out the eye colour and defines the cheek bone area. 

Chromalights is a step forward from traditional balayage - a way of customising the technique to your hair type and haircut. Initially, we start with freehand painting to lighten the lengths and ends of your hair, and then around the hair line and top of the head we create face-framing ‘microlights’ (very delicate, natural highlights). Combining these two techniques creates the perfect colour silhouette to brighten, lighten and enhance.

In terms of maintenance, it’s all very straightforward. I would recommend simply asking for your microlights to be topped up on your next salon visit, as this is what accentuates the eyes and cheek bone area. 

Our second new technique for updating your blonde is ‘Chiaroscuro’ colour. This is a modern take on the old root-stretch or ombre. If you’re old enough (!) - think back to Drew Barrymore and Alexa Chung who started wearing that grown-out look in 2010. For 2020 however, a more modern and on-trend way to wear a dark-to-light colour is a more gentle blend from root to tip, ditching the high level of contrast between the darker roots and the lighter ends by creating a more expensive-looking colour gradient.

The secret to Chiaroscuro is working with the same tone from the top to the bottom. What changes is the density of depth, so although the tone remains the same throughout, the colour starts richer at the top and progressively gets lighter towards the ends. This adds dimension and texture through the hair and also creates an illusion of volume.

It’s a super low-maintenance technique, but if you are working with richer tones you will simply need to ask your colourist for a ‘tonal refresh’, which will keep the root area looking rich and replace any lost pigment in the lengths and ends. 

So, if your blonde is needing a boost and you fancy the sound of either of these two new techniques to update your look for S/S20, call us to book a colour service along with a Couture Colour Match consultation and let us bring your colour into the new season.”

Warren x


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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