THE EVO­LU­TION OF HAIR COLOUR Up­grade your shade

A dra­matic hair-colour change can feel ter­ri­fy­ing and iden­tity-defin­ing in equal mea­sure. But with a ti­dal wave of new in-sa­lon tech­niques and clever dye tech­nolo­gies, you’ll be ven­tur­ing be­yond the bal­ayage in no time

Cosmopolitan (UK) - - Contents - Words BECCI VAL­LIS

Sen­si­tive shades

YOU ARE In re­cov­ery from past hair-dye dam­age TRY Charged dyes and new-and-im­proved henna Colour­ing your hair is one of life’s great mood-boost­ers – but if your locks (and scalp) could talk, it’s un­likely they’d share in the joy of it. Perma-colour has al­ways in­volved bleach and pre-light­en­ers to strip ex­ist­ing colour, be­fore a new one is su­per­im­posed. So de­spite the healthy-look­ing re­sults, your nat­u­ral as­sets are in­vari­ably hit hard – and need a load of TLC to re­cover.

But it seems the dyes, they are a-chang­ing. Ja­panese man­u­fac­turer Kao, work­ing

“Cop­per, gin­ger, pa­prika and sun­set are the tones to try”

with ex­perts at Fu­ji­film and the Tech­nis­che Univer­sität Dres­den, has taken 17 years and 1,000 hair-dye mol­e­cules to de­velop a process called

‘HD3’,* and sa­lon brand Gold­well has snapped it up. Us­ing small elec­tri­cally charged mol­e­cules that form a con­cen­trated ring of colour around the hair cor­tex, it colours with a lack of bleach and chem­i­cals, mean­ing the gee-whiz won­der dye has been given a pat on the back from the SCCS (Sci­en­tific Com­mit­tee for Con­sumer Safety at the EU Com­mis­sion) for its low al­lergy risk. That means even those of us with sen­si­tive scalps or vul­ner­a­ble hair can dab­ble.

With sen­si­tiv­ity such a talk­ing point, it’s only right that L’Oréal Professionnel should jump on the bleach-free hair-dye band­wagon as well. Us­ing plants in­stead of per­ox­ide, henna isn’t new, but what this lot are do­ing with it re­ally is. Henna may have been used for yonks as a nat­u­ral hair dye, but the re­sults have been, let’s say, dis­ap­point­ing un­til now. Adding pu­ri­fied and pressed In­dian cas­sis and indigo leaves to the for­mula along with some mind-bog­glingly in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy that uses hot wa­ter rather than chem­i­cals to an­chor the dye to the hair, L’Oréal has con­cocted a highly pig­mented prod­uct that lasts at least a month. Called

Botanea,* it isn’t ar­riv­ing un­til May, but we’re on ten­ter­hooks to try it. And while we’re on the sub­ject of al­ler­gies (still), Clairol has pro­duced a new dye mol­e­cule known as ME+. Now used in its Nice ’N Easy colourants, £6.49, it re­duces the risk of de­vel­op­ing re­ac­tions from home hair colour.

Arty ap­pli­ca­tions

YOU ARE Bored of blocky high­lights TRY Spong­ing, sten­cilling or spot­light­ing Thought you were on the money with your streaks? Old news. Spong­ing, sten­cilling, spot­light­ing, shadow root­ing and mar­bling are where it’s at – es­sen­tially, it’s colourists freestyling.

“Colour spong­ing [from £145] means back­comb­ing the hair and work­ing through a lighter tint at ran­dom to cre­ate twin­kles of colour,” ex­plains Ava Welch, colourist at John Frieda Sa­lons.

Stylist Jamie Stevens is fol­low­ing a sim­i­lar con­cept at his sa­lon, ap­ply­ing colour us­ing a small make-up sponge or mar­bling colours onto a mesh sur­face and press­ing onto hair (from £100). On the other side of Lon­don at

Hari’s sa­lon, colourists are be­gin­ning to cre­ate gold stars (£40) on clients’ hair as well as egging on early-trend adopters to try shadow root­ing, from

£50.“It’s per­fect for those who want to stop hav­ing high­lights but want the blonde to con­tinue stand­ing out, as it melts a slightly darker colour into the root to give con­trast,” ex­plains Fran Dixon, se­nior creative colourist.

Red rein­vented

YOU ARE Scared to go red-red TRY Vin­tage hues and faded apri­cots Put those rose-tinted glasses on, girls, be­cause the key colour spec­trum for spring 2018 is red. Stop yawn­ing at the back – we as­sure you it’s not all been done be­fore. Cop­per, gin­ger, pa­prika

and sun­set are the tones to try, but the effect is sepia-in­spired, not crass and syn­thetic-look­ing. Think El­lie Bam­ber and Jes­sica Chas­tain, not Jes­sica Rab­bit. Muted, dusty and a lit­tle worn in,

Sch­warzkopf Pro­fes­sional’s new in­sa­lon Igora Royal colour, from £40, is cen­tred around th­ese vin­tage reds and faded apri­cots. To you and me, that means it’s OK if your colour’s a bit lighter on the ends af­ter a few washes. And for those who want their dimmed dye to linger as long as pos­si­ble, John Frieda is launch­ing Red Boost­ing

Sham­poo and Con­di­tioner, £6.99 each. The first ded­i­cated colour-care col­lec­tion for red­heads, it’s proof pos­i­tive that brands are on red alert.

Uni­corn shades

YOU ARE Still in love with the pas­tel craze but it feels so five years ago TRY Metal­lic-fin­ish dyes and clever tem­po­rary shim­mers Pas­tels have been pimped and laced with metal­lic-effect fin­ishes. That means opal in­stead of aqua, and amethyst in­stead of lilac. L’Oréal Professionnel is un­veil­ing ‘Ma­jirel Met­als’, from £20, a new col­lec­tion of per­ma­nent metallics – glis­ten­ing crys­tallised colours that cre­ate 3D, light-re­flec­tive tones. Mean­while, Sch­warzkopf Live Ur­ban Metallics, £5.49, and Red­ken’s new semi-per­ma­nent colourants, Shades EQ, from £10, in­clude rose quartz and sil­very greens.

Shiny hair ha­los can be pol­ished at home, too, us­ing up­grades on the tacky cans of hair glit­ter you used to stock­pile for the Fri­day-night disco at your lo­cal leisure cen­tre. Joico In­staTint Cos­mic Color Shim­mer Sprays, £4.95, can be used to cre­ate strands of iri­des­cence that look like coloured shards of Cel­lo­phane, or go all out with a full-on colour wash that will stay put for up to three days if you dodge the shower head. David Mal­lett

Gold Dust, £55, mean­while, im­parts tiny par­ti­cles of metal­lic pow­der to hair and plumps strands at the same time. Ge­nius. And if you’re happy to use heat, try Clairol Color Crave Hair Makeup, £7.99. Paint on the dye, then blast with your hairdryer and the crys­tallised pig­ments will re­main un­til your next wash. Fea­tur­ing every­thing from amethyst and ruby to bronze and plat­inum, the light-re­flec­tive force is strong in this range.

Box-colour break­through

YOU ARE Lack­ing the funds to go in-sa­lon but feel let down by boxes TRY On­line con­sul­ta­tions and shade shots In­ter­na­tional colourist Josh Wood tints the likes of Kylie and Edie Campbell, but he’s also pretty good at serv­ing the less loaded. Hav­ing spent two years de­vis­ing a com­pre­hen­sive set of at-home colour for­mu­las, he’s de­vised an on­line con­sul­ta­tion so you can nail your base shade. You can then ac­ces­sorise with tinted ac­cou­trements. Think blend­ing brushes, root-smudgers, sham­poos and con­di­tion­ers, and his real ba­bies: ‘Shade Shots’,

£5 (de­signed to be added to his ‘Every­thing Mask’,

£15), which keep colour look­ing ra­di­ant. The con­sul­ta­tion also means you get the ex­act colour match every time; he’s even cre­ated ‘half shades’ so you can build up colour in baby steps. The trick­i­est task in cre­at­ing th­ese ath­ome cus­tomi­sa­tions? The pig­ments in the Shade Shots. “It’s not easy to get the right pig­ments in semi-per­ma­nent colour. Most brunette home hair colour has plummy un­der­tones that make the hair look a bit blue, so I wanted to cre­ate some­thing that was a red-based choco­latey shade to coun­ter­act dull­ness,” says Wood. With two brunette and two blonde tones that tick off both warm and cool bases, the shots are akin to an anti-tar­nish fil­ter.

Th­ese prod­ucts have an in­no­va­tive in­gre­di­ents list too. As well as hy­drol­ysed quinoa (be­cause who doesn’t want quinoa with

every­thing?) to bulk up hair with pro­teins that keep colour ef­fer­ves­cent, he’s cot­toned onto the power of Kakadu plum ex­tract. “The most dam­ag­ing thing for coloured hair is the en­vi­ron­ment,” says Wood. “But re­search shows this fruit can help stop free rad­i­cals and UV pol­lu­tion at­tack­ing colour.” Give this man a No­bel Prize…

“It seems the dyes, they are a-chang­ing”

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