While scrolling through celebrity Instagram accounts for beauty inspiration, we noticed that a few dark-haired actresses have recently gotten winter hair-color makeovers. Priyanka Chopra, Sandra Bullock and Allison Williams have lightened their locks for a brunette balayage look.
Shah Karegar, the man behind Chopra’s new hue and hair colorist at the Benjamin salon in West Hollywood, tells Yahoo Lifestyle that his client had “been rocking the rich, espresso brown for a while now.” But like most women, she ushered in the new year with a “new look and vibe.”
Whether you’re blond or brunette, Karegar uses this painterly hair-color technique because it “can really soften up the complexion.”
When clients sit down in Cutler Salon colorist Amanda Roberts‘s chair for balayage, she says that this is a “super-subtle way” to introduce them to “more dimension without a lot of maintenance.” Butterfly Studio Salon colorist Min Kim also points out that “brunette balayage is great because there’s not much sunlight in the winter, so women don’t have to worry about increased brassiness.”
Flattering on different skin tones and the upkeep is minimal — what’s not to love about winter’s hottest hair-color trend? If you do decide to give brunette balayage a go, these professionals have tips you should definitely keep in mind.
Skip the at-home hair color, and trust your colorist.
Even though Karegar likes it when women take risks and change up their looks, he isn’t a fan of DIY hair-dye kits. “Please trust your colorist and let them do it for you,” he says.
Roberts agrees, noting that “most women will already have previous color on their hair, so it’s hard to break through that underlying color with box dye.” She strongly suggests making an appointment at the salon for a test strand rather than going the do-it-yourself route at home.
And, most important, Kim says to be honest with your colorist. “A lot of times clients don’t tell you everything they’ve done. There have been times I am in the middle of a highlight and see something is weird happening to the hair or the color is taking the strands properly, etc. Be honest about color history, so your stylist is able to properly provide you with a healthy journey to brunette balayage that doesn’t cause damage.”
Use shampoos and conditioners specifically for color-treated hair.
Sticking to hair care products that are formulated especially for hair that’s dyed is key to maintaining the strength of your strands, according to Kim. She recommends drugstore finds like L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Shampoo and Kérastase Reflection Masque Chromatique Hair Mask because they contain ingredients that are nonstripping and keep hair shiny and moisturized.
Roberts vouches for leave-in conditioners — an often-forgotten product — to help protect your hair color from any heat or UV damage. And both she and Karegar advise using Olaplex, so hair doesn’t “become compromised after a lightening treatment.”
Invest in really good hot tools.
“Overstyling your hair with a bad flatiron, curling irons, etc … over time hair can become dehydrated and your color could lose its shine and vibrancy,” says Karegar.
We’d like to add: Be sure you keep your hot tools clean. Product buildup from oils can sabotage the efficacy of a flatiron, curling iron or blow dryer, or worse, result in your burning off strands. And no one wants that!
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