Tired of balayage? Then these are your options
With winter slowly but surely drawing to an end, there’s a chance you’ve been considering a spring hair change. But before you head to your hairdresser and ask for your regular, lighter update that you always get in the warmer months, we recommend checking out some of the newer, more innovative hair colouring techniques bound to take your tresses to the next level. Smelting, imprinting, instant highlights — there are so many cool new trends to try. And best of all, they work for all types of colours, whether you're a vibrant hue fan or a die-hard balayage lover.
#1 / Smelting
As the name suggests, smelting (a colouring technique created by Hair Director for Esstudio Galleria salon in Sydney, Aleks Abadia) involves smudging and melting colours together to create a blended and seamless finish. Abadia explains, “smelting is all about blending the roots and ends into two colours. First, the hair’s base colour is lifted to the lightest blonde all over before the roots are dirtied up with a darker toner. Lowlights are then run through the hair via a free-hand toner application and an all-over toner is then blended through the hair to complete the look.”
The great thing about smelting is that because the only permanent dye being used is the one used to lift your base colour to a blonde shade (how light you choose to go is totally up to you), and the main colour comes from the toners applied, you can take it as natural or bold as you like. Also, the toners’ colour intensity fades each time you wash your hair so layering new toners on top of existing ones is easy, making the switch from a vibrant hue to a subtler shade within a single salon visit possible.
#2 / Instant Highlights
For those looking for a subtle colour update, Instant Highlights may be for you. A new express lightening service available exclusively at L’Oréal Professionnel salons, Instant Highlights allows you to achieve customised highlights in *half the time it normally takes (i.e you’ll be in and out within the hour!).
In a nutshell, the express treatment utilises a three-step system to lighten hair by up to six levels. The Instant Lightening Crème, when used with the Instant Highlights Tool and specifically-designed foils, speeds up the lifting process, significantly reducing the development time for an even and blended result. L'Oréal Professionnel ambassador, Dannii Minogue and the queen of hair colour changes (she's gone from blonde to pink and back to blonde again), recently tried Instant Highlights - and we think the results are pretty impressive!
But that's not all, our Beauty Assistant Isobel also gave the new colouring technique a whirl – check out her tried and tested review to see what she thought.
#3 / Goldwell @Pure Pigments
While technically not a colouring technique, Goldwell @Pure Pigments are high-definition, vibrant hair dyes that can be added directly into salon colour formulas. What makes the @Pure Pigments different to traditional colours is how they utilise HD3 dye technology, which forms a special dye pattern in the hair fibre. Vice President of Kao European Research Laboratories, Dr Dominic Pratt explains that they create a concentrated ring of colour around the outer regions of the cortex, which results in very intense colour results and multi-dimensional shine. “As the HD3 dye is not based on a chemical reaction, but rather a physical one, it is also very gentle to the hair and scalp.”
Available in six vibrant hues, the colours promise to produce over 60 per cent more shine than regular hair colours, boost the colour intensity of your dye’s formula by up to three times, and make your strands two times more resistant to colour fading. If you’re looking to try @Pure Pigments for yourself, head to your nearest Goldwell salon.
#4 / The Imprinter
Now, while we’ll admit this colouring technique won’t be for everyone, we couldn’t pass up sharing The Imprinter (the latest brain child of Creative Director for Davines Research Labs, Angelo Seminara) with you. Inspired by imprinting in nature, The Imprinter allows patterns to be created throughout coloured hair, using any colour product. Offering a completely new technique, the space age-looking stamp (which is available in two stencils), deposits colour throughout the ends of the hair in graphically diverse patterns. Depending on the colours used and stencil chosen, the new tool can create a range of different looks from subtle to incredibly dramatic. Head to your closest Davines salon to try it for yourself.
Looking for more ways to upgrade your colour? Then check out the top three hair colours Australians are obsessing over.
Which of these innovative hair colouring techniques would you most like to try? Let us know in the comments below.
*Instrumental test vs L’Oréal Professionnel Lightening service without the heating tool.
Main image credit: Getty
Inset image credit: Supplied
Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.