Surfing through the sea of hair color photos, terms and articles on the internet can be a bit overwhelming for many. It is quite common to be confused by terms like "Balayage" and "Ombre". Hairdressers, of course, love to add to the jargon with mash-ups like "Foilyage" and "Bombre", which can often add to the confusion.
What does it all mean?
Here is a key to the colorist's terminology for your next appointment:
This technique has grown in popularity for many reasons:
There was a time when Ombre seemed as though it was going to be a passing fad, but it is here to stay. Ombre can be subtle tones or "high-contrast" like in a darker root to much lighter ends.
Variations: "Bombre" or "Cherry Bombre" is a result that has reds. "Sombre" is a subtle or soft ombre.
Foils are often a favorite for those who like a lot of blonde coverage or who may have a lot of levels to break through. Foils can also be used to encourage lifting (heat techniques) or to simply separate sections for specialized pieces.
Variation: "Babylights" - often executed with balayage or very fine foiled sections, this is a result that is soft and mimics the sun-lightening of summers passed.
First, the hair must be lightened to accommodate the desired color results (unless you're already a light blonde). Contrary to what rumors may be out there, a brunette will not get these vivid results without lightening. Brunettes who do not wish to be completely blonde, but want to play with fashion colors, can consider deeper tones or the "oil slick" trends, but there must be a workable palette underneath. We have to consider contributing pigments and a clean canvas is a customizable one.
Fantasy color is high maintenance hair color. The colors are bright and beautiful but are in the "semi-permanent" realm of color products. That means that it will shampoo out in 8 - 10 shampoos. As they shampoo / fade out, deeper tones will often overpower the lighter ones. Pastel tones have less pigment and shampoo out faster than the deeper jewel tones. Some do last longer, yes, and there are many techniques that we share with our fantasy color clients to accommodate their desire to keep their color longer.
Be prepared to adopt some changes to your routine or be a more frequent client if this is your desire.
Check out our Infographic on Being a Fit for Fashion Colors, here:
Your existing hair's condition, color, and other contributing factors must be considered. Be aware, too, that your hair may not reach levels to achieve the sought-after silvers or pastels. Have realistic expectations or be open to the colorist's experience and education.
Variations: A double process is also what is required to go from blonde back to brunette lest you risk the dreaded "swampy" or "mossy" look after just a couple of shampoos.
Once many months have passed, the hair is now subject to biological influences that we must consider such as various temperature contributions and conditions. This affects how the chemistry processes. Corrective color techniques are also enlisted for those who have damage issues.
Check out our blog about the importance of home care, here:
No matter what you want to achieve, talk to a professional about the goals and the map it takes to get there. If you're ever confused or need clarification, a quality colorist will be glad to go over your concerns with you.
Happy Hair Days and May the Fierce be with You.
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