Ombré my friend, my Hombré…
You had a gooooood run. You were THE hot hair color trend for the last three years running, including the ‘My Little Pony’-esque dip dye cotton candy hair craze which preceded you.
Not that I even had the bless-ed tress-es to even try you (unless I could wear ‘ma weave’ 24-7) but you really were a thing of beauty.
If you are one of the few who is *Late to the Party* (you are ALL alone you out-of-touch-weirdo) Ombré Hair refers to the gradual lightening of the hair strand, usually fading from a darker color near the roots to a lighter one at the ends. Ombré looks best on long THICK hair where you can see the actual gradiation from dark to light or even in a reverse Ombré, from…YOU GUESSED IT…light to dark.
Ombré had a mammoth celebrity following with Drew Barrymore showing off the trend on many a red carpet.
Drew’s Reverse Ombré…
Her Hippy Braided Ombré…
…And Le Sophisticated Ombré
Not since 80’s ‘frosted tips’ has a hair color trend been so heralded, with every top shelf home hair care brand coming up with a DIY version.
…and when that happens, you CAN be SURE that a HOT TREND is on its way to becoming COLD and *FAST*. Unfortunately mass marketing turns exclusivity into ‘pedestrian’ fare, and no-one wants to be a herded sheep, now DO you, you SUPER FOX ORIGINATOR?!
THE LATEST, THE GREATEST… BALAYAGE!
Balayage (pronounced Bal-Lay-Age) is French for “Sweeping” and that is in essence, exactly what it is.
A sweeping of light color that is literally painted on by your color specialist in places where the sun would normally cast a warm glow. Balayage creates depth and dimension and leaves you with a sun-kissed, day-at-the beach result.
But just one thing, it’s not so new.
“Balayage is a French technique that was developed in the 70’s, but it’s back in a big way,” says Rafael Estrella Dunn–owner of St.Laurent Coiffure in Montreal’s tony enclave of Westmount. “It’s the best method to bring light and a beautiful dimension to your hair, in a natural way,” he says. “Fresh off the beach!”
Dunn goes on to give me a first hand tutorial as he prepares a client for first time Balayage, in fact, for the client this is the first time coloring her hair PERIOD! “Virgin, hair…” says Dunn with a sassy smile.
He begins by choosing carefully where “I want to light and I paint away,” citing that a “balanced” Balayage is key. The tools for this freehand technique are also paramount, an application brush with hard bristles for a precise delivery of color and a “backing board” underneath the strand to help support the freehand technique. The Balayage’d hair strands are then wrapped individually in plastic so that Dunn can visually see how the hair is responding, and cotton strands akin to dreads are lined up to protect the un-touched pieces of hair from getting dyed.
The steeping period makes one appear as if Rob Zombie vomited his zombified vom alllll over your scalp. Not the ‘hottest’ of looks. But was coloring your hair ever so?
The End Result is a natural varied color effect, that is not as precious as regular ‘lined’ foil highlights. Lots of celebrities and models also have their Balayage finished off with copper or red glosses for that extra *punch* of shimmery goodness.
And since the majority of us are struggling with finances, It’s also a very economical way to color your hair as you never have a solid demarcation line or regrowth, so if you can’t afford to get it done for another month it won’t look ‘un-kept’.
Well, there you have it kids. A full on break-down of THE Cooler Than Cool hair fad of Le Moment, from the chick that always keep you in the LOOP–that is, until it shows up in a little box in aisle five at your local pharmacy.
Until then, BALAYAGE like EVERYONE is watching!
The Pop Culture Rainman™