How to Achieve a Picture-Perfect Root-Shadowed Balayage
Thinking of ways to revamp your mane? Want to take that laid-back summertime approach to hair colors and style and bring it into fall? According to Stephanie Brown, a NYC-based master colorist, that’s the idea behind one of autumn’s biggest beauty trends. Enter: Root-shadowed balayage. Characterized by natural-looking color that looks perfectly grown-out the moment you step out of the salon, the subtle hair color is ideal for gals on the go. Thanks to the natural color pattern, this hair trend officially means that a busy schedule and a gorgeous hair look will no longer be mutually exclusive. (Just look at all the crazy-busy celebs who have already rocked it, including Ciara, Rosie Huntington Whiteley, and Sarah Jessica Parker, just to name a few.) Intrigued? We thought you might be. That’s why we tapped Brown for all her top tips on achieving the most Instagrammable ‘do. Keep reading for the full 4-1-1 on what’s sure to be your best hair look yet.
“A shadow root is great because you get longer wear out of your color and you can go lighter/blonder/paler because it’s a grown-out look already,” Brown says. To bring the look to life, she goes between two never-fail methods. First, she likes to get close to the root by doing foilage. “This is where you can tease and then paint in the foil or you can just paint in the foil without teasing the hair,” she says. “The trick with this is to be a little finer at the top but saturate toward the midshaft and ends.” She also highlights to the root and then tones the roots slightly darker than the highlights but slightly lighter than the base color. “I usually do this [technique] with Redken Shades EQ [a demi-permanent hair gloss] because it’s sheer, so it blends well,” she says. Regardless of which technique she creates the look with, she always highlights a little heavier around the hairline to pump up the brightness. “I find I like to foilage for brunettes and highlight blondes for the simple reasons that most brunettes like seeing their natural color whereas blondes like to always feel lighter all over,” she says.
While you can attempt to bring this look to life with Brown’s recommendations, you may get best results by making an appointment with your favorite stylist. When preparing for your visit, make sure to bring Brown’s tips, as well as an image of the hair color you’re trying to achieve. (As with any hair transformation, a picture speaks a thousand words.)
Once you’ve updated your hair color, it’s time to update your haircare routine too. “A lot of times when doing this look, I tend to go a little lighter, which unfortunately means a little more damage or dryness can occur,” Brown notes. To nourish your strands, she advises using a color-safe shampoo and conditioner to repair and maintain your new color. She likes Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo ($28) and Olaplex No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner ($28) to get the job done.
But be prepared to keep an eye on your new color. “Since you can go a little longer between salon visits with this look, your hair color can change over time,” Brown says. As the weeks pass, your color may become brassy. Luckily, there’s an easy fix. “For blondes, you can brighten the hair color,” Brown explains. “If it starts to get a little yellow, use a purple shampoo like Kevin Murphy Angel Wash [available in select salons].” For brunettes, Brown recommends using something blue-based, like Fanola No Orange Shampoo ($15+).
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(Photo via Taylor Hill/Getty. Featured photo via Jon Kopaloff/Getty)