Thursday, 4 July 2013
Whenever I'm in the chair with Sassoon's wonderful colourist Matt Carroll, I always ask him to make me blonde, before he persuades me to opt for subtle highlights. I've always been intrigued by colour, thinking that hair as dark as mine couldn't be transformed without a lot of bleach and maintenance. I now have highlights which, although subtle, definitely warm up my skin tone and even a few months in, they are growing out with any hint of a root.

It's around this time in the year that I, along with most of my friends, start thinking about a new cut and/or colour. And I know we're not the only ones. So I asked the lovely Matt (whose knowledge extends far beyond hair and colour and into the depths of fashion, a man after my own heart) to answer some of my burning hair colour questions, and he obliged. And I made some fashion moodboards to accompany each look, just because. We chatted about blondes, brunettes, red heads and fun colour to freshen up your look - so read on to find out what Matt had to say.

Should I opt for those aubergine tones? Or do an Oscar PR Girl and go blonde?! I'd love to know your thoughts.

(Clockwise from top left: Carven jacket, Sophia Webster clutch, Roksanda Ilincic skirt, Camilla Elphick Pez shoes, vintage Rolex, Charlotte Olympia clutch, Brian Lichtenberg sweatshirt, Orelia earrings, Topshop pumps)

What's an easy way for a dark brunette like me to update their colour?

You have a great natural shade of brunette (thanks Matt!), so for an inexpensive low commitment colour I would recommend a colour enhancer. This will boost her natural tone and give you beautiful coloured hair that shimmers and shines. Lowlights or subtle highlights will add depth; it grows out naturally so is low maintenance! 

What is your most requested brunette colour?
CHOCOLATE! When it comes to brunette shades, my clients always seem to want hair colour they can eat; chocolate, caramel and honey shades!

How should brunettes maintain a glossy mane?
Shine is key for brunettes - instantly making the hair look thicker and healthier. To maintain your colour as long as possible, use a shampoo and conditioner, such as Sassoon Professional Illuminating Clean and Condition that will lock in colour longer and leave your hair glossy and beautifully lustrous.

(Clockwise from top left: Thakoon top, Eddie Borgo bracelet, Acne jacket, Topshop pumps, Chloé top, Topshop sandals, T by Alexander Wang T-shirt , Vika Gazinskaya skirt)

I always ask this but can brunettes go blonde without ruining their hair? And what is the process?
Bleaching the hair does dry it out, so as part of your regular hair care routine, intensive treatments are important. I would advise going from brunette to blonde in stages over a six month period, by colouring the hair once every six weeks, by adding lighter tones and highlights. It is possible to make the transformation in one session but will need to be achieved by bleaching the hair and ensure you’re ready to sit in the chair for 3-4 hours!

How can natural blondes enhance their hair?
I would always blend a bespoke combination of tones together to create a perfect shade that’s true to my client’s needs and personality. For natural blondes, lighter and darker pieces through the hair will create effortless movement. 

How often should bottle blondes get their roots done?
Every blonde is unique and nothing beats the look and feeling of freshly coloured blonde hair. I would recommend that clients who have an ‘all-over’ colour, visit the salon every 6 weeks to ensure optimum colour is achieved. For those clients who have highlights, a visit every 8-10 weeks is recommended, longevity is far greater than ‘all-over’ colour. 

Any tips for keeping blonde hair from going yellow in the sun?
Every colourist’s favourite tip for maintaining beautiful, vibrant colour in the sun is to wear a hat! When on holiday or in the sun, don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your hair as well as your body! Mist all over with Sassoon Professional Halo Hydrate which protects against UV. If you’re not a fan of covering hair with a hat, tie long hair into a knot at the nape of the neck and keep short hair slicked back behind the ears and opt for a headscarf to keep in place. 

(Clockwise from top left: Thakoon Addition top, Christian Louboutin flats, vintage Chanel bag, ASOS watch, Cutler and Gross glasses, Miu Miu skirt, Nike Air Max, vintage Chanel bag)

Which celebrity red heads do people bring pictures of into the salon when coming in for a colour appointment?
Isla Fisher is the most popular at the moment; her soft coppery colour looks great with paler skin tones. My favourite red head celebrity is Florence Walsh, she isn’t afraid to push brighter tones of red and with all her amazing Givenchy outfits she has been spotted in lately, who wouldn’t want her strong, sexy look?!

There is such a spectrum of different reds - which would you recommend for different skin tones?
Red is such a strong colour with a huge spectrum from flame-haired goddesses to rose golds and burgundy. If you have an olive skin tone, deep warm burgundies and ruby reds are great for your complexion. For paler skin tones hotter and more coppery tones are what you should opt for. The intense tomato toned red makes a statement and this girl is addicted to the attention that comes with it – a true party girl. For a slightly toned down version of the fiery red, a shade darker creates more of a natural and feminine look - it softens features and is not so in-your-face colour. 

How can natural redheads enhance their colour?
Once again a colour enhancer allows you to experiment with a layer of all over shimmering colour, giving your hair a super glossy boost. It is always important to compliment your natural colouring, skin tone and complexion. For a natural redhead, pick a colour close to your own.  Pieces of strawberry blonde and lighter shades can add a sense of depth and thickness. 

Taylor Tomasi Hill from Moda Operandi famously won't tell where she gets her hair coloured red - how easy is that shade of red to achieve?
If you are ready for some high-maintenance colour care this is totally achievable! Taylor obviously has a great colourist who has found the perfect shade of red for her. Regular rinses will ensure her red tone remains vibrant and shiny. Versions of Taylor’s hair can be achieved for most people, but it is important that you speak with your colourist about your skin tone, natural hair colour and how much you can commit.

(Clockwise from top left: J.Crew jacket, By Malene Birger trousers, Topshop nail polish, Proenza Schouler bag, Topshop nail polish, Topshop lip and cheek tint, Topshop skirt, Charlotte Olympia flats, Christian Louboutin pumps, Topshop jacket)

How can I embrace fun colour in a subtle way?
Hair colour is now an accessory – I think more and more people are experimenting with colour. Of course there’ll always be those who prefer or suit the more natural hues, such as Kate Hudson’s healthy, honey colour or Kate Middleton’s rich chocolate tresses. 

For you I would work with your natural shade and skin tone. You should consider careful placement of aubergine and violet shades throughout her haircut. Small sections could be added underneath for an effortless effect or placed through your fringe for a more accentuated look. 

What vibrant shades would you recommend for blondes, brunettes and red heads?
Blondes who want high-statement colour should experiment with vivid bottle greens, which can enhance the details of the haircut. For a softer, dreamy look pastel shades will instantly inject femininity.  Red heads should embrace hotter, fiery shades from the spectrum ultimately creating an instant depth to your colour.  Brunettes should be inspired by colour-rich gems and peacock shades. A well placed and considered pop of colour will add a colourful confidence to your look. 

Dip dye…what are the options?
Dip-Dye or Ombré is achievable on most hair, but not so suitable for somebody who has short hair – I believe it works best on longer hair that is not overly layered. I always recommend to my clients who ask for the Ombré look to go for something soft and subtle so there is no definitive line created in your colour.

Matt Carroll is a Colour Expert at Sassoon, 124c Kings Road, London, (44) 207 730 7288


Thanks for stopping by! Nx