Alex Gariano Mar 26, 2013

“Ombré has really become a global trend and the idea of using color for a multi-dimensional hair color is here to stay,” said Christophe. “You can’t go wrong with ombré. It is meant to be playful and artistic.” -Christophe Robin, Haircolor Expert

One of the easiest ways to update your look for spring is by adding some sunkissed strands to your hair. This look is best achieved by ditching the highlighting foils for the balayage technique that’s swept the starlet universe. Balayage is a French lightening effect that actually means “to sweep” and it seems that more and more Hollywood beauty icons are taking to the trend each day (including Drew Barrymore, Jamie Chung, and Lauren Conrad to name a few). These highlights are painted by hand with just a bit of color at the roots and more at the ends. The best part? It’s just as low maintenance as it appears since you can go several months without touch-ups since there aren’t hard lines of demarcation. Luckily for you, unlike the painstakingly precise process of applying foils, this color technique is DIY friendly! Stylist Kim Young Eun tells us how to get a Rachel Bilson-inspired look at home: Step 1: Pick up a home highlighting kit (like L’Oréal Paris Feria Wild Ombré) and mix the dye as directed on the package instructions. Step 2: Brush out hair that hasn’t been washed in a day or two. You don’t want to battle tangles when creating this look, and your hair’s natural oils will protect your scalp. Create a part where you naturally wear one. Step 3: Since you’re going for face-framing highlights, tie back the part of your hair that you won’t be coloring. Step 4: Instead of using the brush in your kit, buy some disposable mascara wands—they’ll prevent any globs of bleach from over-lightening your hair (or from getting where they shouldn’t be). Step 5: Choose various-sized strands in places where the sun would naturally hit, like near the face and crown, and brush on bleach from the roots down. The lightest, thinnest application should be at the roots, going heavier and thicker as you reach the ends. Just remember to never bleach hair that’s already been lightened or you’ll damage it. And don’t try to match the highlights on either side of the part—your goal is to look like you’ve been at the beach, not like a stylist spent hours creating perfectly symmetrical color. Step 6: As you paint each strand, twist a long strip of cotton or piece of torn fabric (like an old t-shirt) around it to keep it from touching other hair and your skin. Step 7: Avoid over-bleaching by diligently watching the clock. Follow the directions in your kit, or start checking your color even a few minutes before your time is up to make sure the effect is subtle. Step 8: After washing out the bleach and conditioning hair, skip shampooing for a couple of days to protect your new color. When you do wash, switch to products created for color-treated hair to reduce brassiness. Try: Redken Color Extend Shampoo and Conditioner. What do you think of Rachel’s sunkissed look? Are you going to give this a try? Photo: Wenn


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