Moving into a new year brings about the impulse for change like no other time quite does. When it comes to finding a new hair style or color, it's usually the late winter doldrums and early spring fevers act as the catalyst to action.
This year, as low maintenance remains a dominant theme in hair color (and as most of us aren't quite ready to commit to the upkeep that a full head of buttery blonde highlights requires) I've found my clientele asking for advice as to where to go from here--how do we amp up and add dimension and style with haircolor without traveling the traditional highlight route?
Ombré, of course, has emerged as a stellar color option in this regard. The upkeep could not be lower, it’s totally customizable, it flatters a variety of hair shades, and the trendiness factor can be dialed up or down. Yet some ladies are looking for something different... But still easy.
These thoughts led me back to the basics of my color wheel and inspired me to really take a hard look at how we could brighten up heads of hair, keep dimension and texture, but explore something aside from the dark roots, blonde ends look that seems to be everywhere now.
I realized that, tapping into twenty plus years of color knowledge and constant brainstorming sessions with my co-workers about underlying pigments of natural hair (what counteracts them, how to cool off warmer colors and which colors to use on certain skin types), a new approach to haircolor was starting to gel for me--the idea being to lighten up all of the hair rather than pieces and sections (á la highlights, ombré, etc.) while pulling the previously lightened hair (the aforementioned highlights, ombré, etc) back toward the natural color state of a given head of hair.So basically we are talking about “leveling out,” or, building on all of the previous color processes at once, brightening and warming up the base color while preserving the textural, differently shaded integrity of the lightened hair.
I decided on the term Haute Brown as a sort of response to all of the *Cool Blondes* and *Rich, Warm Brunettes*. Haute Brown exists somewhere between the poles of dark and light. It mimics a sort of elusive youthful glow in the hair... but not so much "this is the flaxen blonde of my youth"--rather, "this is the kind of shine and natural highlights my hair used to have in my late teens." Haute Brown is not an attempt at blonde. It also refuses to lend itself to any kind of overly inky pin-up image. So what’s the difference? What sets it apart from colors we’ve seen lately? Well, the undertones are unpredictable mauves, daring violets, and mossy greens (think Anne Bancroft’s matte, medium brown bouffant). These are supernatural browns. Earthy and cool. Subtle in intensity of color but bold in the structure of the application. Just a few panels of decidedly subtle highlights to bring out the movement in wavy layers or enunciate the starkness in a smooth, straight blow out.
Haute Browns are editorially informed, runway inspired. They are the answer to Yes Highlights or No Highlights. They are the alternative to Ombré and a continuation on the trajectory of hair that is effortlessly gorgeous and timelessly classic. And unlike blondes, they are suitable for any lifestyle, skin color and time chosen to put into one's hair. Where dark browns are virtually irreversible, Haute Browns open up a future of choices and are totally versatile. Try them on.... For a change.
Shaun Surething for Seagull Salon