The Lowdown on the Hottest Celebrity Trend in Hair Color
It all started with balayage, a French hair highlighting technique which originated in the 1970s. This look can be achieved by using a small brush to paint pin-thin strands of hair free hand, creating a more natural, back-from-the-beach look than the traditional foil-wrapping method.
In the last few years, variations on this approach have been emerging faster than fidget spinner fashion accessories. Strobing, color melting, dip dying, tigereye, tortoiseshell, contourage, babylights, ombré, sombré, bronde, and ronze; we can hardly keep them all straight.
Color Craze du Jour
The celebrity hair color craze du jour is another “ayage” — flamboyage. If balayage and ombré had a baby, it would be flamboyage, which blends ombré’s gradual transition — beginning about mid-length — from darker roots to lighter ends, and the subtle, scattered highlights of balayage.
With the name “flamboyage,” you might think that this technique has something to do with “flamboyant,” or showy (actually, the “flam” stands for “flame”). Indeed, flamboyage is quite the opposite: This is one highlighting technique that’s in demand precisely for its understated effect. Even vibrant shades look natural (although you can go bolder, applying more and thicker highlights and/or Kool-Aid colors to achieve a more dramatic result).
Cooking Up Subtle Highlights
Instead of foils, flamboyage requires transparent adhesive strips (i.e., wide, clear tape) to isolate strands of hair. Here’s how this celebrity hair color works: The colorist takes a tiny section of hair, places the sticky side of the tape on it, then lifts the tape off. The random remaining strands stuck to the tape are then saturated with dye, and the tape is folded over the section so the color can “cook.” This process is used to highlight sections all over the head. As the color develops, the colorist can see its progress through the tape, and when the hair reaches the desired hue, the tape strips are removed easily with water.
The result is hair that has depth, dimension and polish, with bright, believable glints of color peeking out from a darker base and catching the light with every movement. Sounds good, huh? Flamboyage works on all hair types, textures and tones, but it’s especially striking on curly and wavy styles. It’s also an ideal intro for the hair color newbie who’s afraid of making a drastic change.
Famous Flamboyage Trailblazers
As one would expect with any up-to-the-minute beauty trend, the trendy and famous have been flocking to flamboyage like women to Channing Tatum. Celebs spotted sporting the look include Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Leighton Meester, Miranda Kerr, Victoria’s Secret Model Lily Aldridge and, as usual, the best-tressed Chrissy Teigen, who seems unafraid of trying every hot hair color technique at least once.
One of the benefits of flamboyage is that it doesn’t require frequent trips to the salon for touch-ups. Color appears consistent even as it grows out, and you can go for months without worrying about your roots because new growth shows no stark lines of demarcation like a single-process color. So even though you pay more upfront for a top colorist to perform this intricate procedure, in the long run, it may turn out to be less expensive than many other haircoloring methods because of the minimal upkeep.
But you don’t want those gorgeous, gleaming wisps of color to lose their luster, do you? Like all dyed hair, freshly flamboyaged locks require a little extra care to stay in optimum condition and prevent color from fading. A few tips:
- Cut down on wet washings, or you’ll wash those perfect highlights right down the drain. Use only lukewarm (never hot!) water, and sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners, like NuMe White Truffle Shampoo and White Truffle Conditioner. Their nourishing botanical formulas contain antioxidant-rich orchid, shine-enhancing jasmine, and evening primrose oil to soften and revitalize, along with hydrating white truffle, a rich source of B vitamins and protein. (And despite directions to ‘rinse and repeat,’ sometimes a single sudsing is all that’s needed.)
- Dry hair gently. Traditional towels create frizz, so it’s best to cut down on friction by blotting fragile, wet hair with a NuMe Microfiber Hair Wrap or clean T-shirt to avoid roughing up the cuticle.
- Give yourself a glossing treatment (also known as a color glaze) once a week to revive color and boost shine. They’re available in color-depositing and clear versions — ask your colorist which is right for you. For an instant glossy effect, try NuMe Gloss Boss.
- Add a deep conditioner every week, like NuMe Mane Goals Deep Repair Mask, to your hair care routine. The ultra hydrating formula helps restore brittle, frayed strands with a revitalizing formula containing sunflower and argan oils, plus shea butter.
- Keep heat styling to a minimum to avoid fried ends and color fading. When you do blow dry, curl or straighten, use low heat settings and always apply a heat protectant first, such as nutrient-packed NuMe Watch Me Werk Thermal Heat Protectant, to shield hair from heat, reduce frizz, and soften. You can also use super-nourishing NuMe White Truffle Serum before styling for extra hydration.
- If you find yourself fighting frizz — and not always winning — smooth split ends and moisturize with NuMe Not Your Basic End Sealer or NuMe Seal the Deal End Sealer.
- When you go into the sun, shield your hair from damaging UV rays, which can break down hair’s cuticle, cause frizz and wash out those highlights. Apply a sun-protection product like Phyto Plage L’Original Protective Sun Oil (available at Ulta), which also wards off the harmful effects of chlorinated swimming pools and salty sea water. To further minimize those effects, before going in the water, wet your hair with tap water and add a dab of conditioner to keep chlorine or salt water from penetrating the hair shaft. After a dip, rinse hair in clean water.
- Trim every eight weeks or so to keep your hair looking healthy and your style fresh. This might seem like a lot but trust us, your hair will thank you later!
- Hair care never stops, not even while you sleep. Try using a silk or satin pillowcase to tame frizz, preserve shine and extend your style.
- Chill and accept the compliments!