I've had dark hair for, um, ever. And because I'm pretty low-maintenance (a few runs with the curling iron is as involved as I get in "styling"), I've always assumed color was too much effort and upkeep to maintain.
And then I discovered balayage.
Balayage, a.k.a. "hair painting," has a seamlessly graduated ombré effect, and doesn't look ~crazy~ when it grows out, like some other color processes. It's also a perfect way for us brunette gals to dip our toes into the lighter side. It's my latest obsession.
Rebecca at Syracuse's Industry salon is my hair guru. I've never understood what kind of magic she works while I binge-read issues of New York Magazine, but after my last treatment I asked her to share the details on my color and process. Luckily she obliged. Here's the intel to take to your stylist, straight from Rebecca:
Redken Flash Lift in 20 Volume
(Why only 20, when you can amp up the volume to 40+? "Your hair is basically virgin," explained Rebecca, meaning it hasn't been altered from its natural state until very recently. In other words: Baby steps.)
- Glaze with one part clear / two parts shades EQ 09nb with a little more clear
(The EQ is red violet based, explains Rebecca. The violet tones cut through yellow, which banishes any brassiness. "Adding warmth to neutral makes all the difference in the world," Rebecca says.)
My favorite part about this color is that it's subtle enough to enhance your natural look. After a treatment, people always tell me that my eyes look brighter and my skin has a healthy tan—but never say, "I love your hair color." And that's exactly the point.
(hilarious, ridiculous) outfit info: