Is obvious ombré making you cringe?
Us too. The dip-dyed lengths look we all experimented with last year has been noticeably absent on the runways this Fashion Month - and it looks like all the celebs got the memo too, taking their hair back to a more natural state (with the exception of Kylie Jenner, that is, who this week debuted a midnight blue dye job).
It all ties in with the air-dried look that's had a massive impact on how we style our hair - goodbye tongs, hello natural texture. "With undone hair being a very strong statement through summer and into the autumn winter months, this has a major effect on the colour treatments themselves," says Shari Reynolds from Barney Martin Hair. "There is a very clear message in the fashion world that graphic dipped ends are passé."
A return to natural colour is on the cards - but when we say natural, we don't mean, you know, natural - what are we, crazy? - but a more natural-looking colour, care of freehand highlights, babylights and mosaics. "We call this new type of colouring sombré as it has the best of what we loved about ombre, but is a refined and sophisticated take on it," explains Reynolds. "Ultimately, it's a more flattering and classical version that will suit more people."
Sombré is achieved through mixing babylights - "very soft, fine glints of colour used to illuminate the natural base colour without obvious regrowth" - with freehand highlights painted towards the ends. "Because these pieces of colour are superfine, we make the tonality more intense," says Reynolds. "It's subtle but very effective and very natural looking."
The other big technique on the horizon is mosaics. "Mosaics are soft panels of colour in complimentary tones that are placed through the hair to give variation to our overall tint or semi-permanent colours," says Reynolds. "As in nature, when hair moves you see a subtle mix of complimentary colour tones running through the hair." Added bonus: the mosaics technique imparts glorious shine to the hair - perfect to combat the dry, brittle texture that can settle in during the cooler months coming up.