From gemlights to midlights, stained glass hair to oil slick hair, we've been spoiled for choice when it comes to hair colour trends for all hair types and textures this year. And thanks to advances in semi-permanent and permanent hair dye, not to mention aftercare like Wellaplex, Olaplex and INNOluxe, the influx of hair colour crazes shows no sign of slowing down.
Always ahead of the curve, here are the hair colour innovations that Wella Professional UK's trends forecaster Zoë Irwin and technical director Robert Eaton think we'll all be obsessed with in 2019.
Occupying a cosy space between honey blonde, red and chrome, amber slate serves up '70s retro vibes and, because it’s essentially a handful of warm tones mixed with a cool base, it suits all skin tones.
"Within fashion especially, we’ve been exploring the 1970s colour palette for a number of years," said Zoë. "If you look at Zara and other high street stores, you’ll see a dominance of mustard, and this has translated into hair colour. At Wella, we've been working through what we now call a 'baked yellow' for spring summer 2019. It’s an amber – a warm tone – but it has an undertone of a slated metallic – a chrome-like tone."
Zoë continued: "It’s not very vibrant, but it’s a cool and more natural shade, a sort of smoked wood. To get it right, wear your hair in a brushed out texture. We’re seeing curls that would have been more individual, brushed out into this more ethereal feel. It’s about rich tonal warmth and we’re layering shades to achieve it. It’ll look amazing worn with seasonal clothes, too."
Think ice, opals and lots of metallics.
"When we say 'futuristic' we're thinking of the year 2000," said Zoë. "Growing up, we thought everything would be alien-like and chrome – we had these visions, but now we’re returning to look at this futuristic vibe when it comes to hair, instead. As colourists, we’re coming into a really interesting time thanks to metallic opals and also new technology. We’re now creating hair colour tones that have never been seen before. Take the Wellaplex bond maker, for example. Put into light hair colours, we can make the shade much cleaner and paler than we’ve been able to before, all without much damage."
It isn't all about blonde and grey tones, though. "On top of lightened shades, we’re now placing colours like peach, pink and mint on top," said Zoë. "We’re also now mixing cool and warm tones on one head, so that hair colour works well with different skin tones."
"Colour-texture embrace" and freehand painting
"In America, wearing hair natural has overtaken straightening for the first time and Brazilian blowdries are on a massive decline," said Zoë. "But if people aren't relaxing their hair, they are colouring their hair a lot more, and this is because the hair is not so sensitised, so you can go into an incredible colour market."
"It’s coming off the back of balayage," Zoë continued. "We're now looking at curly hair types with a 2019 lens, and one skill we're using is freehand painting. Instead of using foils, we’ve started to dye fine little pieces of hair with palms and fingers. New technology, such as the Koleston Perfect, Wella's purest colour ever, not only reduces the allergy risk but has such a creamy feel and takes care of textured hair as it colours. What we’re now able to do is lighten the hair but keep it in beautiful condition, so there’s still shine. This is a change which has been overdue within the hair industry, and means that those with textured hair don't have to go to one particular salon anymore."
"Instagram filter hair"
The warm, hazy veil of colour the Juno filter gives your hair in a selfie? That.
"One thing I’ve noticed is that people are coming into the salon asking for us to recreate hair colours in selfies which they've filtered," said Rob. "Consumers are now thinking of these as realistic shades," he added.
This is something Zoë seconds: "I’ve got this Japanese app called Snow and they use really cool filters, so I started shooting myself with it and friends would say, 'Wow, your hair looks amazing,' and it really did – it was a much cleaner blonde. That’s what clients like now – it’s making us see colour in a different way, but hair colourists are now able to create these looks using the latest product innovations and techniques."