Okay, okay. We thought defining age groups by colour was dead, too (according to Forbes, Generation Z is the group born between the mid '90s and early '00s and yellow is said to encapsulate their sprightly optimism). But it's hard to ignore the hundreds of looks cropping up on Instagram, Pinterest and in salons across the globe as more and more of us are deliberately ditching the toner and embracing those pop art yellow tones. Where did it come from? Well, according to the experts, we're becoming increasingly bored of blonde.
"Yellow is an easy way to transform blonde hair minus the staining you get from richer colours," says hairstylist Jake Gallagher, something Sophia Hilton, hairstylist and founder of Not Another Salon seconds: "It's just a really fun update for blondes that doesn’t require a huge amount of commitment. Pastels and rose gold have been 'on trend' for what feels like forever, so we're now searching for something quite different."
But just because it's a little less maintenance than platinum or darker shades, doesn't mean it's super easy to create. "Ideally, you should have a light natural base to begin with," says Taylor Clayton-Spicer, colourist and technician at Paul Edmonds London, who produced this award-winning pop art-inspired look with absolutely no bleach whatsoever. Yep, that means even less damage, unlike platinum and silver shades.
"This process involved an application (on virgin hair) of high lift tint, using high lift ash (Majirel), then Yellow Sun, Sunset Coral and Clear shades from L’Oréal’s Colourful Hair Semi Permanent Hair Colour Range to create the seamless yellow," added Taylor, but according to Sophia, considering a long-term solution to bleaching your roots every time you book a hair appointment is also key if you want healthy, long and luxe yellow hair. "At Not Another Salon we offer a service called 'Anti-Bleach' which can help certain clients transition away from bleaching while still being able to enjoy vibrant, colourful hair," she explains, while R29 rates BLEACH London's No Bleach Bleach Kit, £8.
And while most blondes would do pretty much anything to banish those brassy hues, the lean towards yellow is slightly more forgiving. "Right now, everything for 2018 is yellow, from the Balenciaga catwalk to kitchen appliances and even bathroom decor," says Taylor. "Yellow is trending because it's mood-enhancing and it pushes the boundaries of traditional colours. It's a statement more than anything." But not everyone can pull it off. "With non-natural colours it comes down to how you wear it," says Sophia. "Think about these things: How do you usually wear your makeup? Do you use fake tan? What is your personal style? What colour clothes do you wear? When choosing a 'non natural' shade you have to consider the whole package."
Even though beachy waves are huge on Instagram, there's only one way the professionals are fashioning the all-yellow hair trend: poker straight. "Long or short, healthy hair styled straight and sleek will really show off the healthy condition of the hair and display the absolute vibrancy of the yellow colour," says Taylor, but it pays to take good care of it. "A sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner – I like Shu Uemura's Colour Lustre range – is perfect for keeping colour under lock and key at home. Regular in-salon treatments such as Smartbond or using the Shu Uemura Instant Replenisher Replumping Hair Serum, £35.90, will keep hair looking its best and monthly haircuts are also vital in making hair look fresh and split end-free."
Both Sophia and R29's beauty writer Georgia rate the INNOluxe treatment, too. "It only takes a few drops of oil in the colour to decrease the damage massively," says Sophia. "We just don’t believe that vibrant hair needs to be in bad condition at all. In fact, for vibrant hair to look luxurious, it has to be 100% healthy."
You can also use stylist favourite Olaplex to achieve the colour you want without compromising on the condition of your hair. Topping up on direct colour every time you wash your hair is also a must. Try BLEACH London's Super Cool Colour in Twisted Lemon, £6, in between salon sessions.
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