I'm someone who likes to change their hair color with the seasons. In the summer I'll always opt for something lighter and brighter, like warm bronde or golden hour balayage. In winter, without fail, I gravitate to a much darker, richer hue. This year, however, I had the urge to be spontaneous and switch things up, trading my signature chocolate brown for Instagram's latest autumnal hair color trend.
Enter: tweed blonde.
What is tweed blonde?
Dreamed up by Jordanna Cobella, creative director of Cobella salon in South Kensington and Wella top artist UK, tweed blonde combines contrasting warm and cool tones of blonde. "Its popularity is inspired by the knitwear from the runway at fashion week," says Jordanna, "as the finely woven strands of both blonde colors merge harmoniously." Imagine how each neutral thread in a tweed jacket is woven to create an intricate and seamless golden color. Similarly, Jordanna makes sure every single section of hair — dyed either cool or warm blonde — is intertwined to appear like the luxe fabric.
Tweed blonde sounded intriguing, especially as I had been sporting an outgrown balayage for a while. It looked great when it was first done but over time it began to look dull and coppery. That's all thanks to the natural auburn undertone of my hair, not to mention having two toddlers and being busy at work. In other words, it was impossible to get to a colorist and before I knew it, a whole year had passed since my last hair appointment. Shameful for a beauty editor, I know.
It was time for a change and as I rarely shy away from an experiment, I decided to take the plunge. I've been several shades of blonde before but they were all too flat and never really suited my pale complexion. After some research, I knew that the natural warmer tones of tweed blonde, accompanied by cooler hues for balance, would better complement my features.
What is the difference between tweed blonde and balayage?
If you have natural warmth to your hair, tweed blonde might just be the best shade of blonde to opt for. Believe me, I’ve been through them all, including salon-favourite balayage. Tweed blonde is a lot less stark, says Jordanna, as the dyed strands are much finer and so don't offer up the same exaggerated contrast. No obvious stripes here.
Instead, tweed blonde's clever interwoven mix of warm and cool tones lifts the hair to a perfectly balanced shade of blonde: an incredible, natural color, which is perfect if you're after a softer, glossier look. Jordanna says the criss-crossed strands even make the hair shimmer slightly. The trend is so mesmerizing, she also refers to it as 'It Girl blonde'.
How is tweed blonde achieved?
In the salon chair, Jordanna told me that she would use a delicious combination of blonde tones ranging from wild mushroom to natural nudes. Happily, the colors can be tailored to your preferences. This is something I was keen on, having gone for seriously unsuitable, generic shades of blonde in the past.
For example, you might select high-contrasting or low-contrasting shades of warm and cool depending on how much depth you want. "The idea is that tweed blonde imitates how the light would reflect on naturally blonde hair, allowing for more shine and reflection," says Jordanna. "The fine woven pieces are a combination of bespoke highlights and freehand-painted ribbons."
On my brown hair, Jordanna wanted to mimic the natural, autumnal glow of sunlight with a root shadow in a cool shade to make the warmer tones (peppered throughout the lengths) seriously pop. I have to say, my hair has never looked so shiny. I didn't know it was possible for blonde hair to gleam like this — there's just something about this technique and careful balance of colors that makes the hair glow. I'd go as far as to say that the range of tones in this blonde color are unlike anything I've seen before. It all merges so beautifully to create a warmer, more well-balanced shade.
What should you ask your colorist for in salon?
If you want to go tweed blonde, Jordanna recommends asking your colorist for "woven pieces of high and low blondes, with a seamless blend from the root". The focus here, she adds, is on the contrast between the lightest shade and the darkest shade. "Always ask for a natural contrast of depths," says Jordanna. An experienced colorist will know what you're referring to but it's always recommended to bring along some pictures of colors you like for them to go on.
How do you maintain tweed blonde hair?
One of the things that I love about this blonde color is that it grows out beautifully with no harsh lines. This is great for someone like me, who barely has time to wash her hair let alone go for regular root maintenance. Depending on how close the blonde is to your root, you can go for maintenance as little or as often as you like. Jordanna says this usually ranges from eight to 20 weeks.
As with many other blonde services, a good at-home hair-care routine will keep your color looking fresh and healthy, and prevent your hair from appearing dull. With a good metal detox treatment in salon and at home, says Jordanna, you can halt the buildup of metal ions from the water you wash your hair in, which can make blonde look lifeless or green in tone. She recommends using Wella Professionals Fusionplex Shampoo which works to remove metallic impurities from hair. It boasts antioxidants to protect hair from dulling environmental factors like pollution, too.
My final verdict? I've been rocking tweed blonde for three days now and so far I love it. Everyone I have seen has been blown away by the difference it has made to my hair and the way it perfectly complements my skin tone. While the jury is still out on whether blondes have more fun, I know for sure that I'll be keeping my hair like this.
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