Hair Color Trends; The Evolution

Vibrant dip-dye hair color Trend by Richard Phillipart

Vibrant dip-dye by Richard Phillipart

Hair Color Trends 2.0

I came up as a young stylist post Rachel-from-friends-hair and post cap streaking, just after Manic Panic made its way from the bathroom cabinets of punk-grunge teenagers with safety-pinned covered hoodies, to the shelves of highish-end salons that saw the inevitability of the future of hair color trends. New techniques, broken rules, bright hues with staying power, and ammonia-free permanent coverage-who new hair color 2.0 would come so fast, and be so beautiful?

I’ll be honest- I am a hair cutter, through and through. I understood the structures and movement and geometry of haircuts long before I had any business going after someone’s locks with a pair of scissors. Cutting just made sense to me, and I loved it. But, when I began my hairstyling career in 2000, coloring, highlighting, and otherwise single-processing my client’s hair was a given.

It was a must do that one just did. No hair stylist I knew specialized in cutting or coloring. Everyone it seemed was dying to high-lift foil their way through natural brunettes and blondes, or gently annihilate pesky grays with the subtle force of Redken Shades EQ including me, albeit somewhat reluctantly. No matter how many times I made my way to the color room to mix the magic ingredients, I was always stricken with a kind of “fingers crossed” is this really going to work? Well, here goes! feeling.

Not exactly fun. More panicky than exciting. But, I managed, and for a few years did some pretty nice hair coloring, if not simple and a tad conservative. And, even though I would’ve chosen a razor over a color brush any day of the week, I developed an appreciation for hair color trends(and a healthy dose of mad respect for Beth Menardi, as every good colorist does) that I wouldn’t have now had I not put some years in, in the beginning.

Now, thirteen years later, I spend my time in a bustling, high-end salon, designing cuts for my clients (I specialize), and running a style start-up called Primpt. In both arenas I am blessed to be surrounded by some extraordinary color talent. Never before has the art of hairdressing been so magnificently stunning. And, quite frankly, it’s the colorists and their crazy talent that’s pushing the boundaries of the industry so impressively.

Say what you will-Balayage, Dip Dye,and most recently Splashlights are all hair color trend techniques that have completely changed our concept of haircolor, and what it’s for. Gone are the days of simply evening out tone, or covering gray. And, gone are the days of slapping on some blindingly bright color stain and calling it a day. Today, hair is a canvas for colorists to create looks that are brilliantly more natural looking than the natural thing, and more fantastical than ever.

Expertly executed Balayage hair color trend by Jack Howard

Expertly executed Balayage by Jack Howard

Splashlights the new hair color trend by Michelle Selby

Stunning Splashlights by Michelle Selby

I can’t help but wonder what kind of hair colorist I might’ve become had I began my career today. Perhaps these techniques and artistic activities would’ve steadied my fear, and catapulted me into a wondrous world of creative hair color trends. In any case, I am thrilled to bare witness, and pay tribute to the incredible work that hair colorists are doing all over the world. And, as one who happily specializes in cutting, I’ve never been more excited to design cuts that accompany such magnificent work.

Guest author Karmen Buttler is the founder of Primpt, the new SF Bay Area style start-up that promises to change the way beauty professionals, trends, and brands are experienced and ultimately discovered. She is a passionate hair stylist, educator, and team leader, with more than 13 years of hands-on experience in the SF salon industry. Her inside perspective on all things beauty has shaped and informed Primpt.