The time has finally come: Hair salons are back up and running (let’s all take a moment to quietly appreciate that after three and a half months of lockdown), and if you weren’t one of the first over the threshold, it’s likely you’re probably counting down the days or at least planning for your next visit. The challenge, after getting hold of a prized appointment, is of course deciding what to do with it.
When it comes to the cut, a lot of us probably have a favourite style we can’t wait to get back to. Maybe you’re sick of your lockdown look and desperate to get the chop. Either way, it’s not the cut but 2020’s hair colour trends that are getting us excited to rejoin the world of up-to-date styles right now.
Maybe it’s the hours spent scrolling through Instagram and TikTok admiring how inventive celebs and influencers have been getting, or maybe it’s just born out of a desire to shake off the last few months and see out 2020 feeling refreshed, but now that we know we won’t be risking a botched at-home job, we’re seriously reconsidering just settling for the usual balayage number.
According to the experts, there’s never been a better time. Jane Mayhead, trichologist at The Private Clinic of Harley Street, says, “A break from colouring can be great for the hair. New growth is more resilient,” so it will likely take to the hair much better and without as much damage. Just be more mindful if your hair is curly or coarser. “The hair should be monitored more closely during colouring. After a break, it tends to be more porous, and the chemicals react more quickly to this hair type,” says Mayhead.
If you’re feeling brave, Dua Lipa’s your gal to look to. Her bleached front sections have kicked off a huge trend we are seeing everywhere at the moment. Or why not try her pastel-pink rinse? Jodie Searle, a senior colourist at Michael Van Clarke, says if you’re taking this route, “always use a semi-permanent colour. Although, if applied on porous or bleached hair, it can still be almost permanent, so bear this in mind. If your hair is brunette or darker, chances are you will have to bleach your hair before you can apply a lighter shade such as pink.”
Then there are the various shades of red, most recently sported by Kim Kardashian West (anyone else reminded of childhood discos and hair mascara with her latest posts?), or maybe it's a chance to embrace those grown-out roots with dipped tips. Icey blonde is also having another moment, and nothing says “I’ve just stepped out of the salon” more boldly. Let’s just hope we don’t have to endure a second lockdown and deal with the upkeep.
Slightly less experimental but no less beautiful, embracing the tone of your natural colour is very much in too, according to Searle, who says her clients have been asking to enhance their recently rediscovered au naturel shades. Rich, chocolate brunettes and dusky, beige blondes certainly require fewer touch-ups if you’ve been scarred by a recent roots situation. If it’s a subtle lift you’re after, go for golden, honey-coloured highlights through the ends of darker hair à la Selena Gomez and Aysha Sow—a great way to ease back into your colour routine with no worry of regrowth.
If you’re taking the plunge, don’t forget to get a patch test first. “It’s the most important thing I want to emphasise when considering rebooking a colouring appointment after a long break, especially if you’ve been unwell or changed any medications,” says Mayhead. And be sure to “use regular conditioning treatments after the colour process to retain both colour and health.” Be especially mindful of this if you have Afro hair, as it is more prone to becoming damaged during colouring and losing moisture easily, which can cause snapping, according to Anabel Kingsley, trichologist at Philip Kingsley, who advises, “To help prevent breakage, use an intensive pre-shampoo conditioning treatment like our Elasticizer at least once weekly.”
Keep scrolling for all the inspiration you need for your new 2020 look and to shop the most conditioning products for coloured hair to go with it.