Top Yorkshire hairdressers share summer ‘21 hair colour trends plus advice on how salons will look in the future

Do you know your balayage from your babylights? Marcello Moccia has tips on six top hair colour trends while Robert Eaton says clients have learned to value their space and privacy in the salon. Stephanie Smith reports.

An example of French balayage. Picture by L'Oreal Professional.

Hairdressers are back in business, offering a chance to tackle roots and outgrown styles - and maybe try out a whole new look for the summer - but one top Yorkshire hairdresser says that many clients may never want to give up some of the social distancing that has become the norm in hair salons.

Robert Eaton, creative director at Russell Eaton salons in Leeds and Barnsley, believes that some of the changes to salon culture are likely to remain, even when all restrictions are lifted.

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“If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that cutting and colouring hair is best left to the experts,” he says. “The love and appreciation we have felt since reopening has been overwhelming. In the past, hairdressing has been seen as an undervalued career but during the pandemic, it was all anyone could talk about. We definitely feel more valued, and that people now recognise the high level of skill required to create professional looking hair.

Robert Eaton at the Russell Eaton Salon in Leeds - Robert says that some of the social distancing may well remain a part of salon life.

Intimate appointments.”

Robert says he thinks socially distanced appointments, with each client comfortable at their own section, might be here to stay. “We have found that the privacy and calmness of appointments following reopening has been beneficial to our clients and team,” he says. “Many salons may look to continue with staggered appointments and fewer people in at one time, to support a more peaceful experience for their customers.”

Embracing natural hair is another trend that is going nowhere. “Not only have clients lived with their natural hair colour and texture during lockdown, they have started to celebrate it,” he says. For those with white and grey hair, we’ve definitely seen more clients wanting to enhance their natural colour rather than cover it. There are some fantastic colouring products that help stylists to blend white and grey hair so that it still makes the clients look and feel great. Plus, many have been enjoying a curl comeback following their time away from the salon. We’ve enjoyed working with clients to enhance their curls and waves for a more natural finish.”

Summer ‘21 hair colour trends blend sophistication with a naturally inspired take. For those looking for a new look for the summer, Marcello Moccia from Room 97 Creative in Wakefield suggests discussing the following techniques, classic and modern, with your colourist.

An example of highlights using foils, by Room 97 Creative.

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Foil highlights: traditionally used on blonde hair to add a sun-kissed, natural finish with depth, works for long or short hair, and can add dimension on brunettes or redheads.

Balayage: literally means to paint. This French freehand technique is usually applied through the ends for a grown-out, casual finish, ideal if you are looking for a natural colour, with no regrowth, very low maintenance.

Babylights: soft, super-fines, delicate, white-blonde highlights placed round the face to add a sun-kissed touch with a multi-dimensional effect, perfect for more mature clients. Subtle and a great way to introduce some colour to your style without anything too drastic.

An example of babylights, by Room 97 Creative

Ribbon highlights: These thin sections of contrasting colour are placed around the roots for added depth. Perfect for fine hair and curls, these are similar to balayage but aren’t only focused on the ends of the hair. Ribbon highlights begin with a solid colour base, then a lighter shade is weaved through the whole hair – like ribbons. It’s another great way to add some depth to finer hair.

Lowlights: Lowlights add depth to one-shade colour, adding multi-dimensional tones. Unlike highlights, which are lighter than the base colour, lowlights are hints of colour darker than your base colour – adding contrast and a quick-fix to those who want to break up the solid look. These are perfect for brunettes who are looking for extra depth and drama to their hair.

French balayage: A multi-dimensional balayage result, finished with a gloss for a natural looking and luminous-looking blonde. It offers minimal regrowth so is perfect for those looking for a more low-maintenance look. Usually a gloss is applied at the end of the service for a shiny, luxurious finish.

Good luck.