When it comes to beauty, nay, life quotes, Dolly Parton gives good sound bite. Here’s one of my particular favourites:
“I’m not offended by dumb blonde jokes because I know that I’m not dumb. I also know that I’m not blonde.”
If we laid our beauty cards out on the table, we’d almost certainly discover that our friend’s Bambi length lashes aren’t entirely inherited, and that our colleague’s caramel skin tone is somewhat ‘enhanced’. That’s okay. In fact, that’s more than okay in our book; it’s what we do for a living. Hair is one of the more widely discussed elements of our appearance that we ‘fix up’, but the end result is invariably that we want any tinkering or transformations to look natural and nonchalant. “I woke up like this” remains as the prevailing aesthetic, and dewy, glowing skin aside, a soft, flattering scattering of highlights is the holy grail of off-duty supermodel beauty. Dip dyed ombré fans look away now; here’s your guide to faking, and keeping, apparently effortless summer colour.
Take matters into your own hands
You want your hippie surfer girl hair to look devil may care, so, within reason, don’t actually exercise too much care or caution. This is one dye job that is not only perfectly achievable from your own abode, depending on your base colour, but you can also freestyle the application method and not fuss about even distribution of colour or whether you got all of your roots. With a bit of time and a little help from L’Oréal in this case (this company seems to have the monopoly on ‘sunkissed hair’) , it’s feasible that most of us can add-in flashes of light.
As much as the word irks me, this summer’s ‘bronde’ trend can easily translate into sunkissed colour; highlights needn’t be stripy, chunky or formulaic. Paddle in the shallows of the bronde wave by weaving in shades two to three times lighter than your natural colour sparsely throughout your hair, concentrating on the ends (these lighten the most in the sun) and random strands around your face and jawline. Using a custom kit such as L’Oréal Paris Préférence Glam Bronde , £7.99, in one of the four available colourways that most suits you should make the process pretty easy breezy, as Global Hair Colourist for the brand Christophe Robin explains:
“Bronde is a simple contraction of brunette and blonde, a finish that combines the best of both, offering hair endless nuances and unrivalled luminosity thanks to an abundance of universally flattering honeyed tones. This kit is pretty new generation, it scatters the most subtle blonde, bronze, beige and honeyed tints throughout the hair."
An application brush designed by expert colourists makes it remarkably difficult to botch, and the fact that highlights are tailored to different base colours means that you shouldn’t end up with odd yellow streaks, or you know, no effect at all for your efforts. The effect needn’t be glam as the product name suggests, as the team behind the kit highlight (sorry):
“To attain a bronde look that’s slightly matte, naturally sunkissed and totally Californian, apply the dye by simply brushing it through the hair in a natural movement, thus creating natural variations in tone.”
If all of this natural brushing is a bit much for your chilled out, soon to be sunkissed self, L’Oréal Casting Sunkissed Jelly , £5.99, is pretty much the finger painting of the hair dye world. Smooth it onto specific strands or all over when hair is dry, add a bit of heat with a blow dryer, twist it up to get a dappled effect, take it down and swish into the sunset (you don’t need to rinse it out either). It can only be used on uncoloured dark to light blondes, but as low maintenance, low cost goldilocks go, it’s genius.
...Or go pro
If you’ve got a darker base colour, coarse hair or simply like to leave the chemistry to the well qualified (often wise), you’ll find that salons are well up to speed as to what’s sunkissed, and what’s ‘blah’ or a bit obvious. One such collection of tastemakers are the team at Charles Worthington , who recently took me from slightly tired former ombré to sunny and shiny thanks to the newly coined feather lights service.
Master stylist Katie Allan blended three different shades of blonde artfully from roots to tips, effectively painting on mermaid hair with light, ashy ends and more graduated, warmer tones closer to roots to blend out my former colour root ‘helmet’. Sure, I’d never attain this level of sunkissed au naturel, but I adore it regardless, and the fact that some of my nearest and dearest have asked questions such as “have you had a fringe trim or something?” suggests that it is in fact very convincing with a je ne sais quoi appeal.
If you’re hankering after the same thing, here’s the deal with feather lights according to the CW sunkissed squad:
“The natural blonde tones from childhood dictate the palette for this technique where feather-shaped sections are lightened from root to tip, working from subtle to strong.”