The model has switched to 'glow lights' – a new youth-boosting trend that mimics the radiance of a ring light. Here's what to ask your colourist for
How do you prepare to make an appearance at one of the most infamous court trials of our time? In the case of Kate Moss – as she testified for Johnny Depp at his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard, last month – it was with a "confidence-boosting" new 'do that made her look "tip-top" when the world was going to be watching.
That's according to Kate's colourist Nicola Clarke , whose other clients include Madonna, Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett. Mayfair-based Nicola, also creative colour director at John Frieda , shared details of the exact technique she used on the model in an aesthetic she's dubbed 'glow lights' – set to be one of summer's most-wanted trends.
"Having your hair in good shape gives you the confidence to be strong and stand up for yourself," says Nicola, revealing she coloured Kate's hair, a client for more than 30 years, at her Cotswold country home just days before the trial.
"Glow lights are very different from traditional highlights , balayage or face-framing. They're about embracing your natural colour but with a subtle glow that makes it look as though you have a ring light in front of you," Nicola explains.
The stylist masterminded the look alongside fellow whizz Zoe Irwin , John Frieda's colour consultant, after noticing that – post-lockdown – clients' were embracing their darker natural base colour having not been able to holiday anywhere sunny.
"Glow lights are all about instant illumination that looks very youthful. They're iridescent but not as raw as a beachy surfer tone. It's chicer than that and a bespoke look that works for all hair colours and textures," comments Zoe.
We get the 'glow-down' on the trend and discover just how to get your colourist to recreate it...
What are glow lights?
Nicola and Zoe decided to coin the term after seeing the beauty world's obsession with everything glowing, from Instagram filters to ring lights and highlighters. Explaining how she conjured up Kate's own glow lights, Nicola says:
"Over the years, Kate's gone through all different types of blonde from the heavy balayage, like Bridget Bardot, to a more muted Luke Skywalker-inspired look.
"Now, as she's getting older, we wanted to radiate that 'summer' look you get when you've been on holiday. I didn't want to get rid of her natural colour completely but still have a delicate blonde that she could grow out if she wanted.
"It's not necessarily a strip through the front, that many women are having at the moment. It's softer around the top and through Kate's parting then it follows her face and tumbles down through the ends," Nicola explains.
She adds that the look is ideal for the longer lengths that many of her clients are opting for lately.
Where can I book in for glow lights?
Zoe and Nicola have created two specific services for John Frieda's two London salons, on Aldford Street and Margaret Street, designed to achieve the look: Glow Lights, from £230, and Glow To Go glazing, from £125 (including a blow-dry.) The latter is described by Zoe as a 'topcoat wash' to add more sparkle. She explains that glow lights come from a mixture of beige golden tones being placed next to ashier tones and the glazes are what help add in that dimension.
But what can you do if you don't have a swish John Frieda salon in your vicinity (or budget?!)
Zoe explains the look is all about the careful contrast of light and dark, rather than simply asking your colourist to take your hair as light as they can go. "Most people think you have to keep adding more and more blonde through the ends to try and get brightness.
"But dimension is key. When you introduce light, it's important that it's resting on something that's more natural – almost like a shadow underneath. That's what makes the blonde pop without damaging the hair. It's a mixture of beige golden tones next to something ashier."
Nicola agrees that glow lights are all about the placement of different tones. "The thought of adding something dark to their hair always scares the life out of blondes. But it's about putting the shadow in the right place and tipping the ends so they look sun-kissed," she says.
Can brown hair book in for glow lights?
Yes! Glow lights are bespoke to everybody, offering a 'glow-up' to any hair colour, according to Zoe.
If you're red, take inspiration from Nicola's client The Magnificent Seven star Haley Bennet.
Brunettes should look to actress Emilia Clarke, another of Nicola's clients. "Brown hair can glow, too. Emilia came to me when she'd just finished filming Game of Thrones and had her own hair bleached. She was in a real transition period where she had a tiny bit of regrowth but her hair was completely wrecked from being worked on so much.
"We put a bit shadow on her root so it became more of a fashion colour and blended nicely. We both love her natural hair colour. It's really beautiful so I just put tiny strands of light balayage through – literally about ten strands at a time throughout the top of her hair. I didn't want to make her 'bronde' but it just picked up certain pieces to make it a little bit more interesting," says Nicola.
Glow lights are just as versatile when it comes to hair textures, too. "There isn't a particular type of hair that couldn't have them. You can scatter a few through the front and tip the ends. There are certain points where the light hits the hairline, it doesn't have to be a framing of the whole face," explains Nicola.
"It's all down to your colourist knowing exactly which curls need to be picked up," agrees Zoe.
Are glow lights low-maintenance?
We were seriously excited when Nicola revealed she colours Emilia's brunette hair just four times a year. Even blonde Kate only books in every two months. But, while it's certainly a less high-maintenance option than some colour techniques, Zoe highlights the importance of top-ups in between.
"What makes this look so youthful is the light reflection, shine and hydration. That's what the regular glazes will give you so I recommend booking in for those every six to eight weeks," she advises.
Did glow lights work for us?
Beauty director Ingeborg Van Lotringen says: "Because I’ll take any opportunity to look more like Ms Moss, I hot-footed it to London’s Nicola Clarke at John Frieda Salon to try the magic for myself.
"Colourist Shannon Gallacher told me, 'Apart from being subtle and low-maintenance, glow lights allow us to dye and bleach less hair, which is always a boon for its condition. So if the hair is brittle and damaged like yours [yes I know! It happens with age], this is a great way to get flattering, radiance-giving highlights while protecting the health and strength of your hair'.
"True to glow light form, Shannon placed transparent washes of light primarily around my face and parting, leaving the back of the head alone. The result was a significantly softer, yet brighter sort of look as you can see, further enhanced by Shannon’s colleague Jonathon’s blunt cut, to put some life into my frazzled ends.
"I doubt it would woo Johnny Depp, but glow lights certainly impressed me."
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