As the old saying goes, us blondes sure do have fun. But what’s not so enjoyable is the upkeep blonde hair requires, so we sat up and listened when we heard that the biggest trend in golden-hued hair this year is undone blonde – a laidback take on the sunniest shade which requires a whole lot less maintenance and far fewer hours spent in the salon chair.
“Undone blonde is about embracing warmer and more natural tones with a combination of highlights and lowlights finished with a gloss that seals in warmer tones,” explains Larry King colourist Harriet Muldoon who transformed queen of the bleach blonde barnet Pixie Lott into an undone blonde. “It’s all about hair health; a chance for blondes to embrace darker, more natural shades. Even as the colour fades you’ll have a natural blend that won’t give you any regrowth issues.”
With no roots to contend with, this is the dream colour to add a subtle lift and dimension to the hair without the big commitment of going blonde. “Time with your colourist might be difficult to come by in this new world and could come at a premium, so undone blonde gives you the option to go for extended periods of time without being in the salon,” says Patrick Marrow of Manchester Salon Hive MCR . “With undone blonde you can say goodbye to root touch-ups every six to eight weeks,” agrees Gem Jones of Taylor Rose Hair Extensions . “You’ll only need a colour refresh every four to six months depending on your individual preference.”
How is it different to balayage?
Blonde colour starting from lower down sounds suspiciously like balayage if you ask us, but don’t get the two confused. Balayage creates a much brighter, lighter blonde look, whereas undone is more subtle - though the same application process is used to achieve the colour (ie. painted on rather than uniformly applied).
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Who does undone blonde suit?
The beauty of undone blonde is that is it can be tailored to suit your skin tone. “Whether you’re lifting or darkening hair it’s all about working with warmer shades for a natural glow,” says Harriet.
Even those with very dark hair can rock this trend, but be aware that the darker your hair is the more likely it is that the lightened strands will become brassy, meaning you’ll need to book in toning appointments at the salon, making it no such a low-maintenance hair colour. Having said that, undone blonde is among the most realistic blonde styles for very dark hair to go for. “Darker bases tend to hold more red and orange pigment which equals more brassiness,” explains Gem. “To counteract this and to protect the integrity of the hair, it’s always better to keep lighter tones much more subtle and blended to achieve a longer-lasting result.”
What to ask for
Now that we’ve sold you on undone blonde, what should you say to your stylist when you sit down in their chair? Short of taking in a photo of Pixie’s new do… “Really drive home the point that you want it to be low maintenance,” says Patrick.
“Ask your stylist to keep your hair soft, natural and blended. They'll know that what you can achieve depends on your base colour, but key words to use are rooty, soft and blended,” says Gem.
How to care for undone blonde
This may be a low maintenance look, but it still requires some attention. Redken sells both Blondage and Brownlights hair care ranges to banish brassiness in both brunettes and blondes (purple for blondes, blue for brunettes). Other colour care we recommend includes the Pureology Hydrate range and Kerastase’s Reflection collection.
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