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Hair

Ring light strands, blonde tipping and iridescent gold: ultra-flattering summer highlight trends to try

July 23rd 2021 / Melanie Macleod / 0 comment

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Images Instagram: @esteelalonde @haileybieber and @nevillesalon

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There’s something about summery highlights that turns the heads of even the most dedicated brunettes. While undone blonde is still high on our hair wish list when we visit salons, there’s a raft of new blonde highlight trends sneaking into the spotlight.

We asked top colourists for the most in-demand highlight trends for summer 2021.

The celebrity-approved blonde: Ring light highlights

As seen on model Hailey Bieber, ring light highlights are the 2021 take on face-framing highlights that were everywhere last summer. Ring light highlights are less chunky than face-framers that were everywhere last year, with much thinner slices of hair picked out to be bleached, but they’re a brighter and bolder blonde than you might see with face framers.

"Ring lighting is a technique that uses highlights to lighten around the face,” explains Harriet Muldoon, Redken advocate and head colourist at Larry King’s London salon. “Unlike face-framing, the highlights follow round the face and into the hairline. It’s a halo-effect around the sides of the head and round to the neck, giving a golden hour glow. This technique can give maximum impact without a lengthy appointment time.”

“The placement of ring light highlights is the first thing you notice when you see someone,” says Harriet. “It’s not just about the positioning of the colour, but also the colour itself. Instead of honey and sunny blonde hues, clients have been asking for intense, brighter and bolder blonds, which are fierce and strong.”

The pre-school inspired blonde: Blonde tipping

If you never stray from your balayage blonde, this is the summer colour trend for you. “Blonde tipping is when we balayage in-between highlights to lift the ends make them even brighter,” explains Katie Avery, Redken advocate and owner of Brighton salon Avery.

This gives a baby blonde look, like you used to get as a child who spent hours outside in the sun and your hair would naturally lighten. “As holidays in the sun are not exactly easy this year, we want to fake that holiday feeling with brighter, lighter hair,” says Katie. The result is an expensive, natural-looking blonde that looks effortless, even though you’ve spent hours in the salon chair achieving the laidback look.

The low maintenance summer blonde: Iridescent golden blonde

While extra bright, blonde hair is leading the way this summer, if high maintenance hair just isn’t your thing, you’ll love that warm blonde hair is set to be big in late summer.

“We’re seeing stunning glossy iridescent golden hues become more popular and I am living for it,” says Vicki Hoskin, Redken advocate and founder of The Grove salon in Wadebridge, Cornwall. “Guests that used to opt for ashen tones have given up on those high maintenance cool matte hues, opting instead for easy low maintenance golden blondes for a beautiful natural result,” Vicki continues.

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By embracing the warmer tones rather than fighting against the natural warmth of your hair means you can step back from the weekly at home toners for a more low maintenance blonde. “Warmer golden hues lift sallow complexions and give a gorgeous healthy youthful glow to the skin,’ Vicki says.

The new dip-dye: Free-flowing balayage

The latest take on balayage is ‘clay palm painting’; it’s where your stylist uses the palm of their hand to apply the colour, for an effortless, free-range blonde, gradually teasing colour throughs the mid-lengths and tips of your hair.

“Palm Painting achieves free-flowing and multi-dimensional hair colour, using the palms of the hand for colour placement, explains Seniz Alkan, colour director at Neville Hair and Beauty for L’Oréal Professionnel. “Compared to finger painting, the palm is a larger surface area than your finger, so the colour is free and gives a super refreshing hue that is natural and allows the natural hair to shine – perfect for summer and one of the most requested looks we have in salon.” she continues.

Palm painting produces a gentle, more unaffected appearance, avoiding harsh, angular lines.

MORE GLOSS: The best purple shampoos for maintaining blonde hair

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