Top Tips to Lighten Your Hair for Summer!

Thinking of adding a touch of blonde this season? From balayage to foils, here's the lowdown about lightening up your locks from Aaron Middleton, Art Director at Unico Hair.

What are the hot hair colours and trends for summer?

Pastel colour is a huge trend this Summer. We’ve seen the likes of Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga set trends in recent months with dip dyes and tips in pretty pinks, blues and greens. Often these looks are achieved with wigs - a good option if you’re a bit hesitant of plunging into this out-there trend. Many clients don’t want the bright colours for their office jobs. A great alternative is to simply powder colour into lighter tips for a fun weekend style.

For a more conservative summer look, enhance your natural hair colour by sprinkling lighter and darker shades through your hair. This can be achieved using foils. Unless you are a rich, deep glossy Megan Gale brunette, stay away from block colours and get into the multi-tonal lighter look.

Golden highlights are always going to be on trend for the warmer months and balayage is still very big news.

Balayage is a hair colouring technique used to create natural looking highlights, without the worry of regrowth.

This trend began in Paris in the 1970s and has engulfed the hair world in recent years, especially here in Australia. The word 'Balayage' comes from the process of application meaning 'to sweep'.

It enhances the natural colour of your hair and keeps the maintenance down. The highlights are painted onto the hair by hand and swept down to the ends to create a more sunkissed highlight. For a softer look, we often tease the hair while applying the colour.

It suits those with longer hair, helping to accentuate length and structure. You need length with some longer layers to create texture and movement; it can look quite bland when paired with a sleek hairstyle.

If done badly it can often look odd, especially when used on bobs, so make sure your hair stylist is confidant in this. For a great Balayage Bob reference Alexa Chung, the new English Fashionista and Dannii Minogue - we are always asked to replicate her lush locks.

Should you colour your hair at home?

As a professional, I would never recommend home colours; we get so many people coming in with light roots, black ends, patchy gaps on root areas... Many think it is a sales pitch from a hairdresser to keep a client in the salon paying for colour. However, we take pride in our work and want you feeling confidant about your hair during the full 4-6 weeks til your next visit. We can tailor your colour to your specific requirements and tell you how to care for the colour at home.

What should you consider before changing your hair colour?

Always consider condition and regrowth. If you get the noticeable unnatural line down your parting in a matter of weeks, then stick to something closer to your natural shade. If you're going lighter, consider regular conditioning treatments containing protein, as this will help restore shine and strength! We recommend the Unico Formulations Protein Treatment RRP $30.

Consider your lifestyle and budget. If you are not willing to schedule regular visits to your hair salon to maintain a dramatic new shade, then stick to something that will require less maintenance.

Remember too that a new colour may alter the appearance of your complexion, so you may need to upgrade your makeup bag and possibly even your wardrobe. (Not a bad excuse!)

Can everyone go lighter? How blonde should you go?

We recommend that you go not lighter than 4-5 Shades lighter that your natural shade, especially with current trends which favour a more natural look. No ash blonde wants black roots - never a good look! It is also about the health of your hair; if it begins to feel frizzy, weak and split, you then know it has gone past being healthy. Go a shade or two deeper and see how you feel.

Once you've gone lighter, how can you keep your hair in good condition?

Here at Unico Formulations, our owner, Sofia Basile, has developed a range of natural products designed to restore hair to its natural condition. Unico Formulations Leave-In Conditioner RRP $23, is the ultimate de-tangler and contains UV filters which are ideal for harsh sun climates. Its repairing qualities minimise colour fade and excessive damage from the sun’s UV rays.

You should always use a shampoo and conditioner for colour-treated hair. The Unico Formulations Intensive range is ideal for this.

With constant colouring, straightening and blowdrying, hair gets tired and loses its natural keratin. The Unico Formulations Protein Treatment, RRP $30, is designed to treat coloured and/or mechanically-treated hair. It offers a higher moisture content than traditional conditioners which helps to repair damage to the hair. The unique qualities of this product also work well after extreme sun exposure, making it ideal for Australian climates.

For more great hair advice and offers, head to www.unicohair.com.au

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