For most of us with highlights, we don’t realize how out-of-control it can get until we see a photo of ourselves. Um… why do I look like I dunked my head in bleach? Over time, what started out as a little subtle color can morph into a platinum mass of damaged hair. That’s when it’s time to call in the experts — in this case, our friend (and genius colorist) Rory McNeill of ROAR Salon. Rory is a fan of giving blonde hair a much needed “break” with seasonal lowlights, and fall is the perfect time to focus on bringing back some of the darker, richer hues most of us have in our natural hair color. “Jessica’s hair had serious erosion from chemical processes prior to sitting in my chair,” he says of favorite client Jessica Gosh who volunteered to model for our story. “My first priority was getting her hair healthy and shiny again. The distressed blonde was doing nothing for her beautiful olive complexion. We discussed going more natural both for hair health and a softer appeal.”
“Lowlights are simply color sections placed into the hair to create depth and dimension. They can be dramatic or very subtle and the product used can be permanent or temporary,” explains Rory. “And they work well on just about anyone! I find myself adding soft honey lowlights to many blondes who arrive in my chair with over-highlighted hair lacking a natural feel. In fall, I love to add rich lowlights to brunettes, giving hues of toffee and caramel. With women embracing their gray hair, adding shades of complimenting beige tones to give life and dimension when gray can feel a bit flat. Lowlights are a not so in-your-face way to bring sophistication and depth to color.” He prefers color from the German company, Wella, for both it’s superior tonal quality and intensity of pigment.
For Jessica’s color, he chose a rich chesnut that would work well with her natural hair tone. “We wanted a strong change so that she could grow her natural brunette in and give her hair a much needed break. I chose a shade slightly darker than her natural hair color and used a gloss to soften all the remaining blonde bits. The result is a dimensional color with varying shades of richness.” The time required to apply lowlights can vary from client to client. “But generally, less is more,” adds Rory. Jessica’s entire transformation only took about an hour and a half!
Jessica was thrilled with the results, and we can totally see why. Her hair is so much richer, more dimensional, and healthier now. “She looks radiant, natural, and ready for a gorgeous fall season!” says Rory. Bleached-out blondes, rejoice — there’s hope for us after all. Now, as for getting on Rory’s client list… better cross your fingers and tell him we sent you!
photographed by kristen kilpatrick