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New season colour secrets

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You’ve read Premium Brunette in this week's Stylist, now read about the latest colour developments for black, blonde and red hair

Beautiful Blonde

With blondes, colourists have always aimed to create depth and texture in the hair. "And that approach still looks great," says top colourist Zoe Irwin who championed a rooty, two-toned look this summer with her Cobain Chic technique (Google recent pictures of Drew Barrymore’s and you’ll get the picture).

But while the slightly grungy, rock chic blonde still looks fresh, this autumn she has serious competition from an altogether glossier, more grown-up blonde, epitomised by top model Raquel Zimmerman in Chloe’s zeitgeist-capturing AW10 campaign. Zimmerman’s caramel cascade reflects this season’s trend for hyper real hair – colour that’s effortless but enhanced, so it looks naturally perfect rather than perfectly natural.

One way to get it is to go organic. Cashmere Caramel is the new colour technique from Karine Jackson Hair and Beauty salon in Covent Garden, where a creamy pale blonde is layered over your natural hair colour and darker caramel tones swirled into the top layers. And the best bit? The colour used is ammonia-free, so hair will be soft and damage-free even after its transformation.

On the home hair front, Clairol have created five new blonde shades in their Nice ‘n’ Easy range, (£5.49 each). With a technology for eliminating brassy tones, they’re great for creating warm, golden, multi-tonal hair that looks rich and glossy. Think Park Avenue blonde, but for a teenth of the price. To maintain colour, try Daniel Hersheson’s new shine spray in Caramel Kiss, £20. Comb it through clean, damp hair and watch your colour gleam again.

Radiant Red

"We have so many strengths and shades of red to work with now that we can achive nearly anything," says Zoe Irwin, who recently took redhead icon and renowned songwriter Cathy Dennis to an 'amazing, apricot, Vivienne Westwood' shade. "It's not very modern to work with highlights on redheads, and mixing tones the way we do with brunettes, looks dated," she says. Instead Irwin applies a permanent red base, altering the colour with a different shade of semi-permanent or vegetable colour every six weeks or so for variation and gloss. "I test colours on a piece of white tissue, mixing them together to see. It's like layering a lipstick."

Red hair loses vibrancy very quickly, so to keep your flame burning between dye jobs, try the Winter Warmer treatment, £150, at Jo Hansford (020 7495 7774). A vegetable rinse is mixed with other glossing and restoring treatments to enhance your current colour and restore luminosity. Expect the effect to last at least six weeks.

At home, try Wella System Professional’s Shine Mask, £19.50. It’s what Irwin uses to wash models’ hair on shoots. "Hair appears beautifully pearlescent," she says.

Bold Black

"Creating black hair can be done in about three-minutes", explains Wellaflex Silvikrin Creative Director Michael Douglas, "but it’s a bit of a one way street, as once you go black its incredibly tricky to go back". The great thing about using a very dark dye is you can do it without damaging the hair, as there are great, modern dyes like L’Oreal Professional’s Inoa, which is ammonia-free and therefore kinder to hair.

To keep up your black – or indeed any colour - at home, try John Freida’s Precision Foam Colour, £9.99, a brand new home dye that’s an easy-to-use foam, instead of the usual messier formulas. "You just massage the foam into your hair and it lathers up like a shampoo, making it incredibly easy to cover all areas immaculately," says Stylist’s Fashion Assistant, Morag Paterson, who tested the revolutionary foam hot off the production line.

"To keep up the shine on black hair, just apply heat", says Douglas, "work it into the hair by using a metal bristle brush when you blow dry and getting as close to the hair with the nozzle as possible." (NB the metal brushes from Morocconoil’s new range, from £13.55, use ceramic technology to keep the brush at a constant temperature.)

All that heat can take its toll on fragile ends, so use a heat protective mask, like Kérastase’s new Masque Nutri-Thermique, £25.30, once or twice a week. Comb it through hair once you’ve washed out your conditioner, leave for five minutes, then rinse well.

Words: Samatha Freedman

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