by Ryan Brooks

Finally, Spring is here and I am sure all of us couldn’t be more excited. Let’s face it, the last months of winter were long and who isn’t ready for a fresh new spring look? What better way to celebrate the sunshine than with a brighter look. I absolutely love to give my clients the option of enhancing their base color with a more natural sun-kissed look. There are many different approaches to achieve this particular look, and one of my personal beliefs to achieve a natural look is to stay roughly two shades lighter than your base level, especially if you are a first-time color client. Doing this can give you can give you a more blended, softer color.

Let’s talk about what you can ask for when going in for a sun-kissed look. First things first, everyone wants to immediately ask for balayage. For those of you who are not familiar with this term, a quick definition: it means “sweep,” and it’s a painting technique that can create a softer, more natural highlight. Now yes, this is a great technique and can create some fabulous color, but isn’t for all hair types. However, the majority of color we are seeing in magazines and on social media are usually done with multiple techniques. When going in with inspiration pictures, you should trust your colorist’s opinion on what’s best to achieve the look.

My favorite way to get a softer more natural look is a combination of micro-fine slices and baby-lights focused around the face, blending them towards the back. I then like to tip ends out to get that heavier blonde at the ends, that “left-over summer blonde” look. After processing, I choose to do two glazes, one focused at the root and one for all over. The root glaze, or what you might hear your colorist call a “root shadow” or “stretched root”, is usually a shade close to your natural or base color that is painted on and combed or brushed through, usually done closer around the face and pulled down further in the back. This helps blend out those foiled in highlights and will give you that balayaged look; it also will decrease the line of demarcation everyone hates with foiled-in highlights.

Now, for the choice of all-over glaze color, brunettes try something with hues of golden-red or caramel hues. Blondes try something warmer; I’ve been seeing a lot of the ‘cream soda’ blondes in all levels. Choosing something different doesn’t mean you are committed to this forever; most glazes or toners will slowly fade over time, making this a great way to play with your color without feeling tied to it. The options are endless. This is your chance to have fun, don’t be afraid of trying something a little different for spring — this will only set you up for that perfect summer beach hair.

Ryan Brooks has been a stylist for over 13 years in the Ann Arbor area. He currently is working behind the chair at Tricho Salon and Spa located at Briarwood. For over thirteen years
as a stylist, he has worked as an educator for Goldwell and most recently Kerastase. He has also had the opportunity to work with multiple productions in stage, movie, as well as print. You can also follow him on Instagram: @ryanbrookshair.
Have a hair question you need answered? Contact Ryan at he will be answering questions in future publications.