Temperature cools, hair heats up

Art August 20, 2015 01:00


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Eco-brand Aveda says now is the time to bring on the colours, and even its wildest hues are as natural as can be

AS THE WORLD gets paler and greyer this autumn and winter, you should consider adding extra colour to your hair, says Ian Michael Black, “technical director” at the US-based beauty-product firm Aveda. He and his team were in Bangkok last week to suggest not only more natural earth tones but also a rainbow of pastels.

Aveda’s 2015 Full Spectrum Hair Colour offerings cover just about every style and hue you can imagine, from straight cuts to defined and short fringes, centre parted, side parted, bobbed, |curled, frizzy, pigtails, plaits, afros and ringlets through blue, yellow, platinum and pink.

Black was quick to point out that Thai women are lucky to have such beautiful skin tones, easily matched to any hair colour. The tip to choosing the right shade, he said, is to dab a little on the forehead to see how it looks on your skin and if it goes with your eye colour.

Black unveiled the latest collection, “Sublime Spirit”, which draws its influences from the way people had their hair styled – and coloured – in portraits down through different periods in history. Those looks have been updated in this collection.

Picture, for example, a woman of bygone times wearing a hair net. The netting creates its own texture in the hair. “We’ve reinterpreted that to make the look modern and relevant,” said Black, who’s known as a true innovator in hair-colouring techniques.

“We have colours that are more ‘commercial’ for everyday hairstyling, but also looks that are much more inspirational,” he said. “It’s always important to show people something to inspire and excite them about how they might colour their hair – colours they rarely see in hair, something unexpected.

“Aveda is an eco-brand, so people think it’s all going to be brown and boring, but we’re actually very much a fashion brand, full of colour. And the most important thing is being confident in your look. What’s most fashionable is looking |good!”

Black said the predominant trend for the coming cool season leans to subdued, even greyish tones, but he notes that not everyone will abide by that. “There are always specific trends in fashion, but that doesn’t mean that everything else is unfashionable. You should only follow a trend if it looks good on you.”

Aveda’s Full Spectrum is like an artist’s palette, he said – different shades to suit every mood and occasion.

“The idea is that, if you come to the salon and get your hair dyed, you won’t have exactly the same colour as everybody else. We can tailor it just for you, as though you’re the only person in the world. And it’s more fun for me as a hairdresser to use a little bit more brain and really enjoy an artistic colour palette.

If a client says, ‘I want a little bit more red,’ I say, ‘I can do a something in between the red shades.’ There’s no limit to what I can do.”

With various hues to choose among, hair is now an “accessory” in itself, another way of expressing yourself in creative and fashionable ways. Aveda’s permanent colours come in endless choices, from outrageous to purely natural. Regardless, the ingredients in its fade-resistant formulas are almost entirely natural, guarding against damage. It primarily uses the oils of sunflower, castor and jojoba.

And the ammonia-free “demi-permanent” hair colour is even gentler to the follicles, from a formula that’s 99 per cent natural. It actually improves the condition of damaged hair. The beautiful, rich shade lasts up to eight weeks before gradually fading – the perfect gloss.

Aveda’s “enlightener blonding” service even adds the aromas of rose, lemon, peppermint and other plants. It’s all thanks to organic farming, products from which are utilised at Aveda’s laboratory on a registered wildlife habitat in Blaine, Minnesota.

Babassu oil, as an example, comes from nuts gathered by the women of Maranhao, Brazil, whose salaries support their families and strengthening their communities. Aveda also helps protect the rainforest ecosystem as a shield against climate change, using only recycled fibre, and it’s America’s first such company to rely completely on wind power in its production.