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Dyeing to Get it Right

By: Sara Mason
Posted: September 2, 2008, from the September 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

“Hair color evolves like art and fashion,” said Brad Johns, global color director, Clairol. From New York to Milan, fashion has a huge influence on hair trends. Therefore, marketers and suppliers carefully monitor those trends and incorporate them into product development.

According to Johns, three color trends are emerging for fall 2006: a warm, solid color; a warm base with tiny highlights all through, so it’s multi-tonal but not drastic; and a warm base with highlighted pieces around front. Celebrities also are bringing back darker shades, providing richness, sex appeal and sophistication for brunettes. For a more drastic look, Sue Pemberton, artistic director, Vero, translated today’s cultural duality and fall fashion trends into hair by placing contrasting hues diagonally, horizontally and vertically to simulate the graduations in texture and color of traditional Scottish Highland tartans and tweeds.

In response to these trends, consumers are looking for bold highlights, multihued layers and rich hues in all-over color. This has led to the introduction of deep tones of eggplant, burgundy and mahogany. Also, strategically placed highlights, lowlights or panels that accentuate the texture in hairstyles are on the rise this season.

Trends, however, extend beyond color. Educated consumers demand a lot from their hair products. “While a large percentage is looking to distinguish themselves or make statements with their hair color, many also desire results with as little damage to the hair as possible,” said Mabel Covey, vice president of science and technology, Hair Systems Inc.

This need to minimize damage due to chemical processes and environmental elements has led to the introduction and promotion of “demi” and nonammonia hair colors over the past several years. “We are also seeing a strong desire on the trendsetting consumers’ part to have shiny hair and longer-lasting color,” she added.