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Layage and underlights: Everything you need to know

Posted on 5th February 2016 by PROinsider

From ombré to balayage to écaille, as soon as you’ve mastered the latest must-have hair-colour technique, Instagram is all over the next next big thing, and now is no different, with clients going #colourcrazy for layage and underlights. So we’ve asked the pioneers of the trends to share their tips for perfecting the techniques.



WHAT IS IT? Also known as fluid hair painting, this technique involves painting colour onto hair on a large, flat board, to achieve a super natural-looking blend. Katie Allan, creative manager and colour expert at Charles Worthington Salon, launched the look at the Covent Garden branch. “The technique allows hair to achieve a natural gradient colour. It can be used for ombré or natural subtle highlights – it’s so versatile.”

WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Layage allows the colourist to see every strand of hair for precise application, leaving a tailor-made colour that caters for each client’s skin tone, face shape and cut.


WHO’S IT FOR? “Layage is particularly fabulous for mid to long hair, especially when it’s naturally curly. It enhances each strand of hair bringing out gorgeous depth and movement,” says Charlie Taylor, Schwarzkopf Professional’s Essential Looks ambassador.




?? #DevineUnderlights ?? @bearitis (this lovely lady) suggested I make a post showing the true versatility of my #underlights technique. I placed her colors strategically within the interior of her hair so it would be almost non existent when she buns it or wears it back for her job. It was very important that it happen this way, for she risked issues for having fashion color. Each client I do Underlights on, has a very unique to them color placement. It's so fun to see this crazy idea of mine taking off so awesomely. Thank you to everyone who has allowed me to do it for them, and to all the amazing stylists GLOBALLY that have taken on the idea and used the HASHTAG #underlights . #frizzlesoldtown #versatile #concealablecolor #convertablecolor #hiddenrainbow #americansalon @american_salon

A photo posted by Ruby Devine (@rubydevine) on


WHAT IS IT? A combination of rainbow hair colours applied only to the bottom layer of hair, which are then hidden by the top layer. Underlights are a great way of injecting some fun and playfulness into hair.

WHY IS IT DIFFERENT? “It’s the perfect way to embrace your inner unicorn and go crazy with colour; you can rock a hun (a half-bun) at the weekend, but still turn up to that Monday morning meeting looking the part.


WHO IS IT FOR? “It’s a great compromise for those who need their hair to be serious for work” says Karine Jackson, Karine Jackson Hair and Beauty. “It’s easily covered and then can be shown off again at night. I think it’ll really take off this year!”


???? ??????????s?? It was so fun getting this sweet new client to her goal color. We were working with some major banding due to black color build up. I was stressing during the lifting process but considering how it lightened I'm pretty happy with the results! Especially since this client had multiple stylists tell her it would take at least 3 sessions to get her anywhere close to teal. Sometimes you just have to put your fear aside & go for it! Her hair is still healthy & strong thanks to the magic lightener blondme by @schwarzkopfusa. During our consult I definitely went over the possibility of it taking multiple sessions... •?????s ????? ?????s? & ???? ???????• Next appt we will be perfecting it????

A photo posted by Liz Robson • ???? (@liz.colors) on


TOP COLOUR TIP: “For all my hair colour clients I always recommend a colour-specific shampoo and conditioner, along with a power treatment that focuses on the lightened areas at least once a week”, says Schwarzkopf’s Essential Looks ambassador, Charlie Taylor.

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