The Salon Solved It! Blending old colour and new growth

Layered’s events director, Joanna Andersen, wanted to lighten her locks a little, while cutting the contrast between her old colour and newer virgin hair. We challenge Charles Worthington on Percy Street in London to make it happen

The last time I had colour applied was a year ago. I think it was a combination of highlights and lowlights, but these were applied on top of older still highs and lows, on top of various all-over semi-permanent colours from way further back. Consequently, the lower lengths of my hair had become a sort of dull amber, while in stark contrast the upper lengths – stretching about six inches from my roots – were a cool-ish dark blonde, smattered with greys. Not so gorgeous.

I wanted this disparity gone! BUT, I didn’t want a giant change – rather a fresher and more modern ‘natural’ look, which would be manageable moving forward (thus, any all-over was vetoed; no root regrowth bother for me, please!).

Was Charles Worthington’s deputy manager
and senior stylist, Becky Jennings, up to the challenge?

Becky’s solution was ‘blush lights’ – a cocktail of classic foil highlights and lowlights, and balayage – for super-natural results. However, in her honesty-is-the-best-policy-approach, she explained that while this would look natural, it wouldn’t cover my greys, but they would be far less visible with my beautiful new lights, so I reasoned this was a fair compromise.

And so, to work!

Becky first selected my perfect tones – not too cool, not too warm, but somewhere in between – selecting two shades. The first was close to my natural tone, the other was a soft, golden blonde. These were applied in skinny highs and lows throughout my hair, from the roots to the mid-lengths (just past the virgin/chemical divide). Through the longer lengths (where old colour remained), she added pieces of bleach in a sort of V-formation – a technique used to ensure the shades blend seamlessly, while literally bleaching out the old colour and allowing my new hues to take up residence. On top she added toner, which was left on just long enough to create a pretty mix of golden and slightly creamier blonde tones, turning my locks lighter through the ends.

But brilliant Becky wasn’t done yet! She had another bit of magic up her sleeve: higher up the sections where she had applied the bleach/toner combination, she backcombed the hair upwards, ‘smudging up’ the colour. This nifty trick would further help to create a super-blended result later. Block colour, be gone! Finally, to boost the sun-kissed look I love, Becky added a few extra creamy pieces around my face. Washed, conditioned, chunky chopped and blow-dried au naturel-style, the job was done.

What do I think? Truly, I feel beautifully blended – and I love the light flashes. Becky, you are my heroine. I will be back!

Want an appointment with Becky, or another stylist at Charles Worthington?
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