Space Invader

Looking to switch up your regular balayage? Negative space is the latest colour trend taking over Instagram for a softer and subtler finish and, best of all, it suits everyone!

While the phrase ‘negative space’ has been used in the beauty industry for years, this season it’s the turn of hair to take the technique on board by utilising negative space in your hair colour. The phrase refers to the area around and between a subject or object that highlights it, so it focuses on the base colour to create dimension, with fewer highlights in key areas. The end result? You’re left with a multi-dimensional effect, which really makes your base colour shine and moves away from the 2D flatness that other highlighting techniques can create, while also being softer and subtler.

After the massive rise of balayage in 2018, this latest take is set to be one of the biggest trends in the upcoming months. To find out more we spoke to Sarah Black, colour expert at Linton & Mac in Aberdeen, to get her take on the versatile technique. While balayage will remain popular, she says that this year “we will move on to the depth it can create – rather than the lightness.” She adds: “The darker elements of the hair will be the focus, adding depth and dimension to the hair. The aim will be to create balance between the tones to create just the right amount of light against the perfect amount of darker hair.”

Ideal for brunettes as well as blondes, the technique works great if you’re looking to add lightness around the face but have less time free to spend in the chair on a regular basis. The best part is even our redhead friends can get in on the action, though be careful as this can sometimes turn too orange or yellow.

Credit:  @malloryje 
Credit:  @renuhairstudio

To achieve the negative space look, it’s best to start off slow by adding a few lighter pieces in the front if you’re a brunette, or for the blondes out there, introduce deeper shades around the face and throughout to make your beautiful base colour stand out. Gareth Williams, creative ambassador at Headmasters, suggests that in the salon “foils will play a stronger part in the balayage process,” which will help to “create beautiful bright contours, plus enhance the neutral negative space in-between.”

Ready to become a space invader? Head to your local salon for a consultation with your favourite colourist, or visit @whatsarahdoes on Instagram for more colour inspo!