The Salon Solved It… rose gold for the colour-phobic

Layered Online deputy editor Deborah pinned pictures of rose gold hair since before it was a trend, but was always too scared to take the plunge with bleach. Can D&J Ambrose change her mind?

Main Image: D&J Ambrose / Inset image: Wella Opal-essence

As adventurous as I am with my make-up, I am equally unadventurous with my hair – particularly colour. But I’ve been saving pictures of rose gold hair since before it was a trend, telling my friends that one day, I was going to dye my hair rose gold. When I read about the metallic, luminous yet subtle Wella Illumina Opal-essence shades, a switch in my mind clicked. And there it was – Titanium Rose. The most delicate rose, which reflected both warm and cool light for an incredible finish.

Which is how I found myself in Pinner, north-west London, on the first properly sunny Saturday of the spring. Nervously perched on the plush sofa, I babbled my way through an explanation of what I was hoping to achieve to co-founder Jackie Ambrose – subtle balayage blondeness, to pick up the Opal-essence’s delicate pink. Luckily she seemed on board with the idea, and suggested a natural, slightly rock-chick layered cut which I could easily blow dry and then leave well enough alone. SOLD. Next, it was time to meet the colour master himself: Clayde Baumann.

Could Clayde make this colour newbie fall in love with some creative colour?

When it came to discussing what I was after, I realised my nerves were clashing directly with the references I was showing him. He presented me with two options: a brighter pink shade that would fade to more of a pastel, lasting a couple of months, or the depth-free overcoat of Opal-essence, which would last a couple of weeks. While I was tempted to go for the longer-lasting effect (which I could tell Clayde was itching to mix up) I was too anxious that the colour might not suit me – no matter how many hot pink lipsticks I own. Opal-essence it was, to test the waters.

Clayde immediately got to work, sectioning my hair and sketching in the blonde streaks and sections that would pick up the colour, before leaving me to develop. Once my hair had lifted, it was off to the backwash for the Opal-essence application. Applied like a toner, my freshly wash hair was saturated with Titanium Rose and left to sit for a further 20 minutes. As it was washed away, Clayde explained he was going to add an additional red-toned conditioner as a mask (Wella Professionals INVIGO Color Recharge Red) to really amp up the pink tones, and which I could use at home.

Another 20 minutes later, I held my breath as I was delivered to Jackie for the cut. Watching the towel fall away, I blinked in surprise at how… not different the colour seemed. We all know that wet hair is not a good indicator of colour, so I steeled myself to wait just a little longer as Jackie started shaping up my style. As my hair began to dry – both naturally and then under the dryer – my grin practically cut my face in half. It was like looking at some sort of alternate universe me in the mirror. Despite having never gone blonder, never having had delicate shades of pink looping through my hair, it still looked like me, somehow. Which, Jackie reminded me with a smile, was the sign of a good cut and colour.

Although the pink has since faded, leaving me to enjoy Clayde’s brilliant balayage work, I know this won’t be my last brush with the colour. I’ll be back…

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