Remember when ombre came into fashion? You couldn’t pick up a coffee without running into a friend who had just had their ends dipped. Well, beauty buffs, meet the new colouring trend Melbourne’s best hair salons are touting as this season’s must-have—tortoiseshell.
I know what you’re thinking: Tortoiseshell? How does that work?! Well, just think of tortoiseshell sunnies—the colour is rich, layered, and takes on a different character depending on the scenario. Like polished tortoiseshell, it’s a look that can be dark and moody or glimmering with lighter tones, depending on the light and how its styled.
We caught up with Chris Dunkley from Meddlers hair salon in South Yarra (home to some of the best hair colourists in Melbourne) to talk us through the luxe look that’s been spotted on everyone from Khloé Kardashian to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
So, what’s tortoiseshell hair all about?
“It’s a technique that uses multi-toned and coloured sections of hair to resemble changing colours of caramel and gold—rich warm colours. There are no ash tones in this mix.”
That sounds stunning! Where do I start?
“The trick with this colour technique is to have the right base colour to pull this off. If you have super-dark hair, it’s recommended that you bring everything up to a mid-tone shade and get rid of any heavy colouring to start with.”
So how does it work after that? I assume you use a variety of colours to achieve the patterned tortoiseshell effect?
“Different applications are done from salon to salon, and from individual to individual. Some use the option of light foils to clean up blonde and others are painted on in sections, using up to three colours in each section. Either way, you’ll get a multi-toned result that gives the effect of rich, blended colour.”
What about roots—am I going to have to drop by the Meddlers hair salon every fortnight to have my tortoiseshell tresses touched up?
“Having tortoiseshell hair won’t stop you from refreshing your colour as normal—it always takes more work to look natural!—but you will be able to be comfortable rocking slightly heavier roots.”
And what about those greys that keep creeping in? I’m not keen on them being a ‘feature,’ so to speak.
“Tortoiseshell hair colour treatments are designed, not to cover full grey hair, but to accent your natural colour and make it stand out. Our experts are some of the best hair colourists in Melbourne when it comes to working with what you’ve already got, so we’ll keep this in mind when mixing up a tortoiseshell that works for you.”
Okay, I’m worried I’m going to look like every other person I see this season. Are you and the Meddlers hair salon stylists sure it’s not a cookie-cutter style that I’ll see on every man, dog and child in Melbourne?
“The tortoiseshell hair trend is less about a block-style dye treatment and more about rich layering, building up a variety of colour tones. Tortoiseshell takes on a different effect with each client’s natural hair colour—we never create exactly the same effect twice because then it wouldn’t look natural!”
Awesome! Keen to get some one-on-one advice on your new tortoiseshell look from Melbourne’s best hair colourists? Drop by Meddlers hair salon in South Yarra for some expert advice and get rocking your very own tortoiseshell locks.
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Image credit: Mdemulher