Hair & Beauty

See Ya Later Balayage! It’s All About Lived-In Hair Colour

By Bree Nowland
20th Jul 2015

Hair obsessives, it-girls and those too lazy or busy to commit to regular salon appointments and hours spent styling every morning, listen up! 

First there was ombré, then there was balayage; ‘tortoiseshell’ locks made an appearance on the scene, and now, there is a new hair trend taking over and it promises your colour will last six months and styling will become a breeze.

I’m intrigued, what IS this trend you speak of?!

It's called lived-in colour, coined by celeb-frequented Los Angeles based salon, Ramirez Tran. It’s off-duty model hair; it’s subtly highlighted, it’s healthy and hydrated, there’s no regrowth (no, not ever!). Polished and tousled yet never too “done”—crunchy prom curls are NOT the look we’re going for here! Think polished bed-head, we’re looking at you Kate Moss, Blake Lively, Jessica Alba and Kate Beckinsdale.

Okay. I’m on board. Tell me all about lived-in colour…

Don’t just take our word for it; celebrity stylist and Owner of RAW SALON, Anthony Nader agrees that ‘lived-in-colour’ is SO now. 

“It’s the colour for when you’re not really having a colour; there’s no need to have freshly coloured roots—this season is all about giving the illusion that you “don’t really care about your colour” but really, your locks look flawless and you and your colourist have had endless conversations over this very calculated cool-girl appearance.” explains Nader. “It’s so fashion forward, even a bit French in appearance, I might add; it’s effortlessly cool and chic. You’ll look polished and glam without being a slave to the salon.” he adds. Effortlessly cool and chic with only two salon appointments a year?! What is not to love… 

So, what do I ask for when I’m in the salon chair?

It’s important to remember that lived-in hair is neither balayage nor ombré; it’s a new way of highlighting and blending colour that allows colour to grow out naturally. You’re not dipping your ends in bleach; nor are you highlighting from the roots. It’s all about creating a “worn-in” application of colour through painting different shades of colour and highlighting the whole head. ‘Lived-in colour’ can work for any hair hue… Brunette? Go for shades of light brown and rich honey tones to lift your base. Blonde and swear you have more fun? You can inject lighter shades of blonde and platinum to achieve this look. 

Any tips to make sure my hair stylist nails this look?

“If your complexion is warm, highlighting with cooler tones are your best bet, ask your colourist for the likes of ash browns, creamy beiges and champagne blondes; while if you have a cool complexion, you want to add warmth to your complexion” explains Anthony Nader; because who wants to look washed out, right!? Girls with cool complexions can achieve this through highlighting with “hues of golden blonde and rich honey, almond tones” he explains.

In terms of your cut, opt for long, shaggy layers that frame your face and enhance the natural movement of the hair, they will complement your new cool-girl colour perfectly!

This all seems too easy, what about the upkeep of this look?

All right, so you’re not literally rolling out of bed looking fabulous, but we’re not lying, we promise! You will need to invest in some great quality hair products to ensure your highlighted locks don’t turn brassy and your ends stay frizz-free.

You will need a shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for coloured/highlighted hair as well as a nourishing and protective leave-in conditioning treatment to use pre-styling.

We love:

How do I style my new locks?

It’s all about free-flowing locks that never look overdone, loose waves with a bohemian-luxe vibe. 

You want your hair to look full and healthy but not over-styled; you should never need to spend more than 20 minute styling your hair (lazy and time-poor gals, rejoice!)

Look for volume building and texturising sprays to give the hair subtle movement and hold. Find an easy-to-use, quick heating curling wand that is set to become your new best friend every AM, we love the ghd curve soft curl tong.

Products we love to style lived-in locks

So, now you’re good to go! Highlighted, perfectly smooth, luxe tousled locks are yours for the taking. Not too messy, yet not too glossy; from Hollywood’s fashion it-girls to A-list celebs, everyone is on board with the lived-in colour trend—take it from us, you’re in good company! 

Image credit: Ramirez Tran

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