Punk's not dead, and neither is the ombre hair trend—particularly for the brunette end of the spectrum. Instead of the super-contrasted effect that became so public when the look first came onto the scene the modern-day ombre errs more toward a natural sun-kissed effect.
This is great news for brown hair in particular, as the lightening techniques previously used often left our ends damaged, orange, and feeling like cotton candy. Laura Estroff, lead colorist at Kennaland Hair Studios in Brooklyn, tells us many of her clients have been opting for a subtler take on ombre that doesn't feature quite as harsh of a transition in color. "We've revamped ombre for sure, it just has a new look," she says. "It's just like how we've seen skinny jeans evolve from '80s mom jeans to the current skinny jeans that haven't gone away for years; there was a time I wouldn't touch the style because they were my mom's jeans. . "I think ombre is the same thing. We've just taken an old trend and put a different spin on it."
When it comes to her placement technique, Estroff creates what she has dubbed the "halo effect" for the most natural-looking fade. "I like to bring the highlights up around the face, either to the hairline, eyebrows, eyes, or cheeks to direct attention to the most important parts of your face," she explains. "Then, I'll gradually bring it down further as I reach the back. I feel like it has a more natural effect, and the easiest way to describe it would be as a halo."
Because the highlights don't start directly at your root and work with your rich base, mainenance is pretty low-key, and should only require the occasional gloss with your stylist or a color-depositing conditioner to keep the tone in check. Thanks to the world that is Instagram, many of the "new" highlighting trends (which are more often than not named after food) borrow techniques from looks that have been standard for a while. We outlined four of the hottest trends below, along with how to achieve the effect, and what makes each one different.