Partners in crime - How to pull off this season's two-toned hair trend

Hair Ideas & Inspiration

Partners in crime - How to pull off this season's two-toned hair trend

18 Nov 2016

Undecided on your next colour? Well if you're looking for a truly trend-worthy look, it's time to think about two-tone: combining shades and tailoring tones to suit your style.  An emerging trend on the catwalks this season, two-tone is defined by its sharp line contrast, and whether you go for a subtle pairing or a more noticeable contrast between two bold shades, you're in for a tonal triumph if you follow The Chapel's advice.

Seeing double

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So apart from the catwalk, who's taken to two-tone? Gwen Stefani went for a bold take on the trend with jet black against her trademark ash blonde, worn in a ponytail with a front section framing her face. Katy Perry went one step further adding a contrasting colour on her fringe and the ends of her blonde bob whilst on tour. And for fiction, but more recent inspiration would be Margot Robbie's character Harley Quinn with her dip-dyed pink and blue pigtails with platinum blonde hair.

A photo posted by @margotrobbie on

Two-tone hair is open to client and stylist creativity, with the ability to become uniquely tailored to your taste: whether that be an eye-catching new colour combination or more subtle natural look. On the Ashley Williams catwalk at London Fashion Week models wore contrasting shades of blonde and brown, with a voluminous crimped bob. Even their fringes were divided by colour, giving a strong standout aesthetic. There are various ways to wear the two colours, either on each side leaving the parting to act as the divider between the shades, or a more classic approach with the bottom of hair being 'dipped' in a different colour.

Unlike 'ombre' or the now more popular balayage, two-tone creates a more striking take on softer stylings where colours are blended. Creating a deliberate sharp line, the finished result is strong and bold. If you'd prefer to keep some of your natural colour, look at adding a contrasting shade to the mid-lengths and ends. For those that might be considering a more outlandish colour, it's always a good idea to try out different colours before deciding to commit. You can do this by trying out contrasts with temporary colour sprays.

Taking to two-tone

A photo posted by Sarah Willyard (@cali.bunny) on

The great thing about the two-tone trend is that you can really make your own rules if you are looking for a more eccentric look perhaps pair an emerald green with dark brown, or maybe a cherry red with blonde or light auburn hair. Those with naturally blonde hair have a great base to pick and choose candy colours or rainbow shades.

If you have naturally dark hair and want to  try a brighter colour palette, you will need to consider bleaching your hair to lift your base colour. As a result, achieving your desired result may take more time, as you may have to visit your salon a few times to get to the colour you desire. However, this is the endeavour to keeping your hair looking healthy and avoiding excessive damage. Once you've got your colour combo, protect from fade by avoiding washing hair for the first 48 hours after colouring, and keep heat styling tools on a low temperature. Regular conditioning masks will also to keep your two-tone hair looking vibrant.

Waves and curls soften the colour transition, naturally disturbing the ruler straight effect. So if you really want your two-tone colour stand out, wear it poker straight. Finishing with a little serum will really help to smooth the colour contrast shine. Up do's with twists and braids can merge the colours together beautifully, helping to soften the look, and it's also great to hide any root regrowth if you choose the vertical two-tone option.

Twice the fun

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The two-tone trend isn't just for your hair: also being seen in the fashion and beauty world. Take the trend south and mix reds and pinks to create beautiful softly contrasting lips. Seen on the catwalks of New York fashion week, you can adjust to suit the season, with combinations of deep berry shades and pillar box reds. Keep your base matte, with smoky eye makeup, and a simple eyeliner flick. If you go for brighter stand-out hair colours look to a neutral palette for your eyeshadow, with a paired down nude lipstick to really put your hair in the spotlight.

With bold two-tone, it's essential you keep your outfit simple and let your hair do the talking. Black and white Breton stripes look striking with paired with a contrasting vertical two-tone for an elegant stand out look. Sharp tailoring and classic pieces with a softer two-tone transition gives a subtle nod to the trend whilst being more wearable for a daytime look.

So whether you decide to go vertical or horizontal with your two-tone, and subtle or standout with your shades, it's best to talk to your stylist about how you can get a great new colour that's totally tonally on trend. For more expert advice on hair colouring, browse our website, or take to our blog for more inspiration.