Whether it's the dubious proposal that 'gentlemen prefer blondes', or the erroneous belief that brunettes get taken more seriously, there's no denying the fact that most of us have grown up with a background buzz of clichés about hair colour. Do blondes have more fun? Are brunettes more mysterious? Does being blonde make you more bubbly - and if so, in comparison to what? Redheads? Prosecco?
Here's what we learned from our obsession with bronde.
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The beauty of bronde is that it's a pure 'win-win' combination, a confection of soft caramel tones that works as well for the brunettes sick of hardcore bleaching, as it does for blondes looking to come down a couple of tones and give their colour more depth, and a whole sexy new dynamic.
To be honest there's nothing that new about 'brondeness' (check out supermodel Giselle Bundchen rocking the catwalks with this heady mix of rich browns and honey gold way back in 2007), it just seems that in the forthcoming stampede for more dramatic and instantly gratifying effects of ombre, dip-dye and balayage work, the smoother bronde look got elbowed out of the spotlight.
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Now that's all changed, so here's a quick primer for those less familiar with the jargon: dip dying is a technique that delivers a clear divide between two separate hair colours, as opposed to the French technique of balayage, which is most usually used to give hair layers of subtly blended highlights. Meanwhile ombre produces a palette of graded and shaded effects by creating shadow between your chosen colours. Going bronde is essentially achieved by applying a hybrid of these last two techniques, and when doing so, roots are not dyed, but rather used as the foundation shade from which to work lighter or darker.
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Not only does this make brondness fabulously low maintenance, it also means that those whose natural hair colour falls within that usually awkward midrange between light-brown and dark-blonde are the perfect candidates for this glamorous treatment. Better yet, the bronde look works with every kind of skin tone, and looks fabulous no matter what your age.
Long bronde, short bronde
For an example of one of the quintessential bronde styles we're loving right now, look no further than the new Mrs Murray. Kim's long flowing hair, simply centre-parted, is a showcase for the gorgeousness of bronde, and displays a silky shimmer that's been conjured by gently blending her natural darker colour with ribbons of slightly lighter gold tones, applied towards the ends and around the hairline.
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To prove going bronde works equally well with shorter styles, just take a look at Jennifer Lopez' latest flattering cut. J-Lo has worked her signature long layers into a curly-ended, chin-skimming bob that's been given even more depth and contrast by balancing lowlights added with a toner against soft pops of honey highlights.
Which is right for me?
The secret to becoming a successful bronde is remembering that the whole look works by subtly enhancing your natural hair tones to tease out the glamour. No-one is going to have a better handle on this than your regular stylist, so our first word of advice: go for an initial consultation. The key to becoming a bronde bombshell is exercising restraint, so try not to go more than one, two or, at a push, three shades lighter or darker than your natural colour.
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Next, think about your skin tone and eye colour, and then consider the appropriate complementary shades. For example, green eyes love gold and honey colours, and brown eyes and darker complexions can also take them, yet they're best replaced by sandier blonde shades for those with fair and paler skin.
It is also important to consider how far you want to go with the process. Just a little brushed-through lightening work can subtly bestow you with that sun-kissed, 'straight off the beach' look, while other strategies such as framing the face in a series of gently lightening grades, and finishing with the tone that best suits your features, will create a far more dramatic and deliberate 'statement bronde' look.
Whatever your approach, if you've ever had your hair described as tawny, beige or mouse, why not come for a chat with one of our colour experts here at The Chapel, and use what we learned from last season to inspire your next 'do.
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