Hair colour trend overload

Trends are things that keep us interested in the world of hair, they can inspire us, define us, help our businesses grow and enable us to make money. Not so many years ago trends would filter down from the catwalk into a magazine and eventually onto the high street (remember that brilliant scene in the Devil wears Prada?).

That has all changed with social media – especially Instagram and Pinterest – and online fashion sites. Personally,  I have done well by introducing a perceived trend – balayage – to the UK market, but that was an already an established technique in France and USA; it just hadn’t caught on in the UK.

This is what ‘trend’ means

trend |trend|
1 a general direction in which something is developing or changing: an upward trend in sales and profit margins.
2 a fashion: the latest trends in modern dance.
3 a topic that is the subject of many posts on a social media website within a short period of time: for more than 20 days in a row, most of the top Twitter trends were Olympics-related.
verb [no object]
1 change or develop in a general direction: unemployment has been trending upward.
• (especially of geographical features) bend or turn away in a specified direction: the Richelieu River trends northward to Lake Champlain.
2 (of a topic) be the subject of many posts on a social media website within a short period of time: I’ve just taken a quick look at what’s trending on Twitter right now | (as adjective trending) : today’s top trending topics.

Old English trendan ‘revolve, rotate,’ of Germanic origin; compare with trundle. The verb sense ‘turn in a specified direction’ dates from the late 16th century and gave rise to the figurative use ‘assume a general tendency’ in the mid 19th century, a development paralleled in the noun.

In this fast-paced world, the word trend is being thrown around way too casually. Two posts that catch the eye on Instagram suddenly become the latest trend. It’s just not true. It feels forced. There is no room for a look or a micro trend to be nurtured until the next fast thing comes along. So just because something gets labelled with a quirky name it doesn’t always make it something new to fashion that we need to follow – it could be simply fantastic colour work.

The balayage or freehand movement has totally changed the UK colour market, in fact really the global hair market and you can see that evolving on social media. It is a totally different approach to foil, but the reality is that the placement and application of colour and the shade choice that makes trends and they need time and nurturing from colourists.

Is the future going to overload us with all these trends and micro trends or are we going to be able to see through the trees into the field? As professional colourists we need to focus on producing beautiful hair with brilliant placement and clever colour choice and keep our eyes out for genuine trends.

This post was updated in September 2018

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