Colour blocking is the ultimate trend for versatility and creativity. Not only can clients experiment with colour combinations, but they can also pick different design placements on their hair. So, it’s only right for HJ to dedicate an entire article to everything there is to know about colour blocking…
Image credit: Simon Townley
What Is Colour Blocking?
Generally, colour blocking can be described as colouring the hair in different placements, or 'blocks', to create dramatic or subtle results with harsh contrasts or seamless blends between them. Plus, with the concept being used in home interiors, make-up and nails, colour blocking proves to be a great way to express unique creativity.
Colour blocking can be used as an addition to a haircut in order to elevate the look. Matrix Artist Ambassador, Michelle Summers Davies, says: “I like to work with shapes and placement to create a design where the colour gives a dramatic look and enhances your client’s individual haircut. It really gives that bespoke service.” It’s also beneficial to consult with your client before the process to make sure that they get the best out of the look. Darren Fowler, Creative Director at Fowler35, points out: “You need to understand your client’s habits of partings, pushing their hair back and any updos. You need to know how the colours and blends will regularly be seen.”
How Can We Make Colour Blocking Relatable to More Clients?
Although colour blocking is a great way for clients to rock vibrant and bright colours, this may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Fortunately, the trend’s versatility allows you to alter different aspects to get it just right for every client. Make sure you have a thorough consultation before the process. “Find out what your client’s expectations are and if they have any limits,” Matrix Artist Ambassador, Simon Townley, comments.
An easy solution is to use more subtle colours, Brooke Evans, owner of BE Ironbridge, says: “Using a natural colour palette will allow clients to try out colour blocking without it being too scary! Also, you can use a softer technique with foils so the results are less harsh.”
For clients with hair starting to turn grey, colour blocking is a nice way to celebrate the transition. Loretta Marie, owner of Loretta Marie Hair, explains: “Accentuating colours that are already present in the client’s hair is a great way to pick the colours you will use. You should bring natural grey blocks out, rather than cover them up!” Additionally, Jordanna Cobella, Wella Professionals Colour Ambassador and Trend Forecaster, says to honour greying hair. She suggests: "Clients with grey hair can transform the the Alice Band into the ‘Wisdom Streak’ as a grey or white coloured panel to blend in any natural grey hair." However, if your client wants to hide their greys, colour blocking is also a great style to cover, and distract from, them.
Appealing to clients with grey hair can be difficult when offering them colour services. Read next: Gen X And Baby Boomer Colour Clients Respond To The Cost Of Living Crisis In Hair Salons
Despite how vibrant colours are often used, clients may be tempted to have colour blocking as it’s not as high maintenance as it may seem. “I am an advocate for colour blocking as it gives such an impact with minimal effort, especially with styles like the chunky money piece or a big block through the parting,” Loretta Marie explains. “This is probably why I have had the colour block look for the past few years – I’m pretty lazy with my hair, so this is a minimum effort but maximum impact look.”
Ensure that clients know about the best hair wash routine for maintaining the colour’s longjevity. Not only may there be colour transfer, but the colours will start to dull. Clients need to use colour protecting shampoos and a conditioner to keep the bleached hair healthy. “If clients rinse their hair in lukewarm water, this will help prevent the colour fading too,” Michelle Summers Davies adds.
To maintain the look’s tidiness, Kat Duke, Stylist at Jack & The Wolfe, suggests: “Clients should visit your salon every six weeks or so for a root tint and a tonal refresh.” Services like a gloss service could be added too.
It's worth your client maintaining their look, as colour blocking is here to stay. "Unlike other colour trends in the past few years, colour blocking is super versatile and will be used to express individuality and identity," Jordanna Cobella describes. "It's a chance for clients to have fun, experiment with all the different types of looks and personalities at play."
“My top tip for colour blocking is to always start with a colour wheel. Understanding complementary shades ensures a harmonious blend and creates a look that truly captivates.”
“For easy application, make your colour block the same width as your tint brush. This keeps sections neat and clean, and is just less fussy work for us.”
Grace Dalgleish, yuv UK Colour Ambassador
“I work with triangular sections to diffuse the colour. This means you can still get a really strong and contrasting placement, but the grow out is a lot softer than a typical square placement.”
“My top tip is to always try and achieve the cleanest sections. If you want the block colour to pop, you need to have strong lines. You can also use cotton wool at the root to stop the colours bleeding into one and other. If you’re using different colours, you can put in paper or foil, or work free hand.”
Why not colour block with this season's trending shade?
Image: Loretta Marie Hair