Most tend to shy away from rainbow tones in their hair, but we've got a fun new way to incorporate some edge without a total color-commitment: rainbow ombré tips! Beauty trend-setters like Lauren Conrad have taken this look into the mainstream, with multi-colored dip-dyed hair that gradually blends up. Lauren may have recently re-dyed with a deep blue silvery gloss, but we still see a subtle hint of color that works on her blonde coloring. "Color trends go in and out of style and this is a a very young look," says Los Angeles-based colorist Kazumi Morton. "But it's still a fun way to spice up your appearance—changing your hair color is fun!"
For whimsical shades of blue and green to show up, brunettes need to pre-bleach their strands first. If you don't want to submit to extra chemicals, reds and purples can show up nicely on darker hair without drastic measures taken first. "I like doing dark and bright reds on darker hair because it gives a little bit more dimension and some edge without too much of a punk effect. On the other hand, pastel pink ombré looks fantastic on blond hair and fades really beautifully. You don't necessarily have to bleach the life out of your hair when doing a color treatment like this," says Kazumi.
With a hint of color in your hair, Kazumi preferes wavy and textured hair instead of stick-straight styles. "Hair should not be too perfect-looking with this type of color treatment," Kazumi explains. "It needs a rougher finish to break apart the color so you're not staring at a block of pigment. For girls with straight hair, use texture cream and hair spray to wave up your locks. The '70s are totally back, which means big, frizzy hair is totally en vogue again. To get that cool, grungy effect with your dip-dyed ends, use a powder spray to give voluminous texture and a dry finish, perfect for a sweaty summer scalp."
The best thing about this trend is that it's relatively easy to do yourself, and Kazumi's got a few tricks to perfect your ombré tips. "If you're bleaching your hair, make sure to start past your chin, then blend the other colors gradually up from the bottom. There's nothing worse than a harsh line of demarcation, so blend really well—you're creating an ombré effect, not color-blocking."
Use regular aluminum foil to wrap each strand, making sure the strand isn't thicker than your pinky finger. "You want the color to saturate evenly through each strand, so it's essential that they're all the same width. When you rinse the color out, only rinse the dyed portion of your hair, otherwise the color will bleed into parts of your hair you didn't want to turn blue," advises Kazumi.
The skies the limit for color options, but as a rule of thumb, blondes looks best in hues like pink, blue, and purple, brunettes take in red, purple, and green tones best, and red-heads can pull off more unusual shades like yellow, orange, and teal.
After graduating from the Vidal Sassoon Academy, colorist Kazumi Morton was taken under the wing of hairstylist Stuart Gavert, of Gavert Atellier salon. She has worked on such celebrities as Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Christina Applegatei. Kazumi currently works her hair color magic at the Neil George Salon in Beverly Hills.