Trend alert: 'Tortoiseshell' hair is the perfect hair colour for the working woman

Trend alert: 'Tortoiseshell' hair is the perfect hair colour for the working woman
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So over ombre and on the hunt for a new hair hue? Try taking your colour cue from say, yummy Mummy Hannah Quinlivan or K-Pop princesses Jessica Jung and Yuri from SNSD, whose "tortoiseshell" tresses should make for a fabulous follicular conversation piece. Their cinnamon-coloured curls are gorgeous without being garish, and so very OL-friendly too, if we dare say so ourselves.

But hold up, what on earth is a tortoiseshell tint?

Here's a handy working definition from an expert: "Building off the ombre and sombre trends of the last few years, the tortoiseshell look essentially blends both of these techniques into one," says L'Oreal Paris celebrity hair colourist Kari Hill. "The trick to achieving the perfect tortoiseshell effect is to tie together the more bold and extreme look of ombre and marry it with a darker root, while still taking a cue from the sombre look and remaining soft and subtle throughout," Hill says.

Bottomline: What you should be aiming for is a strategic sheen to your hair that calls to mind the alluring amber glimmer of well, your precious pair of vintage tortoiseshell glasses.


Ask your colourist to bring the caramel colour up front, near the forehead, with ribbons of the same honey hue radiating down the entire length so as to simulate streaks of naturally "bronde" strands. Ideally, your mane man should brush on feathery flicks of rose gold and ash brown on select strands, as this freehand balayage or "veining" method allows for a supremely natural, lived-in finish we're gunning for here.

Oh, and there's a beauty bonus, too.

Take it from Kari Hill again: "If women don't want to keep up with the hair's natural regrowth, a benefit of this look is that the hair can grow into a beautiful, non-committed beachy-ombre as it looks naturally sun-kissed." In other words, because there's no obvious demarcation between dyed hair and new regrowth, this balayage technique also makes for a most cost-effective way of spreading out the months between each hair appointment.

Best of all, the tortoiseshell is super flexible, as the choppy colour of this peekaboo pouf is perfect for anything from a maximum-impact mane to a wavy Taylor Swift wob.

Tempted to treat your tresses to a terrific tortoiseshell surprise? Book a salon appointment, stat, and have lots of follicular fun!

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