Two-Toned, Dip Tipped Hair: Sorry Mama, I’m Going Blonde Again (Sort of..)

In I want... on October 20, 2010 at 5:38 am

I‘ve been trying to ignore this trend for as long as possible but I just can’t do it anymore.  My mother gave me strict instructions not to dye my hair, that’s right, my hair, and I fear that in completing this post, I will be more determined than ever to walk into a hair salon, thrust a photograph of Alexa Chung into the hands of a Parisian hairdresser and politely but firmly demand for “Le Dip Tip s’il vous plait”.

MessyNessy will be going for a look closest to Ashley Simpson (left). Right, Rachel Bilson dips her chestnut locks in a strawberry blonde colour.

Okay, so I am well aware that only two days ago, I posted a certain article that discouraged MessyNessyChic readers from tampering with their natural good looks! 😉 I’m going to have to worm my way out on that particular perspective when it comes to  the subject of hair however. Fortunately, colouring your hair, unlike cosmetic surgery, is a reversible process should it go horribly wrong and furthermore, by no means is it an indication that you might be developing a dysmorphic disorder. Like fashion, hair colour and style is another way of expressing one’s personality.

Behold Giselle, expressing her personality, communicating through her two-toned hair: "I am a stone-fox hippie that worships the sun (although originally brunette)"

The particular hairstyle du jour, dubbed the ‘dip & dye’, but also known as the ‘two-tone’, ‘dipped tips’ or ‘ombre’ trend, (essentially a ‘visible roots’ look) was once a terrifying concept, much like leggings or clogs once were. This fall, the fashion world has ranked this look as its most desirable– and I’m right there with them.

Why? I went blonde once, well, as blonde as a midnight brunette can go without turning her locks into straw. I liked it, but soon enough, I longed for my dark features again. This ‘ombre’ trend allows me to add that bit of blonde, ‘hippie’ spirit  into my tresses without losing the natural dark brown colour to frame my face. The very same advantage applies in reverse with blondes wishing to keep their blonde features  but  also try out life on the dark side (see Jessica Simpson below).

Works Both Ways- Jessica Simpson (left) and Lily Aldridge (right)

“The reason it’s so popular is that it works on a variety of colours. Obviously it’s brilliant on those with blonde shades but it looks just as good on brunettes and redheads,” says Christel Lundqvist, HOB Salons’ creative colour director.

How it’s Done

To layer or not to layer?

While some women like French actress, Vanessa Paradis have opted to try the two-tone look with minimal evidence of layering and poker straight hair (see below), when it comes to really showing off the gradually shaded colours, the best examples I have seen so far, have mostly been on layered, wavy and somewhat ‘messy’ hairstyles. That does not mean you should show up to the salon with a photograph of Jennifer Anniston’s ‘The Rachel’ circa 1996.

Hilary Swank and Vanessa Paradis try the Ombre look without layers

On Top or Bottom?!

The key is in the application. If it’s your first time coloring your hair, I recommend asking your stylist to use the Alexa Chung method (see title image) of tinting underneath, from the mid-length down or from a length you feel will suit you best. If you’re an experienced salon-goer and never shy when it comes to a bit of dye, try opting for a base colour close to your natural shade on top, even darkening your roots. This will make the ombre trend really pop, giving added texture and movement to the hair.

Clockwise from left: Whitney Port, Pixie Geldoff, Billie Piper, Flavia Oliveira, Drew Barrymore


“The best bit about undertoning is that it will save you time and money, which is especially important right now,” says Technical director of Andrew Barton Salons, AJ Blackadder. “It’s a low-maintenance style as you actually want the look of roots, meaning you can redo it whenever you want, rather than the religious six to eight weeks.”

The two-tone trend works equally well on hair with a bit of length as it does on shorter styles like Alexa Chung’s. Make it as subtle as extreme as you fancy and Mum, if you’re reading this, sorry, but it’s happening…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: