While old mate ombre was all about the jarring contrast to your natural roots, this highlighting technique offers a more, polished natural look that screams effortless elegance.
Perfect for blondes, brunettes and redheads alike, midlights are all about creating luscious texture and depth that works in harmony with your natural colour. The effect? Your fantasy natural hair, if you lived on a beach in Malibu.
In fact, if you think this look screams California cool it’s probably because the trend was developed by Beverly Hills-based hair colourist, Matt Rez. On his Instagram, Matt described the technique as a “balance of neutral, warm and cool tones” that are all about enhancing your natural hair colour, not radically altering it. “Don’t shift the natural base colour,’ says Matt in a post he shared of one midlight look, “my midlight technique creates these blended yet high contrast looks.”
A world away from the danger zones of potentially harsh tiger stripe highlights and flat, block colour lowlights, midlights are all about using warm and neutral tones to create a rich, natural look that leaves your hair looking. As Matt put it in an Instagram post, this trend is about ‘dimension all day’.
Because they work in harmony with your natural colour, midlights are perfect for the transition from long summer days to the changing seasons of autumn. The warm subtle tones are flattering all year round, making midlights the hair trend that we will still be obsessed with whether you’re on the beach, buying your first pumpkin spiced latte of the season, or working out what to wear for New Year’s Eve.
Discussing the trend, Jason Hogan, Celebrity and Associate Colourist at Josh Wood, said: “With balayage and ombre styles remaining popular, clients have become accustomed to having a heavier root to allow softer colour grow out between appointments. This hair technique is perfect for those who want to move away from that balayage or rooty look, still maintaining that blended colour contrast and soft grow out, but seeing that colour from root to tip.
“For those who like their colour to pop but not look harsh, the chosen shades blend flawlessly between the base colour and brightest piece, maintaining the tonal balance throughout the body of the hair, creating a better than natural effect.
“We will see the rise of milk chocolate and honey blondes, caramel and honeycomb mid-tones, as well as rich espresso and milk chocolate brunettes.
“Styling wise, it is all about polished high gloss hair with a suggestion of a wave – a sophisticated yet easy-glam look or if you can’t let go of summer a beachy wave with a matte finish for extra texture and epic volume.”
Depending on the salon, your colourist might use foils to achieve the look, while others apply dye freehand using their palms and hands to create that subtle, boho look that screams ‘just back from California’ even if you haven’t left Zone 1. If that isn’t #hairgoals, then we don’t know what is.