Just when we think this year's hair trends can't get any more Instagrammable than strandlighting (lightening just a pinch of hair strands at a time to create a natural, golden effect) or midlights (combining light and dark tones for an overall seamless, sun-kissed finish), another one makes its way onto our radar – and it's a contender for the most beautiful.
The trend in question? Shadow hair, or #shadowtone, as it's known on Instagram.
Employed by colourists all over the globe, the clever technique involves strategically placing a darker-toned dye in the mid-lengths of hair to create a natural-looking shadow effect. It's the perfect option for blondes who are looking to go a couple of shades darker but find dip-dyes too harsh and lowlights a little chunky.
Just like highlights and lowlights, the colour you choose can be painted onto your strands with a brush, but the palm-painting method – where a colourist basically uses both the palms of their hands and fingertips to apply the dye – makes the 'shadow' a little more believable and natural, rather than blocky or stripy.
Brunettes and redheads can also get in on the look. Just remember to choose a dye that is at least two to three shades darker than your current hair colour for the 'shadow' to show up. It's probably best to get your hair fix in salon, where your colourist will make sure not to concentrate the darker hue to one particular area so as to avoid a wodge of colour.
Of course, shadowing can work on all hair types, from poker straight to curly, but a quick scroll through Instagram proves that a subtle wave is the style of choice. Championed by hairstylists up and down the country, ghd's Curve Classic Wave Wand is oval-shaped to lend lengths lived-in movement rather than a tight curl. The trick is to leave the ends free.
Next salon appointment = sorted.