Searching for an on-trend shade to entice colour-shy clients? This new technique has it all sewn up

After the rise in trends and techniques like ‘flannel hair’, this season sees a new kid on the block in the form of ‘tweed hair’ – a combination of balayage and highlights which takes its inspiration from textiles. To get the lowdown on the latest trend taking over Instagram, we spoke to a selection of colourists about making the technique work for salons across the nation.

Tweed hair creates a subtle, earthy colour which has become popular in salons throughout America, according to Chicago-based colourist Rex Jimieson. Speaking to Allure magazine, Rex explained that recently he’s noticed a shift to a more subdued highlighting technique, rather than clients requesting dark roots and highly contrasting lighter ends.

While balayage and highlighting have long reigned supreme in salons, Jordanna Cobella of Cobella London says: “the main difference between standard highlighting and tweed hair is the overall dimension and placement of colour. The tweed technique gives you ribbons of lightness and darkness but without the overbearing streaky finish, and with a more subtle and subdued contrast in tones.”

As with many trends, Jordanna mentions that it is an evolution from the balayage and root melt trend. “It has been born out of the desire to bring lightness back to the root while maintaining a multi-dimensional colour with a very natural looking result.” The technique can be achieved in a number of ways, but Jordanna suggests alternating teased finely weaved sections, and slightly larger weaved sections all painted from the root.

Not only ideal for blondes, Katie Hale of Charles Worthington Salons believes the technique can be used on any hair colour. “You can really experiment with your colour palette. This technique can even be used on a deep brunette undertone, with contrasting mahogany strands. The key is to keep the colour subtle – think of your colour choice and whether they will compliment each other well.”  She adds: “always bare in mind the base you are working on. The main aim to keep a subtle contrast, so less is definitely more! When creating this look, keep your ‘tweed’ shade within 2-3 shades from the base you are working on.”

For those working with colour-shy clients, Jordanna explains that it is a “fantastic introduction to all fashion shades, without the full commitment of becoming a bleach regrowth client. It is so easy to wear and leaves a beautifully blended, natural result. It also works with natural warm undertones, so is a great way of encouraging clients to try something different in a more natural way.”

Similarly, Katie suggests that the technique can be sold to colour-shy clients as “a low-maintenance shade which will compliment their natural base rather than removing it.” To create a really soft effect which will leave them wanting more, “always start with smaller stitches and sections for the first time, then gradually the more confident they become, the larger the stitch can go to add more contrast.”