How to make Ultra Violet work for your clients

Ultra Violet is the colour of 2018, according to Pantone – not an especially easy shade to bring into the salon, but it can be done (and not just for the extroverts, but the shrinking violets, too). Here’s how to make the colour purple work for your clients

Musical icons Prince, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of ultra violet into mainstream culture decades ago, making it synonymous with personal expressions of individuality and non-conformity, and now, as clients experiment with their hair colour like never before, it’s back to push everyone that little bit further once more.

“Ultra Violet tones exert creativity, allowing boundaries to be pushed,” says Ashleigh Hodges, creative director at Jamie Stevens Hair. “We’ve seen these shades in different variations, as well as being used to update and restore older balayage with a new, colourful finish.”

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, describes the colour as a “blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level”.

But the best thing about this colour? It can work for dark-haired clients, according to Leah Durrant, owner and director of Leah Durrant Hair & Beauty Re:Treat. “For clients that have been reluctant to try a crazy shade, because it requires bleaching and they have dark hair, this is for them as the deep bluish-purple will show up without lightening the hair first,” explains Leah.

Hair: Charles Worthington
Hair: Crazy Color

So for clients that want to try this Pantone purple loud and proud, Paul Callaghan, Crazy Color ambassador, suggests using the shades Crazy Color Violette and Hot Purple on your dark-haired clients or for something more in the pastels spectrum, opt for Crazy Color Lavender. “Shades of lavender, lilac and Cadbury purple are among the purple shades that are going to be popular this year and were all over the catwalks at JW Anderson, Chloé and Mulberry,” says Paul.

If your client is a light blonde and is willing to try something new, Paul suggests coloured roots. “This is a great trend for those who find it hard to tackle that tough root grow-out. Incorporating some vibrant purple at the root extends time between touch ups and is a cool way to showcase the Ultra Violet trend,” he says.

While some clients will no doubt love the idea of going full-on Ultra Violet, how can you adapt this colour trend for the shrinking violets among us?
“You can tame this trend by creating a smokier violet shade,” says Steph Peckmore, group colour director at Bad Apple Hair. “This a more modern take on bright purple as it colours the hair with multiple cool-toned purples, giving it dimension and movement and a more subtle look, which may be easier to maintain.”

Hair: Bad Apple

When it comes to colour palette, Steph suggests lilac hues and deep plums. “When placed together, these tones complement and add dimension,” she adds.

The Ultra Violet shade can also be used to update a client’s traditional highlights. “Use the traditional highlighting method, but add some violet toner over the top. Violet tones wash out easily if they aren’t too rich, so can be great fun for a week or so after a client’s appointment where the hair will then revert back to normal blonde highlights,” says Steph.

And when thinking about skin tone and the right shade of purple, Neil Barton, director of Neil Barton Hairdressing, has some advice: “Deeper purple shades suit darker skin tones, whereas paler skin tones can get away with mixing lilacs and purples for a ‘mystic unicorn’ look.”

Hair: Bad Apple

For clients that would like to try a bold colour, but aren’t keen to even try temporary colour, opt for extensions.

“When it comes to colour trends and bold colours, I find many of my clients like to use clip-in hair extensions mainly due to practicality and expense,” says Angela Mason, owner of Angela Mason Hair Extensions. “Clip-ins are a cost-effective way of testing out new colour trends. I would recommend an Ultra Violet balayage or ombré to work the look most effectively.”