Normcore Hair Color is Happening Now


Instagram: @jenniferlawrenceinform

New year, new resolutions. But while the thought of stricter workout schedules and renewed vows of healthier eating can be a real drag, here’s one easygoing trend to take the pressure off: normcore hair color is happening and it’s truly a case of less is more.

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What’s normcore? It’s a movement that took hold in 2014, which was, in essence, a purposeful dressing down. Out were the over-polished and over-thought outfits and in came suburban mall clothes that bordered on irony. Suddenly fashion literati were wearing mom jeans (a.k.a. slouchy boyfriend jeans) and Birkenstocks. In makeup, or really the lack thereof, bare undone faces became the look of the spring and summer. But somehow hair—blown out, with extensions, bleached platinum and dip-dyed shades of the rainbow—was exempt. No longer.

According to celebrity hairstylist Marie Robinson, the woman behind the colors of Michelle Williams, Natalie Portman and Emma Stone, among others, “natural” hair color is back and will be the headliner for 2015. She and her team has been steering her clients at her eponymous New York salon towards the color they had as a teenager. “It’s that look you saw on the girls in high school when they were just coming off summer and going back to school,” she says, pointing to salon clients like Candice Swanepoel’s more natural blonde and Elizabeth Moss’s approachable strawberry honey light brown. “There’s a little highlighting, but it’s much more simple than what has been happening,” Robinson adds. “It’s the anti-ombre and anti-platinum hair.”

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Curiously, she traces the getting-down-to-basics trend to a glamorous celebrity. “I think it’s because Jennifer Lawrence has been so huge and even though she’s had these different variations of cuts, her hair color has always been believable,” Robinson says. “That’s influenced women because people like her. She’s become a very popular request in the salon.”

Also, clothing’s normcore moment was one of many trend-lets that lit and fizzled last year—a bit like fashion A.D.D. “Fashion has been all over the place and I noticed women were embracing more eccentricity in their clothing, like mixing and matching prints,” Robinson notes. “You don’t want to be over-accessorizing—hair is an accessory—so you need to tone down something.”

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The way back to a natural look is fairly painless, although it will require an extra appointment or two at the outset. Robinson suggests blondes opt for more sandy shades as opposed to overly bright hues. Brunettes can keep it natural by adding subtle highlights that start at mid-shaft or about one and a half inches down from the root. “It’s much more the tawny ‘70s look,” Robinson describes. “The first appointment— we work to transition the client back to a more natural shade— can be a lot of work.  It depends on what shade we are coming from or going towards. Then I might add a lot of lowlights in various shades and blend them together for the natural look.  Overall, though, we do a lot less highlights.”

You also won’t have to be glued to the salon chair quite as often. With this shift in color, women are also getting “cleaner” haircuts, Robinson adds, both of which require less maintenance in the long-run. Ombré highlights might look great with lots of layers, but all-over color works well with one-length. In fact, Robinson is hoping that with more toned down color, more women will take risks with it comes to their cuts. “We’ve been stuck on this middle-long safe length for such a long time,” the stylist says. “I’m hoping people are going to get more daring—I mean, why not?”