Home Hairdresser Harry Says: How to Get Expensive Looking Hair, Without the Maintenance

Harry Says: How to Get Expensive Looking Hair, Without the Maintenance

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The best hair color is the one that people think came out of your head.

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The best hair color is the one that people think came out of your head.

*Harriet Pudney is a beauty enthusiast and former Stuff journalist who lives in Melbourne.

OPINION: I had my first gray hair when I was 10. They were hidden in the back of my head, which is just as well because asking my mom to let me dye my hair at that age would have been quite a negotiation.

The grays have spread, sure, but so has my ability to make my own decisions about my hair.

These days, I’m at the salon every six weeks or so getting my roots done, which may be part of why 90% of my new co-workers didn’t realize I wasn’t a natural redhead.

We were talking about our weekend plans the other day and I said I was due for a color, and all but one were shocked to hear that I’m paying generously for mine.

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Immediately I thought, I have to tell my hairdresser. She will be delighted: what a compliment to her work. But I don’t think she would be surprised either.

When I last visited, we were talking about the fact that nobody wants high maintenance hair these days. It means wearable, flattering cuts for one thing – when I was talking about layers the other week, I think I was definitely onto something – and it also means color that doesn’t demand too much from its wearer.

Frequent and heavy appointments are not the move.

After two years at home, we are done with the scalp discolorations and cuts that have to be cut every time you change your sheets. Another hairstylist friend says she sees most of her regulars every eight or ten weeks instead of every six. At this stage, my regular touch-ups make me an outlier.

Post-pandemic, that means wearable, flattering cuts for one thing and it also means color that doesn't ask too much of its wearer.

Kate Green/Getty Images

Post-pandemic, that means wearable, flattering cuts for one thing and it also means color that doesn’t ask too much of its wearer.

What is right in trend is the color itself. Apparently all anyone wants is an expensive blonde or an expensive brunette, and I have the red version.

That means it’s less about the price of your date and more about how it looks: a dimensional, believable color that has depth and variation, but seems to the casual observer as if it’s grown from this way naturally. Unless they look at your eyebrows, they’ll never know.

It makes sense to me. I am less interested in looking current than in being beautiful. Less editorial, easier to live with. For once, this is indeed the trend.

If this all sounds rather appealing to you, you’ll want to ask your hairstylist for highlights and lowlights that don’t stray too far from your base color. How they achieve this is up to them, but there will most likely be some toner involved to tie the look together. Ask for the natural color of the luckiest person alive.

Then, once you have it, you will want to maintain it. There’s no substitute for a salon visit (I think various lockdowns have taught us all of that) but a good toning treatment will get you a long way.

The Evo Fabuloso range is excellent. The Cool Brown and Platinum Blonde shades, both $47, are the most popular.

For blondes with warmer tones, the Mr. Smith Pigment in Honey Blonde, $55, is just as sensational. These treatments replace your conditioner and are best left on for a few minutes and used once a week.

They add some color to your hair, so they’re ideal for a few weeks after your appointment when you’re not feeling so shiny. After all, you want to stay expensive.