Written by Lauren Cunningham
Building on balayage, this tasty-sounding trend has taken the top spot.
The first thing you think of when you hear the word tiramisu may not be your mane, granted. But if you’re someone who likes high-impact hair with minimal effort, then you’re going to want to modify your definition of the dessert. As tasty as that particular pudding may be, what we’re interested in today is that it has been adapted into a rather lovely layered hair colour, so I headed down to Hari’s salon in London to see what all the fuss was about.
For context, few people could be as low-maintenance with their hair as I am. Although my waist-length locks may appear big and bouncy with a wavy texture, a splattering of curls, and a bronde balayage running from root to tip, I’m guilty of only getting my hair cut and coloured once a year. Yes, it’s terrible; I’m well aware. But being one of the biggest fans of balayage, the growing out gives it more character, and as no root touch-up is needed, it makes for one of the most low-maintenance styles you can select.
So for those who don’t want to keep taking turns in the hairdresser’s hot seat, the dessert-named design is sure to impress. And I would more than recommend it to anyone looking to level up their look with minimal effort. After all, unless you can commit to keeping up a full head of colour, best to keep things nice and easy, right?
What is tiramisu hair?
Shooting to fame late last year thanks to Emma Roberts’s new ’do as designed by hairstylist Nikki Lee, tiramisu hair is taking its turn as a tantalising new trend, and we’ve seen countless celebrities and cool girls follow suit.
“The tiramisu colour trend consists of three different shades of brown: a warm tan shade with a yellow undertone, a deep warm brown, and a light brown with a more gold reflect,” explains Jake Nugent, OSMO ambassador and hair colour expert. Which, you may have guessed, is why it has earned the same name as the delectable dessert (which famously has a trio – sometimes more – of tones from the various layers of cream, coffee and chocolate).
“The trend also features a shadowed root or a root smudge, where the highlights are lightly painted over with a shade closer to your natural hue. This creates a very natural blend of dark and light, which ends up looking natural as well as being extremely low maintenance,” Nugent adds. And I know I’m not alone in liking the sound of that.
Building on the balayage technique – where lighter shades are swept through the strands for a subtle, natural-looking layered effect without reaching the root – the tiramisu trend makes more of this multi-layered approach, ensuring effortless blending with softer shades rather than a harsh highlight. As Nugent sums up in just one sentence: “It’s just like a balayage, except less is more.”
What happened when I got tiramisu hair
Going in with what I believed to be a balayage, but what was actually more of an ombré, according to Hari’s senior colourist, Melanie Smith, the winter weather combined with a barrage of past-bleaching had left my strands in a straw-like state. A far cry from the creamy texture of a tiramisu, that’s for sure.
So Melanie set to work to find a style for the tiramisu trend that wouldn’t lead to snappable locks, and we found it in fabulous chocolate tones. After all, in her own words, she’s “not a paint-by-numbers colourist”, and giving due consideration to the canvas you’re working on is the most important part of achieving a current, statement-making style with still healthy hair.
While some takes on the tiramisu hair trend focus on bright, blonde shades, Melanie’s adaptation called for more chocolate tones, with five shades of delicious-looking caramel layers weaving through. Working with the current ombré look of my locks, there’s also a slight gradient, although nowhere near as harsh as before, and a few foils were added to the front to frame the face and give that golden glow to the skin. Combined with the new trending C-cut shape, it looked stunning, if I do say so myself.
To finish, two glosses were lacquered onto my locks to truly give that richness of a tiramisu while boosting the health of the hair with some much-needed moisture. Doesn’t it sound delicious? And as you can see, it looks good enough to eat.
Who can try tiramisu hair?
The best thing about this balayage adaptation is that you can try it on a whole range of hair tones, even redheads, according to Melanie, by simply selecting complementary caramel shades that subtly sit within the natural colour. And it complements any skin tone and face shape, too.
While it takes some real skill to ensure it is effortlessly blended – and this must be done by a professional to achieve the look, so please put the box dye down – it makes for a lovely low-maintenance look once you’re at home. As the colour doesn’t quite reach the root, there will be no obvious fade as your hair starts to grow, and the subtlety of the shades is so near to natural no one will be the wiser. Although Melanie does suggest a gloss treatment every six weeks to keep it spick and span.
When at home, just be sure to keep it gorgeously glossy through weekly hair masks, colour-boosting conditioners and nourishing hair oils. After all, no one wants a dry dessert, do they?
Images: courtesy of Lauren Cunningham
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