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Paulette Tobin / Forum News Service, Published April 08 2013

Trendy tresses:

Just in time for spring flowers, new hues are blooming for hair color trends.

From the red carpet to the streets of Fargo, women are sporting shades of pink, red, lavender and blue this season.

Singer and “American Idol” judge Nicki Minaj has worn her hair in almost every shade imaginable, including a pink beehive, platinum blonde curls and a seafoam green pageboy.

Jessica Alba and dozens of other actresses have been seen in styles that are versions of the ombre look, dark at the scalp and lighter at the ends – a style that a generation ago might have been called: “Oops, I forgot to touch up my roots.”

Even elegant Oscar winner Helen Mirren has been on the red carpet with her sleek blonde cap of hair highlighted with strands of pastel pink.

Stylists in our area, too, report that more and more women are coming in looking for colors and styles that are brighter and more fun.

Yes, some are looking to interject some celebrity into their style, said Jamie Swenson, a cosmetologist at Avant Hair & Skin Care Salon in downtown Grand Forks. Others are bored with their “winter hair” and are looking for something fresh.

Hair this spring is not only brighter, but bigger and curlier, Swenson said.

“It’s becoming more and more popular,” she said. “I think it’s because spring is approaching. It (bright color) has been more of a request in the last three or four weeks.”

Of this spring’s fun and colorful hair color trends, here are some of the most popular, said Kelly Towstick, salon coordinator assistant for Avant.

Ombre

This application describes color applied in a fading effect.

For example, the roots of the hair are brown, but the color gradually fades to a lighter shade or to blonde at the ends.

It’s a low maintenance style, Towstick said. Some clients want the reverse, with lighter roots and darker ends. If you’re bold enough, the ombre effect can be done in blue, green, red and other shades, too.

Color blocking

Also known as paneling, color blocking describes adding color to just a portion of the hair, such as the bangs, or an unexpected streak peeking out from underneath a layer. It can be done with bright, bold colors or with more natural tones. When done correctly, it adds a multidimensional effect to the hair, Towstick said.

Color highlights

Color is a big trend right now, from soft pastels (think Kelly Osbourne of TV’s “Fashion Police” and her lavender locks) to the bright blue shades often sported by pop singer Katy Perry. Any time bright colors are applied to the hair, the hair must be pre-lightened to achieve that vibrant look.

Pastel color

Pastels are the next big thing, Towstick said. Pastel pinks and purples are expected to sweep the hair color world, both as whole hair looks and as accents in color blocking.

To add a color, you first have to remove pigment from your hair follicles with a bleach or other lightener. After the color is applied, women are told to curtail shampooing, to wash their hair – at most – every other day, and to use shampoo and conditioner and other hair products made especially for color treated hair, Swenson said.

Depending on what kind of hair you have, what color it was and what color it has become, your new color could grow out or wash out in three or four weeks, she said. The need to reapply color will depend upon how much color has been lifted out of the hair and how much color was deposited.

Any time you color your hair, whether you’ve made it brunette or bright blue, you can damage the hair cuticle. And if your hair already is damaged, a stylist may advise you not to color it until it is healthier, Swenson said.

Popular colors

Most recently, clients have been looking for fun hair colors, both underneath and on top of the hair, in the bangs and sometimes throughout the hair.

“We are doing more (color),” Swenson said. “Purple and pink are the two most popular colors, and blue would be a close third.”

Earlier this week, Anika Jurgens of Grand Forks and Laura Holt of Minneapolis stopped in for hair color at Avant. Master stylists Katelin Spray and Brynn Kobetsky used eight-inch brushes with short, stiff acrylic bristles to apply the color from small pots of a product that looked like creamy yogurt. After they brushed on the color, the stylists wrapped each section of hair in foil.

After a 20-or-so minute wait, Jurgens and Holt went to the shampoo bowl for a rinse with a botanical conditioner. Then came a blowout, and styling with hot irons and lots of good-smelling hair products. The whole process took about two hours.

Holt, who grew up in East Grand Forks, said she still travels from Minneapolis to have Kobetsky do her hair. When she left the salon, Holt’s shoulder-length hair was a rich brown at the roots and blonde at the ends, a version of the ombre hair style, with a few soft curls.

Jurgens’ hair was a deep burgundy before her new style, and some of the red pigment had been removed from her hair. Jurgens said her hair has been many colors over the years, and the red actually had been one of her favorite shades.

When Spray was finished, Jurgens’ just-over-the-shoulder length hair was several shades of dramatic coppery red, and Jurgens was obviously pleased.

“I like it,” she said during the blowout, a big smile on her face. And that’s just what a stylist wants to hear, Spray said.