The past twelve months have seen a wave of transformative hair colours that have hit the market.  They are bright and vibrant at the same time as being elegant and subtle. With plenty of new break out brands boasting a kaleidoscope of colour, it’s easy to point to a photo of your favourite celebrity and demand your stylist work his or her magic.

However, before you do, there are several things you need to consider from skin tone to hair condition to the clothes you wear (yes, these beautiful hues may not match the colours that dominate your wardrobe!) So before you take a leap into the colour wheel of hair options, it’s prudent to know how these looks are achieved, and what it takes to get there. Sioban Guilfoyle, Glow Salon & Spa’s Managing Director selects six popular looks and explains exactly how they are achieved and who they are best suited to.


One thing that needs to be understood when deciding what colour to select, is what your existing hair tone is, not necessarily the colour. It’s easy to imagine a piece of paper and a box of colouring pencils. If your original piece of paper is yellow, and you want to colour it darker such as brown, it is easy to totally obliterate the yellow tone beneath. However, if you wanted your yellow piece of paper to become white, it’s likely that you will need to treat the paper to remove the original colour. Similarly, if your original piece of paper is dark brown or black, it’s likely that non of the pencils in your box will make any impact on the original colour so it will need to be striped of its colour. When that stripping (or bleaching) occurs, the best colour to strip it back to, in order to create a clean palette for the new colour, is white. But stripping the pigment until it’s white can be incredibly harsh, and in many situations, is not recommended. Therefore, the tone of your hair greatly impacts the results of the subsequent colour you want to add to it. 

The Bronzed Brunette

There are few things that Columbian bombshell Sofia Vergara and British-born actress Kate Beckinsale have in common but one similarity we admire is their picture-perfect honey tresses. Whether walking the red carpet, kicking back or being papp’d running errands, their balayaged locks always look luscious and gorgeous.

Bronzed Brunettes Hairstyles

Get the Look:

Favoring long, soft, shiny curls parted in the middle, these ladies never have a hair out of place. These bronzed styles start with a dark root, keeping the style subtle. It is therefore, an easy and obvious style choice for those with an already dark root looking for a relatively low maintenance style without looking monochromatic and flat.

The gentle highlight colours catch the light, using a technique called “Balayage”, ensuring a softer more natural look than traditional highlights. The lighter colours are focused from midway down the hair bringing the lighter colour through to the ends.

To keep this style looking great, especially in the Hong Kong humidity, a keratin smoothing treatment will improve manageability and reduce styling time.

Extensions can be used to add volume for this style, and can also be used to work in colour contrast, therefore protecting your own hair from highlighting damage.

Who Can Pull it Off?

This is a great style and colour treatment for anyone with long hair wanting to add texture and volume. This technique also works for those with finer and shorter hair too, with the results giving the illusion of fulness.

A Balayage is perfect for Asian and South Asian hair types, allowing very dark brunettes to achieve a softer glamorous finish. The colour adds dimension by adding warm tones such as golden reds or caramels, or ash tones like chocolate brown or grey on a very dark brown or black base.


This is a fairly low maintenance style, simply requiring root touch up’s if you have grey hair. To keep the style looking like you just stepped out of the salon, the balayage will need touching up every 3 – 6 months depending on how quickly your hair grows, but can also be left longer as the balayage colouring technique allows a natural look as the style grows out.


Depending on your base colour, plan on spending $2500 – $3900 with a Senior Stylist.

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Not Recommended For:

People with extremely curly hair or longer, very fine thin limp hair.


Pretty in Pastels

Colours are all the rage right now with trends leaning towards platinums, pastels and metallics.  Lilacs, rose gold, ash blue, and teal, are not only beautiful, but when done well, are deeply flattering and edgy without going too wild. Shadow roots also soften the look creating a subtle two-tone blend without the disastrous grown in roots look.

Pretty Pastels Hairstyles

Get the Look:

Ready for a change? Ready to take the plunge? This styling technique is not free from complication and will require commitment to keep it looking in top condition!

It is essential that your hair is in excellent condition before starting this coloring process. If it is not, and you are determined to indulge in these beautiful pastels, it is likely your stylist will send you home with a course of treatments, like Olaplex No3. home care, to use for a few weeks leading up to your coloring appointment.

It is highly recommended that you work with an experienced colorist and if you are at all unsure, expect that he or she will recommend that you consider your colouring decision for 24 hours before proceeding with your appointment.

Achieving these fantastic colours, especially the very light and pastel colours, requires your stylist to lift almost all of the colour pigment from your hair, taking the hair to almost white in the areas where the new colour is to be applied.

Whilst the greatest care will be taken by your stylist, using protection treatments throughout the coloring process, unfortunately, there will likely be damage to your hair.

The colours will look awesome when you leave the salon, and it is likely your stylist will arm you with colour treatments to use at home to maintain the colour and rebuild and improve the condition of your hair.

This colour work has a tendency to wash out quickly, so regular salon visits will be required if you want to maintain the original colour. However, these colour pigments are designed to wash out evenly leaving a beautiful subtle version of the original colour so if you prefer not to spend the money and take the time visiting the salon to keep the original colour, you can be confident that these colours, if done well, will fade beautifully over time.

Who Can Pull it Off?

If you are ready to make a statement and want to add a little subtle colour to your look and understand that this colour technique requires time and commitment from you, then you are ready. Short hair, Long Hair, fine or course, the key to achieving these beautiful pastel colors is starting with hair that is strong and healthy.


To keep the original colour and to optimize the condition of your hair, initially the maintenance on this style is fairly intensive, requiring regular visits to the salon to add more colour pigment and to do in-salon conditioning treatments.

To keep the style looking like you just stepped out of the salon, expect that you will need to visit the salon every 3 – 6 weeks. These styles look fantastic against a dark root colour, so it you have grey hairs, you will likely need to touch up the root colour on a regular basis too.


Depending on your base colour and the amount of work required, plan on spending $3500 – $4500 with a Senior Stylist.

Not Recommended For:

Very soft and delicate hair types, like African hair types. Very dark hair types, like Asian and South Asian, whilst not impossible, may find it difficult to achieve the very light tones. Hair previously colored with dark or red pigments may also struggle to achieve the very light tones.


Blonde Besties

The blonde spectrum is huge. Ranging from ash, pearl, golden, caramel, honey, platinum and more. There’s no shortage of choices when it comes to blondes these days.

Traditional Blonde

Jennifer Aniston has been the hair envy of Hollywood for decades and the sleek caramel highlights against her sun-kissed complexion provides a warm depth of colour.

Jennifer Aniston hairstyles

Get the Look:

When starting with a darker base, getting the look will require some discussion with your stylist. Your stylist will discuss with you the colour tones that are most appealing to you and equally importantly, they will try to identify the colour tones that you are least comfortable with.

If you are going blonde for the first time, the colour change can often be quite shocking and your stylist may recommend you start with a subtle change, perhaps with lighter strands to frame the face, allowing you to transition to the lighter colour over time.

Remember that the base and the highlights are designed to contrast, so selecting the base colour is as important as choosing the tone of the highlights. Darker bases will often make the highlights look lighter.

Do not be at all surprised when your stylist suggests muti-tones, mixing caramels and blondes to achieve the most natural look.

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If you are working with a new stylist remember, achieving the perfect colour is a process, and whilst every effort will be made to achieve the perfect colour on your first appointment, you may find you need to work with your stylist over several highlighting appointments, to find the colour that is perfect for you

Who Can Pull it Off?

When thinking traditional blonde then darker or more yellow / golden-toned skins tend to suit golden or honey hues, buttery, golden, and caramel tones.

Finding a shade that will complement your eye and skin coloring, is key to achieving the right colour and your stylist who looks at blondes every day, should be able to guide you in the right direction.

Not Recommended For:

Whilst not impossible, traditional blonde is not recommended for Asian and South Asian hair types. Nor is this a colour treatment recommended for very soft and delicate hair types, like African hair types. If you have very frizzy and very porous hair, you may struggle with maintaining your condition and find that your hair breaks easily. As such, highlights are generally not recommended for this hair type unless you are prepared to do in-salon and at home repair, and hydration treatments.

Ash Blonde

Ash tones are a white/silver blonde and can be quite extreme on some skin tones so it is worth careful consideration before heading down this path.

Ash Blonde celebrity hairstyles

Get the Look:

With the recent development and improvement of in-colour treatments like Olaplex and the “Brazillian Blowout” B3 treatments, celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lawrence and Taylor Swift have all had turns in seeing how far they can push the ashy look.

Getting this look needs your consideration. The very light tones are challenging to achieve on some hair types and if you decide to go with the current trend and retain a very darkbase colour, they can be quite a surprise, especially if you are used to looking at yourself with darker or more golden shades.

In addition to achieve these very white shades, there will be some damage to your hair. The natural hair colour needs to be lifted to almost white before applying the correct toning shade. Olaplex should be used to protect the hair as much possible against damage.

As mentioned, if this is a new colour for you, achieving the perfect colour is a process and sometimes may take multiple attempts to get it perfect – work with your stylist over several highlighting appointments, to find the colour that is perfect for you.

Who Can Pull it Off?

Pale skin with pinky undertones – Generally speaking, paler, pink-ish skin tones suit cool, delicate blondes like ash, beige or baby-blonde. However, these light colours can look stunning on darker skin tones too.


Your colour will only ever be as good as the condition your hair is in. Using Olaplex home care and visiting the salon for regular treatments will keep your hair in great condition and help with the longevity of our colour.

It is also important to use shampoos and conditioners specifically designed for coloured hair. At Glow we recommend using a silver or purple shampoo and we have several high quality brands available from bhave to Evo to Davines to maintain the beautiful ash/white colour and to kill the yellow tones.

It is important to know that ash tones wash out quickly, especially in an environment where the water is “hard.” We are lucky in Hong Kong, the water is relatively “soft.” However, we face other challenges that will affect the retention of those ashy tones, like chlorine and salt water exposure, sun exposure and the constant air-con, which dries our hair and skin.

If you decide ashy/white is the colour for you, then help maintain your colour by booking with your stylist to have a toner on a regular basis.


Depending on your base colour and the amount of work required, plan on spending $2500 – $4000 with a Senior Stylist.

Not Recommended For:

South American, South Asian and Asian hair types are not ideal for these very white tones, as these hair types tend to be difficult to lift and throw orange and red tones.


Red Heads

Contrary to popular belief, being a redhead has many appealing and beautiful benefits. So much so, many Hollywood actresses are enhancing their raven locks with brighter and bolder shades, creating an altogether fierce and elegant look. Whether you have naturally ginger tints or are an undeniable redhead, we encourage you to embrace the beauty of red.
Red Head Celebrity Styles

Get the Look

It is surprising how many people can pull of the red hue and until they try they don’t even realise!

Have a good chat with your stylist and work through what will best flatter you taking into consideration both your skin tone and eye colour. Look through a few  photos of celebrities or models who have similar skin tones to you and see what looks best on them.

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Red hair colour requires a reasonable amount of maintenance, you should anticipate seeing your stylists every 4 – 6 weeks as Red has a tendency to fade quickly. It is very likely that your wardrobe and your make up will need a change too, so if you are lucky enough to see a hairstylist who is also a make-up artist you may like to ask for a few tips on how to compliment your new look.

When you colour your hair red, it is a good idea to try to leave your hair as long as possible after your colour to allow the cuticle of the hair to close. This will minimise the amount of colour loss after your first wash. The warm water of your shower will swell your hair cuticle allowing the red colour molecules to escape, and it is a good idea, if you can tolerate it, to do a cold rinse of your hair at the end of your shampoo to seal that cuticle again

Who Can Pull it Off?

Bright red and full head dark reds look especially beautiful on pale skin tones with light blue and green eye colour. The right red is absolutely divine on Asian skin tones, and red can be blended through most hair types adding a rich warmth to darker hair tones.

It is all about making sure you get the right red. Orange red is awesome on very pale, freckly skin tone, but not so hot if you have a golden tan!

There is an array of red tones, from pale copper through to deep mahogany as a general rule, the darker your skin tone, the darker red your hair should be. So, research, discuss and check out what will work best for you before taking the plunge!


At Glow, we recommend using the Davines Alchemic shampoo and conditioner for red hair. This is a colour-depositing conditioner you can leave on and allow to saturate your hair for up to 20 minutes. This will keep your red colour vibrant and fresh looking.

If you want to avoid that faded red look, that can so often turn to orange, then regular visits to the salon will be required.


Depending on your base colour and the amount of work required, plan on spending $1500 – $2500 with a Senior Stylist.

Not Recommended For:

The good news is that red tones suit almost all hair types and skin types!



Multi colour and unicorn hair is very in right now and with the right colour technician and products, can achieve stunning results.
Multicolour hair styles

Get the Look:

Unicorn or Pegausus?! These bright and vibrant  colours will have you on top of the world and casting magic spells!

This colouring technique is fun and luckily it is slightly easier to achieve and maintain than the pastels and metallic colours that are equally as popular at the moment.

Hair that is in excellent condition is essential before starting this colouring process as this colouring technique requires the hair to be lightened, before the colour is applied. Thankfully, the unicorn colours, which are usually darker and brighter than the pastels and metallic’s do not require the hair to be quite as light as would be required for pastel, so there is very slightly less damage involved!

However, with that being said, achieving these fantastic colours requires your stylist to remove a significant amout of the colour pigment from your hair in the areas where the new colour is to be deposited. While your stylist will use protection treatments, like Olaplex, throughout the coloring process, unfortunately there will likely be damage to your hair.

Unlike the pastels and metallic, many (but not all) of the unicorn colours are ‘stain colours” rather than ‘soft colours’. This type of colour will stain the hair shaft and will change the colour profile of the hair permanently. To remove it, you can usually colour this hair darker or you may prefer to cut out the colour. This needs to be taken into consideration before making the change and becoming a unicorn for life!

Who Can Pull it Off?

Unicorns, fairies, pixies, and other mythical creatures!

If you are a unicorn at heart, embrace it and show it in your hair!


Depending on your base colour and the amount of work required, plan on spending $1500 (for a few sections of colour) – $4500 for a full unicorn mane with a Senior Stylist.

Not Recommended For:


Our friendly, expert team at Glow Salon would love to meet you for a free consultation, drop us an email at or call us on 2525 5198.

Or come in and see us at Glow Salon, 9F Parker House, 72 Queens Rd Central

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