Everything You Need to Know About Tortoiseshell Hair

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They say the tortoise wins the race, and that couldn’t be more true in the beauty world. Move over highlights, bye-bye balayage, and so-long dip-dye – the hottest hair trend in town is tortoiseshell color, or écaille as it’s known in Paris. Having started in the French capital, it’s now been spotted all over LA and London on celebrities the likes of Gisele, Rosie Huntingon-Whiteley, Blake Lively, and Khloé Kardashian. Bright blondes and dip-dyes are a thing of the past, as the focus on natural, rich color is now bigger and better than ever.

“Tortoiseshell is a multi-dimensional, slightly more brunette variation of the ombré trend. Where ombré focuses on dying and highlighting techniques, tortoiseshell is more about the variation in color.”

JetSet Grosvenor House’s Raul Layous, one of the leading hairstylists in town, tells Savoir Flair, “Tortoiseshell is a multi-dimensional, slightly more brunette variation of the ombré trend. Where ombré focuses on dying and highlighting techniques, tortoiseshell is more about the variation in color. We achieve the look by sectioning the hair in a hexagonal shape, similar to that of a tortoiseshell, and then applying the color either freehand or with foils. The result is a gorgeous, multidimensional array of colors that can range from chocolate, honey, and mahogany to golden blondes – similar to the shades found naturally on a tortoiseshell.”

The style is relatively new and, as a result, hard to find in salons in the UAE, but Rachael Stevenson, the color expert at SLaM Salon who manages the mane of regional ‘It’ girl Tala Samman, shared with us her tips on what to ask for to get the look. “If you already have ombré, then this is the perfect base to add a few baby lights through the parting to blend the roots with the ends. However, keep the tips and some of the mid-lengths brighter, as this will help add masses of texture. If you’re starting from scratch, ask your stylist for some fine highlights or baby lights through the parting and hairline and some painted-on chunkier pieces through the ends to give that gorgeous glow that complements a tousled, beachy hairstyle.”

Click here to see which celebrities are loving tortoiseshell locks and get inspired to try the look for yourself.

Photos: Courtesy of Getty Images

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