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Trending Now: Lived-in Color

July 19, 2022

3 Min read

If you’re anything like me, your hair coloring cycle consists of getting highlights, hating the way they grow out, covering it all with a darker shade and then repeating. While getting new color is sure to flood you with serotonin for the next couple of weeks, it’s always a bummer when you inevitably notice the first signs of fading and growing out. I mean, consistent maintenance?! What a perfectly logical yet insanely irritating price to pay for beauty! 

But what if we went into the hair salon with no delusions of permanence? What if we planned our next look for the simple fact that time goes on and nothing stays the same? That’s where “lived in color” comes in. 

What is lived in color?

While the phrase “lived in” might sound like something you would read on a used couch listing, this trend is anything but dingy. The term was coined by the Beverly Hills celebrity colorist Johnny Ramirez and refers to a technique that allows your color to fade in a way that doesn’t ruin any of the original look. While the end result may look a lot like balayage, the technique is unique and requires a seasoned colorist to get just right.  The trick is to not just highlight the outside of the hair and blend color downwards like we do for balayage, but to lift color from the entire head and recreate a fake root at the crown that matches your natural hair. This allows your colorist to expertly blend your highlights into a controlled color environment and place these highlights in a way that optimizes the long-term “lived in” look once that root has grown out. 

While it does take a little longer in the chair (about six hours) opting for lived in color means less trips back to the salon and more money saved in the long run. A great lived-in look can last up to eight months! This technique is also 100% customizable, so whether you have rich chocolate brown or blonde hair to start, your colorist can mix you up a palette of highlighting shades to compliment your complexion. Before you begin, make sure to chat about warm vs. cool color tones and how much contrast you want in your highlights. Remember! Lived in works because it’s au naturel! 

Finally, a realistic hair look that can be enjoyed AS IS for months! No more beauty delusion or hair color mourning periods! But that doesn’t mean you can just forget about your hair completely until your next trip to the salon. When you get any kind of coloring, keeping your strands happy and hydrated is a must to retain color vibrancy and reduce damage. Maybe with a custom hair care routine perhaps? 


Care for your color with a custom hair care routine.



Lee Phillips is a freelance New York based storyteller across mediums. With a BFA in writing from The New School, Phillips uses language to convey her personal truths and imagine new worlds in fiction, poetry, screen writing and non-fiction. Her non-fiction can be found in office Magazine, CryBaby Zine, Period Space, Chanel Void, Editorial Magazine, 10011 Magazine and includes editorial work for brands. Her creative writing is published in Unvaeled Journal, Rookie Magazine, and her poetry book, “Nowhere Words,”  published in September of 2020.  In all of her work, she believes in creating content that engages viewers through shared experience and authentic narratives, rather than elitism or insecurity. Follow her instagram @c.har.lee for more.

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