The vibe here is neither beachy nor Y2K money piece, where two chunky blonde ribbons frame the face. “Kate never follows trends so we came up with glow lights rather than a face frame as it’s a bit softer around the top and through her parting rather than a lighter strip just at the front,” Nicola explains.
Glow lights are also more iridescent than either of these looks, which elevates a summer blonde. “They’re not as raw as a beachy surf look, they’re much chicer than that,” says fellow colourist Zoe Irwin, who is also on board with the glow lights trend. This is something she puts down to clever blending. “Although it’s lighter around the front, the colour is very blended,” says Zoe. “We backcombed and teased the colour into the hair to soften the finish so it doesn’t have that 90s feel. If you look at a ring light, it gives amazing illumination that’s very youthful. What glow lights do is create that effect within the hair.”
We all know that UV rays can be harsh on blonde hair. With this in mind, glow lights serve up a delicately sun-kissed look but with damage limitation front of mind. “Rather than adding more blonde when someone wants to go lighter, using a darker shade underneath makes the blonde pop out,” says Nicola. “So you’re not damaging the hair by adding more bleach through the ends to get brightness.” Better still, glow lights are low maintenance thanks to a softer regrowth at the roots. “You could have them three to four times a year,” Nicola adds.
Glow lights aren’t just for blondes, though. Nicola has also used the technique on actor Emilia Clarke, who’s a brunette, by putting tiny strands of balayage (“only about 10 strands”) through the top of her hair. “She really loves her natural colour,” Nicola explains. “So I didn’t want to make her bronde but I wanted to pick out some pieces and make her hair a little more interesting.”
Feeling inspired? Nicola and Zoe have created two services for the Nicola Clarke at John Frieda salon: Glow Lights, from £230, and the Glow To Go glazing service, £125 (includes blow-dry). Zoe describes the latter as a “topcoat wash to add sparkle.” Needless to say, we’re ready to get our glow on.