Smoky hair color features a combination of cool and reflective shades that blend flawlessly in the mid-lengths for a totally natural and tailor-made look. Discover the key to perfecting a smoky balayage hair and why it’s the technique your clients will be rushing to the salon for!

Smoky hair color: perfect gradient for your clients from root to tip

Smoky hair color relies heavily on the skill of an experienced colorist to create the perfect gradient from root to tip, with absolutely impeccable blending in the mid-lengths. A brilliant combination of light and dark shades, smoky hair features a cool shadow shade along the roots that’s seamlessly blended with a slightly lighter reflective shade on the lengths. The end result is an expertly neutralized color that looks completely natural, with a relaxed and effortlessly cool finish. Easy, right? Don’t be fooled: this look is one of subtle perfection and, though it may seem simple enough to achieve, it requires a skilled hand!

Step 1: cool shadow on the roots

●The hair situation: Perhaps your client’s hair is a medium brown that’s showing lots of warmth after an entire summer spent in the swimming pool and under the sun. Now, she’s hoping to revitalize and neutralize her hair for a modern and stylish ashy brunette shade. .

●Your professional expertise: In this instance, you might choose Majirel Cool Inforced to give your client a rich and true-to-tone long-lasting color with slightly more transparency than Majirel Cool Cover. Majirel Cool Inforced boasts a palette of 11 unique, cool-toned shades, offering up to 6 weeks of neutralization and combatting brassiness for up to 21 shampoos, all while improving the hair fiber’s smoothness and shine thanks to Ionène G™ and Incell™ complex technologies. The formula follows the exact same ratio (1 part color + 1,5 oxydant) and processing time (35 minutes) as Majirel for ease of use.

●The key for creating the illusion of cool shadow is to choose a slightly darker color for the root shade. This darker cool color will create ideal contrast to the brighter shades used on the lengths, giving your smoky hair color depth and dimension. To create the ashy brunette your client is hoping for, Majirel Cool Cover 5,1 is a rich dark chestnut with ashy tones to provide an intensely deep shadow root shade for smoky balayage hair (lien: balayage hair). Mix 50ml Majirel Cool Inforced 5,1 (1 + 1,5) with 75ml of 12,5 vol oxidant and apply the color to the roots.

back to cool finished

Step 2: Brighter light on the ends

●The hair situation: A lighter reflective shade is applied along the lengths to contrast the darker root shade, giving the appearance of luminosity around the face and ends. Generally, the most natural finish is achieved using a shade that’s two tones lighter from the mid-lengths down: this low-profile combination gives a sophisticated yet subtle duotone gradient, but it can always be customized to suit the preferences of your client!

●Your professional expertise: So, if your client's new root shade is Majirel Cool Cover 5,1, then you might choose Majirel Cool Inforced 7,1 (an ashy medium blonde) for her reflective shade. You’ll mix 50ml Majirel Cool Inforced 7,1 (1 + 1,5) with 75ml of 30 vol oxidant to lighten and neutralize the lengths of the hair.

Step 3: flawless blend in the middle, the ultimate tip for your smoky hair

The most important step in executing smoky balayage hair is professional blending in the middle! A technique of genuine artistry, the objective is to blend the line of demarcation so that the visible eye cannot tell where one color stops and another starts, therefore giving the illusion that the smoky root shadow simply melts into gorgeous tones of reflective light. Remember: this is balayage, not ombre! You’ll want to show off that smudging technique you’ve worked so hard to perfect. Another pro tip is to protect your sections of 7,1 in aluminum foils to ensure maximum visibility!

Smoky hair color is a great idea for anyone wanting to neutralize unwanted warm tones in their hair to achieve an on-trend and sophisticated cool-toned look. Thanks to expert blending of dark (shadow) and light (reflective) shades, the end result is dramatic yet completely natural-looking. Best of all, smoky hair color can be adapted to suit any shade from blonde and brown to red (yes, really)! While ash, iridescent, and mocha shades might be the most obvious choices, even traditionally warm colors like gold and copper can be cooled-down and controlled with ash and beige tones for a highly neutralized finish.