Are Splashlights Really a Hot New Hair Trend?

Forget ombre. It's all about a splashlight. (auracolorist.tumblr.com) It started with highlights, moved on to ombre, and now ... splashlights.

If you're not up-to-date on the world of cutting-edge hair color, you might be wondering exactly what they are. The increasingly trendy highlighting technique creates a band of bleached hair that stretches from ear to ear โ€” a look inspired by a laser beam, according to Aura Friedman, a hair colorist at the Sally Hershberger Salon in New York. Friedman first created the process more than a year ago for a musician, who then donned splashlights in this music video.

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"She told me that she wanted a laser beam-type thing next to her eyes, and this is the look that I came up with. I also did a similar look for the singer Santigold over a year ago. The idea is for the color to look like a ray of light. Like a shine mark," Friedman told Yahoo! Shine. Now, she says, people are suddenly starting to take notice. (It probably helped that Allure magazine reported in its September issue that splashlights may soon be replacing ombre โ€” a look featuring darker tones at the roots that gradually get lighter toward the ends โ€” as the hair color to have in 2014.)

"I've had a lot of people contacting me to create this look for them, but the first [color] placement took me nine hours to do, so of course I wouldn't do the exact same look for someone else, just something similar," Friedman explained. "If the band of color is placed lower in the hair, that's easier to do and it would take less time. I've had several people on Instagram say that they are going to try it."

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Social media is indeed helping to spread the word about the eye-catching look. Celebrity hairstylist David Lopez told Yahoo! Shine that he first got a glimpse of Friedman's creation on her Instagram account. "While not for everyone, this is definitely on the pulse of the trendsetter who wants to standout and try a bolder look that doesn't include the current pastel and ombre palette," he said.

And the look may already be evolving. Dhaniel Doud, education manager for Redken, said that he's seeing the style move from a horizontal band to a vertical one and that it will "most likely be seen on a younger, more fashion-forward clientele."

While Friedman may have come up with her creation over a year ago, the Allure story has put splashlights in the spotlight this week. A writer at fashion site Refinery29 admitted she was both "confused and delighted" by the new look but declared it "traffic-stoppingly beautiful." "We must say that we love it and we gotta have it!" website Beauty World News announced. But not everyone is thrilled about the potential trend. A blogger at beauty site the Gloss declared via the headline of a post she published on Friday: "If This Splashlights Thing Takes Off I'm Shaving My Head." Twitter user @impalackles agreed: "Please don't let this splashlights hair trend kick off please it's awful." @clarahaneberg had a similar request: "Please, no one do this."

All that's left to really get splashlights some real street cred is for a few celebs to give it a try. Or not. Stay tuned!


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