tortoiseshell hair

5 tips for the hot tortoiseshell hair color trend

Eyeing a new hair color style this season? You can’t go wrong with tortoiseshell hair. No, it’s not dying your hair turtle green. Tortoiseshell hair is simply a way to color hair so that it has multiple shades of color. It’s basically an ombre look without the sharp contrast.

What the look does is connect colors by tying lighter and lighter shades together for a subtle look. Roots start darker and gradually hair gets lighter in cascading highlights that get more solid as the color goes down. So if you’ve always liked ombre, but wanted something that was a little more understated, here are some top tips for tortoiseshell hair.

For subtle, stick to a color that is close to your natural color

To keep this look subtle, stay within about a couple shades of your natural color. For instance, those with black hair will want to think about fading down into something like a warm reddish chestnut. Those with medium to light brown hair will want to go to darker honey blonde. And those with dark blonde can get away with fading down into a light blonde near the end of the strands.

Don’t discount bold looks

That being said, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the look bold. Pinterest is full of plenty of women who decided they wanted to keep the contrasting style of ombre, but use the gradual design of tortoiseshell hair. All that means is that you’ll have a small amount of highlights of a more contrasting color closer to the roots of your hair, then those highlights will get thicker and then the bottom of the hair will be a lighter shade.

Remember the middle hues

Keep in mind that the hallmark of the tortoiseshell look is the many complementary tones. While on first glance it may appear that one color is fading into another gradually, there’s also a fun group of other shades working to make this trend a subtle, classy and highly dimensional look. Darker hair fading to a lighter shade farther down may have warm brown tones in between to make sure the look doesn’t appear too drastic.

Think warm

Another key part of the trend is how warm the look is. Hair usually fades down into warmer hues, like chocolate shades, reddish browns, darker honey blondes or golds. So when looking at this trend, make sure to keep in mind which warm shade you’ll eventually like to end up in.

Don’t try this at home

Unless you really know what you are doing or have a friend who went to beauty school.

With all the tones and the subtle perfection you’ll need to achieve this look, your best bet is to go to a stylist. Research online to find the exact picture you like and study the tones well. Take the photo into the salon in some capacity, even if you just save it to your phone.

You may have to explain to your stylist that you’re looking for a “subtle ombre” if they don’t recognize the term tortoiseshell hair. Make sure to point out what you like about the photo, including all the different shades working together, so the stylist doesn’t just see it and go, “right, highlights.” If you make sure to communicate clearly, you’ll end up with the most multidimensional hair of your life.