These Subtle Hair Changes Make A Big Impact

A woman with brown wavy hair standing outside in a puffy jacket and a purse with a star pattern

It’s hard to coax yourself into a total hair overhaul when you’re just looking for a small change. You want to switch things up, but you aren’t ready to dye your hair to the opposite end of the color spectrum or chop off six inches. So what can you do to ramp things up without undergoing a full transformation? We tapped the experts at cool-kid salon Spoke & Weal (with locations in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Chicago) for their tips on how to pull a subtle switcheroo in the salon chair.

Courtesy of Colleen Flaherty

For Light Hair

"Something that could be a little different for blondes is making the client a bit brighter around her face, or adding different levels of blonde to give a more dimensional look," says Spoke & Weal color specialist Colleen Flaherty.

Color by Dell Miller. Photo: @michelletakeaim

For Darker Tones

"I like to create shadows in the hair for brunettes, giving them deeper, more rich tones and accenting more of the areas of the hair that reflect light," says master colorist Dell Miller. "This is done by deepening the color around the hairline and throughout the base."

Courtesy of Christine Thompson

For Reddish Tones

"The rose brunette is replacing the rose gold [trend]," says co-owner and color director Christine Thompson. "Hair has rich brunette tones with lighter rose hues throughout. It's very subtle."

Color by Spoke & Weal. Photo: @cryspark

For Multiple Tones

"The 'tiger-eye' or 'eclipting' color trend is big," says Christine. "Rich golden and chocolate tones are strategically placed [throughout the hair]. The inspiration is the name."

Color by Colleen Flaherty. Photo: @evaalt

For Any Color

"I enjoy working with the client's natural color and personal style," says Colleen. "Adding subtle, dimensional highlights that are only a few shades lighter than their natural color gives the hair a beautiful reflective quality. Because of the subtlety, there tends to be little to no upkeep."


Styling Is Key

Embrace your texture! "Natural hair is totally the story right now," says salon co-owner and director Jon Reyman. "If your hair is curly, let it be curly. No more round brushes! Hair is not overworked and not overstyled. The less product, the better for curly hair. It doesn’t need to be set or have a lot of product in it—even fluffy curls are good. This trend is super-liberating, super-open and accepting."