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“Sand Hair” Is the Trendiest Way to Do Balayage This Summer

I don’t know what it is about warmer weather, but it always makes me want to get highlights. One of my favorite ways to see a darker, colder-weather color updated is to perk it up with a little blonde balayage once the season starts to change. Turns out I’m not alone. New York City-based colorist and founder of Love, Dunette Christine McMillen recently debuted her take on the ultimate dark blonde update: sand hair.


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What began as a light brown natural hair color was transformed into a stunning, multi-dimensional dark blonde in a matter of just a couple hours. “It is a hand-painted balayage that we glossed with medium blonde tones called ‘mirage,’ ‘Irish creme,’ and ‘butter cream,’ McMillen tells Allure. “The overall process took us about two to two-and-a-half hours, but can take longer for anyone with a darker natural color.”

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The end result is a hair color that looks so good, we (weirdly) want to bury our toes in it. The hue is definitely reminiscent of a sandy beach, and it’s just blonde enough without being too bright or stark on her client’s complexion.

As with any highlighted hair color, the lighter strands will fade and grow out over time, however, when they’re painted on (as these were), they last a bit longer than typical foil highlights. We’re talking four or more months. “The tone, however, will fade within 24 shampoos,” McMillen says. “I always suggest guests come at least once between their highlight appointments for a gloss refresh of their tone.”