New Year ... New Hair (Tips from Australia's Best) - The Grace Tales

New Year … New Hair (Tips from Australia’s Best)

Just like the arrival of a new baby, there's something about the new year that sees many of us itching for a new look.

But getting it right is a challenge. We grilled renowned Sydney-based hairdresser Frankie Flanagan of Adilla Colab for her tips on making a new look the right look. Here’s what she had to say …

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As we head into 2020, what are some of the biggest colour trends you can see ahead?

Buttery blonde, Solid shiny colour, money piece, the almost-blonde…


Can you talk us through the difference between ashy and warm tones? Is one more appropriate - particularly for this time of the year?

The difference between these two tones is vast and often misunderstood!

Warm: golden, summery bright California blondes. This doesn’t mean it will be orange! A lot of people are scared of warmth for this reason. Warm tones will always be brighter and lighter. They also look more youthful.

Cool: Or ashy, can indeed be beautiful especially on a scalp bleach blonde. These tones do generally appear darker and less bright than a warm blonde. If you like a cool blonde, I always suggest staying off the hairline with the toner as it can really take on the baby fine hair around the front and ruin the whole colour.

This time of year I tend to go towards the warmer – more raw tones going into summer and supporting the natural enhancement done by the beach and saltwater. Our skin is usually more tanned as well, so technically you can pull off the more ashy tones, but warmer is usually more flattering.

It can become a challenge at this time of the year to head regularly into a salon. What are some colour solutions that grow out well without needy upkeep?

If you’re a blonde, going for finer highlights and also fewer highlights that are more spread out to create a more subtle regrowth is a great colour solution. This is known as ‘babylights’, and if you Google babylights, you’ll find salons that specialise in them. Adilla Colab as a salon is known for using tints in our highlights. This means we don’t use bleach which is a more natural grow out and doesn’t change the colour or fade as much as bleach or semi-permanents, which are used for ‘root shadowing’. Although, a root shadow or a root stretch can be utilised for most colours as it creates a natural shadow and blends in any regrowth alongside the coloured hair.

If you’re a brunette babe, invest in a good colour conditioner that is your shade of brown to upkeep yourself at home! Brunettes can really experience a fast fade out in summer, especially as the hair gets exposed to the sun.

Last but not least, if you’re a red bombshell, red conditioner can be tricky, hence I do recommend to pop into the salon for toner maintenance. Keeping the hair healthier will always encourage a slower fade out. So a good at-home routine with the right shampoo, conditioner and a mask can make all the difference.

And always use heat protectors!!!

What about cuts? What are some effortless styles you’d suggest - particularly for time-poor mothers?

Jazzing up a style with layers and fringing can be difficult with the number of people that are wanting to be able to pull their hair back to either look after kids or go to the gym or swim. I always find if you want to create a beautiful style but don’t want to cut off your hair or have a fringe or layers, learning ways to style your hair can save you the most amount of time. There are some great tutorials out there on how to style hair without heat. The old school techniques of wrapping hair around cloth, headbands, foam rollers etc have stood the test of time for a reason. It is possible to have a stylish haircut or style that doesn’t take much time to style or maintain.

Effortless styles don’t always start with a cut. One of our most common ways to eliminate daily styling is to do what we also call ‘hair rehab’ which is keratin and a full head of extensions. Keratin eliminates the need for heat styling, as it smooths out the hair and gives the illusion it has been blow-dried. Extensions also mimic the natural movement and wave of your hair, so they blend in without noticeability. They dry with a soft natural wave that gives you that ‘i woke up like this’ effortless movement that we see in editorial magazines. This is an amazing (al be it, expensive) way to ‘set and forget’ your hair and eliminate daily styling. The only maintenance is having to brush the hair twice daily. on fine hair, the keratin and extensions last 4-6 months. 

There is always the fail-safe of investing in beautiful shampoo and conditioner, ensuring your hair is moisturised, and shiny and always looking fresh. using the correct shampoo and conditioner is a fail-safe way to have naturally beautiful hair.

Are we nearly at the end of the bob? How can we grow them out in a stylish way?

The million-dollar question! I thought we were, honestly I could see it going out of fashion.

However, it’s come back in a very very big way. The nineties length of just passed the shoulders, blow-dried inwards is the new absolute in-fashion look. And yes, I’m in as much shock as you. I thought we skipped that length.

In-salon it is always referred to at the ‘Rachel’ and in contexts like, “I want it shorter but not that awkward length like the Rachel from friends,” and now people are asking for it. I think it has a mix of things to with the fact that 1) We now colour hair from the ends up, which is damaging to the already most damaged part of the hair, so cutting it off has been quite popular, and 2) with a resurgence of social acceptability of extensions, cutting off your hair is not as big of a commitment as it once was. Tape extensions, Halo extensions and Ponytail extensions are now as much a part of one’s wardrobe as a pair of shoes.

Are there any colours or cuts you’d suggest we steer clear of in 2020? Are there any trends you hope to see the back of?

90’s stripes and bad extensions!

I would say the mullet, because we have a barbershop and one our amazing technicians, Eric, LOVES the mullet and does an incredible mullet, but I am still on the fence with how I feel about it…

Trends hoping to see back: Yes, pastel tips particularly lavender. And solid strawberry blonde – LOVE. Pink has absolutely stayed and never going anywhere ever again! I’m hoping this happens with coppers/peach. 

Is it just me thinking hopefully - or are we seeing much more copper around? How can we embrace the red in a way that works well for our own skin tones?

Choosing a red tone that works well for you can be based on your skin, the colour of your eyes and also the clothes you wear. If you go for a bright red you may find that your colourful wardrobe may not suit!

For light skin tones, steer clear of orange tones. Natural ginger and softer cinnamon tones work best. Warmer blondes are much, much more flattering. Do not go for an ashy blonde! Medium skin tones should opt for rosy or auburn tones. Deeper skin tones can go for the brighter, more artificial reds.

Saying this, I think it’s best to have a consultation with your colourist as these rules can be tweaked depending on your features!

We keep hearing about “rich girl hair” - what is it, and more importantly, how do we achieve it?

To us, the rich girl hair is a term we use in salon… I don’t really know where it started but at Adilla Colab it references the Kate Middleton look, where the hair is super-rich and brunette, mostly all one length, very thick and very shiny. There is definitely layering, but the fullness gives you a feeling of thick and youthful hair. Clients that have been using salon-quality shampoos for a long time definitely have that glow to their hair so for me, that’s where the term ‘rich girl’ comes from. But it essentially means healthy, happy hair. Which ironically is quite expensive!

Do you have any favourite styles for holiday parties?

Our favourite is our new ponytail extensions range by Poni.Me. It was literally created just for this! The ponytail has been our most requested look lately, and with the Sydney water changing and so many clients opting for extensions, doing an Ariana Grande ponytail was expensive and time-consuming.

Hence the creation of the ponytail extension. It’s awesome because it takes about 3 minutes to apply and means if your hair is dirty, you can do a ‘sleek ponytail’ look or just wash the front of your hair and style that. We have them in super long which is 16 inches which is great for a party and also 14 inches which is lighter and great for every day.

The braid seems to have gone out a little bit in favour of the ponytail which we are sad about, but to us, it was such a ‘young’ look whereas the ponytail – when enhanced – is quite classy.

Finally - talk us through accessories. Headbands, clips, what should we embrace and how do we pull it off?

Our pearl clips and velvet scrunchies have been flying out the door! We sell them individually and in pairs and we need to restock weekly! The pearls either suit you or they don’t, but they are such a beautiful edition to a hairstyle. Some retailers are selling them for $35! We retail our range for $12-$16 because we believe everybody should have access to such a beautiful accessory!