It’s practically a law of the universe: if Beyoncé wears it – whether it’s a dress, lipstick, hairstyle or bag – it will be trendy. Last Sunday, the 2022 Oscars opened with Beyoncé’s stunning rendition of “Be Alive,” her King Richard song for which she was nominated for Best Original Song. As the stage lit up on Bey and her dancers dressed in tennis ball green (including Blue Ivy!), the only thing that rivaled her powerful voice and unreal visuals was how gorgeous she looked – especially her long streaked hair. Beyoncé’s colorist created “highlight shadows” for the singer, a multi-dimensional highlighting technique designed to blend colors through strategic placement and shape. Given the sheer power of the Beyoncé effect, expect to see shadow highlights dominate living rooms and newsfeeds in the spring, summer, and far beyond.
Developed by famed Hollywood colorist Rita Hazan, who also works with Mariah Carey and J.Lo, the technique involved Hazan concentrating highlights around the hairline and finishing for an illuminating effect, she tells TZR. “Ombre highlights are the unique placement of multi-dimensional highlights that mimic the way hair lightens and lightens naturally from the sun,” explains Hazan, adding, “The technique also gives the illusion that the hair is thick and full. What’s unique about the lightening effect is that the look is very versatile and can be used on any hair shade, length, and texture.
This sun-kissed look is always popular in the warmer months, but Hazan’s clever placements mean the highlights never look streaky, harsh or too separate from the rest of Beyoncé’s warm, blonde hair. “I lightened her base to make it a caramel blonde with slivers of sunny shimmer highlights around the frame of her face and hairline,” she says, breaking down her exact technique. “I also placed streaks underneath so that when she wears a ponytail there is a continuous color effect throughout the look.”
Hazan confirms that the technique is suitable for all hair colors, which means it’s easy to follow the trend endorsed by Ms. Carter. That said, she also tells Charm that the key to ombre highlights is their bright, vibrant and lively appearance, which means there will be some dedication needed for upkeep if you’re looking to get your own set. Talk to your stylist to find out if the time and financial commitment is right for you — but even if it’s not, there are plenty of other Bey co-signed tricks to play with, like her silver coins at the hot caramel from last summer.
Of course, given that Bey always moves at her own speed regardless of the trends, who knows what she and Hazan will come up with next? Knowing their creative pace, the pair could shoot a full 180 by next week.