Hair Colour 101

Hair Colour Explained At Stephen Young Salon in West Wimbledon

Knowing which hair colour service to ask for can be confusing, particularly with a flow of new trends and lingo… but at Stephen Young Salon in West Wimbledon, we’re here to help. Our expert team have created a simplified guide to help explain what all the different hair colouring terms mean so that when you visit our salon, you'll know exactly what to ask for.

If it’s your first time having your hair colour, or you’re still uncertain what to ask for, don’t worry – our friendly team are always happy to answer any questions and help you find what you’re looking for. During an initial hair colour consultation, our colour specialists will also explain how to maintain and look after your hair colour between salon visits.

Please note:  You must come in for a quick skin test 48 hours before any hair colour appointment to test for any allergies.

The Best Hairdressers For Hair Colour Near Me


Raynes Park

New Malden

Wimbledon Village


There is a common misconception that bleaching your hair will lift it to platinum blonde straight away. If your hair is already quite light to begin with then this may be possible, however, if you have darker hair then it is likely that your hair will need to be bleached more than once to achieve the lighter blonde hair colour you are after.

Common DIY bleaching problems occur when the bleach is applied like shampoo, or without taking into account differing development times for different parts of the head. This is why it is essential to visit a professional colourist when bleaching your hair - we won't leave you with patchy hair or fluffy, broken ends!

You may also need a toner applied to your hair after bleaching to remove any yellow or brassy tones. 

Highlights and Lowlights

There are different levels of coverage that you can ask for when it comes to highlights and lowlights.

Highlights are individually painted using bleach or a colour that is a few shades lighter than your base hair colour and these painted sections are then wrapped in foil. The foil helps the hair colour to develop with more intensity.

Lowlights are ideal for those with lighter hair that want to add more depth and dimension or feel that your hair colour is perhaps a little too bright. These are added in the same way as highlights, but with colour that is a few shades darker than your base colour, and we can tailor the placement to your needs. 

For an overall change in your hair colour, you should ask for a full head of highlights or lowlights. For colour that covers all the top and sides of your hair, then ask for a half head of highlights or lowlights and, if you want something in-between, then a three-quarter head of highlights and lowlights covers the top, sides and crown of your hair.

Balayage & Ombré Hair Colours

Often confused with each other, balayage and ombré are similar hair colour techniques, with a subtly different finish.

For a more natural sun-kissed look, opt for balayage as it involves our skilled colourists hand-painting highlights throughout your hair to accentuate where the sun would naturally lighten your hair in a way which also flatters your features. If you want a more noticeable colour contrast, then ask for ombré as this technique involves your hair being left darker at the roots and noticeably lighter towards the ends of the hair.

We can create balayage and ombre looks using a wide pallette of colours including blondes, red shades, brunettes and even fashion colours using these techniques, our expert team at Stephen Young can create whatever look you desire.

Semi-Permanent Hair Colour

Semi-permanent colour lasts up to eight weeks and gently fades every time you wash. Semi-permanent colours are ideal for those that are new to hair colour as it means you can try out a new look without the commitment. Semi-permanent hair colour is also great for those of you that like changing your colour frequently, as when it washes out you can try something different again!

Semi-permanent hair colour is ideal for fashion shades including pastel hair colours. However, it is worth noting that these shades will show up with more intensity on lighter hair than darker hair. Make sure to speak to your Stephen Young colourist and let them know what you’re hoping to achieve with your hair colour, and they will explain the right products and techniques to get the look you desire.

Hair Colour Correction 

If you’ve had a hair colour disaster – at home or another salon – at Stephen Young Hair Salon, we don’t judge. We will immediately come up with a plan to help fix your hair colour problems and return you to a hair colour that you love as soon as possible.

With years of experience in hair colouring and correcting hair colour problems, we’ve seen it all, so you can rest assured knowing that your hair is always in the best hands when you come to our West Wimbledon hair salon.

Book Your Appointment At Wimbledon's Top Hair Salon

Now you know the most important hair colouring terms, make sure to book in for a consultation to ask us any questions and begin your hair colour journey to achieve the look you’ve always been after! To book your appointment just call us on 020 8946 5120 or book online here.