How to Create a Negative Space Hair Color Look

As far as subtle or minimalist trends go, negative space is one of the most common. Whether portrayed through art, makeup, fashion or even nail design, negative space is eye-catching, unique and subtly striking. The main point of negative space is to incorporate blank space or lack of design in order to create more dimension and power within the overall thing being created. When it comes to hair color, negative space has the same effect. Here’s more on negative space hair color and how stylists can create the look themselves.

What Does Negative Space Hair Color Look Like?

Though negative space might be easily recognizable in modern art or graphic design, the idea of negative space in professional hair color design is a little more complex. Think about negative space nails, for instance. To create a stylish and modern negative space nail art look, a nail technician utilizes the uncolored natural nail as part of the nail design. Even though bright colors might be added in the shape of a half moon near the cuticle or on the nail tips, the natural nail underneath can still be seen in some places.

What Does Negative Space Hair Color Look Like

Creating a hair color look with negative space is a lot like a negative space manicure in many ways. Though hair color is deposited on some sections of the hair, there are portions of the hair that are left at the base shade and not treated with hair color. The result is a truly elevated look that emphasizes the base color without having to use hair color on the entire head. The base or starting color of the hair is then referred to as negative space, just like the colorless portion of the nail in negative space nail design.

Negative space hair color utilizes subtle highlighting to freshen and illuminate the base color of the hair. It’s a widely popular style because it can be customized to fit any base color, hair type or hair length. It’s natural looking and relatively low maintenance, meaning salon color touch-ups are only required about twice a year. Just like unique works of art, no two negative space hair color looks are the same!

How to Create a Negative Space Hair Color Look

Negative space hair color is gaining popularity among color clients everywhere. With many highlighting techniques like balayage already utilizing negative space as a part of the resulting look, it’s an integral part of any well-rounded color stylist’s repertoire. In addition to specific requests from clients, negative space hair color is a wonderful recommendation for clients who are seeking advice or are unsure of which style to choose. Negative space hair color is great for seasoned hair color lovers and first-time color clients alike. Plus, stylists can create stunning negative space hair color looks in just a few easy steps.

Negative Space Hair Color

To begin the process, stylists should make sure to consult with their clients before applying any color to the hair. This goes for both brand new and return clients. Since negative space hair color can be interpreted in so many different ways, it’s important to have everyone on the same page. Stylists can ask their clients about their intended results, as well as which sections of the hair they want to highlight or define in particular. Negative space is most prominently defined in looks that feature a money piece highlight near the face, hand-painted highlights and the balayage technique.

Next, the stylist can choose a highlight shade or set of shades that both emphasizes and blends well with the client’s base hair color. Golden honey and caramel shades work well for most brunettes, while luminous honey-inspired shades highlight blondes to perfection. The actual application process differs from client to client, but stylists should take special care to blend color into the hair strategically by hand and leave some sections completely untouched.

When applying color, the key is to create a look that features negative space but still appears well-rounded. Many negative space hair looks feature highlights that focus on the top layer of hair and the sections of hair around the face. As the hair moves around and the highlighted shades catch the light, the distinction between the colored strands and the base shade becomes more noticeable in the overall look.

Once the look is finished, stylists should style the hair in a way that favors and emphasizes both the highlighted shades and the negative space. As with most color looks, a smooth, voluminous blowout is always a good idea. To help clients get the most out of their stylish new look, stylists can recommend their favorite professional shampoo for color protection, toning or damage protection!