This spring, transition your hair color with balayage highlights that add a sophisticated and subtle sort of polish

“The whole ombré look is going out,” says celebrity colorist Kim Vo. “From our summer ombré to fall, our clients absolutely darkened their color—think Mila Kunis and Jessica Biel—and now pre-spring we sprout and shed and we’re going to the softer side of ombré: sombré.” The owner of eponymous salons in Beverly Hills, Laguna Beach, Deer Valley and Las Vegas describes this seasonal transition as “adding textural highlights and simple movement through the hair without stripes” for a look less beachy and more dimensional than its super low-maintenance predecessor.

Like with extreme Drew Barrymore-esque ombré, the way to achieve a lightening up for spring is still with balayage, says Vo. “The dark to light gives it a little more richness for winter, but for spring we’re softening it up—not as blonde, but at the face and top it’s connecting all that root. We’re not going crazy with a million highlights; it’s a less-is-more attitude.” (For sombré, expect a salon visit every two to two-and-a-half months.) To that end he recommends allowing foil highlights to grow out a bit and have balayage painted on the bottom 2-3 inches to modernize the color and eradicate stripey-ness.

Blondes can incorporate everything from warmer tones of caramel to strawberry. Says Vo, “We’re even putting a few blondes into violet-blonde [territory]—just a little kick around the crown, exactly the vibe of Tom Ford’s Violet Blonde perfume.” For redheads, especially those concerned with fading, “springtime is the time to shake it up and add textural highlights in blues and deeper tones for a fresh pop.” And brunettes can take inspiration from Vo’s new “billion-dollar brown,” five hues ranging from chestnut to caramel that he weaves through in ultrathin “angel hair” slices. No matter the hue, this spring Vo says color is the path to slightly more sophisticated tresses. “We’re going back to the ’90s where it took hours to look like you don’t care,” says Vo. “It’s polished but it’s almost carefree polished—it’s que sera sera polished.”