For a quick hair color change with pizzazz, rapid ombré is the technique to try

There’s something to be said for the beauty of a very delicately graduated, super natural looking ombré dye job. But just as with makeup, beauty addicts’ predilections vary wildly—some toward more extreme and statement-making looks. This summer, for those with more dramatic tastes, there’s rapid ombré (think Drew Barrymore, Miley Cyrus and Khloe Kardashian). Kiyah Wright, hair stylist and colorist at LA’s Warren-Tricomi (who also recently launched her Muze Last Look Hair Spray), came up with the quick technique “where you leave the roots dark just like ombré, but take it four inches away from the root and do solid balayage (painted on) highlights from a light brown to platinum blonde.”

She first did it on Ciara this spring when the singer wanted something super dramatic and blonde. “You want the color change right at the cheekbone,” says Wright, who adds that the upkeep is very minimal, but should involve a monthly toner treatment on the highlighted portion to cut any brassiness. And be warned, extreme color change can compromise the integrity of one’s hair. Some women whose manes can’t take the workout opt for extensions before going under the balayage brush.

One great thing about it is that rapid ombré looks good on many skin tones, from caramel to light. “It’s because you’re still keeping the base dark, which is great for a lot of ethnic women who are darker skinned or even those with pale skin who don’t want to go light because it washes them out.” One thing a colorist should be aware of, however, is matching the level of blonde at the ends with the person’s skin tone. (Watch Wright’s rapid ombré tutorial here.)

The two-tone look is definitely for a trendsetting personality. “It’s so drastic—everyone who asks for it is looking for something outside of the norm. It’s for a bolder spirit who wants to just jump out there.” As for the staying power of this particular trend, Wright says she can see the ombré movement fading. “I think we’re kind of weaning out of it. By the end of the summer everybody will be all damaged from the sun and bleach and I think the new trend will be going darker and giving everything a break.”