Jack Howard On ‘Negative Space’: The New Celebrity-Obsessed Hair Trend

Jack Howard On ‘Negative Space’: The New Celebrity-Obsessed Hair Trend

We head down to the prestigious Paul Edmonds salon to learn about the latest hair colour trend from London’s king of colour Jack Howard.

The balyage colour trend is still one of the most requested services in salons today.

In case you missed it, ‘balayage’ – French for sweeping or painting – is an expert technique that lightens areas of the hair to add an extra dimension.

And this ever-popular trend has just had an update, one the professionals are calling, ‘negative space’.

Jack Howard
Jack Howard

I was lucky enough to treat my tresses to this new trend with none other than the ‘King of balayage’ Jack Howard, who happens to have set up shop in one of London’s most respected hair salons.

First, let me introduce Jack. He’s one of the UK’s most celebrated colourists and he’s credited for bringing balayage to the UK. He’s Marie Claire’s 2018 Colourist of the Year and his balayage workshops are highly sought after by UK hairdressers. Basically, he’s the go-to guy for all-things colour.

My hair colour took place in the newly opened Paul Edmonds in Battersea Power Station. You’ll find Paul’s flagship salon in swish Knightsbridge where his clientele includes Margot Robbie, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sam Smith and Colin Farrell.

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Like Knightsbridge, the Battersea salon is utterly gorgeous. Set in swanky Circus West Village, the salon throws out the typical white on white, open-plan design for a more intimate, exclusive approach where stylists can give their full concentration to clients.

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Décor-wise it’s all about opulence. Think charcoal coloured walls, marble worktops, mirrored surfaces, handpicked artwork and plush designer armchairs. There’s even a champagne bar and barista-style coffee on tap.

The space is designed for peacefulness too. All sides are clutter-free thanks to hidden storage and forget whirring hair dryers, the salon uses whisper-quiet Dyson dryers instead. Products are cutting-edge too with the salon being the first and only to use exclusively Shu Uemura.

Upon arrival, I noticed that despite his brag-worthy title, Jack’s one of the friendliest, most approachable hairdressers out there. His work speaks for itself. He applied my colour with amazing precision, using a mix of masterfully painted balayage and babylights – every single piece of colour was carefully considered under his expert eye. Jack’s a speedy colourist too, so you won’t find yourself clock watching.

Take a look at Jack’s utterly flawless results.

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Jack Howard explains ‘negative space’

What is negative space?
“Negative space refers to the darker areas needed to make your lighter pieces of balayage really pop – it doesn’t matter whether you’re a blonde or a brunette, this is a must for luxe-looking hair.

“This is THE look on the hottest models and influencers filling your Instagram feed: Amy Neville, Johanna Olsson, Emma Louise Connolly, Hannah Cooper.”

How is negative space achieved?
“When in salon what you’re looking for is a soft contrast between light and dark, NOT

a stripe, and the negative space should be your base colour – not darker, not lighter, not orange, not ashy! This is done by a balayage application, not using foils.

Jack Howard On ‘Negative Space’: The New Celebrity-Obsessed Hair Trend 9“Negative space is either your natural hair colour against pre-lightened colour, or we create negative space with hair colour – you need the contrast to stop colour looking solid, which can look like an ombre or a single process. The negative space is as important as the lightness, it’s what creates the pop.

“Clients shy away from adding depth because of past experiences where it can look wrong – it can go muddy looking or orange in the wrong hands. Think of it in terms of an old-fashioned lowlight, negative space is a more modern conversation about depth and creating dimension. You don’t want negative space around the face, the placement needs to be thought about and personalised for each individual look.”

What’s the difference between this and balayage?
“It should be part of your balayage application – when it’s done well your colourist will use the negative space in the hair itself or if you’re going from a heavier one-process or old ombre you’ll want to recreate that negative space back into your hair to give it that pop, regardless of whether you’re blonde, brunette or redhead. It fits perfectly with the push back to a more natural sophisticated feel, the opposite of the heavy colour incarnations and bright blondes.”

Jack Howard at Paul Edmonds – Where & How?

To book in with Jack or to find out more, call +44 (0) 20 7589 5958 or visit www.pauledmonds.com.

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Editorial Team

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