(Ian West/PA)
(Ian West/PA)

Two-toned, Cruella de Vil inspired hair is the biggest look of the moment

Taking inspiration from a certain Disney villain and Nineties trends, Kehlani has switched up her look with blonde streaks through dark hair.

Prudence Wade
Thursday 05 August 2021 14:00

Disney’s Cruella might have been released earlier this year, but the beauty looks live on.

Singer Kehlani cemented two-tone hair as the style of the moment, showing off her dark hair and icy blonde streaks on Instagram.

It’s hard not to think of the iconic Disney villain Cruella de Vil when we see Kehlani’s new do. In Dodie Smith’s 1956 novel The Hundred And One Dalmatians, Cruella was born with a single white streak in her hair – and this is faithfully represented in the animated film, and by Glenn Close and Emma Stone in later adaptations.

She might be evil, but she’s got a whole lot of style – and two-toned hair defines her look. Jessica Patching, founder of Marla Hair (marlahair.co.uk) says: “Bold two-tone colour is back. It’s a trend from the Nineties that’s come back in a slightly different light.”

The 1990s brought us some iconic two-toned hair looks, most notably Geri Halliwell’s blonde streak in her fiery red hair.

Ginger Spice’s signature Nineties look was all about a blonde streak in her hair (Neil Munns/PA)

Every so often Cruella-inspired hair makes a fashionable comeback: it had a moment in 2019 when Dua Lipa favoured white blonde streaks in her hair, while Billie Eilish gave it a different spin with acid green roots.

It’s the kind of look that suits everyone (if you’re feeling brave), regardless of age, gender or hair type. All you have to do is tailor the two tones to your style and personality. Take judge on Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Michelle Visage: she currently sets off her raven hair with a streak of silver, as if she went to the salon and said, “I’d like the Bride of Frankenstein – but make it fashion”.

The key to nailing this look is to choose really distinct colours. You don’t want to look like you’ve put in some dodgy chunky highlights – you want to be able to see the stark contrast. Kehlani has gone down the classic route by choosing a dark base with bleached streaks.

If you want to get the look yourself – either in the salon or at home – “you must be super careful during the process and also washing off the colour,” advises Patching.

“The colourist must work with extremely clean neat sections. As both colours are bold and one being bleach, you run the risk of the colours merging together. Using conditioner to form a barrier is a good technique for keeping the colours separated.”

A slightly easier take on the trend is to keep your natural hair colour and bleach a streak through it – that way you won’t be in danger of any colours merging.

And if you want to keep your new hair looking fresh, Patching says: “I would suggest colour save sulphate free shampoos and potentially a toner one a month for the maintenance of the blonde.”

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