Colour Therapy

Colour Therapy

Teacher, coach, artist and all-round hair colour expert – Siobhan Golden reveals her 2016 trend predictions

It’s been four months since Siobhan Golden stepped up to her new post as International Technical Artistic Director at Toni&Guy and she’s in her element. Her role merges her skills as a leading colour technician in youth development, meaning much of Siobhan’s time is allocated to teaching the Creative Cut & Colour course at the Toni&Guy academy, educating salons on product and leading seminars and shows in the UK and abroad. If you’re lucky, you can still book a personal appointment with Siobhan at Toni&Guy Wigmore Street, London, but the coveted slots book up very fast.

She works closely with  Jo O’Neill, Toni&Guy International Technical Education Director, ushering in new talent to the academy and mentoring fledgling technicians. ‘The new part to my role is mentoring up-and-coming colour technicians, talent-scouting and watching out for the next potential technical art director,’ she explains.

It’s a far cry from her first job with Toni&Guy as a Saturday girl in the Ealing salon at the tender age of 14. After earning her apprenticeship at 19, Siobhan transferred to one of the super-brand’s flagship salons in London. In 2011 she scooped the UK Bronze award at Wella Trend Vision, before going on to win the prestigious L’Oréal London Young Colourist trophy the following year, which marked her out as an industry visionary.

‘Siobhan is one of the rising stars within the International Art Team. Super talented, she is an incredibly creative colourist and one of the next generation of our technical team, creating some amazing colour work and providing inspiration to the youth within our company.’ Sacha Mascolo-Tarbuck, Global Creative Director

As a member of the International Artistic Team, Siobhan works closely with Global Creative Director Sacha Mascolo-Tarbuck to release annual collections that set the blueprint for the year’s most requested cuts and colours in salon. It’s a highly charged, creative role that requires her to bring fresh ideas to the table every season. So how does she stay inspired? ‘The biggest thing is social media. It’s major in how you predict things, how you see what’s relevant, what’s working and what’s not.’ It’s a process that requires tremendous foresight and good gut instinct. ‘We predict trends that are emerging but that are going to stay important for the next few months; that are going to be really punchy in October when we launch, but that we then soften for spring.’

According to Siobhan, this year saw a shift in how these new trends have emerged. ‘In the past the main influences have always been art, fashion, music, culture – this year it felt like the major inspiration was  the models themselves – they are the ones setting the trends.’ Siobhan goes on to name colour chameleon Chloe Nørgaard as a personal favourite, ‘She’s got such a strong identity, she’s super-cool.’ Despite her knack for knowing what’s next, Siobhan is refreshingly enthusiastic about the future. ‘We’re constantly moving forward. There’s always something new coming up. Everything is continuously evolving, so it’s exciting to be part of it.’ Here are the trends to aspire to in the months ahead.

siobhan’s 2016 trend predictions

shades of grey

After the all-singing, all-dancing rainbow hair trend, the gears have shifted back into neutral with grey. Violet, silver, platinum – grey comes in many guises but it’s one of the trickiest trends to nail. ‘Cool skin tones should go for ashen greys and warmer skin tones should try a violet based grey,’ says Siobhan. Hair must be stripped of any colour beforehand, so the entire process can take up to six months. Siobhan advises giving your technician a full breakdown of your hair’s treatment history. ‘It can mean the difference between a flat murky colour and a really vibrant juicy colour,’ she warns.

shadow roots

The trend of deliberately dark roots has been bubbling under the radar for a while and is particularly popular with models. ‘You can professionally add dirty blonde roots and buttery blonde ends – it looks expensive,’ she says. But it takes a lot of effort to look this lo-fi. ‘To keep it looking cool and not just like you need your roots done, you have to come in salon regularly for a quasi-permanent toner to neutralise the unwanted yellow that will naturally creep through on the ends,’ Siobhan advises. Luckily, it’s a style that demands little upkeep in between salon appointments. ‘It looks best when the hair is worn with natural movement, so think a softer wave finish as opposed to very straight hair with roots, which can look a bit too 90s.’

vibrant ronze

A combination of red, copper and gold, this warm, multi-tonal hue is super-flattering for those looking to assume natural redhead status, even if they’re a closet blonde or brunette. For an authentic, believable ronze, an in-salon colour consultation is a must. ‘It’s a darker variation on the bronde trend,’ explains Siobhan. ‘To achieve a ronze colour, you should have something like balayage and tints because it’s multi-dimensional.’

hair contouring

The beauty contouring technique beloved  of selfie-obsessed celebrities is starting to  be applied to hair. ‘We often talk about contouring with colour to enhance or soften certain features. For example, when someone sits down and says, “I think I have a big forehead,” we might suggest going a little bit deeper against the hairline,’ explains Siobhan.

One form of hair contouring is a Toni&Guy technique called Lumi-Ombrage. Stemming from ombré, this new colour application gradually lightens hair towards the ends, as well as around the face for a luminous effect that flatters the complexion and builds depth. ‘You then have this balayage effect the whole way round the hairline which makes it much trendier,’ says Siobhan. Ecaille – French for tortoiseshell – is another way of contouring hair. As its name suggests, it blends together richer, earthier tones for a flawless tortoiseshell finish. Wella’s new Ecaille Molton Collection offers a customised colour approach so no two Ecaille colour palettes are the same.


Microlights is a patented Toni&Guy technique working with fine strands of hair, overlapping and alternating colour with an illuminator for a multi-dimensional finish. It’s particularly impactful when used with strong colours, as Siobhan explains: ‘A colour like that can look synthetic. Microlights gives it dimension, so the hair moves.’ This approach can be tailored depending on the level of vibrancy you want.

Siobhan’s Top Colour Tips

Be honest with your colour technician. Products applied within the last year can have an effect on the colour you will end up with.

Prepare with a moodboard. Your idea of a blonde is probably very different to your technician’s. Neither is right or wrong, there are  just different ways of expressing it. Keep the consultation process ongoing – before and after colour application. But the main thing is to be sure about your decision in the first place.

Stick to a prescriptive regime to preserve your hair colour. Siobhan recommends label.m Colour Stay Shampoo and Conditioner for reds . For lighter colours, she advises using the label.m Treatment Shampoo; while those with curly hair should even out porosity with label.m Protein Spray or label.m Therapy Rejuvenating Protein Cream.

  • Words: Catriona Taylor

  • Photography: Rex features,