Our Editor Gets a Tortoiseshell Hair Transformation: See the Pics!

Updated 09/23/16

Do you know what the tortoiseshell hair color trend is all about? If the manes of Lily Aldridge, Gisele Bündchen, and Jessica Alba come to mind, then you’re on the right track. Celebrity colorist Kari Hill explains it best: “Tortoiseshell is a fun, fresh combination of a lot of the special effect techniques out there: highlights, babylights, ombré, sombré, and rooting.” Essentially, it’s a hybrid of all of summer’s hottest trends, which she noted while combing through my hair at Meche Salon before beginning my tortoiseshell transformation.

Curious about the color? Want to know how to perfect the look on your own? Keep reading to see the results and for Hill’s at-home tips along the way!

Jenna Peffley

Before:

I color my hair maybe twice a year and leave the rest up to the power of the California rays. So naturally (and unintentionally) I had a strong ombré look going on before the transformation. 

Jenna Peffley
Jenna Peffley

The At-Home Essentials

L’Oréal Féria Wild Ombre Kit ($13) + L’Oréal Superior Preference Glam Lights Kit ($13)

Jenna Peffley

The Highlighting Process

At-home tip: “Choose two of the L’Oréal Paris highlighting kits, and very subtly layer highlights with different applicators so the outcome is natural-looking.” Hill also recommends teasing the under segment of your hair with the applicator to avoid drastic streaks. 

Jenna Peffley

At-home tip: Hill suggests purchasing a pair of gloves that will fit your hands tightly, rather than the ones in the box, which tend to be baggy on most people.

Jenna Peffley

At-home tip: “Be light-handed and intentionally rogue” when deciding where to apply color throughout your mane. In other words, do your best to not overthink it.

Jenna Peffley

Balance With Babylights

At-home tip: Add a piecey amount of babylights around your face. The soft, subtle color framing your hairline will dramatically brighten your face. 

Jenna Peffley
Jenna Peffley

Enhance the Ombré

At-home tip: To achieve a balanced ombré look, apply a heavy amount of color at the bottom of your hair and then, using your fingers, feather in the color to lessen the effect. 

Jenna Peffley

The Rooting and Sombré Process

At-home tip: Once you finish the highlights and process, take a shade to your desired darker comfort level (one to two shades) and color your roots. Hill recommends to “lightly apply at the root and bring downward with a wide-toothed comb. It results in a soft ombré outcome.”

Jenna Peffley
Jenna Peffley

Rinse and Style

Jenna Peffley

After:

Volià! Meet my new tortoiseshell hair color! 

Jenna Peffley

Jesse Montana styled and curled the look, declaring, "Tortoise isn’t just for Ray-Bans anymore!"

Jenna Peffley

With Hill, the lady I have to thank for my new luscious locks!

L’Oréal Paris Advanced Haircare Color Shampoo, Conditioner, and Vibrancy Instant Shock Treatment $11
Shop
L’Oréal Paris Advanced Haircare Nutri-Gloss High Shine Glossing Mist $7
Shop
L’Oréal Paris EverPure Blonde Shade Reviving Treatment $9
Shop
L’Oréal Paris Advanced Haircare Color Vibrancy Root-to-Tip Fixer $7
Shop

Related Stories