Did you know that “sombré” is the new ombré when it comes to fall 2014 hair trends? Wait… do you even know what sombré is…?
Sombré is really just a more subtle version of ombré; ombré of course being the hair trend that took over in 2012 thanks to celebs like Drew Barrymore and Rachel Bilson who rocked the boho-beach girl-inspired ‘do in which the hair stays dark at the root but lightens uniformly until it reaches its lightest or brightest hue at the hair’s tips. The look emulates the bleaching powers the sun has on older hair, especially combined with salt water and UV rays on the Pacific. Originally a surfer girl aesthetic, ombré mania made the “natural” look high fashion overnight, after which it was adopted and adapted by avant-garde hairstyle daredevils who gave the trend a punk makeover using bold purples, blues, pinks, and reds in place of just straight up bleach or honey highlights. Is it any surprise, then, that sombré has arrived, moving the trend back towards subtle and sun-kissed? Hair’s as cyclical as fashion – amen!
With that said, we’d be lying if we didn’t admit to having had to ask the exceptionally talented but nevertheless lovely and approachable hairstylist Greg May what “sombré” was when he brought it up during our interview. As it turns out, there’s a lot that the average person, including us media types (gasp!) might not know about hair. It might not seem like a big deal, but considering everyone gets regular hair cuts and ‘dos, it actually is.
You wear your hair every day, and finding a stylist should really be on par with shopping for a new car you plan to lease for a few years (after all, hair only grows half an inch a month, so if you have a change of heart it takes about as long as a car lease to grow back). Opting for a pro like Greg May means having your hair done by a stylist who is aware of modern trends, knows every classic hairdo on a Rolodex stored in his mind, and has the ability to merge timeless looks with cutting-edge style, emerging trends, and state-of-the-art techniques – all the while creating a unique look for his clients tailored to their specific skin tone, face shape, hair texture, and lifestyle.
Hairstylists like that aren’t easy to find as a full-package deal, but May is one of those rare gems that has garnered himself a loyal following because of his customized looks and meticulous technique. The Toronto-based hairstylist is a master when it comes to cuts and colour, not to mention the reason we now know what sombré is.
Starlets, members of the media, and VIPs alike are the lucky ones next week when TIFF 2014 comes to town and May temporarily sets up shop at The Stylist Suite. View the Vibe had the chance to stop by the inaugural celebrity styling lounge, hosted and organized by Toronto fashion industry elite Gail McInnes and Christian Dare, co-founders of The Stylist Box , at TIFF last year (watch our video at The Stylist Suite here), so we know just how fabulous the experience really is for those lucky enough to list “walking red carpets” as part of their job description.
This year, stars, media, and VIP alike can get their hair done by May before film premieres, press conferences, and industry parties. From updos and high fashion ponytails to sexy beach waves and straight-as-an-arrow chic bobs, May will be making red carpet hair dreams come true at The Stylist Lounge.
For those of us not hitting the festival circuit, be sure to visit May at his salon after TIFF 2014’s first weekend is a wrap. That’s right: Who says you can’t still look red carpet fabulous even if working premieres isn’t part of your job description or just because sombré isn’t in your day-to-day vocabulary? May’s here to help you out…
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
That I’m a very passionate person who is obsessed with martial arts (I have been studying since I was 8), and I live and breathe anything and everything hair related.
What are the biggest challenges and best rewards about what you do?
One of the biggest challenges I face is my patience. I think up great creative ideas on either new products to add to my Greg May product line, or new designs for my Greg May scissors. Then I have to wait because it can be a long process. I hate waiting.
What are three things you can’t live without?
My family. My Greg May scissors. My Greg May products.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…of the diversity and multiculturalism. The pace. The fact that we are a major fashion port.
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
Canoe. The owner/partner/head chef, Anthony Walsh, is a close personal friend/client of mine, and to see the drive, passion, and pure love of what he does reminds me of myself. To be truly good at something, I believe you need these qualities. That, and the food is just the best.
What’s one of your favourite go-to designers/brands or accessories lines and why do you sport their fashions?
I like Rudsak for their men’s utilitarian workforce looks. I also like Prada and Calvin Klein for their minimalistic clean lines.
What products are always in your grooming bag?
Since I have a shaved head and goatee, I absolutely love the Gillette Fusion Proglide Styler. It is a razor, trimmer, and outliner. I pair that with my Greg May Indulge Me Shampoo, which is so emollient and rich that it doubles as a shaving cream.
What style trends are you obsessed with right now?
I’ve always loved androgynous looks, but I think you’ll be seeing a lot more short, choppy crop hair cuts for women. I love it. I also see men’s hair getting longer. I also love the transition with colour on women right now. It’s gone from a strong ombré to what we now call “sombré” or colour melting. It’s very sexy and wearable, with less upkeep. I love deconstructed looks with lots of texture. Nothing contrived.
What’s your favourite spa or service?
Definitely a massage. If it is a healing massage from a hard martial arts workout, I like to go to a Chinese massage/acupuncturist. If I am going for the experience, and pure pleasure, or with my wife, I prefer The Stillwater Spa at the Park Hyatt. They have always been good to me – year after year.