Beyond popular ombre and balayage hairstyles, there’s a slightly different look showing up in the hair of celebrities like Lauren Conrad and Jessica Alba. Very similar to balayage, it’s a new technique called tortoise shell. Khloe Kardashian sports another good example of the tortoise shell look, which is also known as ecaille.
Tortoise Shell hair is a little softer. You start by either coloring your natural color a little darker or balayage darker highlights to add some richness to your natural hair color.
After you deepen your hair, you put highlights on top of that. These highlights will generally start higher up than a traditional ombre and, instead of a dip-dye look, you will be left with something multi-dimensional.
Instead of gradually fading from dark to light, you focus more on specific shades. Highlights will be warmer tones like honey, caramel, chocolate, and mahogany.
Since you are changing your natural color to a slightly darker shade, the maintenance is similar to regular color or highlights and will need to be touched up every 4 to 6 weeks as your roots grow out and begin to show. If you would like something a little less noticeable between your color appointments, you can use a toner to darken your natural color, instead of using permanent color, so the darker shade will gradually fade over time.