Burnt Ends Are The Hair Color Trend That'll Make You Look Like You Stepped Off The Beach

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Burnt ends might not sound like a beauty trend you want to participate in, but bear with us. It's a not-so-appealing name for a hair trend ideal for summer lovers, those who love low-maintenance hair color, or anyone who envies the carefree look of sun-kissed locks. Celebrity stylist Gregory Patterson puts it this way: "Think of those Aussies or surfers from Manhattan Beach that somehow have the perfect tone of salted highlights that you marvel at when you're in their presence" (via PureWow). You know the ones — those that look like they use the sun and sea as a magical hair-and-skin treatment while the rest of us end up looking fried from head to toe after a day at the beach.

The best part about burnt ends, however, is that there are no surfing lessons required. Instead of taking a trip to the beach, a visit to your favorite salon can help you nail this look. Still, there are a few considerations to mull over before you offer up your locks to the bleach gods. Here's everything you need to know about burnt ends.

What to know before you dive in

Burnt ends are super versatile and can work on nearly any hair color, length, or texture. The trend entails applying bleach to the ends or tips of your hair and leaving the middle and top sections as is. To avoid clients looking like Lance Bass during his NSYNC days — who could forget those '90s frosted tips? — stylists use a balayage technique. The bleach is applied in a freehand format that helps keep the highlights looking natural and as if the salt and sun bestowed them upon you instead of your stylist. The lighter ends perfectly blend into the mid-section of your hair without any harsh lines. If you're a pro at DIY hair color, you can even bleach it yourself.

Speaking of harshness, if you've ever used bleach, you know it can take a toll on your hair. The burnt end trend is no different and requires regular maintenance to prevent damage and promote hair health. Hydrating products can be especially helpful, reducing breakage and split ends where the bleach was applied to your locks. If you can find a purple shampoo or mask, it will do double-duty, providing protection while cutting down on brassiness.

The good news is that burnt ends don't require regular trips to the salon. Thanks to the balayage application, you typically don't have to worry about your highlights growing out too fast or looking awkward when they do. It's perfect for a carefree summer!

Maintaining your tips throughout the summer

Despite their relaxed look and nature, burnt ends can use some care to help them last all summer long. Surprisingly, you can apply an SPF to your hair just as you do your skin. Moisturizing products, like Kérastase Soleil Huile Sirene, often contain a sunscreen compound and also act as a barrier to saltwater or chlorine.

Rinsing your hair after a long day in the water and surf is a must. However, you might want to skip shampoo. It tends to wash away natural oils, leaving your hair dry and brittle. Rinsing with clean water and following with a rich conditioner or intensive hair mask can be a much better way to protect your locks and bleached color. The only exception is if you have been swimming in a treated pool. Shampooing out chlorine is routinely advised to avoid turning bleached strands green.

Fortunately, because burnt ends only bleach such small sections of your hair, keeping up with your hair care routine should be easy-breezy!