Why You Should Leave Hair Coloring To The Professionals
By Patti Wood
First, over the last 35 years I have seen some devastating home hair coloring. Everything from orange, black, green, and grey’s, to bright pink. Bright pink wasn’t even popular in the 1980s.
I still kid today, and say I learned how to perfect hair color by fixing other peoples messes. I have been a Redken Stylist for over 30 years and use their color exclusively. Redken has everything I would ever need with predictable, long-lasting, beautiful results every time. Does that mean I don’t like other hair coloring products? No, not at all. There are a lot of good color products out there. It’s the knowledge of the person formulating your color that is the most important. I prefer to use Redken because of the education; Redken’s education rocks. As a salon owner and stylist, the most important thing is education, education, education! Did I mention education?
I have been a hairdresser since 1976. When I first started, the only people getting color back then were older ladies who wanted their grey hair to become blonde; It wasn’t a thing everyone did. Perms were the hot ticket back then. Oh yeah the Barbara Streisand hair do too. Am I dating myself yet? Perms and hair color are too damaging so you did one or the other. Hair color and perms have changed over the years. Hair color has taken a huge turn and everyone wants to or does color their hair.
Box color has a whole different language to it. It’s for the consumer to try to understand, and most times, they don’t fully understand. The colors can be vague, and printing on the box can sometime be misleading because the model on the box could have naturally brown hair, but the person holding the box could have naturally blonde hair; that makes a huge difference. Light brown, medium brown, dark brown, really!! I have a list that you need to abide by when coloring someone’s hair and it’s not quite that simple. After you read the lingo on the box, you decide if you can get all of that out of one box. Instead, let me make it easier for you… put the box down and immediately go to www.redken.com to find a colorist near you. You never know how your hair will turn out with one of the boxed colors, so it’s up to you… are you willing to risk it?
Below are some of the “lingo” I was referring to above. They are some things to take into consideration while thinking about your next color job. Keep in mind also, hair stylists went to school for this and they do it on a regular basis… can your box do that for you?
1. Basecolor: Color applied at the root area or all-over before a dimensional/ creative color technique is done.
2. Contrast: Contrast is a value applied to highlights. High-contrast highlights are much lighter than the surrounding hair and provide a dramatic look. Lower contrast highlights result in a more natural look.
3. Cool: Cool is a tonal value that can apply to blonde, brunette, and red shades. A color is said to have “cool tones” if it tends toward blue, violet or green. Cool colors include platinum blondes, ash browns, and plum reds.
4. Coverage: Coverage is a measure of a haircolor’s ability to cover gray. Some haircolor formulations are too transparent to effectively cover gray hair. Redken Color Gels Permanent Conditioning Haircolor provides exceptional gray coverage with resistance to fading.
5. Dimension: Dimension is a function of the range of tones in your hair. A head of hair that is all one color is said to be “flat” or lacking dimension. Your stylist can add dimension to your hair with highlights or lowlights.
6. Double-process: A double-process color refers to anytime two color services are done in one visit. Generally this is done by doing the first color service, washing and drying the hair, then doing the second color. This can include lightening the hair then applying a toner, or doing a permanent color followed by a glaze.
7. Express Highlights: Express Highlights are done by applying a small amount of foils or painted-on pieces, usually focused on framing the face.
8. Glaze: Glazes involve using a demi-permanent color to enhance, enrich, change, match, tone down or intensify natural or color-treated hair while harmonizing contrast.
9. Hair Painting: Hair Painting, also known as balayage, is the process of free-handing or sweeping hair color, lightener or toner downwards in soft strokes directly on the surface of the desired section. This method is used to create dimension with a natural, softer look.
10. Highlights: Highlighting hair means isolating select strands in the hair and treating them with a haircolor or lightener to make them lighter than their base/ natural color. Highlights can add dimension by contrasting with the rest of the hair and are created with foils, a cap or special combs or brushes used for “painting on” the color.
11. Lift: Lift is the chemical process of lightening the color of the hair. Different haircolor formulations have different lifting abilities.
12. Lowlights: Lowlights are created by using color with foils, caps, or painted on to darken specific pieces and create dimension. Generally low lights will be 2-3 levels darker than your basecolor and slightly warmer. This can be used for a more natural look or create accents within the hair.
13. Rebalancing; Rebalancing is the process of bringing the hair back into balance, and can be created with the combination of highlights and lowlights, and/or glazes.
14. Single-process: A single process refers to any color service that is done in one step. This can be using a permanent color that lifts and deposits, a glaze, highlights/lowlights without toning, or a creative color service with only one process.
15. Texture: Texture, as defined by the diameter of an individual hair strand, is generally described as fine, medium, or coarse. Your stylist will factor in your hair’s texture when determining your best color formulation.
16. Trend Pastel: Trend Pastel refers to the softened, lightened hues of colors such as red, purple, green, orange, yellow, or blue. Pastel tones of color are meant as colorants and toning shades, and are best achieved when applied to very pale blonde hair to create for example pink, lavender, mint green tones.
17. Tone: Tone, in hair coloring, is the term used to describe a specific color—”golden” blonde, “coppery” red, “ash” brown. Colors are divided into warm tones and cool tones.
18. Warm: Warm is a tonal value that can apply to blonde, brunette, and red shades. A color is said to have “warm tones” if it tends toward yellow, orange or red. Warm colors include golden blondes, auburn brunettes, and coppery
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Patti Wood WTS, Owner of Off 5th Avenue Salon, is a professionally trained hair stylist and a certified Trichologist specializing in Hair Replacement therapy and solutions. Patti has helped many clients solve hair loss problems ranging from cancer treatments, male or female pattern baldness, hair thinning, and Alopecia Areata. She works closely with Dermatologists and Physicians in treatment plans.