Who said commercial colour was boring? Part 2

When an industry icon like Josh Wood talks, you always get an eye-opening insight into the colour business. So it was fascinating to hear Josh’s thoughts about colour trends at a recent Redken event.

Josh believes that the technology of hair colour, either from a box or a tube, is so good and it’s getting even better, therefore there’s only one thing that’s going to distinguish a top colourist from our competitors (or dare I say it home colour): APPLICATION!

These days most hairdressers say they do balayage, and to some interpretation they do, but what makes a good colourist is the way it is applied.

The colour choice is what fans the Instagram story, but it’s the application that makes it look amazing. Yet for some reason there’s a stigma that commercial hair colour is a bit dull. I don’t know who said commercial hair colour was boring – because it’s not! It’s what the majority of clients want and what will fill your column with happy loyal customers!

442 colour trends have recently been identified on social media; I couldn’t keep up with that – none of us can! In most cases the colour choice and colour combinations are the trends, but what most of them have in common is that the applications are freehand.

Pre-lighteners are playing an enormous role in the current colour market (without them where would we be with our balayage, pastels and vivids?).

Some technicians see this this latest revolution as doom and gloom, because the emphasis seems to be on brights, pastels and Instagram likes, rather than the work.

I disagree.

Colour Houses have made colouring hair easier by creating technology that makes the job simpler.  I don’t think it’s a bad thing, because although some of the mixology has been replaced, clever placement and well-executed work can never be put in a tube.

I raise my hand and admit I spend my days balayaging away and then glazing (toning), so when course participants ask me if I use colour as well as pre-lightener for balayage, the answer of course is no.

So if all the above is true, then education is king, because that’s where you’re going to find great application and technique with interesting colour mixes.

You and your clients might find inspiration on YouTube or Instagram, but I doubt very much if it’s going to explain exactly how to achieve the result, how much time it is going to take, what base the colourist had to work with etc.

I see 2018 continuing to change the landscape in education. Last year I did three things that were completely new to me: a podcast (and people were interested!) a type of webinar that you could pay for and have lifetime access to, and finally a stripped-back stage presentation.

All were really fascinating to be part of and all have influenced my thoughts on education for 2018. The most enlightening was the stripped-back stage presentation: 25 minutes on stage doesn’t give you much time to get a strong colour message across, plus it’s difficult, if not impossible, to wash colour off a model at a show! Live presentations allow you to showcase with models but not really get into the nitty gritty of application.

So how do you convey a stronger colour message? My thoughts are that it is all about application, that is what’s going to separate us from our competition. For the education that is going to keep you ahead of the game, you can check out my online balayage education channel or the courses I run for L’Oreal Professionnel in the UK and worldwide. Whether you’re an individual stylist or responsible for the education of a whole team, there really has never been an easier time to learn!

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