Recently I was invited to hear Josh Wood talk at a Redken event, a rare opportunity to listen to an industry icon talk. The subject got onto trends and what Josh thought; it was so interesting because he also feels that because the technology of colour, either from a box or a tube, is so good and getting even better, the only thing that’s going to distinguish us from our competitors is the application. Given that most hairdressers say they do balayage and to some interpretation they do, what sets one apart from the other? APPLICATION. It’s the same for most commercial looks now because the colour choice is what fans the instagram story, but it’s the application that makes it look amazing.
A few years ago, salon colour menus were stuck in a rut, with uninspiring colour descriptions like ‘T-bar’ and ‘half-head highlights’ that don’t speak to the consumer. These techniques were one-size-fits-all colours that didn’t take the individual client into account and which made colour a chore.
Who Said Commercial Colour Was Boring?! follow me over two articles where I discuss why its not.
I recently read this line in an article: ‘When will you decide to take action on all that education you’re consuming? Because the truth is, until you do, please do not expect any changes to occur.”
Many consumers can be confused by ombre and balayage, mainly because the lines are blurred and not all colourists know the difference . The number one rule for colorists should be “know your techniques” as there are so many and the consumer is know super informed on trends, so a basic understand of whats going on is so important and is what I would call the “pro difference”
Last year 442 trend where identified on social media , so putting your tools down at 6pm isn’t going to work, we all need to be doing our research after the day is done.
Ombre is a colour technique it means to shadow and goes from dark to light in a very soft graduation of color, no harsh lines anywhere. This technique works best on longer hair with few layers, and I always love to put a face frame of balayage arround the face for maximum Impact and to connect the whole look. Its done with Pre lightner and can be as soft or strong as you like as long as the transition from dark to light is seamless
For most of last year, when travelling and teaching one thing came up over and over gain, and that was managing the clients expectation, it didn’t matter the class or the level it was as if this was the biggest thing in the room. Last year I did write about the consultation you can read that here, but I do think this is something worth touching on so we can split clients into a few different groups, but before we do that, its important that we as an industry stand tall and proud, we are the ones who have the knowledge, been on the courses, up skilling all the time and we shouldn’t be afraid of a colour change or the word NO, if we feel its applicable.
Classic Balayage pieces should be very close and soft at the root leading to a thicker highlight at the ends of the hair. Balayage is applied on the surface of the section and not saturated through the section until the very tips, otherwise you would have a streak of colour that isn’t very soft at all. It can also be called a freehand technique because no foil or meche is used to create the highlights, instead we use professional cling film to separate the layers which is much softer. Because it’s handpainted, your colourist can choose the placements to best complement your haircut, skin and features so it looks really natural rather than actually coloured. There’s no stripy look, it emulates what you would get naturally.
Balayage has evolved as people have experimented with it, and it now falls into different categories – creative, classic, micro, Californian, and this allows colourists to work in many different ways which gives them more creativity. New York Lights, the face framing technique is the most important for any age; it’s natural, beautiful and gives an instant lift. 6 pieces can make all the difference, it doesn’t have to be a headful of balayage to make an impact.
Classic Balayage is saturated at the ends and product is loaded in the mid-lengths, feathered up to the root and spread down over the surface of the section for a seamless finish.
Creative Balayage is saturated at the ends and product is loaded in the mid-lengths. The difference here is that whilst we spread the product down to the ends, we only feather slightly for a more subtle finish.
Micro Balayage is achieved by saturating the ends, loading product just above this and feathering up. California is a much heavier incarnation of this application; still very soft at the root but much more coverage.