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.
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.
Trends are things that keep us interested in the world of hair, they can inspire us, define us help our businesses grow and make money with. Not so may years ago Trends would filter down from the catwalk into a magazine and eventually onto the high street ( remember that brilliant scene in the Devil wears Prada). That has all changed with social media, especially Instagram and Pintrest,and online fashion sites. I personally have done well by introducing a perceived trend Balayage to the UK market but that was an aready established techniquee in France and USA It just hadn’t caught on in the UK.
The Pro difference part 2
The other month we where talking numbers, From decline in salon visits and how we under index in every colour except blonde to the shocking amount of women who feel they can get the same colour at home as the salon and those tricky mixers who do colour at home and in the salon .This month i’m going to share some ideas and thoughts on how to get women women back into the salon
Across all colour shades women have told us through a loreal professional survey that they want from colour, the biggest desire is that it looks natural, rich.even,different tones, subtle tones and many others but the stand out was natural
There have been may controversies over the bonding market in the UK especially over who was responsible for the final mix neither the colour houses or the bonding companies would take responsibility for the end product which left us the hairdressers responible and in a precarious position. With the help of The Hair Council and Just hair Insurance, Sophia Hilton and myself we finally managed to change that with some insurance companies,I myself have never been a fan of one size fits all and so I used them as stand alone treatments until L’oreal launched smartbond a bonding kit that had been tested on all its haircolour products finally it felt safe to use
I’ve been thrilled with the results, more shine,stronger feeling hair and clients have been loving it. Of course its brilliant in my prelightners for Balayage but also amazing in regular colour, because of the way it works their is less fade in colours which is brilliant and on those balayaged ends they feel stronger than ever. But like anything else its not a miracle if you wouldnt colour the hair inf front of you because its so damaged then dont think smartbond will make it okay, you will still need to focus on getting the hair back into good enough shape before attempting to colour and so your smartbond can be used as a stand alone treatment. You don’t need to increase the volume of developer or extend the development time, which is a huge thing for me and a win win for clients.