Posts Tagged ‘haircolor’

Top Hair Color Brands: Ratings & Reviews

by Antonio Gonzales on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

antonio gonzales

I was born in Trinidad in the height of a hurricane. I spent my childhood surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells of Carnival and the other Indian, African and Spanish festivals of the Islands. Loving the amazing costumes, I got my start dressing my sisters and doing their hair and makeup. An opportunity came up to work with Trinidad’s leading costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists. After I left the Island, my career evolved with work in Munich, Los Angeles, New York City and now Miami. Vogue magazine recently named me as one of the rising hairstylist stars in New York, I was awarded the best haircut of 2008 by, Gotham Magazine called me a Shear Genius and Allure Magazine featured me as one of the Best Cuts 2009.

For clients, hair color is a big part of their monthly investment. Over the past 20 years, I’ve worked to get rid of unwanted grays and brighten the dullest of days for my clients. While doing so, I have used many professional

hair color

Color is a big part of a client’s hair budget.

permanent hair color brands, and while I’ve really liked most and still use several to this day, I have watched these companies do their best to improve their products and produce hair color that is noticeably shinier and healthier and that last longer on the hair.

The following is my honest experience and opinions on the differences between these color lines, including what to expect and what sets them apart. Each is rated on a scale of 1 to 10 for fading (1 being great resistance to fading and 10 being the worst resistance to fading).


An Italian permanent hair color, this was one of the first hair colors I used when I started my coloring career. Framesi comes in many shades and boasts some beautiful reds. Over the years, Framesi has improved their color line by adding lovely cool tones and an opaque color with rich, long-lasting browns and some great gray coverage. Because of its intense coverage, when working on the client with a few grays that is maybe looking for a softer, more translucent color, this probably is not my first choice. Unlike some other products, Framesi has not had the huge financial and advertising backing others may have enjoyed, however, it’s a color line that has been consistent for the past 20 years. Fade Rating: 1


This is another favorite with an opaque finish. Sometimes I prefer this to Framesi, since it’s not as opaque. Their “N” series is not as ashy as other brands and it leaves the hair feeling like, well, hair! Goldwell confidently can boast great high lift tints that lift “on tone.” It also has a demi-permanent color line that complements most of their permanent colors. Not many permanent hair color brands have a demi-permanent color line that I love. I “like” Goldwell. Fade Rating: 2

Majirel by L’Oreal

This product is a great translucent permanent color that gives great coverage and shine. Their brunettes are gorgeous! The gold series for low-lighting holds well, but needs a little extra kick of red for warmth. For the blonde who dislikes “warm low-lights,” this is perfect!! I love their copper reds, but they are lacking a broader spectrum of reds. Fade Rating: 1

Richesse by L’Oreal

L’Oreal also provides a demi-permanent line called “Richesse,” which I like very much. It’s an easy to use line that I will continue to use. Fade Rating: 3


Koleston Perfect is a color I have been using since it became available in the U.S. In fact, over the last 15 years, I am responsible for introducing it to many salons I have worked in. It’s a translucent color perfect for clients who want permanent color without the feeling of intense coverage and pigment. This is a warm brand of color and you will need to pay attention to controlling the warmth for the clients who are ash lovers. Wella colors are great for low-lighting; they leave the hair very shiny. The reds are lovely and I love, love, love their bleaches. Wella also provides an endless demi-permanent color line (Color Touch) supporting its permanent colors.

hair color

Gotta have the reds!

Recently, they created a line that adds a translucent tone to compete with Cellophanes, called Colorshines by Sebastian. Only problem? It does have a little peroxide, whereas Cellophanes has none. Fade Rating: 4


This is another product I’ve been using since it was launched in the U.S. more than 10 years ago. From its milk proteins and gentle approach, it offers a color with healthy hair in mind. Its consistency when mixing is a little annoying and so is the packaging, but it delivers! I know stylists who swear by it. Fade Rating: 4

Miss Clairol

Let’s bring in the big guys from the “old school!” Talk about a color that covers grey well… always! Some may think it’s for dated hairstylists, but you will be surprised to know that many top salons in New York use this product because of its ability to cover well. However, most salons accompany this product with demi-permanent colors from other lines. Disadvantages? It is liquid and has a strong smell. Fade Rating: 2 (You go, Miss Clairol!)

Well there you have it, guys and dolls, my input on hair color brands to help you get started if you’re new, or just looking for some hair coloring tips. Of course, if you ask another hairstylist, they will have a totally different opinion on my choices, but the most important thing is that we all love color!

Summer Hair Coloring Tips

by Antonio Gonzales on Monday, March 28th, 2011

antonio gonzales

I was born in Trinidad in the height of a hurricane. I spent my childhood surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells of Carnival and the other Indian, African and Spanish festivals of the Islands. Loving the amazing costumes, I got my start dressing my sisters and doing their hair and makeup. An opportunity came up to work with Trinidad’s leading costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists. After I left the Island, my career evolved with work in Munich, Los Angeles and now New York City. Here in New York, I am a stylist at the Orlo Salon in the Meat Packing district. Vogue magazine recently named me as one of the rising hairstylist stars in New York, I was awarded the best haircut of 2008 by, Gotham Magazine called me a Shear Genius and Allure Magazine featured me as one of the Best Cuts 2009.

Today I’m addressing protecting colored curly hair clients. Be it a blonde, redhead or brunette, color fading and breakage are what’s in store for them in the months to come as our clients enjoy the hot summer sun.

Before your clients leave the salon, here are some valuable tips for them to help them prevent problems and address these challenges.

Color Fading

From this day forward, as clients sit in your chair, it’s crucial to explain to them how to protect their “investment” (their hair color). Educate them on the fact that they need to purchase new products as the seasons change. For the summer, recommend new shampoos, conditioners and treatments that contain UV protection from the ocean, pool and sun.

Before they enter the pool or ocean, suggest they apply a thick layer of conditioner to prevent over-saturation of salt and chlorine. When they exit the water, recommend they have a spray bottle of water at hand to help dilute the salt or chlorine. They should also follow up by adding a light misting of a leave-in conditioner.

Tanning booths are big culprits in hair color fading. Remind clients to cover their hair when at tanning salons.


When working on my blondes, I have started doing cellophane glazes (colorshines) that contain no ammonia or peroxide. If it’s a blonde who can’t live without the effects of glosses (softening the root color), then follow your gloss with a glaze. In any case, a glaze will create a temporary barrier on the hair to prevent fading.

Because cellophanes come in clear, as well as different colors, you have the ability to not drift away from your desired color. For example, if I’m working on a blonde who does not want any warm tones, mix Clear and Pearl as your glaze. If she’s afraid of any cool tones then, mix Clear and Honey Golden Blond. The Clear is there to dilute any added color pigment and keeps you on track for your desired effect.


For your brunette clients with virgin hair, cellophanes are a great recommendation and I guarantee you they will love you for it! You can use Clear with a squirt of Red Brunette or Clear with a squirt of Honey Golden Blonde. The best part? It fades after 10 to 12 shampoos, which means they can enjoy a beach vacation with a peace of mind. Even for kids, the Clear will keep their beautiful curls intact and shiny.

Beautiful Blondes: Making Your Clients Shine

by Antonio Gonzales on Monday, March 21st, 2011

antonio gonzales

I was born in Trinidad in the height of a hurricane. I spent my childhood surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells of Carnival and the other Indian, African and Spanish festivals of the Islands. Loving the amazing costumes, I got my start dressing my sisters and doing their hair and makeup. An opportunity came up to work with Trinidad’s leading costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists. After I left the Island, my career evolved with work in Munich, Los Angeles and now New York City. Here in New York, I am a stylist at the Orlo Salon in the Meat Packing district. Vogue magazine recently named me as one of the rising hairstylist stars in New York, I was awarded the best haircut of 2008 by, Gotham Magazine called me a Shear Genius and Allure Magazine featured me as one of the Best Cuts 2009.

As a continuation of my last color installment, which covered foiling or baliage techniques with darker colors, I now turn my attention to fair-haired ladies and gents and how to help them achieve that beautiful blonde look.

I thought I would start this article differently and first talk about all the tools and techniques I use in the color dispensary. Please keep in mind these valuable tips may require you thinking out of the “color box.”

Hair Lightener. Over the years, there have been so many hair lighteners that I can’t even keep track. Today, over-production seems to have calmed down. After all, how many do we really need? Here are the three lighteners I use that give me the best results.

1. Platinium is a paste that comes with its own special developer. I love using this for painting (baliage) because of its consistency and ability to stay moist while being extremly gentle on fine hair. It adheres to the hair well; however, I only use this for finer painting. On wider pieces it tends to get dry fast and it takes too much product. It’s also not the cheapest of hair lighteners, so overusing is not smart on your color budget.

2. Platene by Loreal is a great product for foiling or baliage. It’s an easy product to add conditioning oils to, while keeping a great consistency. Platene is a great product for painting larger pieces without the product being too dense. It allows flexibility when maneuvering the hair and for foils it gives a great lift you can see while processing.

3. Blondor by Wella is a great bleach for foiling. It conditions, lifts well and is one of the only blue powdered bleaches that I can see the true color of the blond while it’s processing. This comes in handy, since some bleaches are so blue that it’s hard to tell if the hair is blond or sky blue. I do not recommend this product for doing baliage, it simply is the wrong consistency.

Foiling Techiniques. I was recently asked by a hairstylist how many “foiling patterns” do I know? I was in shock! I did not realize we still do “special” foil patterns? My answer was the head is round and it depends on what my desired look is. The concept of foiling patterns went out with big shoulder pads in the eighties.

Baliage. There are so many baliage techniques that it really depends on the desired look, the client’s natural hair texture and the hair’s condition. The wonderful thing with baliage is you can invent your own ideas on approaching your desired look. After all, we are creative people so let’s create! L’Oreal by far has the best baliage brushes. They also have great spatulas that come in different sizes, allowing you to be flexible and get special results. If you do not have a spatula you can use a Champion black rubber (seven-inch) comb, which is what I used back in the day. It is wide enough and is great quality. To avoid color bleeding, you can use cotton (strip or flat) and cling wrap to do baliage. Another baliage technique for dramatic results is painting by hand, wearing gloves.

Sectioning Clips. Alligator clips will help you work efficiently keeping the tiniest of strands out of the way. They wash well and are strong.

Glossing Technique. After highlighting a head of hair, we sometimes add a gloss to add the desired tone that bleach alone cannot achieve. I would like to share one of my glossing techniques that can help you get better blond results. Once the foils or baliage is removed and you shampoo and towel dry, instead of using one gloss to help you get your desired results, I recommend two, one for the root and one for the entire head.

Let me explain; if you are about to gloss a blonde and the roots are dark and she wants to be a light golden blonde I always use a beige gloss on the roots first to control the warmth. Then after three to five minutes I apply my desired color over the entire head. The beige on the roots sets the tone without pulling too warm and when you apply the second gloss it gives the end of the hair the desired tone. Don’t be too worried about the beige changing the end result. The golden pigment will control the beige, giving you the result you need.

If the client wants a more beige overall tone and is very concerned about warm roots, you can add a little ash to your beige root gloss for further control. Keep in mind that this is just one of many approaches you can use when glossing hair.

Here’s wishing you beautiful blonde results!

Put a Spring in Your Clients’ Colorful Curls

by Antonio Gonzales on Monday, February 21st, 2011

antonio gonzales

I was born in Trinidad in the height of a hurricane. I spent my childhood surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells of Carnival and the other Indian, African and Spanish festivals of the Islands. Loving the amazing costumes, I got my start dressing my sisters and doing their hair and makeup. An opportunity came up to work with Trinidad’s leading costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists. After I left the Island, my career evolved with work in Munich, Los Angeles and now New York City. Here in New York, I am a stylist at the Orlo Salon in the Meat Packing district. Vogue magazine recently named me as one of the rising hairstylist stars in New York, I was awarded the best haircut of 2008 by, Gotham Magazine called me a Shear Genius and Allure Magazine featured me as one of the best cuts 2009.

Texture, texture and more fabulous texture! I would now like to open my color dispensary to all my fellow hairstylists and share some tips on making clients’ curls look amazing for the spring. I feel strongly that we are in this together, and education is something we should always feel free to share. Here is a two-part installment taking you away from the norm and helping you work on a “curly canvas” with new ideas.

When a client with curly hair sits in my chair for the first time, I look at her hair very differently compared to that of a client with straight hair. Curly hair travels from the scalp out and falls very differently than straight hair. And because the light reflects differently off of curls, before I color I have to think carefully if I am going to do a single process, foil or baliage technique.


If she or he is a first-time color client, I prefer to paint rather than do a single process. Whether there are a few grays or none at all, when it comes to virgin hair, I strongly feel doing a single process is like throwing a blanket over the client’s head. Why cover what comes naturally? To enhance natural hair color, I love low-lighting with foils using two shades of brown, one darker and one lighter, especially if the client has a lot of hair. If she has very fine hair, I still prefer using two colors, but using the baliage technique becomes my first choice. With fine hair, I have more control than with foils and the effect is more delicate.

Yes, it may seem like more work than an overall color. But consider this, not only is it beautiful with dimension, but now the client is well-aware that her color is custom-mixed to her needs. Also, when the hair grows, you avoid the line of demarcation typically caused by single process. After the color is processed, I take the client to the sink and do a quick soap cap without affecting the uncolored hair too much. Keep in mind that it is not necessary to do a gloss with this process, otherwise you will blend what you did prior, and you’re back to ground zero with the color looking like a single process.

Gray Be Gone!

If there’s 10 to 30 percent of gray, you can baliage the hair (thick or fine) with the results being very natural and a very subtle line of demarcation. When a client is beginning to gray, the single process effect can be too harsh and scare the client away from a truly necessary service. The major advantage with doing baliage on this client is they can still see their natural hair color mixed with the colored hair.

When first covering gray hair, most women are open to seeing one or two gray strands, so why totally change their hair color? Then if the client is open to a little sparkle to counteract the coolness caused by the slight graying, you can also suggest a few lighter tips to add sparkle. While the low lights are processing, simply paint a few lighter pieces but only the tips of the hair (not roots through to ends. For this, I recommend using high lift tints for the lighter pieces rather than bleach - this way you have more control getting the desired tones without having to gloss her hair after using bleach.

Remember, this approach is all about giving the client a sophisticated, modern hair color, leaving her feeling soft and sexy with a color that compliments her curls and texture. After all the color classes I have done, I still find myself going back to the basics. Put clients’ hair condition first, the desired results second and my pocket last. With this approach, I find both my client and I are happy maintaining a strong relationship full of trust.

My next installment? Techniques using bleach to help add that extra edge to your brunette or blond client.

What’s the Difference Between a Gloss and a Glaze?

by Antonio Gonzales on Monday, December 13th, 2010

antonio gonzales

I was born in Trinidad in the height of a hurricane. I spent my childhood surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells of Carnival and the other Indian, African and Spanish festivals of the Islands. Loving the amazing costumes, I got my start dressing my sisters and doing their hair and makeup. An opportunity came up to work with Trinidad’s leading costume designers, makeup artists and hair stylists. After I left the Island, my career evolved with work in Munich, Los Angeles and now New York City. Here in New York, I am a stylist at the Orlo Salon in the Meat Packing district. Vogue magazine recently named me as one of the rising hairstylist stars in N.Y., I was awarded the best haircut of 2008 by shecky’, Gotham Magazine called me a Shear Genius and Allure Magazine featured me as one of the best cuts 2009.

What’s the difference between a gloss and a glaze? Over the years I’ve heard these terms used interchangeably (often from my own clients), and I’m here to set the record straight. After some extensive online research and reading many articles from fellow New York stylists (including NYC Colorist Marie Leppard and my coworkers at the Orlo salon), I feel confident to speak intelligently on the matter. I want to bring you a point of view that, although personal, makes sense in my eyes. I hope this helps you to answer your own clients’ concerns on the matter.

Hair Glaze

What comes to mind when I hear the word “glaze” is a shiny, delicate surface, like that of a glazed cake—a temporary coating.

After my research, I was happy to know that we stylists all can agree that a glaze is a temporary, clear substance that adds great shine to either virgin or color-treated hair. We also agree that glazes have pigment added to boost any matching hair color: blond or brunette. Whether it’s a clear glaze (with no color pigment) or a colored glaze, all certainly add a safe, translucent coating to the hair shaft that washes off in eight to 12 shampoos. Glazes contain no ammonia or peroxide, which means they do not have the ability to lift your natural color or to aggressively open the cuticle to deposit color. This kind of product gently lays on the surface of the hair rather, adding a complementary tone. Also, glazes will not fully cover gray hair (not even a few strands). However, on a client who’s just slightly gray, it can add overall shine and a hint of tone while possibly staining those few strands.

One of my favorite glazes is Sebastian Colourshines by Cellophanes. I have been using this product for more than 16 years, from my time in Trinidad, to Los Angeles and now in New York, and I still love the results. This temporary gel-like substance comes in clear and also a variety of colors that can complement any brunette or blond. Keep in mind that there are other glazes on the market for you to sample, but this is again by far my favorite; I’ve yet to be disappointed by this glaze. The easiest way for me to describe the coverage of this product is by recommending that you experiment: Get a piece of colored cellophane paper. Place it over several surfaces of varying colors. If the paper you choose is red (for example), then all the surfaces you have covered with the cellophane look the same in depth or lightness, though now just have a red translucent tone. The idea is that the glaze cannot actually change the depth and existing color pigment, but does add a translucent tone.

The best way to choose the right color for your client is by taking a white paper towel and smearing your desired color on it. This way, you get a good idea of the color and underlying pigment. It is important to keep in mind the desired effect, so keep the “color tone” relative to the client’s existing hair color. In other words, if it’s a copper red, do not use a blue-base red. It’s great on brunettes who are losing their sparkle, if you think there’s too much pigment and you are fearful of it going too dark, then what you should do is add clear. This will help dilute the pigment, giving less coverage. This product is also amazing for blonds: For a head of fair hair that’s too gold, add a mixture of pearl blonde and clear. Or for the blond who’s too ashy, the honey blond mixed with clear works wonders!

To use on virgin hair, I first shampoo the hair with a clarifying shampoo to remove all product residue. I then towel-dry thoroughly and apply from roots to ends. Apply a plastic cap and sit under heat for 20 minutes. Afterward, allow to cool for five minutes and rinse well. Use an old-school hooded dryer (the heat and strong flow of air from these works better), rather than a Rollerball or a Climazone. But careful: do not shampoo. Rinse well (seven to 10 minutes) and condition only. If applying a colored glaze, apply protective cream to the hairline and wear gloves. Comb the glaze on the hairline, avoiding the client’s scalp. This way you get an even application without staining her scalp, and trust me when I say this baby stains!

For virgin hair in need of shine that’s sensitive to chemicals (or for the client who’s sensitive to the slightest tonal change in their hair), I highly recommend using a glaze. As we know it fades naturally from the hair without a line of demarcation. Do not take any chances with the lowest-volume peroxide in a gloss. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

If your client’s hair is damaged and you have a choice between either a gloss or a glaze, I highly recommend a glaze. Even the lowest-volume peroxide can make a bad situation worse.

Glazes and Glosses

Hair Gloss

When I think of a gloss, I think of car paint or nail polish: something stronger and longer-lasting.

A hair gloss is the stronger of the two. It contains peroxide and has the ability to budge the cuticle, depositing longer-lasting color. If used with heat on virgin hair, some glosses will give lift to the hair, changing the tone by perhaps a shade (I’ve seen this happen several times with my own eyes). When used on color-treated blond or brunette hair, it will add shine and enhance the existing tones in the hair, which can be a lifesaver a month or so after coloring the client’s hair. As you already know, glosses can be clear or come in a variety of shades (more so than do glazes), and can last up to four weeks. They can be applied to dry or towel-dried hair, and as previously mentioned, can be used with or without heat (Color Touch by Wella is a good example of this capability).

One of my very favorite glosses is Diacolor by L’Oréal, which can make a blond sparkle a month after getting the color done, while controlling warmth in the base. Unlike many glosses on the market that leave warm tones on the hair, this product will keep a brunette on tone, be it warm or cool. It comes in many shades, allowing you to create any desired hue. Keep in mind that I do use a lot of glosses in my everyday work, but I try to keep it as healthy as possible. So instead of the fast five minutes at the sink with a gloss, take 20 minutes with a glaze to achieve a shine that’s “to dye for”!

Remember that glosses can be a girl’s best friend (especially for blending gray hair), but should be used only when necessary, on hair that really needs it. Glazes, on the other hand, can make a world of difference on virgin hair, and are a great way to introduce your more inexperienced clients to hair color.

I wish you shine, shine, shine this holiday season!

American Board of Certified Haircolorists Tests Brands

by CurlStylist on Monday, October 25th, 2010

Epic Battle!

There was much discussion on to how the test on INOA haircolor was to be conducted. It was determined the best way was to compare it with one other haircolor. We elected to go head to head with WELLA Color Charm tube haircolor. We selected this haircolor for two reasons. We wanted a color that was opposite in both the price and ingredients. INOA contains no ammonia, and WELLA has the reputation as being loaded with ammonia (even though it is not true). This was not a comparison such as the 6N comparison, pitting one color aganist all others. It was simply comparing an expensive haircolor against a less expensive one.

The test result was based on several areas of hai color, such as gray coverage, fading, mixing time, application time, smell, condition of the hair after the applications and consistency. This was the first of two tests. The second part of the test, which will appear later, will include INOA in the same test as the other 6Ns, both with the brand peroxide and generic peroxide

There were 2 applications of color. After each application the color was left on for 35 minutes, then shampooed twice and left to dry. The drying time included normal sun exposure. The process was repeated 5 times over a 5-day period. The hair was shampooed a total of 10 times. It was then colored a second time and the entire process repeated.


This was no contest. The first time mixing INOA color was slow and cumbersome. It took 4 minutes and 34 seconds to mix the color. It took both hands to squeeze the ingredents out of the oil and the peroxide bottles because of the thickness of the product. This also made it difficult to measure, even with the measuring device provided. The second time the mixing time was cut in half. Still it was twice as long as the WELLA color, which took 1 minute 15 seconds. The color had to be mixed in a bowl and applied with a brush, unlike the WELLA which can be used with either the brush or bowl.

Winner: WELLA


After comparing the two sides of the mannequin there were mixed reviews as to the coverage of the gray,hair. There appeared to be little or no difference in the gray coverage. After the second application the coverage was much better. This is true of both haircolors.

Winner: TIE


Because of the thickness of the INOA haircolor it took longer to apply. It took 14 minutes to apply the color from scalp to ends on half of the mannequin. Almost three times longer than WELLA color, which took only 6 minutes. The consistency of WELLA tube color makes it easy to mix in an applicator bottle. I fail to see the advantage of having a product so thick it make the application more difficult.

Winner: WELLA


Here again the fading was significant. We found with both colors the hair faded to the same degree. It did not appear that one color faded more off tone than the other. The gray hair had marginal coverage after the first application. After the second application the color was much more through than the first application.

Winner: TIE


Without special instruments, it is difficult to determine which of the two sides of the mannequin was in better condition. We made a point not to use any conditioning product after the shampoo. Both sides became much fuller and both had coarse feel. It became increasingly difficult to comb the hair the more it was exposed to the sun. It is difficult to determine what caused the rough cuticle, probably a combination of the color, shampoo and sun. After the last shampoo we used Oxyfree on the hair which made the combability much better.

Winner: TIE


The smell of INOA color was nondescript, not perfumey, not medicinal, just a nice gentle smell. WELLA color smelled like ammonia.

Winner: INOA


It was no surprise to anyone that WELLA was going to win this battle. The price of INOA was difficult to determine because of the way it is measured and the manner in which it is priced. We mixed four ounces of haircolor and priced it per mixed ounce.
One application (4 ounces) WELLA $1.44. INOA $11.42. The consistency of INOA would make it difficult to complete an application with 4 ounces.

Winner: WELLA


The consistency of the INOA hair color after it was mixed was a beautiful creamy conistency. It was all you could do to keep from eating it. The WELLA color on the other hand was WELLA color, a nice golden consistency, but there was no urge to consume it.

Winner: INOA

The purpose of this experiment was to aid haircolorists in determining whether to switch to another, more costly, haircolor based on the comparisons. The mannequin will be available for inspection at the next Energizing Summit.

The Price of Hair Color Continues Upward

by CurlStylist on Monday, September 13th, 2010

Haircolor prices to continue upward. In this time of economic uncertainty we continue to hear from haircolorists that the price of haircolor is eating away at their bottom line. The thought of changing haircolor lines to something less expensive is a frighting alternative. Working really hard to keep their salons afloat, you know there is little time to go through the pains of changing lines of haircolor.

Tom Dispenza is a stylist who is working to establish his own line of haircoloring. We asked Dispenza what has occurred in the past year to require haircolor manufacturers to continue to raise prices. Have the price of raw materials or packaging increased to justify the raising of haircolor prices? According to Dispenza, “There has been no substantial raises in the raw materials to justify the raise of prices. The raise of prices occur when large corporations are not seeing increases on the bottom line. Large corporations have boards of directors, and they want to see increases of the bottom line. They don’t want to hear the economy is bad or there are more color lines, or that competition is fierce. Those board members don’t care; they want to see increases. The easiest way to make that happen is to raise prices. That is the reason the price of haircolor continues to rise.” It is naive to think the customers don’t mind the price of their haircolor service going up a few dollars to make up for the increase of haircolor. Of course they care even if they don’t say it.

We should be aware of the RULE OF MARKETING. The rule is the more something cost the less people there are who can afford it. We have always been taught, mostly by the manufacturers, that we should raise our prices when they raise their prices. This might not be the best strategy. All you have to do is to put yourself in their shoes. Go to your favorite restaurant and order a steak. The waiter sells you on the idea of a new cut of beef. “You’ll love it, its tender and tasty.” So you order it. its good, but when you get the bill its $15 more. Are you going to go back and order the same steak again? I’ll bet not, You may never go back again. A lot of people don’t complain, they just don’t go back.

Now is not the time to raise prices. These are tough times for what is still considered a luxury for many people. Sure you have clients who will come to you regardless of what you charge, if we want to continue to attract additional clients into the salon we can’t continue to raise prices. Tell your distributor you don’t want to pay more for their color. You can’t raise your prices and you can’t afford to absorb the additional cost. Threaten to change color lines for a line that is less expensive. There are some great new color lines out there for a lot less money. You will be amazed at how quickly they will negotiate.

One stylist tells a story of when he was using LOGICS several years ago, he threatened his distributor with changing lines because the color was becoming too expensive. The distributor reduced the price of the color 20% based on his volume. That is a hefty reduction of cost. It angered him to know he was paying 20% more than he had to for all of those years. How many of you are paying more for your color than you have to. Check out the 6N comparison to see where the best deals are. Now is the time to watch your cost instead of raising prices.

— American Board of Haircolorists

New Trends in Hair Color

by CurlStylist on Monday, June 7th, 2010

Enjoy this brief wrapup of a couple new coloring processes.

Matrix’ Luminous Match Tool

The Luminous Match Tool is designed to be used with Matrix’s Dream.Age SOCOLOR (above)

It’s no secret great haircolor starts with a great consultation, but due to the fact that there are no standards for consultations, they aren’t always great. Recognizing this, Matrix created the Luminous Match Tool—a device colorists can use to critique tone for optimal color formulation. Matrix artistic color director Patrick McIvor uses the tool in his color studios (patrick mcivor color studio and studio two) to create multi-reflective personalized haircolor for guests.

“Have you ever seen someone with vibrant, shiny, multi-dimensional haircolor, but it doesn’t look good on them? It’s probably the wrong tone. People are divided into warm and cool tone categories, but the problem is, determining tone can be subjective and most people have features that are a mix of warm and cool tones. The trick is to critique tone properly and use a color with the correct tone. The Luminous Match Tool gives colorists a reference when critiquing hair, skin and eye tone, standardizing the process into four simple steps, ” explains McIvor.

1. Determine natural level and tone of hair, including the percentage of gray.
2. Critique skin tone by matching the color swatches to the inside of the forearm where skin is not exposed to sun or makeup.
3. Establish tone of eyes by matching to either warm or cool chart.
4. Choose color.

“Most people’s features are not universally warm or cool - The Luminous Match Tool advises colorists to go with the majority (2 out of the three). For instance, if someone has cool hair, warm skin and warm eyes, they would look better in a warmer haircolor. The Luminous Match Tool also allows colorists to stay focused on their guest and not a celebrity picture that a person has brought, which has nothing to do with their personal features, hair or tone. It also validates the colorist’s haircolor choice for the guest,” he adds.

The Luminous Tool is designed to use with new Matrix SOCOLOR Dream.Age—a richly pigmented, multi-reflective color with 100% gray coverage that is balanced with tonal richness.

Blond from Wella

Blondes are in high demand because the color rarely occurs in nature and correlates with youthfulness, and now Wella Professionals is making sure the most desirable hair color is obtainable for every woman with its two newest color services:

Award-winning Blondor lightener - Goes beyond an ordinary lightener and provides a full range of specialist products in an unsurpassed spectrum on blonde shades, from subtle highlights to a striking, cool all-over blonde

New Koleston Perfect Special Blondes - Specially formulated to balance the amount of lightening and color deposition, it provides superior high-lift blonde with unsurpassed smoothness and gentle results to preserve the condition of hair

Leading colorists choose Wella Professionals’ award-winning Blondor lightener and new Koleston Perfect Special Blondes permanent color because they allow clients to achieve the entire spectrum of blonde shades, from warm to cool tones. Also, because these products deliver high-lift color with gentle results, the condition of hair stays healthy and shiny!

Tip from Philip Pelusi

Master stylist Philip Pelusi suggests we remind clients to look for hair conditioning and styling products that contain UV absorbers. These products will help filter the sun’s rays to help protect clients’ beautiful haircolor from UV damage. As with sunscreens, these products should be applied before sun exposure and it is also a good idea to wet the hair throughout the day to help prevent moisture loss.

It is also a good idea to make repeat applications throughout the day, as SPF products are known to lose their effectiveness due to UV exposure. Due to the need to repeat this application, a weightless, non-greasy product should be used that detangles and helps control texture and eliminate frizz, such as Pelusi’s Tela Beauty Organics Guardian SPF-18.

Easing Your Clients into Covering Their Gray

by Victoria Wurdinger on Friday, September 4th, 2009

grey hair

You can customize your clients’ services to address their gray hair needs.

With more clients embracing their natural curl, the first sign of gray presents a predicament. Suddenly, the client who learned to love what’s natural is forced to consider a synthetic fix. Statistics show the woman most likely to color only because she has to is a brunette. And brunettes dominate the naturally curly world.

Gray strays and scattered patches will show up first. Eric Fisher, owner of two Eric Fisher salons and Eric Fisher Academy in Wichita, KS, says “The thing about a little gray in curl is that it pops, so you see it more; you’re dealing with shapes, as opposed to straight lines.”

If there are just a few gray strays, pluck them out, says Fisher. When styling, you can also grab an area, hold the section and push it to the roots. This camouflages the gray. But it won’t be long before such techniques aren’t enough. Since most new-to-gray clients won’t want or need a full-coverage solution, try these non-committal “Gray-Aways” instead.

Singled Out

At Salvatore Minardi in Madison, NJ, salon owner Minardi takes a hands-on approach. “For those clients with very dark hair who have only a few silver pieces, I mix a close-to-natural formula with or without ammonia, depending on the porosity of the hair,” says Minardi. “Then I apply the color with my glove-covered fingers, putting on just the silver strands.”

Fisher takes a similar approach, focusing on artistic spot-control. “For the client who is concerned with becoming a slave to haircolor, I use a very small, professional paint brush,” he says. “First, get the curls to stand up by completely fluffing up the hair. Then paint the color on the grays only. Use permanent color in the same level and tone as the client’s.” (The reason for his permanent choice: A semi-permanent product might not take if the hair is resistant, and if it’s porous because of the curl, the color could get cloudy over time or fail to provide the desired coverage.)

Tooling Around

Often, pesky gray strands will pop-up at the part line, hairline or in a single patch, but nowhere else. In Santa Monica, CA, Jet of Jet Rhys salon says what’s worse: “On curly hair, these babies are wiry.” She banishes them one of two ways.

  • “First, spray them away,” says Rhys. “I use Bumble and bumble’s Hair Powder, which comes in glorious shades. My trick is to spray a soft toothbrush with the powder and brush those grays away.” Natch, you can retail the powder.
  • Another option: Use a semi- or demi-color, and sponge away grays. Semi-permanent color is best for transforming grays into subtle highlights on blondes, light redheads or brunettes, while demi shades provide better coverage for gray blending. Rhys dampens curl (the better to see those grays) and uses a fresh, damp sponge. “Dip it in color and squeeze it to eliminate most of the product,” she says. “Then apply it to the grays. All the nooks and crannies of the sponge soak up just enough color. Best of all, the sponge keeps the product contained. As you swipe it down the hair, no color will drip down. Leave it on for 20 minutes, then shampoo and condition.”

Managed Care

For clients who fear color changes—and dreaded the line of demarcation—choose semi-permanent products that are the same level as the natural color or one level lighter. This reduces the contrast between the gray and the natural color and avoids a dramatic color change.

“These color glosses will stain the gray and take the edge off whiteness,” says Redken color consultant and salon colorist David Stanko. “They won’t lift, lighten or redden the natural color. After all, color-shy clients want to hide it, not flaunt it. I like Redken Shades EQ. For the dark-haired client with some gray, O3N Espresso; the medium brunette is likely to love O5N Walnut.”

  • For curly hair, killer apps count. Be more diligent with the application and more aware of product saturation, says Stanko. “Curl creates the illusion of color repelling off. Continue to smooth the gray section with the product; don’t necessarily add more product. Heat and friction cause the color to process.”
  • You can also do a fast app for gray blending. This is especially good for men seeing gray, who want to look younger. Use a demi-permanent product at the sink, and leave it on for just 3 to 5 minutes. The guys will look like they are barely starting to go gray, and they won’t see roots. (Only right if the gray is under 50%.)
  • Minardi always suggests two or three, non-committal techniques, not necessarily for coverage but to blend and enrich the client’s curly haired look. Sometimes, a few highlights can do the trick. “I may advise a few tiny threaded foils, with or without ammonia, so as to brighten or tone some hair,” he says. “This distracts the client from noticing the frizzy gray strands. Another option is for clients with curly, naturally blond hair, and this technique implements very small percentage of ammonia that will brighten, enhance and soften the frizzy gray.” (In general, highlighting or lowlighting won’t cover gray completely, because of its scattered placement.)
  • Men and color-shy clients will appreciate a retail solution. Sometimes, a pigment-packed conditioner, left on for 5 minutes with heat does the job. Salons can also retail Color Mark’s Gray Gone, a true temporary that can be applied at home, and stays until it is shampooed out. It comes with a sponge-tip applicator that’s just right for those hairline pop-ups that always seem to appear between retouches.

Gray’s Anatomy

  • Generally speaking, graying or “salt and pepper” hair can be spot-colored, blended or treated with a semi- or demi-permanent color product, which makes outgrowth less obvious. Always choose a formula at or within two levels of the natural color. For a low-maintenance approach, you can also foil in a smattering of highlights through the heaviest gray areas, and then apply a semi- or demi-permanent color between the foils. This is particularly effective around the front hairline.
  • While most colorists move to a permanent product for hair that’s more than 50% gray, the natural level is the most important and overlooked factor. The darker it is, the more problems you can have avoiding orange or brass. For the true, dark brunette, go demi, regardless of the percentage of gray, advise several colorists.
  • Finally, if curly, gray strays are wiry and super-resistant, apply unmixed developer directly to grays to help expand the cuticle and pre-soften the hair. Then apply your chosen formula right over the top.

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