Named as the pantone colour of the year, we spoke with two colour experts about how to make this trendy shade approachable for a wide range of clientele.
Blue hair? How passé! Not so fast, says Jerica Wentzell, colourist and owner of Ginger Snap Salon in Sudbury, Ont. “At first, I thought [Classic Blue] was so classic that I considered it boring,” she admits. “But the more I thought about it, the colour makes a lot of sense. We’re starting a new decade. There are lots of changes in culture. The colour is quite comforting.”
Pro Tip: Steenman advises against over-lightening the hair. “I’m comfortable lightening to a level seven. You don’t always need hair to be white to achieve blue. You just need to take the hair to the responsible underlying pigment.
Pump Up the Colour
Of course, many of us remember when denim hair was a big trend a few years ago. But Classic Blue is more of a departure. “I’ve been getting requests for more saturated blues,” she says, “but without the smokiness we were seeing with the denim trend. I’m really enjoying this shift because we were seeing a lot of very smoy tones for a long time.”
“I don’t think denim blue had the longevity that I think classic blue will have,” adds Marlo Steenman, an award-winning colourist from The Men’s Room in St. Albert, Alberta. “It’s deeper, elegant and a bit more versatile. It’s like wearing blue jeans or a blue suit. There is a difference.”
Taking it to the Next Level
“Colour placement is everything,” says Steenman, who is a brand ambassador for Revlon Professional. “It’s to enhance the haircut. For example, if you have this beautiful bob and this longer piece sitting near the face, that’s an accent that I would make blue. It’s not necessarily about making the whole head blue, so it’s very versatile.”
Classic Blue…for Men? This shade can be worn on the longest of locks or shortest of crops. “Men are experimenting with everything right now and it’s incredible,” says Steenman. “There’s a confidence and it’s what makes it so sexy.”
Hair condition is key before even considering classic blue as a possibility. However, it’s important not to get discouraged if your client doesn’t have virgin hair. “If a client comes in and the integrity of the hair is not there, I’ll recommend a haircare regimen,” says Wentzell, who is a brand educator for Wella Professionals. She sugests Wellaplex No. 3 and Fusionplex to help clients repair and strengthen hair, enabling it to withstand the lightening process.
Since classic blue is more saturated, it can be a high-maintenance colour that will require the proper take-home care routine. “I recommend that clients not wash their hair immediately after, and time their washes further apart. This is not an everyday shampoo type of colour if you want to maintain its vibrancy,” she says.
Playing it Safe
While you may be eager to try out this shade on your clients, it’s important to take into account their lifestyle. “I’m a big fan of asking the clients about what their workplace allows, and how much maintenance they’re willing to put in,” says Wentzell. “Sometimes the client would be perfectly suited for this, with a saturated blue from root to tip. Or they may be more comfortable with a balayage or root shadow that’s designed to fade over time into a more wearable tone.”
Pro Tip: Wentzell recommends using cooler water To prevent colour bleeding, and a heat protection Spray to prolong colour vibrancy.
Regardless of how your client decides to wear the shade, there’s one feature about Classic Blue that should be music to colourists’ ears! “I actually think there will be a trend of people going back to the salon and getting it done properly,” says Steenman.
“Clients can’t [achieve this colour] themselves,” adds Wentzell. “It requires our skill level and training to achieve these tones.”