Whether your client is looking for a big change in the way of pastel hues or simply maintaining their natural blonde, brown or red hair colour, there are plenty of options. But with the abundance of choice available, can come similar challenges.
According to Michelle Oliver, a Schwarzkopf Professional technical advisor for colour, it’s up to the hairstylist to be in tune with what their clients are requesting. “With our Essential Looks collection, clients will bring up pastels, even if they’re not asking for it specifically,” she explains, “It doesn’t have to be all over lilac like Kelly Osborne, but it can incorporate subtleties.” With all eyes on colour this season, we asked Oliver for her top solutions to common challenges when working with your colour clients.
Many mistakes can be made with pastels. The good news? Educating your clients about pastel colour maintenance is key. “Let your clients know that they are only dating their colour, not committing to marriage with it,” explains Oliver adding that with pastel hues, many clients may some fading. Oliver says that pre-lightening the hair to a pale blonde is essential to achieve the best results and processing the hair for up to 30 minutes will also contribute to longevity. To maintain the richness of pastel shades, Oliver also suggests pre-booking your client’s next appointment at four weeks rather than the usual eight for other colour services. This will allow you to re-tone and refresh their colour at an reasonable price point and give you added business between appointments.
For cropped cuts, Oliver says that colour should accent the lines of the cut. “Short hair has a constant silhouette and shape, and you want to design the placement of colour on the focal point of the haircut,” she explains. For example, using an accent shade on the fringe only will add maximum impact, while sombre would work well on a bob, where there is more movement.
When it comes to natural tones, the execution and colour maintenance is much easier. Even still, Oliver says the biggest hurdle is selecting the right shades that will compliment your client’s skin tone and eye colour which will have them looking more vibrant and even younger. “You want to consider the undertones in a client’s skin and use a natural hair colour that will help your client look their best.” Oliver also recommends hairstylists use strong cool and ash tones, which they often shy away from, but will create the best results.
Root of Balayage
Once a trend, balayage has become a technique that’s a must have for every hairstylist, yet it requires a level of expertise because the application is close to the scalp. “The application is very important and being light handed is key when you’re doing a freehand technique,” says Oliver. To achieve the natural, blended look clients are coveting, Oliver suggests increasing the developer which will help achieve a better level of lift since the hair is not wrapped in foils.
Ombre isn’t Over
When it comes to ombre, the biggest challenge is reducing any lines says Oliver. For a soft graduation, Oliver incorporates three tones, the most important being a middle tone. “You need the middle tone so that gradually those colours will make it look graduated, reducing the strong line,” she explains. In addition, Oliver says that the application is also critical for every variation of ombre. Rather than working your application in horizontal lines, Oliver suggests working on a 45-degree angle or in a V-shaped pattern will soften the look and feel of the colour.