Golden browns and brondes—all your top-shelf shades for the season—are high on the radar right now and “customizing” is the key word for creating those unique and coveted colours your clients will fall for.
“It’s the natural evolution of ombrés and sombrés that has led to these new molten blondes and eye-catching caramels. At Wella, this inspired us to create Bronde Luxe, our fall 2016 trend,” says Jean-Sébastien Tremblay, field education capability master for Wella Professionals Canada. And thanks to these innovative colour applications, you can create an element of surprise, and ‘guide’ the eye to a specific part of the hair.”
Customizing Is Crucial
But before anything, these über-personalized shades are achieved by assessing your client’s wants and needs. “An in-depth consultation is essential because services like these aren’t created with a cookie-cutter approach in mind. It’s much more of a luxury service because it takes longer to achieve a beautiful result when you’re creating something exclusively for the person sitting in your chair,” reminds Tremblay.
“You need to know if your client prefers a blonde or brunette base, and work from there,” echoes Heidi Kenney, Contessa Master Colorist 2016 and Matrix Canada Artistic Team member. “Building dimension with two or more colours also means you need to be more creative. You can even throw in a pastel in the mix, but it needs to be anchored by a darker shade to make it pop.”
With so many trends co-existing at once, colour services aren’t as straightforward as they used to be, hence the need to be customized. And—hello!—this is where the money is. “Clients are always willing to pay more if they feel the service they are receiving has been custom-created for them,” reminds Tremblay. And that also happens to be the rationale behind the Couture Color service from Wella.
How to Create a Natural Undone Look
To create those stunning fall golds, Kenney suggests going for richer blondes but from the same level, using buttery, creamier tones: “I like using So Blurr from Matrix, which will add a warm sheer tone without any trace of brassiness.”
And the placement is also super important. Because, “to look fresh and current, this colour needs to have that ‘lived-in’ quality. Not like a brand-new set of foils,” explains Kenney. “In order to give it more depth, you need brush up on your balayage technique. And you definitely need to understand how the hair moves on the head.”
So even if it looks undone, it’s actually quite sophisticated to create. The idea is that you are going to be working with colour, shadows and light, all at the same time.
“We’re moving back to the whole concept of natural colour and texture. And, yes, it takes a lot of skill to create that. I think music festival culture has brought those looks back, and it’s a bit of a backlash against the super glam, Hollywood shiny hair. Everything is a bit more toned down,” says Kenney.
From Light to Dark
Bringing pale blondes to a darker shade is not a one-step process. Because lightened hair tends to be a lot more porous, skilled colourists know they need to ‘fill in’ the colour so that it doesn’t fade.
In order to avoid that, “you need to bring back hair to a level 10 by adding a first layer of pigment, and then adjusting the colour with another toner,” recommends Tremblay. Essentially we’re talking about two colour applications (with a permanent, demi or a direct pigment formula), which are going to double the service time.
Another way to prevent colour fading is to deeply moisturize hair in advance—ideally one month before the colour change, says Tremblay—with keratin and oil treatments in order to nourish and minimize porosity.