Roses are red. Violets are blue. And for the 2022 Pantone Color of the Year, Very Peri, it’s the unique combination of blue with violet-red undertones that make this shade so unique.
“I like it because it’s a very soothing tone,” says Alex Coughlan, an Edmonton-based colourist and member of Schwarzkopf Professional’s #SKPCanSquad. “I feel like we’re moving away from neons now and getting back to more of those calming, placid colours.”
Muted vs. Saturated
Since Very Peri can be worn as a pastel or more vibrant shade (or somewhere in between), it already makes it more wearable than some of Pantone’s previous colours. Plus, it’s a cooler tone, which seems to be making a comeback after the last couple of years of warmer hues.
“I like that it’s really flattering for most skin-tones; a lot of people can pull it off. It’s soft but still makes a statement,” says Regan Wasson, an Ottawa-based colour and the 2021 winner of Wella’s Canadian TrendVision Color Artist. “It looks really good with very pale skin tones, which can often be hard to pull off vivid colours, so this one actually works really well because it’s such a cool tone.”
When determining the vibrancy of the shade, a thorough consultation to discuss your client’s lifestyle, commitment level and maintenance is key.
“Lifestyle is a huge one; not everyone can walk around with a vibrant head of hair, so that’s when I’ll recommend a more pastel shade,” says Coughlan. “It won’t necessarily last more than four weeks, but purple pastels fade out beautifully. They almost neutralize the hair as it fades out because they have those cancelling undertones.”
“It’s important to relay the message of maintenance to your clients during the consultation,” adds Alann Sluser, creative artist for Oligo Professionnel. “To help them understand that this colour doesn’t have the best longevity so there’s a little bit of maintenance required. They’re going to want to get it toned and refreshed a bit more often in order to keep it at that optimal colour reflect.”
PRO TIP: Clients should expect to return to the salon every four to six weeks (or in between their regular appointments) to refresh their colour.
All in the Technique
Whether it’s an all-over colour, balayage, money piece or even a bold colour-block, Very Peri can be used in a multitude of ways to suit your client’s lifestyle, budget and commitment level.
“I’m a big fan of ‘less is more’ with pops of this colour,” says Wasson. “It contrasts nicely with darker colours; leaving in natural depth so it really pops next to that. If they’re a natural level three, you’re probably not going to get the whole head to the level you need it to be, so it’s better to focus on little pieces. You just need to make sure you get those little areas as light as they need to be.”
“It could just be some soft pieces underneath their natural tone or a pop in the regrowth area,” adds Sluser, who says she’ll also consider adding in extensions to give the client more of a feel for the tone without a full commitment.
For something a bit more prominent in the hair, consider adding a money piece or a ‘halo’ (the highlighting technique of adding face-framing pieces to brighten up the face) for a fun pop of colour. “I’ve also been a big fan of the ‘halo’ lately. You apply it all around the hairline and underneath so it’s covered,” says Wasson.
“You can add in a money piece with root smudges to have a little bit of that colour in there,” adds Sluser. “I have clients with grey or white hair and we’ll incorporate a little bit of it at their regrowth line, just to add a bit of that hue in there.” For something more impactful, Sluser says colour-blocking techniques are a great option and perfect for shades such as Very Peri.
Regardless of whether your client prefers an all-over colour application or to dabble into the trend with smaller pieces, it’s important to make sure you’re lightening the hair to the appropriate level—a level nine or 10—and toning to make sure you neutralize all warmth before applying your colour.
PRO TIP: To help clients maintain the colour, consider adding direct dyes to your take-home conditioner to help preserve the vibrancy and shine.
“Whenever I’m lightening to achieve these types of tones, I actually will lighten to a pale-yellow underlying pigment, then tone out whatever yellow is left in the hair and then tone it to Very Peri. I pre-tone to tone,” says Sluser. “I just want to make sure there’s no yellow that could absorb some of that violet pigment in there. Instead of it being that beautiful Very Peri tone, it could reflect flat if you don’t pre-tone.”
When lightening, Sluser recommending taking very small sections and making sure that the hair is fully saturated with lightener. “When I’m trying to create these ultra-light levels in the hair in order to tone, I’m very careful with my mixing ratio of my lighteners, just to make sure that I’m keeping it consistent as I’m moving through the head,” she says. “If I’m doing a full head, I will sometimes mix a new batch five times, so I mix some small batches but I mix them more often just to keep the lightener at optimal levels and making sure it’s consistent.”
While lightening is a key component of creating Very Peri colour, toning is even more important. “If you put this colour directly on lightened—yellow—hair, it’s going to affect the result of that colour because you still have yellow in the hair,” says Wasson. “Or if the hair is orange, you’ll end up with a green hair if you put something like Very Peri on it because you’re putting blue on top of orange. The base of your colour should be a clean colour. It’s like when you paint, you need a white wall.”
Photo 1: Hair: Andrew Smith, Andrew Smith Salons, U.K., Makeup: Louise Lerego, Wardrobe Styling: Magdalena Jacobs, Photo: Richard Miles
Photos 2 & 3: Hair: Safy Burton, Safy B’s Salon, U.K., Makeup: Olivia Todd, Photo: David Greensmith