With many salons having been shut down by the pandemic for months at a time, it should come as no surprise that owners and stylists alike have been trying to fill appointments and make up for lost time.
And while the demand for faster services is increasing, protecting hair’s integrity without compromising the final result should also be top of mind, as should maintaining a strong revenue stream despite shorter services.
That’s where colour products, such as 10-minute colour and high lifts, come into play. In fact, they may just be the answer to addressing and avoiding those concerns.
“10-minute colour is one of my favourite products to use; it’s a go-to for me,” says Rossa Jurenas, owner of Studio Rossa in Tillsonburg, Ont., and North American colour director for Schwarzkopf Professional. “It’s great for today’s world because clients are busy and although some will take the time to sit and relax in your chair, there are a lot who don’t have that time. They still want their colour to look great and refreshed but they don’t want to be there for hours on end.”
“As for high lifts, they’re all in one,” she adds. “You can apply it to the hair to lighten and tone, and leave it on to work on another client and still be confident in the outcome you’re going to get.”
“SOME STYLISTS THINK THAT BECAUSE THEY AREN’T TAKING AS MUCH TIME, THEY CAN’T CHARGE THEIR NORMAL AMOUNT. IF YOUR CLIENT WANTS THOSE GREYS GONE, THEY’LL PAY WHAT THEY NEED TO.”— MELISSA DUGUAY, JOICO INTERNATIONAL PLATFORM ARTIST AND STYLIST AT THE SAVVY SHOP IN SCOUDOUC, N.B
With 10-minute colour options growing in popularity since the arrival of the pandemic, it’s important to understand when it’s best to opt for a 10-minute option versus a standard permanent colour.
“The overall service time is going to depend on your application time, but the processing time is 10 minutes, so it’s super fast and very easy to use,” says Jurenas. “I get to know my clientele and what they want so I can book a full day of 10-minute colour services, and all of a sudden I have 15 colour clients in one day!”
There’s a common misconception that 10-minute colour can only be used for grey coverage. While it’s a great option for that, there are many other ways you can use the speedy service in your salon. “It’s great for creative colour, a root retouch, low-lighting or as a secondary colour for a highlight,” says Jurenas. “And it works well for face-framing highlights when I’m just going to put in a few around the face but I want it to be multidimensional.”
“They’re a great way to rebalance a colour after a service,” adds Mehgan Minor, a Calgary-based stylist and education manager for Kenra Professional. “You can even use it to fix something. It’s a very versatile product that works on all hair types and any client that comes into the salon.”
Not only can 10-minute colour be great for an overall service, but it also makes a perfect add-on to help speed up parts of other services. “If I want to create a shadow root and I’ve done foils already, I’ll go in with a 10-minute colour at the end, create that shadow root quickly and I won’t have to wait for it to process,” says Melissa Duguay, a Joico international platform artist and stylist at the Savvy Shop in Scoudouc, N.B. “When I’m applying a toner at the sink and I notice some areas that need extra colour—for example, if the client has some grey hair they want to cover— I can apply the 10-minute colour very quickly at the sink and allow it all to process at the same time.”
“Some of my most dedicated colour clients started with me just trying out a few foils during their haircut, and 10-minute colour is a great way to do that because it’s so fast,” adds Darci Ash stylist, an artistic educator for Matrix and owner of Enigma Salon Studio in Saskatoon. “You can upsell these express services by recommending them as an add-on to a cut or style to inject some dimension.”
TRY CHANGING YOUR FOILING PATTERNS. START ON THE LEFT SIDE, AND THE NEXT TIME THE CLIENT COMES IN, FLIP THE FOIL PATTERN AROUND. CHANGING THE DIRECTION AND FLOW WILL HELP CHANGE HOW THE HAIR FALLS AND HOW THE HIGHLIGHTS WILL LOOK.
Time Is Money
Though there are many benefits of using 10-minute colour, there are also a few downsides. Depending on the brand, there may not be as many colour options as a standard colour line.
And while it only takes 10 minutes to process, the colour still requires the same prep and planning as other permanent colour services. The key is not to overprocess the colour.
“I know a lot of stylists get nervous with 10-minute colour because the fear is that they’re not going to have the application done on time, and that’s an important aspect to consider,” says Jurenas. “A lot of it is about pre- planning that process. You don’t want the colour to get darker or for something unexpected to happen, so if you know you’re going to have your client sitting and waiting for a lot longer because of another client, then you may want to use a different colour.”
“Most 10-minute colour products are progressive, meaning they keep getting darker as you leave them on, so it’s very important to keep it on for 10 minutes and rinse after,” adds Duguay. “They’re usually formulated with a very strong dye load and there’s a lot of pigment because it needs to do its job faster. If you leave it on too long, it can get much darker than intended.”
While time is critical, it’s reassuring to know that 10-minute colour is mixed very similarly to other permanent colour products, and its application can be done with any tool you’re most comfortable with.
“It will range based on the brand, but I mix it for tone on tone, which is one-part colour to one-and-a-half parts developer, and for permanent grey coverage I do 1:1,” says Ash. “For application, I prefer a bowl and brush because of the control I can get. You definitely could use a bottle, but I really like to have maximum control over the sections I’m working on.”
While you may wonder how a faster processing colour can help your business’ bottom line, being able to get clients in and out of your chair more quickly will help contribute to the ways you can increase revenue with this express service.
“There is no compromise on the results, and you get to save anywhere from 20 to 35 minutes on every client,” says Darky St-Cyr, a Redken artist and owner of Volt Face Coiffure in Victoriaville, Que. “The quick processing time allows me to serve more clients in a day, and I can even fit in a colour client on a fully booked day, which is great during busy times of the year like after summer holidays and before Christmas.”
“You can increase revenue by being able to fit more clients into your day and accommodate last-minute appointments or walk-ins,” adds Minor. “It’s also a great way to convert your clients who only come in for a cut or style, because it allows them to test out colour without having to sit in your chair for a really long time.”
Another great colour product to add to your express services menu are high lifts. “These are permanent hair colours that are made to be more alkaline,” says St-Cyr. “That difference allows them to lighten more than a regular permanent hair colour, but not as much as a traditional lightener.”
High lifts are a great product to consider for clients who may be concerned about damaging their hair yet are looking to lighten their natural base. They’re also great when a client is in need of a root retouch or a base break without having to use traditional lightener.
“High lifts have the ability to take your natural levels and lift—as well as neutralize—all at once,” says Ash. “For example, if you have a client who is a light brunette, you could bring them up to a beautiful beige-blonde in just one step.” Typically, you can achieve a maximum of four or five levels of lift, depending on the product and brand.
Since high lifts allow you to lift and tone all in one step, they make the lightening process faster and more cost-effective. However, it’s important to ensure your client’s hair is a good fit for the product before doing so. “You can use high lifts on natural, non-colour treated hair because the rule of thumb is that colour doesn’t lift colour,” says Ash. “If you apply high lifts on hair that has already been lightened, you will create more damage than you need to.
I have quite a few clients who want to be blonde, but not everyone wants to be white blonde, platinum or ashy. Some of my clients like to stay in that honey stage, so high lifts are great for those clients that are darker blonde going into the brunettes who want to see that warmth in their hair.”
“I recommend using high lifts on a level five or lighter because it’s more of a sure thing,” adds Jurenas. “I would use them for things like balayage, highlights and face-framing pieces. You can also use them for a global application but you have to be very careful with what developer you’re using. With high lifts you don’t want to go right to the root, and you want to make sure your developer is lower when you get closer to the scalp. I would recommend it more for micro-lights, babylights and those softer services.”
When it comes to saving time and increasing revenue in the salon, the biggest advantage to using high lifts is that they remove the extra toning step in the lightening process. “You’re skipping the whole toning process, which is going to save you at least 30 to 45 minutes per client,” says Minor. “The processing time is also a bit shorter than other lighteners and is only about 40 to 45 minutes, which helps you get through clients faster.”
“You can leave the high lift and don’t have to watch it as closely as you would another lightening product,” adds Jurenas. “You can use that time to work on another client, do book work or even inventory.”
“I THINK A LOT OF STYLISTS ARE INTIMIDATED BY HIGH LIFTS BECAUSE THEY DON’T FULLY UNDERSTAND HOW THE UNDERLYING PIGMENT NEUTRALIZATION WORKS, SO THEY DON’T FORMULATE CORRECTLY AND STOP USING THEM. IT TAKES PRACTICE AND KNOWLEDGE, WHICH IS WHY I REALLY ENCOURAGE EDUCATION.”— MEHGAN MINOR, CALGARY-BASED STYLIST AND EDUCATION MANAGER FOR KENRA PROFESSIONAL
Check out these expert tips and tricks on how you can avoid common mistakes when foiling.
“It’s not a good idea to bring your colour or lightener right up to the scalp because the heat from the scalp can move the colour or you could get bleeding. You want to get as close as you can while respecting that distance so you can close your foil and move it as needed. A tiny bit of cotton can be really helpful, too. Just put a strip of cotton on top and underneath your foil, which will help the hair, scalp and colour.” — Darci Ash stylist, Matrix artistic educator and owner of Enigma Salon Studio in Saskatoon.
“Make sure you’re measuring when you’re mixing. Use a scale and mix according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, which will generally reduce the chances of slipping and swelling. Also, be sure to shake your lightener container regularly because sometimes ingredients can settle and separate, and then you aren’t getting the right ingredients in your bowl.” — Mehgan Minor, Calgary-based stylist and education manager for Kenra Professional
“It’s important not to overload the hair with colour at the regrowth, so feathering the colour (instead of blotting it on) will reduce the chances of swelling and bleeding with both lightener and permanent colour. If you’re doing any type of balayage where you’re feathering the colour in, I always like to tease the regrowth to move the hair around. That way when you’re brushing it out, it’ll marry to the natural colour.” — Melissa Duguay, Joico international platform artist and stylist at the Savvy Shop in Scoudouc, N.B.
“To prevent foils from slipping, I always work with very thin sections of hair to allow the product to penetrate and stick to the other side of the foil. Because the strand is thin, you don’t need a lot of product, which will make the foil a lot lighter and reduce the chances of slipping. I also like to fold the foil strands in three (lengthwise) for better control.” — Darky St-Cyr, stylist. Redken artist and owner of Volt Face Coiffure in Victoriaville, Que.
PHOTO: JACK EAMES; JOICO, KENRA PROFESSIONAL, REDKEN, SCHWARZKOPF PROFESSIONAL HOTOS: COLOUR: PAUL WATTS & DAN SPILLER FOR JOICO, HAIR: MARCUS GIAMATTEI,WARDROBE STYLING: ELLEN SPILLER, PHOTOS: JAMIE BLANSHARD; HAIR: CANDICE MCKAY, WYATT HAIRDRESSING COLOUR: PAUL WATTS & DAN SPILLER FOR JOICO, HAIR: MARCUS GIAMATTEI, MAKEUP: KATIE MOORE, AND BARBERING, SOUTH AFRICA, MAKEUP: MEGUMI MATSUNO, WARDROBE STYLING: CLARE FRITH