Q: Can anyone go blonde? Or are there certain skin tones or hair types that just don’t work with blonde? I, for example, am an unattractive blonde!
A: Your complexion pretty much guides you to your matching hair color. One must keep in mind that hair color, just like a haircut/style is the frame to the artwork…your face, in this case! First of all, let’s make sure we are working on hair that is in good condition. Skin color will be the barometer in choosing the right shade. At the end of the day, if you are comfortable in your own skin, I cannot tell someone that they should not do what in their mind is nothing more but fun….after all, isn’t that we say about blondes?
Q: Is it accurate to say that if you have dark or gray hair, your colorist will likely do a single process to make your hair a uniform base color….then weave in some highlights (with either Balayage or foils) to create dimension?
A: It’s a matter of opinion in many cases. Age can surely dictate the way one decides on what to do with gray coverage. The almighty question…”Should I cover the grays or not?” Comfort is where this answer lies. How one feels about their hair being dark is a private affair. I’ve created an original technique which in our salon, one of my hair gurus, Stephanie DeBenedictis named it appropriately, “Babylage”. It is a hybrid technique which incorporates fine highlighting and Balayage. It’s not too much Blonding, so that the texture is not over the top and the different shades coming peeking through with finer highlights at the root, rather than being nothing more than a blonde annoyance. In the end, too much is definitely too much!
Q: What blonde shades work with each skin tone? I know I am generalizing here, but do colors like buttery blonde, warm platinum, and vanilla look best on those with fair or ivory skin tones, while darker ash blonde and tawny gold are better for those with olive undertones/dark skin?
A: Matching skin tones really works best. I try to keep my clients not more than two to three shades lighter than their skin tones. A golden skin tone will work best with light blondes, strawberry or beige tones. Keep in mind that ashy, and icy tones can make you look washed out. While Caramel and golden work best on most skin types. With darker skin types, I believe that very lights blondes, grayish tones, platinum do not work much. But seriously everyone is following the celebrities, which have overlooked these rules. Add to the fact that, in today’s fashion and style guidelines, we have crossed over the do’s and do not’s. …so in the end, folks are doing what they want. If you’re comfortable in your own skin and hair….go for it!
Q: Generally speaking, how often does blonde hair need to be recolored?
A: Most people who come in for the one process or a single blonde color, should not go past 6 to 7 weeks for a re-touch. By that time you are looking at anywhere from a half inch or more of re-growth.
Q: If your hair is curly and you want to go dark, should your stylist put in a few slightly lighter colored pieces towards the ends to give hair some reflection and make curls look more visible and defined? I sometimes think curls get lost in really dark hair, whereas they look more defined with blonde hair…
A: This is tricky. It is always a matter of opinion on this matter. I for one, am not really a fan of coloring the ends of curly hair, because it looks more like old and grown out hair color. I tend to do glosses and glazes on curly hair, so as the sun’s rays capture those waves and curls, we are witness to beautiful texture and curly movement.
Q: What types of reds work well with fair, medium, and dark skin?
A: Light blondes, Strawberry blondes or copper gold blondes are the colors of choice for fair skin individuals. On Medium skin, copper reds, caramel or beige tone works very well. On darker skin tones I love the violets and dark mahogany shades.
Q: I read that the red hair molecule is the largest dye molecule so red hair can come out looking more vibrant than you expected. Is that true? How long until it fades to the desired/intended color?
A: The fact is, that the web is full of culprits who give us the wrong information, here’s the scoop on molecular size. The blue molecules are the biggest and they are the closest to the cuticle. Blue is the easiest pigment to remove during decolorizing. Red molecules are found deeper in the cortex and are harder to remove than blue. And our friendly yellow molecules, sit deepest in the cortex and even harder to remove. This is why red and yellow are harder colors to remove during the lightening process, as these pigments are deeper inside the hair shaft. Now…your question and my answer: Red is vibrant because IT’S RED! Lol! Nothing to do molecular size. It’s all about the dye molecule, and how much red is in the particular shade we choose. In reference to fadage, it has everything to do with the way we shampoo, our water, our temperature, or whether we used a permanent or demi-permanent product. Everything fades and oxides, and guess what…blue is the molecule that fades the least. In reference to fading to the intended color….I’m not sure that as a colorist I color hair so that it fades to a desired color, I color to the desired color. Makes sense no?
Q: I have been told that vibrant colors like red fade the fastest. Generally speaking, how often do you need to come back in to have red hair colored again? Every 6 weeks?
A: That is a fact, red does fade much quicker, but just like any other color, clients who want to keep their hair looking good come back no less than 6 weeks. But these days, we make shampoos and conditioners with a red dye in them, so that they help to maintain and keep your red hair color steady and strong.
Q: It is my understanding that color has trouble adhering to dry, damaged hair—so will regular trims help keep hair healthy so color doesn’t go on patchy and uneven? How often should short hair be trimmed and how often should long hair be trimmed?
A: Damaged hair cuticle does not keep hair color trapped in its’ cuticle layer. The damage has a blown cuticle and nothing sticks, or stays inside. It’s like trying to keep the heat in an apartment, while there are open windows that allow the heat to escape. I know…it’s a crazy comparison, but you get it, I am sure. Now, it is a fact, that we must cut away the damage and let new and beautiful hair grow in, so that color may once again become the beautifier. So how much time should go in between cuts? Since hair grows at a rate of an average of a quarter to a half inch a month, it is up to the client as to what is best to take care of their desires. My best estimate is not to wait past 8 weeks, for most women. As far as men, it’s more desirable to get a haircut between three weeks or four.