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The speculation That Doesn’t Fly & Why

Had 1 more sad story emailed to me about Balayage this week, this is a topic I have been tap dancing around for the entire time the KS Blog has been in existence. I have been promising forever to address my opinion about the technique. So, while it’s not in any respect what I was planning on writing today, sometimes adapting to my readers, is the neatest decision.

About 12 – 13 years ago {yep, that’s how old this technique is} I first got wind of BALAYAGE. I can still remember hearing about it, and thought, uh geez……one more “cowboy color” move, I never talked or thought of it again. Once a year – every year, some new “technique’ throughout the hair color world gets introduced and then proceeds to (almost) always fail. This dinghy Balayage is like gum on my shoe .…it just won’t go away. Everything about it makes absolutely no sense, although for interest within the comment section can a few of you poor souls that fell for it, tell me what intrigued you about it in the first place I’d love to know what intrigued into this ding-dong procedure….

Having wondered ‘where’ these quirky little processes come from, makes me question – – the rationale behind them. Within a Colorists world there may be always a “new” technique across the corner. That new technique is almost always just a new name for something we already do, which suggests it is merely the results of the hair world’s > “Marketing-machine”. In other words . . . the idea is, if a new technique is announced it should get more people into Salons. Yep, that’s how the world of Color rolls! Why do you think they show pure white snowy blonds ( see my previous post) one month and raven dark haired vixens the subsequent. As long as “change” is going on in hair color, then its a good thing for the “business” of hair color and the world of hair. If everyone were to remain a level 8 B ….year after year after year, what a boring ho-hum world it could be, and how hum drum it can be for business. Identical to everything else in today’s world, Hair Color is first and foremost – – a business – – and it needs rejuvenation and spark to remain interesting and provocative, similar to some other.

I used to be trained at …. Vidal Sassoon. A college that has strict rules and regulations for extremely valid reasons. I admire their ways & means of teaching and continue to follow them all to this day. This entire BLOG is littered with both: KC-isms & Sassoon-isms… so if you wish to learn the same, I would read and absorb…… and absorb.

Now, when any Colorist is preparing to color a hair models hair, the first step always is the “consultation”. To me there isn’t any more important step. The explanation so many Stylists/Colorists make mistakes, is because they don’t take the time necessary to properly analyze this step and take a look at their clients hair back story. It is crucial to a successful outcome, to completely

– analyze the hair’s characteristics,
– learn the previous color processes performed
– understand the “desired” look

Now, one of the biggest and most common mistakes one will see on blonds, is when the hair turns yellow/brass/orange/gold . I’ve tried some ways of explaining why that happens, we are going to try another one today. There is a misconception that ‘brass’ is a color and it can be removed, when nothing could be farther from the truth. Its a little bit of an ‘odd’ concept how the color Brass, or blorange, or Gold shows its ugly head in hair. But let me try to elucidate how, where and why it comes from. I can’t inform you the quantity of readers which have asked me if they may use the artificial hair color remover “VANISH” to remove the BRASS from their hair.’ Another KC-ism in Hair Color is

Using Vanish is the entire wrong tool, and it appears to be my issue in not teaching this idea properly….as to why some of you don’t understand why.I wish to try to get this clarified on this post, in case you don’t understand, PLEASE ask within the COMMENTS section below, so I can see what I’m missing.

Whenever you apply color to the hair you are adding color . Color + Color (=) makes more Color, so the hair has more pigment. If the color used is addition only, the hair will often (but not always) be darker.

All virgin hair is shade of brown; it contains all 3 primaries. When hair is dark brown…it is the ‘bluest’ brown – level 1-4. The most warm browns ( auburn ) are Levels 5-7. Then the lightest or most yellow browns are level 8-10 . . . the color is an uneven combination of the three primary colors, still.

Black is super dark Brown…. and blond’s are super light brown.
Brown is made from mixing different amounts of Red, Yellow, & Blue ( the primary colors). So if there may be more yellow than red or blue, the brown will be light, even beige. If there is more red than the opposite 2 primaries, the brown can be warm, and if there’s more blue than the other 2 the brown might be dark and cooler looking.

Complementary colors turn a shade of brown when mixed together, for ex: yellow mixed w/ violet achieves a pale brown; because yellow; the stronger color, will dominate the formula. Violet is made from red and blue(primary). Whenever you mix yellow with violet, you achieve a shade of brown. Mixing opposites on the color wheel always results in a “browning out” effect.

Understanding all this about COLOR THEORY, truly is the idea for being an awesome Colorist. While I do know 98% of you merely want to have the ability to color your individual hair correctly. Unfortunately, understanding “COLOR THEORY” is a necessary a part of the puzzle. So, all these little rules and laws will help as you turn your hair from brown to blond and back again. Take a look at education (any education) as yet one more technique of expanding your knowledge base.

When finally comprehending color theory, it may well benefit much greater than hair color, it could possibly add to the Interior or Exterior Design of your home, the Clothing you place together and wear, it may even benefit the Frosting or Decorations you make on a cake. Color Theory affects many different aspects of ones life, and once it sinks in,you’ll find yourself having “aha” moments that deal with color theory revelations randomly.I receive emails from new Crib Colorists on a regular basis with various stories of how color theory has popped into their everyday life. Remember ANY education, is nice for you.

When I would teach this color theory concept to new COSMO students….they would ALWAYS look at me as though I was wasting their time, so I went back to basics and required all students purchase a set hair styles for full faces of PLAY DOH. A minimum of with something as fun and as nostalgic as PlayDoh, I could get past their anger & puzzlement and tap into their thirst for knowledge. Having them mix a small portion of yellow and red PlayDoh together – would show them the result was ORANGE….then add an equal portion of blue ( primary) ………what do you get ………….BROWN. Then mix all different combinations to show them, all primaries when mixed equal brown.. its pretty cool to look at a entire room of COSMO Students have an “AHA” moment. And that “AHA” moment is about how the first colors of red-yellow & blue, when mixed in uneven amounts equal BROWN! With BROWN being the color of all hair, it is a fairly significant realization. Most of them don’t realize that, but eventually they will.

FIRST, some color theory. . . . .
to have a balanced natural hair color:

all 3 primaries have to be present
An imbalance (lack of any of 3 primaries) of primaries results in an imbalance of end result

Therefore if you’re blond, with brassy tones, the strategy one would use to “COUNTER” the brassy tones is what

If the hair color is brassy, which means the first that’s the strongest is the YELLOW.
Primary colors are Red, Blue & Yellow

So, if the YELLOW is predominant and is what’s causing the hair to be an obnoxious brassy color

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Use the rule, that if the color is objectionable, then play with the primary colors to unravel the problem.Take the 2 other primary colors….. RED & BLUE, mix them together which makes PURPLE ( right )

Add a PURPLE TONER to that brassy Blond and it will knock that brass right out of the hair .
Once you start to lighten hair….warmth is released. The primary pigment to be released during lightening is BLUE. If you happen to start with the blackest most coarse hair and start to lighten it with bleach, you immediately see a change.

Because BLUE is the first pigment to go away the hair, you would go very quickly into the RED Zone, which can be the most difficult zone to depart. However if you utilize a microscope to observe the identical black hair being lightened, you would see a special dominance of pigment at each step

So, for those who were to observe the amount of natural pigment remaining in the hair at each level under a microscope, you’d see a dominance of blue pigment at LEVEL 1 – BLACK, Which is sensible because black is admittedly the BLUEST BROWN.

– Level 2: very very dark brown, a dominance of blue/violet, which continues to be very dark but not black,prevails.
– Level 3 : violet dominates
– Level 4: violet/Red
– Level 5: Red
– Level 6: Red/Orange
– Level 7: Orange

**LEVEL 7, btw is essentially the most difficult stage or level to get past – all the trouble with brassy colors in hair stems from this

– Level 8 : DURP Gold
– Level 9: Yellow
– Level 10: Very Pale Yellow
Now, that’s an overview of where “brass” comes from and why it’s so very difficult to eliminate. It is the most dominant color, it’s the hardest color to counter, and essentially the most impossible color to eliminate. There is no such thing as a avoiding it, it’s the most predominant color in everyone’s hair, no matter ‘what’ color the Virgin hair is.

Now to elucidate ‘why the Ballyage technique is unnecessary to a Colorist…..or to “this Colorist” anyway!

The color hardest to get out of the hair………Gold/Brass Level 7 Brass/Gold is like Glue
The way in which hair is lightened is by applying bleach to the hair. The bleach then “lifts” the color OUT OF THE STRANDS….in an effort to lighten it into the specified blond shade of choice….. in other words its like sucking the color out the strands of hair…..

(I would like to place this in probably the most simplified terms possible)
Say the hair is BLACK………….and also you DESIRE PLATINUM

The mixture of Bleach plus 40 VOLUME DEVELOPER is applied to the black hair and the bleach begins to suck the color out of the hair…………..

The lightening train goes like this….color is drawn out of the hair strand on this method:
– BLACK – ->>> GOES TO
– DARK BROWN – – -> > > GOES TO
– BROWN – – -> > > GOES TO
– RED – – – > > > GOES TO
– RED-ORANGE—->>> Which goes TO – – – >>>
– GOLD – – – – which goes to
– YELLOW – – – -> > > >
– PALE BLOND the desired colored when millions of women go searching for a Sun-Kissed Blond Look).

Now what happens to so very many blonds that have BRASS instead of BLOND….is the lightener ( of whichever type or kind has been used)has not been left on long enough, OR a strong enough developer was not used. Resulting in the hair lightening up but getting stuck on the “GOLD” Level…..see it up there If the lightener would have stayed on longer or a stronger volume developer would have been used it will have been capable of climb those remaining 2 levels to PALE YELLOW BLOND .

Now when this dippy Balayage method, paints the Lightener on the hair – FreeHand as you see on this photo:

Why would you paint the lightener on the hair free hand I have no idea what that accomplishes
I’m wondering in the event that they think it looks more natural It won’t. ………I wonder if they think it’s bg ier or faster. . . .NO WAY, Foils are much easier, while also keeping moisture in and on the strands. Moisture keeps the lightener active and dealing, the very last thing you want is for it to dry out, which is what would happen on this Balayage technique

As a Colorist what I want when i color hair is “control”. Control and Timing so I know exactly what goes to happen and WHEN. In case you are to paint lightener on the hair you will lose the body’s warmth that comes from using foils. Once the lightener is applied to the strand of hair then the foil is folded over that strand …. the body’s heat/warmth gently helps the lightening action along. in the event you don’t use foil, you lose that, which suggests you’ve got a much greater risk of ending up within the BRASS RANGE. The dreaded BRASS – range. its why we use foils. Lightening hair without the use of foils is archaic and unnecessary. If anything, apply the foils with the lightener, as hair stylists it’s essential to learn how to check hair that has lightener on it, and KNOW WHAT STAGE It is, I mean it doesn’t take long…in about 2 months of practice you need to know what hair looks like when you scrape off the lightener from a clients foils….to be able to tell whether or not it is best to rinse a client now or in 20 minutes. Yes, its an art, but dammit, get GOOD at that art….its why you went into this biz, don’t be a slacker.

I cannot even work out what the purpose of Balyage is, to be perfectly frank. With foils you’ll be able to create just about any work of art you’d like….. foils let Color 1 be on a certain portion of hair. . . . while allowing Colors 4-7 & 9 to NOT be other portions….

Using foils are the mark of a great Colorist. Everything they claim Balayage can create we’ve been doing for years with foils. There’s a certain strain of hairstylists that don’t use foils and the one reason I could possibly imagine for not using foils is laziness. Foils are used for the heat they retain – the art they allow to have and the mobility they impart when trying to display a rainbow of colors WITHOUT BRASS within the blond’s.

I will have no less than a half doze n people every week ask me what they’ll do to get the brass out…..or the ‘orange’ out…..or

The only way to lighten hair with “control” over how light it does or does not get is with Bleach. So many are hesitant of the use of bleach, . As an experienced Colorist, bleach could be your best friend … there are just soooo many uses for it, but never ever use it without plenty of experience behind you.

Balayage began within the country of France, which explains quite a bit (to me) . Balayage, is a French term for hair painting. It is a freehand placement of highlights, without the use of foils, allows for a more natural color application that complements and contrasts in all the proper places.

This is what Balyage looks like;
Think before you request this method, ask that Stylist if they also do foils. Remember foils give the colorist more control and get the hair PAST that dreaded ‘brass’ stage.

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