how to determine your skin tone color

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The speculation That Doesn’t Fly & Why

Had 1 more sad story emailed to me about Balayage this week, that is a topic I have been tap dancing around for your complete time the KS Blog has been in existence. I have been promising forever to address my opinion concerning the technique. So, while it’s not in any respect what I was planning on writing today, sometimes adapting to my readers, is the smartest 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 after which 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 some 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’s merely the results of the hair world’s > “Marketing-machine”. In other words . . . the idea is, if a brand new technique is announced it would 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 an excellent 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 can be, and how hum drum it would 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 & technique 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 have 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 may be removed, when nothing could be further from the truth. Its a 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 complete wrong tool, and it seems to be my issue in not teaching this concept properly….as to why some of you don’t understand why.I want to try to get this clarified on this post, if you don’t understand, PLEASE ask in the COMMENTS section below, so I can see what I’m missing.

If you apply color to the hair you’re 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. Essentially 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 3 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 is more yellow than red or blue, the brown will likely be light, even beige. If there’s more red than the other 2 primaries, the brown will probably be warm, and if there may be how to determine your skin tone color more blue than the opposite 2 the brown will probably 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). If you mix yellow with violet, you achieve a shade of brown. Mixing opposites on the color wheel always leads to a “browning out” effect.

Understanding all this about COLOR THEORY, truly is the basis for being a great Colorist. While I know 98% of you merely want to be able to color your own hair correctly. Unfortunately, understanding “COLOR THEORY” is a necessary 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. Have a look at education (any education) as yet another means of expanding your knowledge base.

When finally comprehending color theory, it could actually benefit much more than hair color, it will probably add to the Interior or Exterior Design of your private home, the Clothing you put together and wear, it may even benefit the Frosting or Decorations you make on a cake. Color Theory affects many various aspects of ones life, and once it sinks in,you will end up having “aha” moments that deal with color theory revelations randomly.I receive emails from new Crib Colorists all the time with various stories of how color theory has popped into their everyday life. Remember ANY education, is good for you.

When I would teach this color theory concept to new COSMO students….they would ALWAYS take a look at me as though I used to be wasting their time, so I went back to basics and required all students purchase a set of PLAY DOH. Not less than 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 primary 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 may.

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 leads to an imbalance of end result

Therefore if you are blond, with brassy tones, the method one would use to “COUNTER” the brassy tones is what

If the hair color is brassy, that means the first that is 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 first 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’ll knock that brass right out of the hair .
Once you begin to lighten hair….warmth is released. The first pigment to be released during lightening is BLUE. Should you 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 leave the hair, you’ll go in a short time into the RED Zone, which is also the most difficult zone to depart. However if you employ a microscope to observe the same black hair being lightened, you’d see a special dominance of pigment at each step

So, in the event you were to observe the amount of natural pigment remaining within the hair at each level under a microscope, you’ll see a dominance of blue pigment at LEVEL 1 – BLACK, Which is sensible because black is de facto the BLUEST BROWN.

– Level 2: very very dark brown, a dominance of blue/violet, which is still 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 the most difficult stage or level to get past – all the difficulty with brassy colors in hair stems from this

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

Now to explain ‘why the Ballyage technique makes no sense 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 by 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 desired blond shade of choice….. in other words its like sucking the color out the strands of hair…..

(I want to place this in the most simplified terms possible)
Say the hair is BLACK………….and 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 matches TO – – – >>>
– GOLD – – – – which fits to
– YELLOW – – – -> > > >
– PALE BLOND the desired colored when millions of women go looking for a Sun-Kissed Blond Look).

Now what happens to so very many blonds which 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 within 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 might 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 don’t know what that accomplishes
I ponder if 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 working, the very last thing you want is for it to dry out, which is what would happen in this Balayage technique

As a Colorist what I need once i color hair is “control”. Control and Timing so I know exactly what goes to happen and WHEN. If you’re to paint lightener on the hair you’ll 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. when you don’t use foil, you lose that, which means you might have a much greater risk of ending up in the BRASS RANGE. The dreaded BRASS – range. its why we use foils. Lightening hair without using foils is archaic and unnecessary. If anything, apply the foils with the lightener, as hair stylists you will need to discover ways 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 must know what hair looks like if you scrape off the lightener from a clients foils….to be able to inform whether or not you need 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 determine what the aim of Balyage is, to be perfectly frank. With foils you’ll be able to create just about any work of art you’ll 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 may have not less than a half doze n people every week ask me what they can do to get the brass out…..or the ‘orange’ out…..or

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

Balayage began in the country of France, which explains loads (to me) . Balayage, is a French term for hair painting. It’s a freehand placement of highlights, without using foils, allows for a more natural color application that complements and contrasts in all the fitting places.

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

how to determine your skin tone color

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