Splashlights – The Haircolor Trend You Should Be Wearing

Done with balayage? Over ombré? You might be ready for the next color trend. Splashlights are going to be big this summer and fall. What are Splashlights? Well, imagine you are standing in a room and light is shining through a window onto your hair. This technique replicates the effect of natural light. The look can be bold or subtle, bright colors or soft washes of color. Whatever the expression of this trend, you can bet you will see more and more of it.

This technique first started to emerged last year. One of the early commercial images was this one posted in Allure magazine. When I first saw it, my immediate reaction was, “What in the world did that girl do to her hair?!” But as I continued to look at it, I thought it was amazing, creative and artistic. This is not a row of soldier foil lines across the head. This is placement that is as unique as the stylist performing it.

Redken has launched a Splashlights collection. They have identified four versions of this trend: crown lights, bold lights, fringe lights and spotlights. Here are the images that visually match their description.

As I work with this technique in the salon and travel across the country teaching, I share these images to stylists and salon guests and people’s initial reaction is similar to my own. From a hair professional’s perspective, it challenges our belief of how we place color in the hair. When I show a client an image of, let’s say, bold lights, it’s a little overwhelming for them. Keep in mind my client base is primarily 30-55 years of age–they are moms and professionals. For many, it’s hard to picture yourself on the sideline of your kid’s soccer game with bold lights in your hair. Therefore my job as a stylist is to translate this trend in a way that my salon guests of any age and lifestyle can wear a version of this trend. 

Ready to give it a try? Below are some tips that can help make it the perfect fit for you:

  1. Look at a lot of images to adjust your eye to the trend. The more you see it in all its versions, the easier it is to understand it. Google #splashlights you will get hundreds, if not thousands, of images.
  2. High Contrast. Want to go bold? If you want to walk in a room and have everyone’s attention immediately directed to your hair, choose a Splashlights technique that is high contrast. Dark base and blonde light focus, brown base with bright copper light focus. The higher the contrast, the more it will stand out.
  3. Low Contrast. Want to be subtle? Low contrast. Light brown on dark brown. Golden blonde on medium blonde, light red on dark red. With less contrast people will see you first and your color second, or they may just think that light is softly hitting it from across the room.
  4. Work with a stylist who is comfortable with the technique. In the same way that you are taking the time to look at images and let your eye adjust to the look, your stylist should do the same. Ask them if they have done it before and if they have pictures of their work. This technique is more creative and artistic than traditional foils. Be sure that your stylist’s vision is a fit for your hair.

Here are a few of my salon guests that are now fans of Splashlights. You can see how we personalized it to each of them based on their lifestyle and personality.

Let me know if you have any questions. If not? Go for it! We are early in this trend so lead the pack! I promise by next year, if you don’t have it, someone else will.

Ready for Change? The Perks to Going Pixie

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Short hair is having a moment. This week, Jennifer Hudson, Kristin Chenoweth and Pamela Anderson all dared to do what we sometimes only threaten: they cut their hair into stylish short pixie cuts. They have joined the likes of Halle Berry, Michelle Williams, Gennifer Goodwin, Robin Wright and Emma Watson, making Team Short Hair that much more alluring. Thinking about making the snip? Tempted to go to your stylist and give them permission to change your identity? I want to give you three reasons why you might want to consider it.

1. It Exudes Confidence

Robin Wright cut her hair in preparation for her role as Claire Underwood in House of Cards. Her character is not your usual politician’s sidekick. She is determined, strong and confident. She walks in step with her husband’s drive and ambitions, as well as having ambitions of her own. Her short hair is the perfect look for this character. It’s a “power” look that makes you take notice.

Pamela Anderson has been pigeon holed into voluptuous California girl her entire career. By cutting her hair short, it gives her an air of maturity. She looks stronger, defined more by who she is as a person as opposed to  her over-sexed persona. Her new look is a remarkable change and an amazing statement about the next chapter of her life.

2. It’s Easier

Maybe it’s a no-brainer, but short hair is easier. Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson are women who juggle career and new babies. Their new short looks can simplify their personal prep, giving more time to the valuable things in their lives.

Have you ever felt like all you do is throw your hair back in a pony tail every morning? What if in the same time you could create a fashionable statement with your hair? Sometimes I feel like short hair acts like an accessory in that it’s easier to style it to our mood and day. Even when you’re in sweats shuffling kids around, picking up groceries and running errands, you can feel like you have a little umph to your look.

3. It Changes People’s Perception

This can be scary or empowering. Be fearless with your identity! Let people see you are more than the hair style you’ve worn since high school or college. Switch it up. If you’re hesitant to let it all go, go shoulder length at your next hair appointment. Keep people guessing. Who you are as a person is what stays consistent. Your outward persona can change with the chapters of your life. Many times people put us in a box, trying to stereotype who we are. Changing your hair can bring new opportunities in your life that you never imagined.

In conclusion, I’m super excited to see these women fearlessly change their hair styles. These celebrities are setting a trend, so we can bet we will see more of it in the next couple of years. Will you join the club? If going pixie seems too much like the bad dream of forgetting to get dressed, go to a bob. But have the courage to do something daring! Hair grows. I promise. Find some images of women with styles that empower you and take the inspiration to your stylist. They will help you create a new defining moment!

UPDATE!

Add Jennifer Lawrence to the list!

 

Fall Hair Color Trends – Finding Inspiration in Fashion

Dakota Fanning Bazar MagazineFall is here. What are you doing with your hair color? What’s trending in haircolor? Ombre has taken over the color world in the last 2 years and seems to still be going strong. It’s pretty, organic, and is a low maintenance way to add beautiful dimension to hair. Now this trend is evolving. I want to share what I am seeing for fall through inspiration from fashion and how it translates to hair.

Fall Fashion

Last week I was part of a Redken team facilitating at an industry show for hairstylists. Our job was to help identify what hair color is going to be popular for fall and the next year. I always start my search by looking at the runway and fall fashion campaigns. In addition to the hair, I am looking at the clothes. The themes, colors, and inspiration for collections all influence what will happen with hair.

This fall, I loved Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Juicy Couture, Proenza Schouler, Brian Atwood and Kenzo campaigns. I love the representation of what fashion, colors, and textures are popular for fall. Here is a slide show of my favorite images.

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After I pull images, I look for the prominent themes.

Playing With Light

Marc Jacobs 2013Ombre hair color is a graduation of dark to light color moving from the scalp to the ends. The effect looks like it was created by the sun with a natural effect. This fall I am seeing designers play with how light affects fabrics and textiles. Metallics from Marc Jacobs reflect light giving a ripple effect and Kenzo’s use of colorful iridescent butterflies and beetles creates the same inspiration. Splash Lights is a hair color technique that is a new way to consider how color lives in hair. A colorist adds a highlighted focus to the hair as if it was being hit by a spot of light. The images below are a great example of the technique. A colorist at Sally Hershberger salon in New York created the first look. The second two images are created by colorist and Redken Artist Justin Isaac. Both have such a fresh take on color placement, and we will see more variations of this effect in the next year.

Reverse Ombre/Jewel Tones

Fendi Fall 2013I love the color placement in the Fendi fall collection. You can see an inspiration of fur, while adding pops of color. Their looks are predominately blacks and grays with pops of bright color. Hot pinks, vibrant blues and strong purples make a strong statement. You can see how they have created a reverse ombre effect with the fur like fabrics. Instead of the lightest color on the ends, they have placed the darkest color at the ends and the pops of color at the base.

Pastels were a big influence last spring and summer, but as the season changes jewel tones are the new focus. Violet and purple are my favorite colors for fall. Rose gold for blondes and cool reds and fiery coppers.

Unexpected Color Placement

Proenza Schouler 2013I love the images from the Proenza Schouler campaign. There is a great balance of the pastel palette with a jewel tone pallet. When you look at the images notice where the color lives. It is soft unexpected placement. The image of Dakota Fanning at the top of the page is a perfect translation of the Schouler campaign into hair color.

After identifying what I loved from these images I created looks to share at the hair industry show. Strong pops of color, reverse ombre, cool violets and golds.

Mandy McCullough

What is inspiring your hair color for fall? What colors and trends stand out to you and get you excited for a change? Find images of hair or fashion that you love and take them to your next color appointment to share with your colorist. The results will be amazing.

Adding Big Volume to Your Blowout – Video Tutorial

Here is the second My Hair Fix video tutorial! I would post them more often, but I am realizing I am a much better hairstylist than video editor. Our last tutorial was recreating a salon blowout at home, so for this video I wanted to take it one step further by showing you how to add dramatic volume that will last all night.

I mention it in the video, but it’s worth saying again: using the right styling product is the key to creating a long lasting look. When you purchase product from your stylist, be sure to have her take the time to educate you on how to use it to get the result you want.

Some of you have left comments about the video topics you want to see next. Thanks! It’s been noted and we are working on it. Hopefully this process will get more streamlined so you can have a entire video library at your fingertips!

My Hair Fix – Volume Blowout Video

PS – I also want to give a big shout out to Inti St Clair, the photographer who took some great photos, giving me the new clean, pretty picture for the blog! She does amazing work! Check her out!

Changing Your Identity with Hair Color: Are you ready for the challenge?

Tiffany "The Blonde"Meet Tiffany. Tiffany has been one of my best friends for over 20 years. Tiffany is a blonde. I’m not using this as a discriptor as much as I am using it as a title. Tiffany is “A Blonde”. It’s her identity, philosophy and lifestyle. Two years ago we took her from a dimensional foiled blonde to a full on platinum blonde. She LOVED it. When she walked in a room you couldn’t help but turn to look at her. Blonde is an attention grabbing color. Why do you think so many Hollywood celebrities take on this look? Unfortunately, after two years of heavy lightening every three weeks, her hair surrendered. It couldn’t take the demand of such intense treatments. It weakened, and became damaged beyond repair. Tiffany had to make a decision: change her hair color or cut off the damaged ends into a short haircut. Both of which were the kiss of death to her identity. Here’s where the journey to her new identity began….

The Consultation (Intense Therapy)

If Tiff couldn’t be platinum blonde, she wanted to find a new color that would still “pop.” She started to talk to me about becoming strawberry blonde like Nicole Kiddman. My concern with this choice was her skin tone. Tiffany has a pink complexion, and pink skin tones look best when complimented by cool colors. (Warm tones make the pink stand out more.) I also needed to make sure that my client and best friend understood that whatever choice she made, she would have to stick with it. Her hair was in no condition to handle  re-lightening. Of course, explaining this is difficult. Since seeing is believing, I decided to take Tiff on a field trip to prove my point.

A Wig Shopping We Will Go

I asked Tiffany to meet me at a beauty supply store that carries tons of wigs. Here we chose wigs of different tones of red for her to try on. It became immediately clear that strawberry blondes were a miss. They didn’t compliment her skin tone and they provided no “pop.” Then she tried on a dark cool cherry red. It was perfect! Initially Tiffany would have never thought to go from lightest blonde to this strong red, but getting to “test drive it” first gave her a whole new insight on the possibility. At my suggestion, Tiff bought the wig to take home so she could warm up to her potential new look.

Decision Time

I checked in with Tiffany 3 days after the wig purchase to see how it was going. She had experienced mixed reviews from her husband and friends. Remember, Tiffany’s blonde was a signature statement for her, so a new hair color not only changes the way she views herself, but also affects the way people see her. We discussed how it was important that she love the choice and to be ready for further mixed reviews. At the end of our conversation, she was ready to commit. Tiffany was going red!

The Process

In an earlier post, I documented my client, Christin, going from brown to peach. Christin and Tiffany’s processes both fall under a color correction service. Many times we see celebrities go through extreme color changes in what seems like overnight. I think it’s important to recognize the investment of time and money, as well as the value of working with a colorist who understand the importance of maintaining the hair’s health and integrity through this service. We took pictures of Tiffany’s entire journey to red so you could understand the process.

Step 1: Pre-Tre

Before we could apply any color, I performed two different protein treatments on Tiff’s hair. When hair has been extremely lightened, it needs protein to strengthen it. Additionally, the protein gives the color something to hold on to. If we skipped these protein treatments, the color would have a hard time looking dimensional and fall out in the first few shampoos. Redken CAT treatment was applied first, then followed by a Redken Chemistry Strength shot and sealed with a 3.5 pH spray.

Step 2: The First Fill ProcessFirst Fill

In the salon world we use numbers to refer to lightness and darkness and color as the tone. Our goal for Tiffany was to achieve a level 6 Red. If I applied a level 6 red on her blonde hair as the first color step, the end result would be flat, chalky and pink. This is because red needs yellows, golds, and oranges to give it vibrancy. To build these colors in the hair, it must be done in layers, a process we call “filling” the hair. A fill formula is a color application designed to put base tones in the hair that will support the final color. Each layer is applied and processed like a traditional color application. For the first fill, I chose a Redken Shades EQ gloss with copper and warm gold tones.

Step 3: More Protein

Firs Fill Result

After the fill formula processed for 20 minutes, I shampooed it and followed up with another protein treatment to continue to prepare the hair for more color.

Step 4: Second Fill Formula

Second Fill Application For the second fill formula, I chose more copper and gold tones with a little bit of red. Shades EQ cream was the perfect choice for its low alkalinity, but rich deposit.

Step 5: More Protein
Are you seeing a pattern here? Protein is a big deal in color correction!

Second Fill Result

Step 6: Final Formula ApplicationFinal Color Application
After two fill processes, I had built up a warm base to support the final red color we wanted. For the final formula I went with Redken Chromatics. This is a permanent color with no ammonia. That means is will give a rich deposit and is gentle on Tiff’s hair. Chromatics uses an oil delivery system which also helps to reduce future breakage in hair. I love the Reds in this line because they are strong, vibrant and dimensional. I applied the color from roots to ends and let it process for 35 minutes.

Step 7: Last Treatment
For the last treatment, I blended protein with a color sealer to lock in Tiffany’s new hue.

The end result: beautiful show- stopping red! This picture barely does the color justice. I added a second picture Tiffany took of herself the next day! Guaranteed to make you notice.Final Red!

Tiffany’s hair looked and felt amazing. It was worth every effort to get such a beautiful end result. Tiffany was so excited with the finished look. From start to finish, this was a 5-hour process. If I had skipped a treatment or fill, I would have sacrificed this awesome end color. For color correction services, I charge by the hour to ensure that every step is included.

Changing your identity with hair color can be scary. If you are known as a striking blond, rich brunette or fiery red head, it can be life altering to you and those who know you when you make that change. Take the time to research what you want. Try on wigs in the color you are considering and work with an experienced colorist who can be honest with you about the expectations, maintenance, and end result. It can be one of your biggest and exciting life adventures.

And this is Tiffany now:

Tiffany's New Identity

A transformed and gorgeous “redhead”!

The Best Online Summer Hair Inspiration

It’s unusually hot in Seattle and I’m trying to remember where I put my 2 pairs of shorts from the last time our temperature peaked at 85 degrees. Hot weather is not typical here and as a result we don’t have air-conditioning, box fans double in price, and we squint because we aren’t used to seeing this much sun. Hair can be a whole other issue. How do  you stay cool and look good at the same time? Celebrities like Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, and Jennifer Lopez make summer hair look so easy and tons of online magazines create summer hair tips and tricks. I spent some time online looking for the best and compiled them here for you. So grab a popsicle, turn on the fan and take a few minutes to get inspired.

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The Quickest Easiest Summer Hairstyles Ever – redbookmag.com

Cute simple suggestions for warm weather styles featuring Amanda Seyfried, Kerry Washington, Jennifer Lopez, and Kate Hudson

10 Easy Summer Hair Ideas – allure.com

This article not only features celebrities like Zoey Saldana and Jennifer Lawrence, it also mentions great hair products and tools to achieve the looks.

10 Ways to Get Easy Summer Hair (Without a Blowdryer) – glamour.com

This had me at “Without a Blowdryer”. Perfect hot tips for cute hair without heat.

How To: Easy Summer Hair – luckymag.com

Special event in warm weather? These looks from Luck Magazine take a little more time but are worth it for that summer wedding, cocktail party, candle light dinner or Girls Night Out.

20 Quick Celebrity Hairstyles – more.com

I am a fan of More magazine for focusing on health and beauty of women over 40. Here are 20 easy up-styles inspired by celebrities that look great on any age.

Hopes this helps to keep you looking good in that hot weather!

How to Identify Your Face Shape and Why It Matters

I really want to write a post all about bangs, or fringe, as we in the hair biz call them.  But before that conversation can happen, it’s important that everyone knows how to identify their face shape and understand how it can affect your hair style. When you Google face shapes, tons of information comes up. For the most part, it’s pretty accurate. What isn’t accurate are the images assigned to each definition. For example, Reese Witherspoon is listed as heart-shaped, inverted triangle, diamond and round. Which one is it? Depending on how a person wears her hair, she can instantly alter or enhance her face shape. That’s the cool thing about hair. It is able to enhance or define what we want to show.

Knowing how to identify your face shape can help create balance in your hair style. It can help you determine where you want to place volume, reduce volume, accentuate or de-accentuate features. It can also inform what type of fringe or face framing pieces work for you. For this post, I want to focus on how to identify face shape and the best ways to enhance it with your hair style. In next week’s post, I will take it one step further and share what type of fringe or bangs work with each type of shape.

Identifying Your Face Shape

1. Remove all of your make-up and pull all of your hair away from your face. All of it. No fly-aways and no bangs. Hair and make-up can easily distract from the true shape of your face.

2. Now, go take a look in the mirror. Notice where your face is widest. Temples, cheekbones, or jaw. Maybe it seems like they are all the same width or maybe one of the three stands out more than the others.

3. Notice if your features seem hard and angular or soft.

4. Finally, don’t smile. Smiling distorts your face shape. Jennifer Lawrence looks like she has a heart-shaped face when she smiles, but when she isn’t smiling, she has a very strong jaw line and almost fits into a triangle shape.

There are 7 defined face shapes:

  • Oval
  • Round
  • Square
  • Heart (inverted triangle)
  • Triangle
  • Diamond
  • Oblong

Here is a description of each one and images to help better understand their differences:

Oval Face Shape:

Oval is considered the most balanced of all face shapes. An oval face is widest at the cheek bones with balanced width and length. This shape allows the owner to wear just about any style they want. Lucky girl! In addition to Megan Fox, Jessica Alba, and Naomi Campbell are all oval girls.

Round Face Shape:

Round faces are widest at the cheek bones, but shorter in length with a soft jaw line. Gennifer Goodwin and Kirsten Dunst both have round face shapes. If you Google images of Kirsten, it’s deceiving because she does all the right things with her hair to lengthen her face. This includes a side part and or sweeping side part bangs.

To accentuate this face shape, build volume at the sides and low volume on top.

To lengthen this shape, build volume on top and less volume on the sides.

Square Face Shape:

The biggest difference between round and square face shapes are hard and soft lines in the jaw and near the temples. In a square face shape, these two features are almost equal at the widest part of the face and are more angular and exaggerated. Like round, square face shapes are usually shorter than oval.

To accentuate this shape, build volume on the sides and top corners.

To soften this shape, build volume on top, add soft face framing pieces and a side part to offset corners.

Heart Shape Face:

Girls with this face shape are widest at the temples and narrow through the cheek bones and chin. Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Love Hewitt both fit into this category.

To accentuate this shape, build volume through the top and sides

To soften this shape, use a side or center part to offset the width through the temples. Low volume in the top and sides, with more volume or length around the chin and neck area.

Triangle Face Shape:

It was hard to find a celebrity image that demonstrates a triangle face shape. This is mostly because it’s pretty easy to offset with hair. I chose this picture of Minnie Driver because her hair is pulled back which allows you to really see the silhouette. Triangle faces are widest at the jaw, which is usually very strong, and narrows as it moves up to the temple.

To accentuate this shape, low volume on top and add volume through sides and jaw line area.

To soften this shape, add volume through top. A side or center part will give the illusion of more width through the temple area.

Diamond Face Shape:

Diamond Face shape is more angular than oval. Narrow at the top, wide at the cheekbones and narrow at the chin.

To accentuate this shape, deep side part, volume on the sides and top.

To soften this shape, center or side part right at the corner of the head. Build volume through the top corners.

Oblong Face Shape:

Oblong face shapes are longer and more narrow than oval. The width between the temples, cheeks, and jaw line are almost even.

To accentuate this shape, build volume through the top and reduce volume on the sides. A center part will exaggerate the vertical lines of the shape.

To soften this shape, side part or a fringe will detract from the length. Reducing volume in the top and increasing it through the side will give the illusion of width.

Now that you know your face shape and have some direction on how to balance it with your hair style, you’re empowered with what you do with your hair at home or in your consultation with your stylist. Once you find some celebrities with your similar face shape, keep an eye on what they do with their style. It can be a great resource when you’re ready for a change. Next week we will take this one step further and go over what type of fringe works best with each shape. Even if you thought your weren’t a candidate for fringe, it will help you understand what type goes best with your face shape and hair line.

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