Multi-Cultural Color: 10 Commandments
As Mizani’s Director of Education, Veronique Morrison is an expert in all matters relating to textured hair. Curly and wavy textures tend to be more susceptible to dryness and breakage, she says, and because of their fragility, it’s critical to proceed with caution when coloring. While multi-cultural hair can be a challenge, we asked Veronique to spill her tips and tricks to help you master all hair types.
1. Always conduct a thorough client consultation and hair analysis. Perform a skin patch test on all color clients at least 24 hours prior to the service. Be sure to test the exact formula that you plan to use on the client—sometimes clients are allergic to specific dyes so it’s important to keep the formula consistent.
2. Never perform a permanent color service on the same day that you apply a chemical relaxer. Relaxers break and reconfigure hair bonds, and permanent color opens the cuticle and penetrates to the cortex. Conducting these processes simultaneously can weaken the hair and cause breakage. Wait at least two weeks after a relaxing service to apply permanent color. Semi and demi permanent formulas are ideal for clients with textured or relaxed hair. They encourage natural highlights and provide shine and vibrancy with minimal damage. These non-oxidative formulas can be used on the same day as a relaxer service.
3. Cream color is the best choice for curly and wavy hair types. These hair types feature many “twists and turns” which cause them to lose moisture easily. Cream colors often contain conditioners and thickening fillers. They adhere more easily to the hair, allowing better penetration of color and moisturizing ingredients. Look for cream formulas that feature oil, which amplifies color retention, shine and vibrancy.
4. Avoid lifting curly hair, and especially relaxed hair, more than four levels. Decolorizing removes natural pigment, which weakens keratin bonds. This diminishes the hair’s protein level and causes it to become dry, brittle and prone to breakage.
5. Never use metallic dyes or vegetable henna dyes on relaxed hair. Metallic dyes are most often found in retail haircolor products and contain lead acetate, which is incompatible with the hydroxides present in relaxers. Henna color is absorbed into the cortex and will prevent other substances from penetrating, which can inhibit the performance of relaxers and oxidative color formulas.
6. Understand your client’s hair type in order to time color services properly. In addition to following manufacturer’s instructions, it’s important to recognize how the hair type will affect the rate of color absorption due to characteristics like strand structure and porosity. The Mizani Natural Curl Key defines eight universal hair types, from straight/minimal wave to curly to zig-zag coiled--and provides guidelines for cutting, care and chemical services for each type.
7. Limit the use of higher volumes of developer on textured hair. Opt for 10 or 20 volume instead. Hydrogen peroxide opens the cuticle layer to allow the color molecules to penetrate, which also can lead to moisture loss. Lower volumes of hydrogen peroxide present fewer opportunities for moisture to escape during color processing.
8. Keep detailed records of all of your formulas. Include the formula you created, placement and timing. This allows you to provide consistent color results every time your client is in your chair.
9. Keep the basic laws of color in mind when formulating. Blue adds depth to your color, while red adds warmth. Clients of color with natural levels of 1-3 often have red and yellow underlying pigments that become evident when hair is lightened. These warm tones are difficult to remove so it’s important to understand the seven stages of decolorization to avoid uncovering an unwanted amount of warmth.
10. Moisture replenishment is critical when coloring textured hair. Permanent color interrupts hair’s moisture and protein balance. So for optimum color retention and vibrancy and overall hair health, recommend a regular regimen of at-home and in-salon moisturizing treatments to ever color client.
TELL US: What are your tricks for multi-cultural color?
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