Thursday, 31 March 2011

Hair colour Herbal Natural organic or...

Welcome to BACK2MYROOTS B2MR regular postings of fresh new topic's

Looking At Hair colour products!

I do not claim to know or have knowledge about. All there is to know about all the different hair colours on the market.
I do try and keep up to date I do try and get information on all products i come across.
I tried to find out about INOA when it came out, I contacted L'oreal  they did not get back to me I asked them to explain why MEA is so new and exciting: no reply!
See past Blog for information on MEA

I was approached to write a review on my Blog on the re launch of Wella Blondor and Koleston Colour high lift Blonde:
They even offered to provided a press release. Nice but that is telling me what to say. I asked for some more information i sent a list of questions: no reply!
I have to think it's new packaging maybe new formulation but maybe not that innovative?

Most recently i have been contacted by a an Organic hair colour company.
I found a comment you wrote on Organic Color Systems web site.  Our company Saphir Hair Care have developed an Ammonia-Free color line that I would love to get your feedback on.  I would love to send you some samples in hope that you would give us honest feedback on our product.  Thank you for your time.
Nico Tricoci
Saphir USA
I have replied so hope that i hear back from them ,so i can share a review with you all
To be fair  I have been to the the Organic hair colour company web site they do have a very informative web site but it still raised questions, questions that need answering. although i tried to talk with some one  the person was always to busy
Why denatured grain alcohol? formulation for Grey coverage? why no colour balancing?
One of my big concerns with Grey formulations is that they are formatted to address the Grey Issues great for the roots, but why run that same formula through the rest of the hair. you cannot have generic formulation for Grey hair ie 50% what ever the amount of Grey!

At issues is the fact that the formula is for Grey hair and mix of natural and target colour also level of peroxide so in running this into the mid lengths and ends two things happen.
One still running peroxide through hair that has already been coloured this promotes over processing and drab colour.
Also when hair has been previously coloured it does not need a formulation with peroxide colour balance would be Demi formulation also no need for Natural series in the formulation.
So an example of this might be 50%5N[natural] 50%5BR [Beige Red] putting this formulation on the roots of someone with 50% Grey would be fine for a roots application, but not to leave the said formula in a bowl and then running it through the mid lengths and ends!
The ends only need the 5BR formula and don't need the now slightly gone off peroxide in said formula,
As a rule of thumb for Grey issues what ever the % of Grey is the amount of Natural series required in a formula, having said this when doing colour it is always advisable to know the base formulation of any Natural series with relation to warmth control. Grey hair still has Pigment so the stronger the peroxide the more warmth you will expose. I would suggest doing a pre fill and using as lower volume of peroxide as possible start with 10vol 3%.

 So although trying it still misleading to call it all natural and certainly call the formulation education material up to date!

So in preaching health and condition they need to look at what they preach and teach we as stylist need to keep asking these questions!
If we don't have the knowledge if we don't ask the question nothing ever changes we get what we are allow our selves to be sold and taken in by.

So as quick review our options are.

MEA Monoethanolamine:
Can be used as a selective absorber and plays an important role in the production of Ammonia! MEA Monoethanolamine obtained from the reaction of ammonia and Ethylene. Ethylene a bio fuel so we are back to grain Alcohol! but derived from grain so natural! does this make it ok ? would you think that good for hair?
Alcohol denatured:
A general term for organic ingredients that contain the OH (hydroxyl) group. Alcohols differ substantially in their properties ranging from water soluble solvents like isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol.
Sounds good too!
An alkaline ingredient used in some permanent hair color. Ammonia is an ingredient that results in a chemical action that decolorizes the hair. A colorless, pungent gas, NH3,  first step in the nitrogen cycle. Ammonia is generated by fish urine and by the decay of dead fish and plant material. It is perhaps the deadliest agent to tropical fish. Care must be made to ensure that the ammonia levels stay at zero. Many professional hair colours have 0.4 to 1.2% Ammonia and some companies have levels way above this the higher the level the more damage can be caused!

So the choice dead decaying fish or fermenting Grain both really a natural source.
Professional Hair Colour Companies have to be help accountable to inform and be transparent about the formulation of there products and the education material should be informative and up to date.


To follow up on information on hair colour reviews techniques go to my web site click on Blog!
 As always thanks for reading.  MikeB2MR

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Hairdressing the stylists and social net work sites

Welcome to BACK2MYROOTS B2MR regular postings of fresh new topic's

It is my goal to create a platform that over time will become a place to share thoughts review hair colour and products.

 SOCIAL NET WORKING and MEDIA SITES they are here to stay:

What role do Social net working sites play in our lives? How do they effect the sharing of? knowledge and information. How can it help promote our salon and  let us stay connected with our clients?
Firstly I think any one in their mid fifties and over have had a huge learning curve to contend with all the constant changes in technology.
Although we have grown up with this technology as it has developed and grown. The younger generation have grown up knowing nothing other than, a mobile phone a computer and the world wide web,
With the onset of computer technology, mobile phones, the internet and the way we share and research information. Our lives have been changed forever. The way we do business, communicate, research information, changed forever.
The fact that we can  promote our business with a web site designed to promote the image we want to project, link our blogs to Twitter or create a specific group page on face book.We have the ability to post comments join in this is all so instant and positive and a great way to connect and review comments and thoughts, share information

I write on this topic because of comment made on my blog. It has been suggested that certain topic's that I write and post, should not be linked and posted on some of the sights and various media applications available to us. Those being. Face book,Twitter, and other groups and sites. Some general sites, some of the sights posted by companies for sharing.
I work very hard to net work and share information. I read material posted by others. I leave comments some times good, some times not so good, but always honest and thoughtful. I actively invite communication the sharing of views and thoughts.

Just because a topic is posted it does not mean it has to be read. More and more businesses and individuals post blogs and have a social net page. From the Salon owner, to distributors, to stylists. From Tweeting to sending texts,we stay informed current connected. Now days having a social page and by sharing information and allowing posting of relevant information. We connect, we net work.
This gives us huge exposure but also means we have to be on top of our game. As a medium it so easy to get your word out share thoughts knowledge education.

From a business point of view just being able to net work with other like minded individuals has to be good to long term exposure for your business, the ability to net work and share.
To suggest that net works and specific group are only formed to improve business based on making money is very narrow minded. I think that sharing connecting moving forward is far more key to success than just worrying about the money making aspect of any group?
                                'That' 'whats in it for me train of thought' 
Today in the Hairdressing profession the ability to share knowledge, business idea's, style, education,
for stylists, mangers, owners alike to meet net work and share views thoughts concerns,to be honest and transparent.
For clients to research products and looks share experience read reviews.

My experience of using the web has connected me with some wonderful passionate professional driven and motivated. It has allowed for sharing of views thoughts and cross promotion of material. The link below is a classic example of net working getting connected ,just need to be honest and have an open mind.

This for me is all the reason why i write my hair dressing blogs net work and post views and reviews.
Thanks Mike B2MR.
My web page is linked to other groups and my blog at:

Thursday, 24 March 2011

The Art of the up /do continued

Welcome to BACK2MYROOTS B2MR regular postings of fresh new topic's

When I first started in the hair industry the thought of putting hair up. Being asked to do some hair for a graduation or wedding totally freaked me out.
The reason for this was fear! fear of screwing up fear of not knowing what i was doing fear of looking an idiot.
I muddled my way through doing wedding hair but never feeling very confident it was not fun!

That was the way until I met and worked with a wonderful man and now dear friend.
Mr Jon Paul Holt owner of Avant-Garde artistic Studio Vancouver Canada winner of so many awards and accolades. I was fortunate enough to be a member of his Artistic team and learned so much from him. As he challenged me to work with him on photo shoots and stage shows.

 Jon paul taught me to enjoy playing with hair learn from handling it trying to create a look.
As a medium you can create so many styles and shapes.

My dear friends from Vancouver  fab hair stylists Jon paul Holt,
Ted Mc Kinnon outside Avant-garde Yale town Vancouver Canada.
Ted a master of the up/do and wedding hair.

Consultation with a client to establish the look, does it need to be a conventional look for a wedding or graduation. One must have a clear idea of what the client wants, but it's also so important to have a vision in your mind practice is key.

This series to the left and right were for a graduation a classic look pre coloured low lighted hair using a high lift Blonde on a natural level 4 base.
The low lights compliment the look by giving it texture and showing off the shape.
Building a shape likes this takes a little practice and patients but it's well worth it.

note: Using a high lift Blonde on dark hair will always give a very natural low light as it will only lift max of 4 levels depending on developer used. One should consider the pigment base of the Highlift shade ie ash beige violet ect!

A Slightly more Avantgarde look using
a few coloured hair  pieces.
Also using a medium to Sculpture a look to Create a hat look.
Slightly edgy but would work well for wedding or Graduation on some one with the confidence to carry it off.
Never force someone to wear a look that they are not comfortable with!

 The key is practice and communication knowing that one has to play and get a feel for the hair the way it moves the shapes it wants to form . Always consider the clients needs and expectations if it's for a wedding or social event in-fact anything you are being paid for.  If it's a model for your own design collect, be it. A shoot. A show or competition then, they should be made fully aware of what they are getting into what is expected from them. some times a model waiver is a good idea.
When playing their is no such thing as failure it's more a case of taking a journey of discovery a firm foundation to build from.
As stated hair colour can also play a key roll to show off a look give it texture and dimension.

By playing and practice you can find the look that works with the hair and suites your client soft and low high with softness so much choice.
Have the confidence to step out side your comfort zone but don't be made to feel uncomfortable when working with a client for a big event or occasion if their is a difference of opinion of a personality clash my advise would be suggest that you part agreeing to differ if is to short and weddings and big formal events expectation run high who needs that stress!

classic elegance

natural and loose

Unless they are modeling for you for a show or photo Shoot then well it's your call. enjoy have fun challenge your self.

formal wedding

Hair salon Question thoughts and answer

Welcome to BACK2MYROOTS B2MR regular postings of fresh new topic's

Question raised thoughts shared

All right, so here's a question-what kinds of things would you do to motivate stylists to market their art and services so that they make enough money to feel secure...I'm especially seeking ideas on how any of you would get the "motor" started on the long time stylists who are complacent and just do their regular clients (bread and butter) and don't do anything to expand their business. Ideas? 

Hi at last worthy topic. No advert no promotion!
Your question is one that comes up so often. This may sound harsh but your stylist have it in their hands to do what you ask. By being creative offering the highest standards of service the money the success will follow.Complacent stylist are driven by ego this normally is covering fear. Lack of ski, knowledge. Client retention is the key to success and building business, In so many cases salon's & through stylist seek out new business through advertising and is a known fact that 50% of new clients to a salon never return !! why is this?
Service, skills ,consultation skills, creativity. Make the slackers more accountable for their pay packets. Make them more accountable for them selves. switch from employment to chair rental that sorts out the men from the boys!!,some will fall to the side move on but in the end you have a more motivated driven team.
Encourage training events ,competition work both in the salon and out side, in house training,
In house awards or most improved new client recommendation& retention,create healthy competition, Complacent stylist get lazy clients see this and will move on, taking friends with them. A happy client will recommend five friends they in turn have five friends yes it's that easy, all we have to do as stylist's is be attentive to our clients. Sadly lacking
 get your clients involved. Questionnaire on service .We professionals provide a place for stylist to work, after a certain point they have to be accountable for themselves we all do. make a decision live with the consequences. thanks  , MikeB2MR  

For the stylist reading this exchange. Maybe take the time to digest this.
The things we do define us. It's these things that motivate, and inspire us. Question who you are, what you do, what really empowers you. The challenge is to ensure you have the right knowledge and tools to feel empowered. That feeling of positive affirmation will help you take charge and live your dream.

Courses, be they technical, hands on, shows, or demonstrations, are all very worth while.
However the real motivator is being creatively challenged, getting excited, having fun at work and in your life.

Over the past months my personal mission has been to build an internet presence: networking, learning to write a blog, creating a professional hairdressing group. Although at times frustrating and very challenging, it has forced me outside of my comfort zone, a place none of us like to be. Over this period I have had the great fortune to meet, share thoughts and ideas,with some really positive like minded people. These are inspirational, passionate, industry professionals.They have a vision. These are the people I want on my bus to learn from, share with, take a journey with.
Get inspired. Connect with driven motivated industry professional. challenge your self. 
If you want new motivation take the challenge in this little read.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Hair colour and Alkalinity Ph

Welcome to BACK2MYROOTS B2MR regular postings of fresh new topic's

When it comes to understanding the chemistry of hair colouring. Get educated not mislead!                         

As Hairdressers  when considering doing  hair colour . We owe it to our selves and indeed the client to do the best job possible, but more than that give the best service and advise possible, suggesting colour that works with skin tone and eye colour. Work with the best products available, understand the chemistry of the product how it works reacts with hair, what condition with it leave the hair in.

Many hair colours today claim great condition no Ammonia. However claims of no Ammonia does not always mean great condition, some times we sacrifice one evil for another. When no Ammonia is present in permanent colour another alkaline is introduced as a replacement or substitute.There has to be a presence of an alkaline for the colouring process to work
We are talking permanent colour.  The process is not the Semi Demi but they to can be misleading in their chemical makeup! So always get informed read the black stuff ask questions.

It's all so complicated. Education, technical knowledge, a greater understanding of the products that you are using is essential. Understand what MEA is another favorite derived from Ethanolamine. Alcohol Denatured. Do you know what this is? It's alcohol derived from fermented grain used as an Alkaline can be very drying but because a grain by product marketed as being natural! Very misleading
Why does Ammonia get such a bad wrap just because it smells ? The damage it can cause depends on the strength being used and the way applied timing, heat, temperature,


High lift Blondes have an extra kick! Most hair colour lines have high lift blonde range, these again have an alkaline from some source however it may be that extra lift is promoted. In many cases companies also add  Ethanolamine to their high lift colour to open the cuticle more! They don't normally advertise or disclose this fact it's disclosed in the small print on the instructions on the paper work inside the box .
So why is MEA  such an  innovation? MEA now promoted to replace Ammonia can any one enlighten me?
MEA Monoethanolamine:
Can be used as a selective absorber and plays an important role in the production of Ammonia! MEA Monoethanolamine obtained from the reaction of ammonia and Ethylene. Ethlene a bio fuel so we are back to grain Alcohol! but derived from grain so natural! does this make it ok ? Would you think that good for hair?

Alcohol denatured:
A general term for organic ingredients that contain the OH (hydroxyl) group. Alcohols differ substantially in their properties ranging from water soluble solvents like isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol.
Sounds good too!

An alkaline ingredient used in some permanent hair color. Ammonia is an ingredient that results in a chemical action that decolorizes the hair. A colorless, pungent gas, NH3,  first step in the nitrogen cycle.

Ammonia is generated by fish urine and by the decay of dead fish and plant material.Many professional hair colours have 0.4 to 1.2% Ammonia be aware some companies have levels way above this quite low level of working alkalinity.

So the choice dead decaying fish or fermenting Grain both really a natural source.

So as we can see although some companies portray natural less harmful chemistry it is not always the case. adding natural oils or waxes to protect scalp to make application easier are all part of this process.
This is why knowledge research are key and empowering when it comes to colouring hair and the choices we make on products must go beyond what the sales rep or promotion material say.
I am not trying to scare just inform encourage thinking research!
Thank you!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Hairdressing Training complete. What next?

regular postings of fresh new topic's

To get inspired one needs to relax
Created as a source for advise education knowledge skill a place to share thoughts post comments  on matters relating to anything industry related.                         
copy right pending.

Time for Action:
You have completed your training been through college or an academy done an apprenticeship. Maybe you are in your early years of working in a salon starting to get experience in being part of a team working with the public getting an understanding of the service industry,
Most importantly learning about people and understanding how to listen to them the art of consultation. communication. 
You have trained for this new chosen profession worked hard so why do so many new young stylist   leave become disillusioned or stay with it but with resentment and anger.
What next is the world really your Oyster ? Can you really make it big can all your dreams come true happiness wealth success? or what ever else you dream of attaining! what is the key. Is it possible? I think with hard work commitment and realistic vision everything is possible.

The one and only answer is you and you alone can either put in the work be honest with your self about your ability your passion. What you are prepared to do to succeed possibly excel above others to have that edge.
So you can either blame others for. Poor training blame your self for not pay attention or be really honest with your self and enter into a program of self discovery and skill improvement.
A journey to improve your hands on skills lean how to understand what true service is. Are you ready to put ego aside invest in your self and your future. Become fully booked successful and enjoy your career get the rewards that hard work commitment attention to detail can afford you.
The biggest change of career for young stylist comes in the first three years after training graduation this is a sad waste of talent skill training time and money.
It does not have to be this way with professional help and guidance you can succeed establish your self as a highly qualified expert in the hairdressing industry.
As a stylist maybe you are struggling, making a living but bored, uninspired feel like each day is just a repeat of the previous one. If this is you then you need help need to have a inspiration goals target a formulation to turn things around and succeed.
If this is you we should talk work together come up with a workable realistic plan to get you on a road to success.
With over 35 years of experience what ever you needs and requirements what ever skills you need to improve on a program to work from and with can be designed, call it personal hands on help a sharing of experience
Are you Interested. I would very much like an opportunity to work with individuals small groups or salon's. In so many cases stylist fail salon's fail through fear of asking for help and guidance don't let this be you.
Fear and Ego are not your friend fear is only a fear until faced then it falls away lifted and can move forward face new challenges.
The real keys to your success are you the choices you make .
Service .Consultation .Communication. skill .Knowledge. Education up dates staying current.
So often we forget the the little things those simple things that make a difference. We lose or forget why we entered in to the world of Hairdressing, fashion style. We forget how to talk, to communicate all fundamental but how easy to forget. It's time for a refresher !
The above link is just that an easy read that could very well change your life change. How you do things. How you look at things the very essence of what drives and motivates you ! now that could be worth a read. a challenge worth taking.
As step by step guide to increased success increased sales that easy! no quite you have to do the work!
Mike B2MR
For links, contact information, help advise a place to comment.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Hair colouring nightmare! Part2 The fix

Welcome to BACK2MYROOTS B2MR regular postings of fresh new topic's
 Links to original Topic/article:

The above are the links to the first part of this posting relaying a nightmare caused by poor choice and decision when embarking on lightening pre-coloured hair. The scenario demonstrates the pit falls of lifting hair that has a build up of colour. What can and does go wrong when not done correctly.
That being honesty with regard to expectation, realistic goals, and out come during the consultation process, and the need for a strand test.
So if you have not read the above posting please if you have time do.
So the fix!
So to review as you can see from either the first article or the first picture here, The attempt at lifting evenly from roots to ends was a failure. Leaving over lightened roots mid lengths with a real orange hue and very little lift on the ends. The desired effect was for toffee caramel low lights.
poor colour job before shot

The picture was provided by the client, but as you can see it really was a poor job.
When seeing this many thing came to mind apart from the poor job, also how the blonde just did not work with either skin tone or eye colour.
My suggestion was get rid of it ASAP!
Go back to being a rich dark healthy chocolate brown.
How would you do this, well it certainly would not require any more lift just a re build of the pigment base in the over lightened section then colour balance.

My suggestion would be to fill the over lightened section with a Demi formulation of either 7G or 7GC predominantly gold but with enough copper to balance with with warmth of the mid section. only apply to overly lifted area. leave for around 10 Minutes or[ follow your product directions ] remember you only need deposit formulation.
Once your chosen product has developed enough to deposit you can now think about final shade depth and Tone.
With the colour line i would use i would apply directly over top of first application. The same formulation being Dem deposit only zero lift. Here is where it gets interesting I will apply 4N directly over the top . Odd choice for some given as the N series is not always considered as a chosen colour.
But here is my thinking.
In this instance I am looking for a rich chocolate Brown. I have re introduced the missing pigment to the root area, but now i need to control that warmth to get the correct depth of colour.

look for location of orange section blue green section.

My 4N has a Blue green base
Check your colour wheel on your product ! green is made up of Blue+Yellow.
So given that we put on 7G the gold + Yellow + Red+yellow= orange
The 4N Blue + yellow +Blue= green
So the out come of this formulation is the Base of the 4N will control or neutralise the warmth creating a wonderful rich chocolate brown. 

As you can see from the colour wheel Orange sits across from Blue Green of the colour wheel so a perfect rich shade is possible.
Finally the after shot again provided by the client I did not carry out this colour fix but did advise her as what to get done and how.
Out come
The chosen formulation controlled all warmth and left her with a rich dark brown filling in all those unwanted shades and the nasty root lift.
Again this was all done with a Demi formulation for all those interested the process time is only 20 minutes so once applied  it's a very easy way to repair poor colour issues.
As a formulation it is none progressive so will not over deposit.
For any one interested Lanza Colour .

I hope this has been interesting for you as an exercise maybe it will encourage us all to think before we act.

Always have that consultation. Trust the colour wheel. Remember it's all about the service we offer our skill and knowledge, It's these things that enables us to keep our clients.

THANK YOU TO THE CLIENT. For allowing me to share and recount this experience.
Mike B2MR

A Haircolouring Nightmare.

Regular postings of fresh new topic's

As professional stylists we are duty bound to offer. The highest standard of professional skilled knowledge, service, technical ability. To do the very best we can without taking short cuts or rushing and charging accordingly for such service.

So why do so many stylist's over book, take short cuts, over charge and then wonder why they lose clients. make mistakes!
This is a true account with out any names of either salon or people.
However i do thank the client for allowing me to share this rather harrowing experience.
I was recently asked advise by a friend living over sea's about going lighter maybe some nice caramel toffee low lights.
My suggestion was seek professional skilled advise from your stylist. Have a consultation. Discuss your goal and optimum colour target. Be honest about past colouring in this instance quite long hair  mid back level sort of Bra strap. Her natural level would be around level 5. The colour used a rich dark brown around level 4. So long term build up would be a issues. Lots of pigment to exposed with build up of darker shade in the lifting process. The roots will lift Blonde very quickly so apply last with low volume peroxide to blend.
Prolonged use of the dark brown colour would. Indicate long term build up of colour mid length's and ends.
So I suggested that she should ask for strand test. Remove a small amount of hair from the nape area and have it coloured. This would require bleaching but applying from the ends up through mid length finally the root. Once lifted evenly apply toner to even out to desired shade and tone.
Why so you may ask? the ends will lift the slowest and will dictate the end result the mid lengths although coloured less still holding lots pigment. So although it will lift more. It may well throw lots pigment in the lifting process this will tend to be very warm copper or orange.
So armed with all this advise and information off she goes to get her new caramel low lights done.

pre having low lights done coloured level 4
Firstly here is the shot of the hair prior to the colouring.

This colouring was always done as deposit only. No lift .when going tone on tone or darker unless you want to add or increase warmth you do not need lifting levels of hydrogen peroxide.

So any build up is just layers of dark pigment. As stated a rich dark brown it matches her skin colour and hazel eyes. 

So many salons over book, don't allow the time and effort to do a job correctly.When things go wrong they may make excuses about the product, may pretend it looks great. It's how it was supposed to look.
But it's the client who. Has to be excited love this new look get what she wants and requested.
They have trusted us. Sat in the chair patiently. They asked all the right questions .They gave us time to decide on the best course of action to take. Having supposedly considered all options.

After low lights
 So why does this happen?
What went wrong? what do you see? what do you think?

Remember request low lights. Caramel toffee. Remember suggested strand test. Consultation . Remember I suggested lift from ends in  allow that the mid lengths may throw orange and roots would lift really quickly.

So lets look at this. Firstly I was shocked. Sad. Appalled by this poor quality job. Caused by taking short cuts with very little thought given to the process or out come! A rush job.
Firstly the the blonde on the roots to eye level really does not work for her. It sucks the colour from her skin and is just a nothing dull boring shade of blonde.
The mid lengths did not lift as much so formed a colour bar, a very bright copper orange the dark pigment lifted out. Finally the mid lengths and ends they only lifted a little so still look solid and dark very little lift.
There is no way by just applying toner this can or could be fixed.  It was doomed to fail. This was caused by some one being lazy, applying bleach de-colouriser roots to ends and just hoping that it may all lift evenly or at least enough to colour balance it! Hoping that whatever pigments exposed could be evened out with a toner. In doing this the tones made the blonde dull had little effect on the orange and well the ends ! Hum Hoping is not good enough!!
The strand test should have been carried out in advance of the appointment. The strand test shown and discussed with client then the process carried out correctly with a great out come. 
Why oh why do we allow this to happen? Why do we let our selves down . Is it lack of time?  Is it Easy money? well hardly if now you have to fix and re do! Lack caring. I really hope this creates some thought and feed back.
This can be fixed. I have advised the person in question what to do. She is having it re done later in the week . I am hoping she will let me have shots of finished job and i will then post and discuss the out come and process.

Enjoy the topic let me know your thoughts

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Hair colour: What is a demi application? how it works.

Regular postings of fresh new topic's
A place to share thoughts review hair colour and products.

What is Demi colour? How does it fit in? With permanent and Semi permanent colour?
Demi permanent colour is an opaque hair colour it will generally last about 6 weeks
It's main design and application would be for modern Grey coverage and refinement of under tones, also adding richness and shine has a slightly satin finish. For tone on tone and darker application with the need for lift.
It will not lighten the hair's natural pigment when mixed correctly with right developer. So little chance of introducing unwanted warmth into target colour.
It Penetrates the cuticle layer to deposit the new artificial pigment in the Cuticle and to some degree in the Cortex. Although not a formulation to lighten the hair over use or constant over lapping will over time lighten the hair slowly, due to the fact that the developer has a low level of peroxide normally less than 5vol required to activate the colour molecule during the development process.

As stylist we have many things to consider when dealing with issue of Grey hair.
The options available to us are many the techniques the formulations the products.
The most important tool we have have is knowledge and education this is what enables us to make an informed decision as to what might be the best way to proceed.
The choices should it be permanent or semi or Demi application ? you must be able to explain options from a clients point of view with so much hype on the Tv the choices endless what colour should it be.  It really is a minefield of products shades all claiming that  home colours can change your life make you look and feel young.
The quick fix especially those 10 minute colours contain more pigment than peroxide so they oxidize really quickly and can over deposit in some cases going black! or leaving unwanted tone as they fade out.

Formulation:  for professional colour on stubborn Grey hair.
Pre-pigment sometimes called softener: Having established the natural level of the hair select a neutral shade Mix one part permanent colour with one part water leave on for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes  mix your selected target colour with chosen volume of peroxide suggest the lowest volume possible apply directly over pre-fill a Demi application formula is ideal for this

Points to Consider rule of thumb when mix a formulation for Grey hair the formulation should contain as much of the Neutral series as their is Grey! { mistake often made poor assessment of this} 40% Grey 40% N series at desired level.
If you really have to use high volume of peroxide you can adjust your formulation to deliver more pigment to control the warm undertone you are going to expose.
Instead of standard formulation mix equal parts 1x Colour to1x Peroxide { normal formulation 1part colour to 1 1/2 developer}
If your working with a client who has a history of using over the counter colour then establish what the product was!
In some case a stand test might be advised. so of the colour's now days have oil and silicone this can build up in the hair may effect deposit.
So in closing consider all options when dealing with Grey issues remember this.

To get the very best results consider you options always try and go with the least chemistry possible keep accurate records of formulations and results. This way formulations can be adjusted until perfect balance is reached.
Mike B2MR

Friday, 4 March 2011

Natural hair colour the N series

Welcome to BACK2MYROOTS B2MR regular postings of fresh new topic's

A place to share thoughts post comments and idea's on matters relating to hair colouring skill and techniques and anything industry related.
Some colourist say "rules are made for breaking"  Hum! Ego! is alive and well.
I say " understand and trust the colour wheel"  it works !  

When we think about hair colour. What goes through our head ? We pull out that shade chart but do we use it correctly? Be it to refer to or in some cases so we just drop it in a clients lap and say! What colour do you want today!!![ you may be smiling it happens]
How often do you consider what you want from that colour that tube of pigment.

The N series is designed for what? To give you a natural looking base shade and cover Grey hair. It can be applied to go darker or lighter given the formulation you choose and considering the working environment and your end goal.
My question today is?
Do you consider what the process is? What your asking of any given shade?
Lets take 8N for example a nice natural looking level of Blonde. what pigmentation would you expect and need from this miracle tube when working within a level 8 with 8N natural permanent tint/colour.

Why do I ask this? Because it's key.The same can be said for any given natural level and choice of N series. So back to question pigmentation. do you understand it?
The pigmentation of any N series should be enough pigment to control the hairs natural pigment at any given natural level.! hum what does this mean?
Well lets think about our level 8 natural level.
If we mix a very basic formulation lets say 30grams[1oz] 8N 45grams 20vol peroxide 11/2oz]  what will happen? what do we, should we expect to happen?
The 20 volume peroxide will start to lift the hair through level 8 and into level 9 easy 20 vol 2 level lift
by doing this we are exposing bring out the natural pigment in the hair so in this instance yellow with a hint of orange [if unsure look at the shade chart and colour wheel]
So having exposed this pigment through our choice of Peroxide. We now have to know [hope is not good enough] that our N series has enough pigment to deal with the issue we have created. So what do we need?
Our Natural series must have a pigmentation of Blue Violet to control the pigment exposed and keep our colour natural.  We have to control that yellow orange and restore balance.
A great deal to expect from a little tube of colour the same can be said for any natural level. We have to consider what we want from our colour but more importantly consider the formulation and what to expect from it.
Of course if previously coloured hair and a root application we would have to colour balance the mid lengths and ends this would not be done with the N series or with peroxide. a Demi application and choice of matching shade will refresh previously coloured hair deposit only.
The key is to take the time to think lift deposit that is what am i going to expose how do i control it!
it's balance it's harmony between blue yellow and red at any given level!
The same can be applied to all shades Gold, Copper, Reds. Our choice of peroxide on any given natural level dictates. Whether our colour will be really bright or controlled. Why because we are adding pigment to the colour as soon as we lift the hair's natural level!

So please consider. It's not just a tube that works wonders ! It's a tube of pigment designed to help you attain you target colour, it's use it's application is down to you!

A poor Colourist technician. Stylist will always blame the colour .The reality is it's not the colour!
Take a look in the mirror yes that's the problem !! education skill knowledge ,
Think about what your wanting from that colour. Understand it. Read the technical book in your shade chart! yes the black stuff ! It's called colour chart and manual for a reason.
The same applies to want wanting bright vibrant colours to enhance your choice on the shade chart. Think about the natural level and what pigment you can expose to enhance it. Maybe a Bright Red or Copper? if you don't want the warmth think about level peroxide. Also what pigment base will control
the pigment you will expose! back to the colour wheel! remember opposite neutralise!
have fun. But be professional responsible produce the very best colour and create the very best look you can.

Mike B2MR

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Creating texture razor hair cuts

Welcome to BACK2MYROOTS B2MR regular postings of fresh new topic's

Created as a source of advise education knowledge skill experience a place to share thoughts post comments and idea's on matters relating to hair colouring skill and techniques and anything industry related.

Razor hair cutting tools and skill

This started out as a razor cutting blog. Exciting and easy for me as razor cutting is my passion second only to hair colouring.
So it's my hope you enjoy this and it pushes those buttons to get you wanting to explore the world of razor techniques.
The various techniques the creative texture can that can be created. Soft looks with  unlimited movement and no demarcation lines. It has been over 15years since I last  cut hair with scissors.
This has been a wonderful journey for me into understanding how hair falls. How to create shape and form. working with clients in this time i have not had a single client request from a client to go back to using scissors. Or any complaints about the shape look or way it has grown out. why is this? I hope this article explains all.

So down to Business

cut throat razor
How to do a razor Cut:  
When we think Razor cutting. I think in most cases ones thought go directly to our friend the cut throat or open razor. A valuable tool indeed. A tool that needs to be respected a tool not to fear:

Learning how to do. A razor cut How to use the tools to create wonderful new free textured looks comes with much practice and Experience.
That is not saying don't try but don't just slash away without thought to shape and weight distribution.
My personal opinion is that one should have a full understanding of hair cutting creating forming building shape before playing with razors.

Hand drawn the angles i process when building shape:

To get the most out of razor cutting one has to understand weight distribution, hair growth patterns, texture, how to build shape and form. Can you do you visualize the shape you want to create in 3D before you start? when finished does it look the way you hoped?
Master the art of scissor cutting and indeed thinning and texture shears before moving on.

With the sketch on the right i'm trying to show the curve plains on the head the curves directly impact the angles and so the weight distribution and shape we create,
These angles have to be considered and understood to be able to do frees style hair cutting:

Over the years i have seen so many hairdressers using thinning shears to cut hair when you ask them what do you think what your doing will do to the shape they look blankly or say thinning and texture of course yes but what about the shape the weight distribution!

Maybe you don't agree with me that's great let share  exchange some thoughts?
I have been doing hair for many years i remember the first time the penny dropped
with regard to weight distribution and creating shape! It was so exciting it was like someone turned on a light.

{ this was well over 20 years ago her name was Lesley
The claw's
  and i gave her an amazing Scissor hair cut memories}

To this day I still get that buzz when it
just works!

So these little sucker's claw's:
I diverse a little these are amazing on thick hair Asian hair I have cut a really textured Bob just using these but again you have to understand weight and shape and how hair falls moves and swings.

They have little blades as you use them the more pressure you apply with your fingers they hair will be removed as you drag them down the shaft in a combing motion as you can see below on this short little hair cut.
Me working with the claw's on a model:


Maybe I'm getting ahead of things lessons demonstration are the best way to learn these skills: I would be happy to share them with any one who would like a class.
their are so many techniques available to us with a razor and indeed so many different types of razor. 

A skilled person can cut a Blunt Bob even use razor over comb, do layered cut, feather a fringe the sky is the limit My favorite tool is a feather razor i use this instead of scissors and cut hair in little points rather than a strait line. { Think about the shape of the head the angles you create?}  you cannot cut a strait line on a curved surface you create the illusion of this!  cool ha.

                               The right razor for the job:  
                               It has to be a feather style razor: 

I use Kashio Blades they have the best edge and last the longest maybe a few hair cuts over a year i may spend the same amount as a good pair of scissors but think about how nice it is to have a new fresh blade it glides through the hair. { it is by choice the tool of my trade}

It is widely thought that razor cutting is only suitable on certain types of hair in my experience this is not the case.
What needs to be considered is the technique that you are going to use to get the best out of any given hair type.
Once you get to this level of understanding their is no right or wrong way to do a razor cut it becomes a new art form freestyle cutting.

I was inspired by a dear friend whilst working in Vancouver at the time he was Artistic Director  for L'anza USA {Mr john Bertorelli } What John could do with a razor was and is to this day an inspiration a true artist i owe him a great deal he encouraged me to push my boundaries to step into the unknown i  did and have never looked back.
I became a platform artist working for L'anza Canada as a Colour educator and also teaching razor cutting. 

Crystal blade razor:glass blade
{This little baby is a glass crystal razor}
In days gone bye i spent a great deal of time one summer cutting hair on the beach in Greece imagine this sea, sand, beer, hair cuts maybe not the best combination in the world {right!} but did you know that you can cut hair with a broken beer bottle the glass get dull very quickly but you can do a great cut.
Well that story was needed because the a razor to the right has a glass blade and it was through messing around in Greece that i knew when i found this tool that it had many applications:
Amazing for texture long and indeed curly hair so all those beers on the beach in Greece were not wasted it was an investment in my art.

When it comes to style creating that new look have fun
Challenge your self push the envelope get new skills invest in your self go on course
learn new techniques watch others share idea's we never stop learning we just have to keep moving forward!
A great place to find razors shears and interact with on their face book page committed to professional tools for professional stylists:

I have a group page for thoughts and discussions leave comments. or join follow this blog here.
Exploring techniques with a razor will open up a hole new world of creativity:
If you need would like help encouragement group or individual instruction I'm sure i could help you reach a new level of expertise.  
Mike B2MR
full contact details on my web site: