Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Hair Clinic Summary: Christmas Party Hair

Hi everyone, thank you to everyone who took part in the recent giveaways and thank you to those who asked questions on Sunday's Hair Clinic on Facebook. Here's a summary of some of the questions and answers that were asked this time.

Q: I've coloured my hair violet beautiful colour but every time its washed it ruins my towels and bath  x

A: I've had that happen to me lots of times. The solution is basic but simple, it's worth going to somewhere like Matalan and just buying black towels for you to use on only your hair. Fashion colour doesn't bleach so if you use black towels it will wash out. Cheers Scott

Q:  My hair was bleached (foils) and I put an all over v dark brown with red and it's gone black. How can I lighten it a few shades?

A: Use Decolour Remover on it, but apply to damp clarified hair and comb it through for only 10 minutes until it starts to reduce the colour down. Then rinse it out. That should work well for you. Cheers Scott

Q: Hi Scott, I've just had my hair cut to my collar bone, and as I've been poorly it's been falling out a bit. I want to style it into big bouncy 50's style waves, but don't want to use tongs or straighteners... Any ideas? Thanks! 

A: Go to my likes on the Facebook page and look for 'Pin Up' this site gives tips and hints as to how to achieve sets with standard rollers and setting lotions. This would be what you are looking for. Kind Regards Scott

Q: I have long red hair with a fringe and need an idea for a updo as I always wear it down and straight! Hope you can help x

A: I can give you a quick tip. If you pull all your hair into a ponytail very securely. Once in the ponytail, split the hair in three (as if you were going to do a plait) and neatly wrap one of the sections around the stem of the ponytail and secure with a grip. You should now have a ponytail coming out of the wrap area. Now take this ponytail and neatly wrap it in a round bun around your hand and curl under and secure firmly from the inside. What you should find is you have a very swish up do, that has a roll around the front and a roll going under. It should only take a few minutes to do. Kind Regards Scott

Q:  Hi Scott ive dyed my hair alot ALOT of the yrs been all sorts of colours recently went bk brunnette from bein blonde bt my hair just will not grow i had 2 inches off afew months ago n its sitting on shoulders n i hate it! ive got lee stafford growth shampoo n conditioner,usung hot oils got argon oil n just straightening it as much just want my long hair bk is there anything else i can do? ive got clip ins too bt want my own hair long asap! X

A: You could take a supplement like Viviscale and Cod Liver Oil this would help it grow. As you said the other alternative is to wear clip in extensions to add more length whilst you are wanting the hair to grow. The key is to take supplements and preserve the hair as it grows, so too much heat and chemical treatment will cause it to split, I think you are on the right track. It does take a while for the hair to appear to be getting length again. Regards Scott

Q: I have long straight hair and i want to give it some body and curls. I can't seem to curl back of my head when curling can you help

A:  You might be better off trying to wet curl the hair and using a hood dryer to set it. These curls will last much longer and you get more body with it. If you rolled the hair on smaller rollers (from wet) and sat under a hood dryer for around about 40 minutes, the hair will get volume. Also, its easier to roll the back of the hair with rollers than to try and do it with a tong or irons. Kind Regards Scott

If you'd like to take part in the next hair clinic or ask my any hair questions, please check out my Facebook Page. 

Monday, 17 December 2012

Christmas Party Hair Tutorial Part 1 – The Side Bun

This season I will be giving you some guides that demonstrate how to create quick but glamorous and effective Christmas Party Hair.  These how to’s are designed to be done very fast and can often be achieved at work in minutes, if you are heading straight off to a Christmas Party at the end of the day.
The first one I will be showing you is ‘The Side Bun’

To achieve it you will need...

  • A-List Hair Feleny Georghiou Hair Scrunchie (in your matching shade)
  • 1 hair band/tie  
  • Hair Spray
  • Some flat wavy grips (in your matching shade)

A-List Hair Feleny Georghiou Hair Scrunchies can be found in Tescos stores or direct from A List Hair .  They are manufactured with a completely realistic soft heat friendly fibre hair that can blend perfectly with your natural colour.

To create your Side Bun all you need to do is...
  1. Brush out your hair thoroughly and gather all hair neatly, but directly behind either your left or right ear.  
  2. Using your hair band create a secure side ponytail.   For the most effective results, create a strong sweeping side parting across the forehead and use a little hairspray to secure the ponytail and side parting as you create it  The top areas of your head should be sleek and neat.
  3. Now take your Feleny Georghiou hair scrunchie and just as you would a regular scrunchie, wrap it around the stem of the ponytail (again securely).  
  4. Next, split and take large sections of your ponytail and begin twisting and stuffing this ponytail hair underneath and around the hair scrunchie.  Use the flat metal wavy grips to pin these wrapped and rolled ponytail sections very securely underneath the scrunchie hair, so no ponytail hair can fall loose.
  5. Continue dividing up and wrapping, stuffing and securing all your ponytail hair in this way until you have a very firm and full bun at the side of your head.
  6. Using either a pencil or the tail of a comb, very gently dig in and start to loosen the secured hair, do not ‘pull’ the hair out too far but just enough to create a textured and tousled effect.
  7. Mist the bun with hairspray and secure with a few more flat wavy grips if you feel any loose areas. 

Monday, 26 November 2012

Hair Clinic Summary: Red Hair Colour

Hey everyone - here's some of the best questions and answers from my Red Hair Colour Clinic that took place on Facebook in September. Be sure to check out the Facebook page to catch the next hair clinic.

Q: what would you suggest is the best home dye to achieve bright red hair, on dark hair? and would your deep red colour restore help maintain the brightness or would it be too dark for such a shade?x

A: You ideally need a permanent level 3 red as it will lift up the base enough to deposit the red colour molecules. Feria, Receital Preference and Garnier have some deep red permanent shades in their ranges. Yes Colour Restore Deep Red would really top up the red in the hair. Also, if you are very dark sometimes doing a 10 minute stripping on the hair (prior to colouring) will lift away the natural dark molecules and expose the natural warmth. Then when you apply a permanent red colourant on top of this you will get a very vibrant red result. Kind Regards Scott

Q: How can I remove red from my hair... I've bleached bathed it now I'm a ginger/pinkish colour?

A: Hi Terri, if you've bleached bathed it and it's showing pink you have cuticle staining in there. My immediate advice to you would be to apply a 6.0 permanent colourant onto it and get he hair to a soft brown. Try to leave it as long as you can (even a few months) and either remove this artificial colour and see what of the cuticle staining is still there, or you could have highlights over the top of the new 6.0 base to create a lighter effect. Fine Highlights done on top of new base shade will not tend to display the cuticle staining as much and can be toned to cover much better than if its the whole head. Kind Regards Scott

Q: In between dyes if I use the colour restore which option do I use? Is it just the wash in and rinse or were you leave it in for 20 mins? And can I wash and condition my hair before I put the colour restore in?

A: A rinse through Colour Restore will keep the existing tone topped up, where as if you leave it for 20 minutes it will go very vibrant. You don't really need to use Colour Restore with a conditioner, so you can shampoo the hair and then use the Colour Restore as you would a conditioner on either methods if you choose to. Kind Regards Scott

I've written a few blog posts on red hair already. If you want to know how to create vibrant red hair like Florence Welch or if you want to try a balayage effect, you can read my colour recommendations.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Autumn and Winter Hair Trends E-Magazine

Instead of a blog post today, I would like to invite you to download my Autumn and Winter Hair Trends E-Magazine for free. Have a read to find out what will be a hot trend this season and read some of my tips on how to achieve them, you can find my product recommendations and some information on my consultation classes.

Friday, 5 October 2012

12 Tips for Colour Removal and Correction

1. A hair colourremover and a hair colour stripper are very different.  

A colour remover contains a sulphite agentwhich works only on destroying the artificial colour molecule so it can beflushed from the hair, it cannot affect natural pigments present.  A stripper contains a peroxide agent and isdesigned to gently remove both natural and artificial pigments so you canre-colour immediately to a different or lighter permanent shade.

2. Fading unintentionally dark hair colour.

If you haveapplied a colourant and it’s too dark wash it in baby or clarifying shampooseveral times immediately.  Most homehair colours contain an after colour conditioner which is designed to help thecolour molecules settle inside the hair. If you are not sure if you are happy with the colour, washing it willremove any barriers (from the conditioner) and unsettle the new permanentcolour.

3. Removing colour sooner rather than later.

If a colour istoo dark, try to remove it immediately or within 48 hours.  The fresher an artificial colour the quickerit will remove from the hair (especially if you have already washed andclarified it several times with baby or clarifying shampoo).  New unwanted darker hair colourants onlyrequire a hair colour remover, they shouldn’t need a hair colour stripper. 

4. Fixing hair colour that is too light.

If a colour hascome out too light (for your liking) try to do the opposite as to darkercolours and wait at least 48 hours before attempting to re-colour, ideallywaiting one week.  Lightened hair canlook brighter when first coloured and will often calm done over the followingdays, so judgement should be reserved before attempting to go darker.

5. Balancing warm tones in hair colour.

If a shade hascome out too warm, golden, coppery or gingery work out if you have applied acolourant which contains (gold, copper or red) as one of its tones or whetheryour hair has lightened in the colouring process and ‘kicked up’ your naturalwarmth.  If you have applied a neutral orash based colourant and are seeing warmth it’s because your own shade was toodark for the colourant applied and possibly needed pre-lightening or strippingfirst.

6. Use colour remover to remove unwanted tones.

If you haveestablished a shade applied and it has caused your hair to go warm, golden, copper orred due to the secondary tones featured in the product applying a hair colourremover should rectify this issue.

7. Options for covering unwanted shades.

If you haveestablished a shade applied has caused your hair to go warm, golden, copper orred due to the lightening of your natural shade you need to make a choice as towhether you want to strip the hair and apply the desired shade again (onto alighter base) or whether you wish to go to a slightly darker shade which wouldcover the unwanted warmth.

8. Do not apply aperoxide based colourant immediately after using a hair colour remover

Thechemistry of colour removal and peroxide contradicts - so you need to leave thehair ideally 1 week (to normalise) before attempting to apply a peroxide basedcolourant.  You can (however) use nonperoxide temporary colourants and toners after using a hair colour remover.

9. Stripper creates a blank canvas for recolouring.

Hair that hasbeen stripped has seen both natural and artificial colour pigment removed fromthe hair, therefore you should always have your selected subsequent colourantshade at hand to achieve your desired result after the stripping process.

10. Retaining a good base shade.

The key to asuccessful hair colour is mostly achieving a good base shade.  If you are looking to go blonde, obtaining adark blonde base shade can prove a good canvas for highlights.  If you prefer darker (brunette hair) alwaysensure you apply colourants only to your re-growth and do not apply throughoutthe hair.  This will prevent buildup.  Using toners and colour enhancingshampoos will also retain your shade and do not attempt to use severalpermanent colourant processes on your hair within at least a one monthperiod.  Very frequent exposure toperoxides, ammonia and PPD’s can cause the hair to become very porous anddamaged.  Once hair becomes damaged it isthen difficult to achieve a good colourant result as the shade could grabinitially and appear too dark (or patchy) and then fade fast over subsequentwashes. 

11. Fashion colours can be difficult to remove.

Be aware thatfashion colours such as pink, blue and purple (and often bright red) do notwork on oxidation (peroxide) technology to evoke a long term result; insteadthey are a ‘direct dye’ which stains the hair. If the hair is bleached these direct dye molecules can stain the hairand make the shade impossible to remove. A hair colour remover is not designed to remove direct (fashion)dyes.  A stripper may have more successbut always give a strand test first.

12. Clarifying hair to improve results. 

Prior to anyhair colour removal, stripping or correction clarify the hair fully.  Even if you have just conditioned the hair,there may be a barrier on the surface which will prevent removal, stripping orcorrection working effectively.  If yousee absolutely no hair colour change from a removal or a stripping treatment theremay be a chance your hair has silicone damage. Here the hair has been encased in a silicone which quite often has beenmoulded to the hair by heat.  In theseinstances follow the blog advice for ‘Hair Clarifying’.  

Friday, 28 September 2012

Emmy's 2012- The Mad Men Women

Elizabeth Moss

Whilst Elizabeth lost out on the leading lady Emmy to Clare Danes, her role as Peggy Olson has taken her hair look from a ponytailed 1950’s teenage archetype to a Jackie Kennedy style businesswoman flip. 

Elizabeth was in my view a highly deserving nominee of Best Actress because she gives such an understated performance in ‘Mad Men’ and counter balances Jon Hamm’s male lead position demonstrating the uphill struggles women had to succeed in business in the 1960’s - during a time ignorant perception raged that being a guy, wearing a suit and just drinking with the boys made you somehow more credible, smart or a better business expert.

What excites me the most about Elizabeth’s bleached lightened hair is how remarkably well it suits her. She has very cool toned grey/blue eyes which have suddenly been exaggerated by the block blonde hair. As Peggy, she has a 6.3 (dark golden blonde) hair colour which works perfectly for the character but was subtlety muting her eyes and skin tone. 

Elizabeth’s was clearly previously artificially coloured (to Peggy’s shade) and if you take a look at her new blonde hair you can see some of the heaviness from this previous artificial colour applied is still evident in the mid-lengths and ends, whereas the new re-growth has lifted up evenly.  A great deal of the length cut has been off into a graduated bob because (quite frankly) Elizabeth’s hair wouldn’t have taken too well to this kind of all over lightening otherwise. 

A product such as Colour Restore Iced Platinum would work to keep this shade pure white and I think because Elizabeth has softness about her general appearance the overall colour would benefit from having some beige, blonde violet and deeper light blondes woven through it to take the edge of that pure block appearance. That said I’m nit-picking and actually think this whole colour and style has been created brilliantly.

January Jones

January Jones inclusion on Mad Men is like the reincarnate of Grace Kelly, her character Betty Draper is the ultimate glamorous 1960’s text book housewife yet flawed significantly in varying ways. January Jones usually sports perfect light golden blonde hair that is clearly based on her natural colouring (with some obvious enhancement). However, at the Emmy’s, she displayed a completely different look.  

January’s hair has now been coloured a light copper blonde (base 8.0) as she is currently filming the picture ‘Sweetwater’.  The colour has changed her appearance remarkably and coupled with this sleeked chignon has created a highly dramatic look for January who is usually famous for a softer edged styling. 

The hair is crucial for January’s red carpet appearance because she’s wearing a fairly dramatic Zac Posen gown, had she worn the hair softer it would have mismatched with the dress and ultimately January’s new light copper hair colour would have not particularly harmonised with the stark black of the piece she was wearing, she’s also compensated for the dark colouring of the dress with much heavier eye make-up. 

This is a great example of tailoring your usual look to suit an outfit.  Such severe hair styling is quite often a big risk, but if you have a dramatic dress to sport it’s one of the few occasions where hair can be understated to a large degree to showcase the garment you are wearing.

Christina Hendricks

By far my favourite character on Mad Men - Joan Harris is a complex lady who swings between being the series mother figure to resident shrew, giving little away as to goes on beneath the surface. Christina Hendricks has done for redheads what Harry Potter did for wizards!  

Naturally, Christina is blonde and she sports a shade that (whilst common with a lot of famous redheads) is actually very uncommon on a natural level.  In artificial hair colorants, the nearest shade to achieve this look is Feria Mango but the key is to make sure the hair has a stable base.  If applied to very blonde hair, the result could be a little fluorescent whilst attempting the shade on a darker brunette base would kick off a deeper red hue.  

The most favourable base to apply a shade such as Feria Mango is either a 7.0 (medium Blonde) or 8.0 (light blonde – which appears as a deep blonde).  With her own hair, Christina usually lets her signature colour do all the work for her (as demonstrated at the Emmys).  

Here her stylist has simply used a curling or straightening iron throughout to achieve a ‘Monroesque’ waved curl.  If you have this kind of deep auburn shade you can also create a similar look by using medium sized heated rollers.  

Sadly, Christina lost out on a deserving Emmy win to Dame Maggie Smith, who although now known as grey haired was (in her day) famous for sporting exactly the same vibrant ‘redhead’ mane Christina has now adapted.  Remember, if you are a redhead and want to retain the shade Colour Restore Deep Red is a great inclusion to your hair care regime.  Likewise, if you are planning to go red (from blonde) pre-pigmenting first with Deep Red will give you that even blanket of red colour molecules (within the hair) which will prevent colour fading in the subsequent shade applied. 

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Garnier Olia Oil Based Colourant Launches

Being a complete hair geek I am really excited about the launch of Garnier Olia. Whilst we seem to have many home colourants on the market it's quite rare an entire new brand launches.

I wanted to tell you why Olia excites me. Firstly they use the ICC numbering system (this is the numbers salons work by). So it becomes very easy for me to recommend which shades for you to select. Secondly it's an oil base, which is a fantastic base for use on general permanent colourant, tone on tone or after stripping because it goes on smoothly. Thirdly, there are a few shades in the range I am thrilled about. Two in particular are 7.13 and 8.31 these are blonde bases which contain both gold and ash and are very common in salon colourants. They are perfect for use after stripping because often a pure ash colourant can make warm hair look muddy. Mixing gold and ash together in a colourant gives a high neutral so you will tend to find you get that 'biscuit' shade that looks good on deep blondes or very light brunettes.

I have (or have had) absolutely no involvement with Garnier Olia so I am looking forward to hearing how you all get on with it as a new range on the market.

Take a look at the shades and see if any inspire you!!

We had a discussion on Facebook about this new Garnier hair colourant, if you want to read the whole story, please check out the post on Facebook.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Hair Clinic Summary: Tone on Tone, Colour Glazing and Hair Colour Effects

As some of you will know I've been running a regular Hair Clinic on Facebook at 8pm every Sunday. This is where I set a topic and you ask me your questions around the topic. This has been really popular and the team has decided that we will record summaries of each of these chats on the blog for your reference.

Hair Clinic: 25th September Chat Highlights

The Topic

Top Questions Answered

Q: just wanted to let you know the advice RE: using crazy colour capri blue and a crazy colour bright red mixed together to create a decent purple worked amazingly well. even fine on my gross greeny/blue foul coloured hair i had haha. best purple ever!

A: I'm glad it worked for you, I used to constantly try and achieve a deep royal purple and tried all types of pre-mixed fashion colours but found the mixing with the bright red and capri crazy colours gave by far the best purple! Cheers Scott

Q: Hi my friend has bleach hair with pink semi over she wants to go blonde, will the de- colour work on the semi pink thanks pxx

A: Hi Paula decolour isn't really designed to remove fashion colour. She can try it and see what it removes, she just needs to be aware sometimes pink can stain bleached hair and it becomes tricky to remove - it depends how porous her hair was when she applied the original pink shade. Kind Regards Scott

Q: Hi Scott, my roots will not lift and keep going a golden colour whilst the rest of my is ash blonde! I use 40% and leave on for an hour.. Toner doesn't do anything.

A: Hi Sarah, 40 volume is way too strong to go on the scalp and I often found it will kick up more ginger (with colourants) than all the other volumes as it lifts too quickly, it will also boot out the colour pigment you are trying to add to the hair. Have you tried using a high lift ash tint with 20 volume? You may find this gives you a better level of lift and goes past that coppery shade. Let me know - regards Scott

Q: Hi Scott, I use nice n easy sb2 for all over colour, it can go brassy at the root, anything I can do to tone the roots and make sure the lengths are the same colour?

A: Hi Sarah have you tried treating the hair afterwards with Colour Restore Iced Platinum? If you haven't I'd suggest you apply the colour as usual but wash out with baby shampoo (not the colourant which comes with the Nice and Easy as it's a colour sealer - use this in later washes). Then after washing the colour out with baby shampoo apply the Iced Platinum throughout it develop for 10 minutes and finish. This should tone the hair for you. Also, you might want to look at a lightening Nice and Easy that has more ash in it, but I think you should try toning with the Colour Restore immediately after colour application first. Kind Regards Scott

Q: Hi Scott, I used your Decolour remover on my very red hair, fabulous product btw, very impressed with the results, I then went over it with a medium ash brown and the bleached into an ombre effect. As expected, a it brassy so then toned with purple shampoo. Still a bit on the warm side so toned with a neutral blonde, literally for 20 seconds as the bleached hair completely sucked up the colour on strand test and didn't want to end up purple grey. It's cooled considerably, but still some warmth, which of your Colour Restore products do you recommend?

A: Hi Jana use Cool Ash on the hair, for a tip Cool Ash takes the best on clarified hair (without conditioner barriers on it) and if your hair is porous it should pick up well. It also needs a few applications to hit optimum coolness as it can start neutralising first. If you use a blue shampoo to wash and a little Cool Ash as your 1 minute conditioner (after every wash) you should find you get quite a cool effect. Kind Regards Scott

If you would like to take part in the next Hair Clinic be sure to keep an eye on the Facebook page every Sunday from 8pm.

Friday, 14 September 2012

DIY Coconut Oil Deep Conditioning Treatment

Dry and damaged hair can happen due to a number of reasons ranging from chemical treatment to heat exposure. When the cuticle layer is damaged the protective shield around the hair is broken exposing the hair's natural protein (keratin) to risk of depletion from washing and general styling.  This can then cause the hair to feel dry and become unmanageable.

Coconut Oil has a molecule small enough to filter inside the hair fibres and fill any gaps in the hair. Using a pure Coconut Oil on the hair can assist in recovering hair health and reversing dryness. 

It's important to understand that very damaged hair has been destroyed and cannot be salvaged, however if the hair is simply feeling dry a weekly treatment with Coconut Oil can make all the difference.

Pros for Coconut Oil Hair Treatments

Coconut Oil is a rich fatty substance that adds extreme moisture to the hair and can filter inside the hairs fibres and contribute to genuine hydration of the cortex (the hair's centre).

Cons for Coconut Oil Hair Treatments

It's unbelievably greasy, this is not a cosmetic composition - it's purely natural.  You must only use a very tiny amount (less than a teaspoon for long hair).  If you overload the hair with Coconut Oil it will become incredibly greasy and you may find this grease difficult to remove.

How to Give your Hair a Coconut Oil Treatment

1.  Firstly wash the hair in baby shampoo, do not use your regular shampoo as it may contain conditioning polymers (silicones) that cause the Coconut Oil to sit on the surface of the hair rather than penatrate it.

2.  Towel dry the hair and take a teaspoon sized amount of the Coconut Oil and rub vigorously in your palms to heat up, apply throughout the hair and comb through to the midlengths and ends.

3.  Wrap the hair in some cling film and leave for up to 1 hour.

4.  Before rinsing, take a small amount of baby shampoo and work through the hair, this will begin lifting the excess Coconut Oil from the hair.

Remember: oil and water do not mix so you may find if you just proceed if you trying to rinse the Coconut Oil out you may find much remains within the hair and leaves it greasy.  Working some Baby shampoo into the hair before rinsing will begin lifting the excess grease out of the hair.

5.  After working some baby shampoo through the hair, apply a very small amount of water and lather.  Once lathered proceed to rinsing and then give the hair one to two full washes with the baby shampoo.

6.  Do not condition the hair as it is not necessary.

If you you have applied too much Coconut Oil to the hair and it feels greasy, simply wait for the hair to dry and comb baby shampoo through it, leave for 10 minutes and rinse out.

Coconut Oil is an excellent weekly conditioning treatment for dry or naturally coarse, curly hair types.  Due to the small amounts of the oil required for use in each application one tub could last you well over a year.

I recommend Coconoil or you can visit Holland and Barratt for a selection ranging from £4 to £17.

If you have any questions on hair please leave me a comment on Facebook and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Friday, 7 September 2012

How to Create Vibrant Red Florence Welch Hair

So many people want to display a vibrant permanent red shade but often find this particular colour a difficult one to achieve for a whole variety of reasons.

The biggest problem with red hair colourants (in my view) is a lack of understanding as to the level of depth in the actual colourant.  If a red shade uses a brown as its base (such as deep auburns and mahogany's) and is subsequently applied to hair that is already fairly brunette the result will be much darker than expected

Remember, red is a tone not a base – meaning the more base which is presented in the hair (or added to it) the darker it will become and the less the (red) tone will be displayed.

The Perfect Base for Red Hair Colouring

In order to achieve a true vibrant red shade (in a natural brunette) the base colour must (initially) be a medium blonde or copper.  This will allow for the red pigments to fill the inside of the hair and display the colour 100% accurately. 

The key to retaining a good redhead shade is to try to avoid pre lightening with traditional bleaches (designed for blonde results) and use only non-ammonia products to lift up the base.

In addition, very bleached or pale hair should always be pre-pigmented before applying a permanent red shade.  Pre Pigmenting will fill the empty hair with additional red colour molecules and these pigments can form a layer underneath the permanent shade (applied) which not only reduces fading but also add to the vibrancy of the overall shade.

The Florence Welch Red Shade

The Florence Welch shade is a really popular example of the ‘vibrant redhead’.  Florence’s colour is prone to changing in intensity from being a more muted auburn to a fiery pure red.  This demonstrates that Florence (herself) has issues with both getting the vibrancy right in her colour and finding a shade which doesn’t slip out too aggressively during washing.

I would imagine that Florence’s natural base is a medium blonde to auburn, for this reason she would be able to apply a colourant directly onto her hair without prior stripping.  However, for the purposes of this how-to I am explaining how to achieve the shade on darker light to mid brunette bases or for those with lighter (natural) bases who have been previously colouring to achieve the look.

You will need
  • ·         Decolour Remover or Stripper (depending on camouflaging shade desired)
  • ·         Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Colour Fiery Red  - 6.60
  • ·         Colour Restore Deep Red (if using Decolour Remover)

Step 1 – Removing or Stripping

Remember, this how to is designed for brunettes (who wish to achieve a vibrant red) or lighter bases who have overlaid previous red colourants and achieved a darker than expected result.

Step 1 - For natural and artificially coloured dark blondes to brunettes

The key is to firstly strip the hair of both base shade and artificial colour molecules.  In order to obtain a true vibrant blanket of red you must start with an even lighter canvas that will display the colour effectively. I've outlined my step by step instructions for stripping hair colour below, or you can watch my tutorial.

To strip the hair

·         Firstly wash several times and towel dry. Comb the hair smooth and make sure it’s parted correctly.

·         Now mix the Decolour Stripper as instructed and apply firstly to any areas which appear heavy or dark.  These will typically be the mid-lengths and ends.  Once you have applied to these darker areas leave for 10 minutes.

·        After 10 minutes, apply the remainder of the Decolour Stripper to the damp hair and comb through evenly from roots to tips, the hair should be damp as this will enable the stripper crème to work evenly throughout the hair.

·        Once the crème is combed through the damp hair (as you would a conditioner) leave to develop for a further 20 minutes and proceed to rinsing and applying the conclude balm.

·         After stripping you should notice your hair is a lightened coppery shade.  This is good as you now have a base on to which to apply the Fiery Red hair colour.

Step 1 - For natural but previously artificially coloured medium blonde shades

Repeat the above steps using Decolour Remover, but ensure you give a full development (once the crème is applied throughout the hair) of 60 minutes.  A full development of remover will ensure all the artificial colour molecules are eradicated and the natural (light) base is exposed.

After using Decolour Remover you cannot apply a peroxide based shade for 7 days.  Therefore, to achieve your desired ‘Redhead’ effect, follow the removal immediately with an application of Colour Restore Deep Red.  This will create a short term ‘redhead’ result and will also act as a pre-pigment.

After 7 days (or so) I would recommend applying a second Colour Restore Deep Red application (to further pre-pigment the hair) and then proceed to applying the permanent colourant as outlined below.

Step 2 – Applying your permanent redhead shade

Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Color Fiery Red 6.60 would be my recommendation for achieving the Florence Welch shade at home.

REMEMBER: If you have used Decolour Stripper to create your new canvas you can proceed to the colour step immediately, however if you have used Decolour Remover (to expose a natural lighter base), please ensure you immediately re-colour with Colour Restore Deep Red (as outlined above) and wait 7 days before applying this permanent colour.

I would recommend you apply the Fiery Red shade to slightly damp (non-dry) hair as this will ensure the colourant goes onto the hair smoothly.

When applying, use a tangle comb and work the colourant evenly into the hair and develop for the instructed development time.

Step 3 – Maintaining a vibrant red shade

It’s crucial to maintain red shades with appropriate haircare products.  Using a red enhancing shampoo will ensure the hair is cleansed but the artificial red colour molecule is not depleted in the hair by the regular washing.  I would recommend using ‘John Freida Radiant Red’ shampoo as your home care solution for this purpose.  It is also worth giving your hair a weekly (or bi monthly) ‘Colour Restore Deep Red’ infusion to retain the overall red shade and vibrancy.

Step 4 – Regrowth Application

If you are a natural brunette, I would recommend a monthly (to 5 weekly) re-growth application of the Garnier Ultra Colour Fiery Red 6.60, as soon as the hair demonstrates a very small amount of re-growth close to the scalp.  Scalp heat will accelerate the strength of peroxide and offer more of a lift in the base shade.  If the dark roots are allowed to grow through too much, this scalp heat will be less effective and not lift the overall base shade to a level which will display red vibrancy.  Therefore, subsequent red applications may start appearing too dark at the top sections as the hair grows.

Whenever you conduct the ‘redhead’ re-growth application, always apply with a tint bowl and brush to the new growth only.  This will ensure precision of application.  Try to keep your head as warm as possible and this will also aid lifting of the base shade and a good overall display of the red colour.

Do not pour the entire contents of the colourant over the head, as you will subject the previously coloured hair to unwanted chemical treatment.  However, 10 minutes before the end of the regrowth development, wet a tangle comb and begin working that root colour through to the mid-lengths and ends.  This will ensure the old hair colour is refreshed and the red shade remains fully vibrant. 

Friday, 31 August 2012

Pre-pigmenting Hair with Colour Restore Deep Red

Pre Pigmenting is a method commonly used in salons to prepare very blonde, pre-lightened or bleached hair that is going to be coloured to a much darker or red shade.

When hair is bleached, heavily highlighted or lightened the centre of the hair can be empty and contain no pigment, this means that any subsequent colours to be applied to the hair are likely to fade quickly, requiring a lot of maintenance.

Hair that is void of any natural pigment (due to bleaching or pre-lightening) can cause hair colourants to take a much darker colour result than expected or create a odd translucent or unwanted green/grey tone.

In the above instances pre-pigmenting hair with a red temporary colour molecule (prior to permanent colouring) will fill the hairs centre and duplicate natural warmth (within the hair).  

When either a much darker or permanent red colourant is then applied, the hair will display depth, appear more lustrous and see a reduced amount of fading due to the new level of pigment molecules contained.    The new permanent molecules tend to sit on the outer layer of the hairs centre and permanently ‘link up’ trapping the pre-pigmented (temporary) red molecules inside the hair.

How to pre-pigment with Colour Restore Deep Red

If you are currently a lightened blonde and wish to go to a much darker brunette or red shade, you can pre-pigment your hair very easily with Colour Restore Deep Red.   

Colour Restore Deep Red

In addition, if using Colour Restore Deep Red immediately prior to application of a permanent red colourant you will also fill the hair with additional molecules which will not only produce a more vibrant red shade, but also aid against fading through subsequent washes.

  1. Firstly clarify the hair well to remove any surface build up and towel-dry.
  2. Apply Colour Restore Deep Red to the damp hair and comb through to ensure each strand is fully covered.  Pay particular attention to lightened or porous ends.
  3. Leave the Deep Red to develop for 20 minutes and rinse out fully – do not condition the hair.
  4. Dry the hair 100%. At this point you will see the strong red undercoat in the hair.
  5. Mix and apply your chosen dark brunette or red permanent colourant as per manufactures instructions.

If you have applied a very vibrant permanent red colourant after pre-pigmenting with Colour Restore Deep Red, you can continue using Colour Restore Deep Red as a regular treatment to encourage vibrancy and lustre.

If you have pre-pigmented your lightened blonde hair in order to apply a deep brunette or very dark shade, you should find the new colour remains permanently within the hair and displays a rich true brunette.

Friday, 24 August 2012

What Does Ash in Hair Colour Do?

Unless you are naturally quite fair it’s a fair assumption to say that when you attempt to lighten the hair by any level it will display some of the hairs natural red and yellow pigment – creating an overall orange shade.   This can even appear when you have attempted to remain the same colour due to the peroxide contained within the colourant causing some degree of lightening of the natural base.

Rachel Stevens Ash Blonde Hair
For many, a warmer hue in the hair (when intermixed with the new artificial colour) can create an appealing warm or golden shade. However, some people really dislike this warmth and seek to banish it.  Selecting colourants which contain an ash (within the formulation and box description) can remedy this issue.
Ash colourants use a green and/ or blue molecule which neutralise the orange tone.  Whereas  platinum colours which use a violet colour molecule and designed to neutralise yellow tone – which can only be seen on light blonde hair. In addition, a beige tone is a deeper violet molecule that is effective at neutralising warmth in medium blondes.

Positives to Ash         
Ash will create a neutral or cool tone in hair colours which are displaying a coppery hue.  Using an ash colour will be more effective at producing realistic light brown to medium blondes.   The darker a colourant the less required pigments can be (as the hair colour deepens and covers warmth and natural cool tone).  The lighter a hair colour is - the more likely the hair will be to display yellow for which a violet pigment is required to neutralise (such as platinum or beige).  If an ash is applied to very blonde hair it will appear silver.

Elle McPherson Ash Blonde Hair

Negative to Ash

Ash will tend to display as a matte finish, so on blonder depths the colour can appear slightly flat.  Ash is also a neutraliser and has to fight against the natural warmth in the hair; therefore it can require building up within the hair to display.  

You also need to be realistic of ash, if the hair is showing bright orange or red the ash pigment will sometimes be limited in its ability as the base shade is too dark to be neutralised.  If ash won’t display in currently red or orange hair it means the base needs to be either lightened to accommodate the ash pigment or darkened to cover the red or orange entirely.   

Victoria Beckham Ash Blonde Hair
Colour Restore Cool Ash

Colour Restore Cool Ash is simply pure ash pigment which you can infuse into the hair to balance warmth.  It can be used immediately after lightening, general colouring or hair colour removal.  For best results make sure the hair does not have conditioning barriers on it, so clarify prior to applying.  If you like super cool results (on any base) use a blue shampoo with every wash and a small amount of Cool Ash as your regular conditioner.  Leave for 2 minutes and rinse. A more intense 20 to 30 minute development of Cool Ash weekly will build a stronger ash tone in the hair.

Monday, 20 August 2012

How to Create Cool Lights with Colour Restore Cool Ash

Creating Ultra-Cool Toned Highlights with Colour Restore Ash

For deeper and more brunette natural bases highlighting the hair can evoke several tonal issues.  Many people find - as darker hair lightens - a substantial degree of heavy warmth can be revealed which can have a rusty or carroty hue which is often hard to disguise with blue shampoos.

A great deal of brunettes have an underlying cool skin tone (this is irrelevant of ethnicity) which can clash with strong (unwanted) warmth within the hair, often making the skin tone look sallow or buttery.   If you are a natural cool toned brunette and wish to have highlights you should optimize the presence of ash within your shade.

Often applying a permanent ash toned colourant to the whole head (after highlights) can cause the darker (non-highlighted hair) to lighten and expose further warmth.  The best approach is to highlight darker hair with bleach and then use a high ash toning product such as Colour Restore Cool Ash.

Colour Restore Cool Ash contains a deep level of neutralising ash and silver pigment which will turn lightened coppery or warm blondes to a solid neutral to high beige tone.  These cool toned highlights will intermix with the natural (darker) depth and created an overall ash shade which harmonises with skin tone and any (original) natural hair colour present.

There are two methods you can apply and work with Colour Restore Cool Ash:-

Using Colour Restore Cool Ash for Cool Lights At Home

You will need:-

1. Always start with dry and clarified hair. Put on the highlighting cap and pull through a mixture of hair throughout the top and side sections of the head.

2. Mix and apply the bleach and leave to develop (as instructed in the Jerome Russell kit). Darker natural bases will often require around 70 minutes to lighten the hair sufficiently.

3. Once the hair has lightened sufficiently, leave the cap on and begin rinsing off the bleach with warm water. Do this for around 5 minutes.

4. With the cap still on, apply the Colour Restore Cool Ash to the highlights and work through the hair. Leave for around 5 to 10 minutes and remove the cap. The Colour Restore Ash contains a conditioning base and will enable the cap to be removed smoothly.

5. Apply a small amount of the Jerome Russell tone and condition throughout the hair and finish.

Colour Restore Cool Ash will work relatively quickly to tone freshly bleached areas of the hair. However, if you desire a deeper ash you can re-apply the product and leave for a full 20 minutes. Colour Restore Cool Ash can then be used as part of your regular hair care regime in conjunction with a blue shampoo to keep your highlights ultra-cool.

Using Colour Restore Cool Ash At the Salon

If you have your highlights undertaken in a salon with bleach and foils, you can take Cool Ash to your appointment.   

The colourists will just need to highlight your hair with bleach and foils in the usual way.

At the backwash, after removing the foils and rinsing for several minutes, your colourist can firstly shampoo with their regular Colour rinsing cleanser and then apply Cool Ash throughout the hair (as a conditioner) and leave for 10 minutes.   

The hair will then be toned and conditioned.   You can then intensify the cool tone (at home if you choose) by applying Colour Restore Ash as either a 2 minute conditioner (following application of a regular use silver shampoo) or a once weekly for a 20 minute intense tonal application.

Some Pointers for using Colour Restore Cool Ash
  • Colour Restore products work exceptionally well on newly highlighted and bleached hair. However if you apply a conditioner immediately prior to Colour Restore it will create a barrier on the hair which will prevent the pigments from entering. For Cool Lights methods always apply Colour Restore immediately after rinsing the bleach..
  • Colour Restore Cool Ash can be built up in the hair with regular use as a standard conditioner. Be aware that very silicone rich shampoos could also create a barrier which prevents the product working, so for best results use a blue or clear shampoo for deep tonal absorption immediately prior. 
  • If you have achieved an unwanted warm result from an artificial permanent hair colourant. Remember many colourant products include a sealant conditioner to prevent the artificial colour from fading. Therefore, this sealant conditioner must be removed from the hair (with a clarifier) prior to using Colour Restore. 
  • Colour Restore Cool Ash will not damage the hair and contains no peroxide or ammonias and has a conditioning base. You can use as much or as little as you wish, if you find the tone is becoming too cool or silverized simply use a clarifying shampoo several times to reduce the pigment.

Friday, 10 August 2012

What does Ammonia do in Hair Colours?

Many people realise the term ‘No Ammonia’ in hair products typically means the item is kinder to the hair.  But do people know what ammonia does to the hair and when it is required?

The Science

Ammonia is an alkaline chemical that is used in hair colouring to open the cuticle and swell the hair shaft.  Ammonia will also increase activation of peroxide (which enables colour molecules to affix inside the hair). You can recognise ammonia (within a product) by a strong gas that is released when you open the colourant tube or bottle.

Negatives of Ammonia

Because ammonia opens the cuticle and swells the hair shaft (during colouring) it can, with continued use, cause the hair to become damaged and compromised. This continual swelling of the hair and opening of the cuticle can lead to cuticle damage, colour grabbing (and then colour fading) and a general decline in condition.

Positives of Ammonia

Ammonia does have many positives (when applied with understanding).  Stubborn white or grey hair benefits from an ammonia colourant to open the cuticle and allow full deposit of the colour.  Bleach also requires ammonia in order to lift the hair by anything more than 5 levels – which is the requirement of most blonde and highlight colourers.

Non ammonia based products are kinder to the hair, but remember they are far reduced in strength, so it’s harder to achieve dramatic results in a single application.  

Selecting a Non Ammonia Product

If you are looking to darken or create a tonal shade within your hair (and have no grey) a non-ammonia colourant could work well for you.   

Many people select shades (with ammonia) that are specifically designed for grey coverage.  If you are a serial colour swapper, it’s kinder (for your hair) to create your desired colour without the use of an ammonia colourant to do it.  Having a pre-lightened base and then using a non-ammonia colour can give you flexibility and retain your hairs health.

You should not apply an ammonia based colourant immediately after bleaching the hair or following application of a first ammonia based product.  If you apply ammonia twice in immediate succession the hair can over swell and become porous or damaged and ultimately give an inaccurate colour result and poor hair health.

When to Select an Ammonia Colourant

Significant grey coverage really benefits from the use of an ammonia active, because it opens the cuticle wide and deposits colour.  If you are looking to both lift and deposit a new colour an ammonia shade will also help achieve a desired result.  Ammonia colourants are also fine to use when changing shades after stripping.  Decolour Stripper (for example) contains no ammonia, so if the subsequent colour applied does contain the active, the hair will respond in a controlled manner and the colourant can deposit the new shade evenly on the hair. 

Remember, ammonia (in itself) is fine when applied with understanding to your hair type.  It’s the continued use (over previously treated areas of hair) which can lead to longer term problems. 

Friday, 3 August 2012

Clarifying Hair and Silicone Damage

What are Silicones?

Many people still don't realise that many hair care products contain polymers (including silicones) which sit on the outside of the hair shaft and can create a barrier.  Silicone molecules can be the worst for this because many are not water soluble so cannot just be 'washed off' in one go. You can spot silicone ingredients in products by looking for ingredient names ending in 'cone'.

Silicone Build Up in Hair

If you are using different shampoo and conditioning brands and then following with another styling product - which again contains silicones you could have three different types of silicone molecule on the hair.  Washing the hair with another silicone based shampoo will then add further silicone molecules onto the hair and result in the hair suffering heavy build up.
What is Silicone Damage?

If you use heated styling products such as hot irons you can seal this build up onto the hair, gluing down the cuticle layer, trapping in the silicone and making it difficult to remove.

In some instances a straightening iron can reach such a high temperature that the silicone molecule actually reaches boiling point and melts onto the hair shaft.  Please be aware this is the fault of the straightening iron and not the silicone and quite frankly if you are using a devise which gets so hot it can melt silicone imagine what it's doing to your hair fibres and proteins!

When hair suffers build up and/ or silicone damage, the surface is closed off to hair alteration meaning that colourants, perms, colour removers and even bleaches might not work on your hair.

If you are worried about silicone build up, hair should be clarified once a week to enable the hair to breath and function in conjunction with the products you are applying.

Hair Clarifying Tips

1.  Try using a baby shampoo on every third wash to prevent build up.

2.  Keep conditioner use to only the mid lengths and ends of the hair and use sparingly.

3.  Once a week use a Clarifying product such as Pin Up Clarifying Shampoo.  It's designed for use prior to perms and chemical services but is great for removing weekly build up  finish with the Pre Perm 'Leave In' conditioner as a light hydration product.

4.  For a deep clarifying treatment put two spoons of bicarbonate of soda into a mug of warm water.  After using a Clarifying Shampoo, pour the Bicarb rinse through the hair and comb through.  Leave for 10 to 20 minutes and rinse off.  The bicarb will help to break down any surface residue and over time can help with severe build up.

5.  If you have suffered silicone heat damage, clarifying the hair may not reverse the situation.  I would recommend you refer to Philip Kingsley products for your hair type for at least six months. Philip Kingsley products will not coat the hair any further and (overtime) will hydrate if the residue begins breaking from the hair.

Remember, if hair is very damaged from heated build up, the middle of the hair could be highly fragile.  Whilst it may look shiny on the outside, this shine is often synthetic and if a chemical product is successful in breaking through the build up the hair and entering inside, the hair could break due to its fragile state.  Always strand test before undertaking such treatments.