Hair Color Trends

How-Tos: 3 Cool Winter Blonde Looks to Customize for Clients

Elizabeth Jakaitis | January 10, 2017 | 10:16 AM

Drab winter weather is no excuse for drab hair color. Matrix Celebrity Stylist George Papanikolas incorporates cool tones into his clients' color in different ways to give options to blondes that want to be on-trend for winter.

"In the winter months, I like to give my blonde clients some subtle adjustments," says Papanikolas. "That might mean adding cool babylights to tone down brass and add sparkle, or perhaps I might deepen the base or add some lowlights to create depth that looks right for the season."

Papanikolas shares details on three blonde adjustments that gave his clients the perfect shade of blonde for the winter months ahead.

Cool Beige Blonde

"We’re always fine-tuning the color for model Hailey Baldwin," Papanikolas says. "On her most recent visit, in order to prepare her to shoot the new Guess ad, we decided to add lots of delicate babylights to infuse her color with cool, brightness."

Papanikolas notes that Baldwin's natural color tends to reveal unwanted gold tones when lifted, so he opted for lots of heavy highlights instead of lifting her base.


1. Using Matrix Light Master & 40-volume developer with Bond Ultim8, Papanikolas applied many delicate babylights at the root, leaving plenty of space between sections in order to maintain dimension. He extended the babylights a few inches off of the scalp.

2. Then he went back and backcombed the babylight sections and used the same lightener to apply heavier balayage highlights on the non-backcombed midlengths and ends.

Icicle Blonde

This client is a natural Level 7 Dark Blonde and she is also 50 percent gray. Because the amount of gray was making her hair quite light, Papanikolas decided to create this dramatic, icy shade for winter.


1. Papanikolas started with her base, applying Matrix ColorInsider 8N & 20-volume developer to the new growth.

2. Then he mixed Matrix Light Master, 40-volume developer and Bond Ultim8 to create hand-painted highlights.

3. He placed delicate highlights at the roots, gradually making them heavier through the midlengths and ends. He began with a temple-to-temple parting, then worked up in one-inch sections. He placed the highlights close together to achieve a bright result.

4. Finally, he toned the hair with Matrix Color Sync SPN for an elegant, pastel beige finish.

Blonde Reset

This client is a natural light brown with 20% gray and over time her blonde color had become brassy. Papanikolas decided to refresh the entire shade by deepening her base color with a cool formula to eliminate the brass, and then reapplying balayage highlights.


1. Papanikolas applied ½ oz. Matrix ColorInsider 5A & ½ oz. 6N and 20-volume developer on her base, and ColorInsider 5A, 6A and Blue SoBoost and 10-volume developer on her midlengths and ends.

2. After processing, he applied balayage highlights that began fine at the root and evolved into a heavier V-shape as he worked through to the ends. He used Matrix Light Master, 40-volume developer and Bond Ultim8 for the highlights, and placed them off of the natural part and around the face.

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