Color America!

By Lauren Salapatek | 10/06/2010 12:28:13 PM


Those who attended Color America in Oak Brook, IL on Sunday or Monday were in for a treat! The session featured ARROJO color artist, James Edick; International Goldwell Guest Artist, John C. Simpson; Logics’ Artistic Director, Chrystofer Benson; John Paul Mitchell’s, Kelly Cardenas; and Master of Ceremonies and Matrix Artistic Director, Patrick McIvor. The whole experience allowed colorists to share, and learn ideas from these inspirational educators. Attendees were not only exposed to beautiful, fashion-forward hair, they learned the techniques behind each of the styles.

The event kicked off with an introduction by Patrick McIvor who got everyone pumped up for the show! So, "Why Color America?" Well, according to McIvor, he said that Color America is an experience where colorists can come together and share, get to know and learn from some very successful people in the beauty industry. Also, it's a place where they can gather insight, and the understanding of WHY they do what they do and why they are successful behind the chair and in business. He was the driving force behind this show and invited all of the educators who attended.
Patrick McIvor, the Master of Ceremonies for Color America got everyone pumped up about color!

The first educator Patrick introduced was James Edick. He has created customized foiling patterns for different types of cuts, in order to improve their shape and style with tailor-made placement and tone. The Circles Technique, which he showed to us on Monday, uses circular patterns off of natural partings, creating variation in tone, brightness and pop, in a position to highlight the creative elements in a cut.

James Edick educates on the X pattern highlighting technique
When you use Edick's Circle's Technique, work around the ears of your client.

James also educated on the X pattern highlighting technique (see photo above) which, by creating an X from cowlick to crown, enables the most amount of hair to be covered in the least amount of foils. As an added benefit, this technique allows for bold or soft color tones to be customized to appropriate sections of each cut.

In John C. Simpson’s presentation, he taught the colorists how to find inspiration in everyday objects—whether it be a rose, a tire, nature, food, etc…patterns are everywhere you look. Simpson says, “Our world just oozes color, shape and form and with each new season those colors, shapes and forms evolve and the story changes just enough to keep things interesting.” Simpson’s focus on color is to create intricate simplicity, giving a canvas more impact with less effort. “I believe it’s crucial to expand your hair color thought process beyond the traditional methodology while working smarter, not harder,” he says. He advises to explore design with a combination of tonal placement and enhancements to continually keep your hair color creations fresh and new.

  John Simpson poses for the camera!

Chrystofer Benson’s show was the most colorful presentation out of the bunch. I knew something BIG was going to happen when Justice’s Genesis started playing and the stage/runway lit up. Suddenly, three models draped in heavy robes walked onto the runway. The coolest moment was when they unveiled the models. Take a look at these photos:







These “Fusion Models” were masterpieces. Soon after, Benson showed the crowd the techniques and formulas he used to create each hair design. At the end of his presentation he offered some tips to audience members:

1. Define your brand: Define your goals—what do you want to be known for? This includes both individual and team goals.
2. Build the culture: Keep an open dialogue with your clients, share your work and ideas with others. Put your work up in your salon to market yourself.
3. Keys to success: Use clear language and communication; listen to your clients needs so you can define their expectations.

Kelly Cardenas, known for his trendy dreads taught the audience a new concept for success. With salons in Chicago and Las Vegas, Kelly “invests in youth” by staffing his salons primarily with young adults from 20-24. He demonstrated a number of cutting/styling techniques as well, including dry cutting and how it can add to a cut.

Kelly Cardenas and his team take the stage at Color America 2010.






ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lauren Salapatek

Lauren Salapatek Lauren Salapatek, Web Editor for Modern Salon | Salon Today | First Chair.

(Previous positions: Associate Editor/E-Newsletter Content Production Manager)

Since January 2010, Lauren has worked for Modern Salon Media covering salon style, product and beauty trends, and business editorial for both print and online content. As of October 2013, Lauren’s role changed to Web Editor—now she manages all online editorial content for, and As part of her responsibilities, she creates, edits, organizes and curates content for all Modern Salon Media’s websites; manages the creation and production of all Salon e-newsletters; promotes Modern Salon Media’s digital content via several social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest); and maintains an editorial calendar to keep all Modern Salon Media’s websites timely and current.

You can find Lauren on Google+ or e-mail her at


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