Why assume balayage always involves a lightener? Jennifer Fontana, owner of Cristophe Salon in Newport Beach, CA, likes using a tint, and she’s got a secret:
“I love to use INOA to balayage with because unlike lighteners or ammoniated colors, INOA stays exactly where you put it,” says Fontana. “All balayagers know this is key.”
When is a balayage tint best? On all levels of virgin hair when your client wants 1 to 4 levels of lift, she says. Used for highlighting, her fav formula is INOA 9.1 with 30 volume developer, which creates a shiny champagne blond. Her favorite lowlight formula (and why not paint-on the lowlights, too?) is INOA 7.3 and 8.34 with 10 volume developer.
“ I like to apply my retouch and balayage the ends at the same time,” she adds. “The results are soft because the highlights are toward the bottom of the hair, creating a sun-kissed ombre effect.”
While she does not know the exact percentage of MEA in INOA, she says it’s “just enough to make INOA lift as much as an ammoniated color, with less fading.”
A true color aficionado, Fontana launched her own eight-shade Hairgloss “Salon Gloss to Go,” in 2009. She and her husband took ownership of the renowned Cristophe Salon in 2010.