This season is all about face framing—creating bold, statement-making bright pieces that light up the skin and accentuate the haircut. Now it’s time to take your face-framing to the next level, says color expert, educator and Color Space™ co-founder Lupe Voss. “Think about adding more dimension into these blonding techniques, with bolder face frame sections,” she says. “At the same time, the goal is to offer a seamless grow-out experience for the client.” Recently Voss demonstrated a modern take on face framing, one that offers a bold perimeter and subtle interior dimension. Here are some of the key takeaways.
See Voss’s entire modern face-frame how-to here
Sectioning is your road map to the entire process. For this technique, Voss divided the head from ear to ear across the top of the head, created a triangular section from the parietal on each side to just beneath the crown and extended a parting from the apex of the triangle to the nape. All the hair in the remaining perimeter will comprise the face frame. This sectioning offers many options, Voss notes. “At the end of the day,” she says, “a subsection is just a subsection. What really matters is what technique you choose for the final effect.”
As the co-founder of Color Space™, Voss has had the power to bring her colorist eye, experience and requirements to the creation of the company’s products. The result of her efforts is the Color Space™ LIFT Silver Powder Lightener. She says, “It’s the most amazing lightening powder I’ve ever used. LIFT Silver Powder Lightener gives you up to nine levels of lift, and cuts through the yellow and creates a cool, refined finish.
We have three options:
You simply start with the developer in one bowl and the powder in another. Like baking, fold the powder (split into thirds) and mix completely for each step. Mix developer and powder completely before adding in the next third.
- For close foil work - fold the powder lightener into the developer using a brush or spatula.
- For close foil work and mid -Lengths - For a fluffier texture to glide through the hair mix with a whisk.
- For bold backcombing techniques, mix with the UNIMIX creating a creamy, smooth finish for easy application.
When I do foil work with LIFT Silver Powder Lightener, I use 10- or 20-volume developer with the LIFT Silver Powder Lightener, and I get all the lift I need.”
To create the face-frame color, Voss first works around the perimeter section. She begins at the hairline with an “entrance” micro-weave, followed by two back-to-back slices and ending with an “exit” micro-weave. In the interior subsections, Voss over-directs each subsection, mirroring the shape of the haircut, applies LIFT Silver Powder Lightener and secures the lightened hair in foils with a safety notch.
“I like to begin the perimeter in the front,” Voss reveals, “because that’s where the client wants to see the most brightness. If you start in the back, the front doesn’t always lift completely. If you’re worried about overprocessing, I recommend the Color Space™ STOP Liquid Oxidization Stopper and Cuticle Sealant. When checking your foils, if the processing is complete before you have finished the placement, simply wipe off the lightener and spray it with STOP Liquid Oxidization Stopper and Cuticle Sealant. It will seal the cuticle and stop the oxidation immediately, leaving the rest of the hair to continue processing.”
For this technique, all the sections are backcombed before the lightener is applied to create blurred lines that will eliminate harsh demarcation in the regrowth. For the “entrance” and “exit” micro-weaves, Voss uses a vertical weave technique. Rather than weaving with the tip of the comb horizontally across the section, she places the comb vertically and weaves with a zig-zag motion along the hairline. “This creates an uneven line which allows for a graceful grow-out,” she says. Another tip? “The faster you move the comb across the section, the fewer pieces of hair you will grab. The slower you move, the more hair you will grab. Choose your pace and then keep your speed consistent throughout the head.”
In the back-to-back slices between the micro-weaves, the partings are larger. Voss holds each slice at 90-degrees and roughs up the hair at the scalp with one backcomb stroke before placing it on the foil. On every section, she places the lightener an inch below the top and envelops the midsection and ends with product using a rolling motion with a vertical brush for maximum saturation. Then she uses the tip of the brush to extend the product downward with vertical strokes and finally blends lightener upward toward the scalp. “Take the product close to the scalp but make sure you’re not applying too much in this area,” she advises. “Too much product at the scalp is what causes bleeding of the product out of the foil.”
Voss says the entire application takes about 40 minutes. The technique can also be adapted for other results. For example, the backcombing technique could be used to retouch blonde regrowth around the perimeter, and then lowlights could be placed in the interior. “So often we see a technique and literally think that’s all we can do,” says Voss. “But in reality, there are many ways to make these core subsections work.”
Voss sees a trend toward more and more foilayage or combining foilayage with balayage. “Foils can lift hair higher, and you get more brightness,” she explains.
She notes that more and more younger stylists are more comfortable with balayage than foil work nowadays, which is why continuing education is critical. “Education is the beating heart of Color Space™,” she notes, “which is why we offer so much free education. We believe we’re all in this together. The better each of us is at our craft, the more we elevate the entire industry. Knowledge is what makes us all stronger.”
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