The Wella Masters Color Expert Program (MCE) is gaining momentum and spreading out around the U.S. Seminars and classes are being held not only in the Wella Studios (NY and LA), but in selected venues in various parts of the country. The first 2 of these satellite programs have been held in Miami Beach at the Beauty Schools of America (BSA) in South Beach, where artists have come to learn the latest in color and application.
“MCE has been around for 6 years,” says Diego Raviglione, Artistic Manager of Wella Studios North America. “It’s really becoming better known these last 2 years because of social media and our own Wella artists getting the word out that this masters program exists. We’ve learned that graduates increase their businesses by an average of 30%.”
Just 113 colorists have earned their masters since the proram began. The pre-requisites are stringent. Any one interested must be a practicing salon professional for a minimum of 5 years and must have been using Wella color for at least 1 year. Once qualified, the artist must take 4 specific classes to then earn the degree. The classes are:
1. Essential Color
2. Essential Foil
3. Essential Color Correction
4. Creative Color
Just this week "Essential Foiling” was held at BSA. 22 salon professionals attended the one-day class that included theory, tips, techniques and a hands on workshop for artists to learn practical application. Signature Studio Educators David Nievas and Lynette Tatum, along with independent artist Daniel Gimenez, worked with the attendees ranging in experience from freshly licensed to salon owners to experienced, successful independent colorists. While some were there to take the course on their journey to earning their masters, others were there to learn new techniques and sharpen their skills.
The day kicked off with CONSULTATION and DIAGNOSIS. "15 minutes is a good ballpark for a consultation," says Tatum. "It's important to listen, hear and repeat back. Sometimes clients say things that really make no sense. You should repeat back so that she can hear it herself and perhaps build from there." But what if she is still wishy-washy? "Ask what she doesn’t want. Ask her 'dream' hair or when she loved her hair the most. Photos always help."
WHY FOIL? "This is a good question," says Nievas. "This adds dimension and builds client loyalty."
The artists then pulled out a mannequin head for demo. Areas covered:
- Focusing on what is the most important for the client.
- In-depth on the shape of the head.
- Foiling in and around a cowlick or working on a widows peak.
- Partings: V partings, diagonal partings, vertical, weaving, slicing, zig zag partings, back to back, singles, partial and full head foiling. “Horizontal partings give the strongest, most visible color and are great for coverage,” says Nievas.
- The importance of wearing gloves.
- How to hold color brush, folding foils to prevent bleeding, locking foils, using tail comb.
The afternoon was spent practicing these foiling techniques on mannequin heads in the hands on workshop.
The artists in attendance were quite intense. "Taking a step back and looking at what I have been doing and what I could be doing is always really helpful," says Nato VanDine of the Bardot Salon and Spa, Boca Raton, Florida. "Sometimes I do get into a rut. I have already taken Essential Color and before that the Color ID class. It was super creative and really brought me back to the reasons why I got into the industry in the first place. Every class I've taken has really been informative, and my biggest take away from all of them so far is that you can be good or you can be great- the choice is yours. I think it's important to always keep learning and having goals. Being better than you were yesterday is something we should all strive for. Professionally I felt MCE was important to my future as an educator to really understand the ins and outs of Wella so I can confidently speak to the brand and inspire others (hopefully) as much as I've been inspired by other educators in my position all the way up to the Top Artists and Directors."
“Completing these courses and earning your Masters requires a profound dedication from the artist,” adds Raviglione. “Just taking this puts you in a separate league. From a professional sense, it raises the level of professionalism through knowledge and the level of revenue to the individual. It backs up self-confidence, based on technique, confirming you have the skills. To the industry as a whole, the more we train and raise the level of the professionalism, the more we are taking back the industry from box color and from friends doing friends as home.”