We asked six color experts how they accurately and efficiently mix color cormulas for every client. Here's what they advised:
SKIP THE GUESSWORK
“Always measure everything. I measure everything from my Schwarzkopf Professional Blondme Lightener to my Igora boosters.
I never eyeball. Also, work with the client’s underlying pigment to customize color. Make sure you factor in the client’s natural tone.” —Linh Phan
GET ON THE SCALE
“I always weigh all my color mixtures on a scale to make sure my formulas are 100% predictable. Sometimes when we’re in a rush, it’s easy to
get a tad lazy with mixtures. But more often than not, this will deliver inconsistent results that end up taking more time to correct.” —Renée Valerie
“To mix colors accurately and efficiently, it is so important to use a digital scale. Scales give us the ability to measure in grams, and it is a necessity in today's salons with all the creative color work being done on a variety of tones and depths. I am personally on a mission to have all colorists use scales to help them be both more accurate and efficient.” —Justin Isaac
RECORD YOUR WORK
“In addition to using a digital scale, I take the time to keep a thorough record of each client’s unique formulas, which I update after every service.” —Missy Peterson
“Mixing and measuring is very important; mixing gives me the right substance to work with for proper application, measuring is important to create the right balanced pH level for the right performance. We use 10 volume for toning, demi and semi-permanent hair colors, 20 volume for two tones of lift and gray coverage, 30 volume for three levels of lift and 40 volume for four levels of lift—all depending on the natural hair level and porosity of the hair.” —Patrick Kalle
“I can walk into a salon or do an analysis on a section of hair and know immediately if the colorist is measuring or not. I call it dump and run. Color bands in the hair shaft are the tell-all. The bands create different translucencies due to eyeing a mixture. ‘I just eye the mixture; I don’t need to measure,’ yet in the same sentence they say, ‘I’m having trouble with coverage of gray,’ or ‘The color is too dark’ or ‘I have too much translucency.’
“If you don’t measure, you are changing the ratios the manufacturer is recommending to give you optimum results. I always measure with a
scale and go with the recommended mixture. Dark and light bands are a sign of not keeping good records and guessing at the color.” —Teri Dougherty
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