One quick look at Instagram’s explore page, and you’ll see colorist and educator Alfredo Lewis share videos and tutorials, teasing a new color line. This color content, shared on his @alfredo_lewis Instagram page, is exploding with views because it’s completely nontraditional—when we say nontraditional, we MEAN it!
In a recent post, Lewis, who is a Biolage color expert and Matrix brand ambassador, is seen filling up a carafe with water, heating it, then mixing a powder into the water resulting in a green-tinted mix.
After he applies the color to the client’s hair, blow dries and styles it, she’s left looking incredible.
“I smell like a garden,” the client is heard saying in one of the videos.
We had to learn more—what is this garden-y color, and why is it blowing up Instagram? (One of his IGTV videos teasing the color has more than 7-million views!)
We got Lewis on the phone, and he shared that Biolage’s new plant-based, no-lift hair color is on its way this fall 2019: it’s ammonia-free, no MEA, and 100% vegan—each color has 10 ingredients or less, too.
“This is not your mama’s henna,” he told MODERN in the exclusive interview. “It’s purified henna with no added metallic salts and is completely compatible with oxidative color.”
As we spoke, Lewis shared that he was on-set for the brand’s photoshoot campaign to capture images for launch. “Actually," he said, "why don’t you just come join us on set and see for yourself?”
So we did! And just like that, we hopped on a plane to New York to see the color in action and hear more about how Lewis was involved in the development.
Last October, Biolage sent Lewis to New York for some R&D in the labs to try out the color and get feedback.
“I’m not a naturalist at all—I’m known for full bleach outs and balayage, color with no gloves—I don’t fit the profile,” Lewis says. “But that’s why they chose me, to see what I thought of it. I went in with such a bad view of henna, and I ended up falling in love. I was blown away by the toning possibilities and up to 60% gray blending.”
Lewis shared that the no-lift, plant-based color is unlike traditional henna. “Biolage purified all the metals and salts out of this new hair color,” Lewis says. “And the brand is being very transparent about what’s in the product—some are 99% plant-based, some are 84%. Every pack says how much of the color is natural, but all of it is vegan and free from metals, MEA, gluten and ammonia.”
Lewis explains that the henna of yesterday contains metallic salts that don’t work well with traditional hair color.
“Some colorists will turn away a client if she has henna in her hair,” he says. “Biolage Color is not only predictable, it’s compatible with all oxidative hair colors from any brand. Meaning, you can do a base color with Biolage Color, then go in and balayage over it if you wanted to.”
Lewis says his favorite part, outside of the results, is that Biolage Color contains “none of the nasties” and is perfect for clients with allergies or sensitivities.
“My clients love the color because it goes on warm, so it feels like a facial, mud mask or treatment,” he says. “I’ve been marketing it as a luxury service.”
VIDEO: MODERN sits down with Alfredo Lewis on set at the Biolage Haircolor photoshoot in NYC.
The reason it blew up on Instagram? “We’ve been watching everyone paint hair on Instagram for five years now; this is something totally different," he says. "When the industry saw how unique it is with no developer, they saw the hot water and the color that goes on like black mud but then it’s this beautiful beige color—you’re drawn to watch it and rewatch it over and over.”
Lewis shares that he thinks the current generation is very mindful of ingredients and also maintaining the health and integrity of their hair (“Look how popular bond builders became,” he says), and that this will be a big buzz with clients. “This color doesn’t damage the hair,” he says. “In fact it has reparative aspects in it so the hair ends up super shiny and vibrant, too.”
The processing time is the same as traditional hair color. For toners, processing time is 10 minutes. For gray blending, process under heat for 30 minutes, and cool for an additional 15 minutes.
The mixing ratio is three-parts hot water to one-part color.
Biolage Color will be available in 20 different core shades that can be intermixed. Shades include Rosehip, Mint, Ginger Copper, Beige and Chestnut Brown. “My favorites are Oat Beige and Pine Nut Beige,” Lewis says. “There is also a Clear to dilute the shades.”
The color is designed to last up to 15 washes, with zero lift. Each packet’s shade is preblended and requires no mixing beyond the addition of hot water, and is designed to be enough product for two applications.
“Forget everything you knew about henna,” he says. “This is purified—Biolage removed all the metals; it completely works with all oxidative color from all brands. I believe this is the color of the future.”
LEARN MORE ABOUT BIOLAGE COLOR HERE: Get the full scoop, see the shades, AND sign up to be one of the first to get launch news.
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🍃EVOLUTION OF HAIR COLOR🍃 📡 MUST READ 📡 BIOLAGE HAIR COLOR @biolage 🌿 Many of you have asked me if this was henna and if it could be lifted? 🤔 In this video sensory over load watch me use the color as a pre toner from mids to ends while traditional color is processing AND THEN do a full balayage over it afterwards! Yes! 😱No ammonia. No MEA. No Damage. 100% Vegan. With 10 ingredients or less. Guess what’s in those jars… not your mom’s henna! 🤩 Purified henna with no added metallic salts and is compatible with oxidative haircolor. Cut and style by the man @philipwolffhair 👊🏼 Can’t wait for you guys to try this life changing luxury service! #biolage . .