Jeannetta Walker, @watchmyhairbounce, has lots of naturally curly clients who want to be blonded, highlighted, balayaged and “bronded.” As long as the hair is in good condition, Jeannetta--who is also a Master Artisan and Texture Expert for Alfaparf--obliges. Here are nine of her tried-and-true tips.
Discuss the Client’s Curl Goals
The more aggressive the color strategy, the more likely it will alter the curl pattern. “Remember you’re breaking the disulfide bonds with the color and that will straighten the hair slightly,” says Jeannetta. “So determine how concerned your client is about maintaining her existing curl pattern. That will tell you the best bleach to use.”
The healthier the hair the more beautiful the color, plain and simple. When it comes to textured hair, healthy means adequate and balanced amounts of moisture, which keeps hair supple and shiny, and protein, which ensures ample elasticity and reduces porosity. If the hair doesn’t exhibit this ideal balance, says Jeannetta, apply professional hair treatments, like Alfaparf Semi di Lino Reparative Range to restore protein and Alfaparf Semi di Lino Nutritive Range for moisture.
Avoid Heavily Aggressive Bleaches
“Rule number one is to maintain the hair’s integrity,” says Jeannetta, “so a gentler bleach is the way to go. I like Alfaparf Milano BB Bleach Easy Lift. It’s made for lighter levels of hair, but I use it on dark, curly hair because it’s gentle and it contains The Bi Bond Complex, which repairs the hair during the lightening process. It takes more time but it’s worth it.”
Low and Slow, Always
Keep in mind that developer is related to speed. The higher the developer, the faster the hair lifts. With fragile, textured hair, the rule of thumb is low and slow. “You need to break the disulfide bonds, but a higher developer will shoot through the hair like a freight train through a tunnel that’s too small,” says Jeannetta. “It will tear up that train! Lower developer, therefore, will give you more even lift with less damage. If the hair is super fine, I use 10 volume. The average is 20 volume. I might use 30 on occasion. I never use 40 volume.”
Follow the Mixing Ratio
Don’t improvise when mixing—it will impede product performance. Always follow the recommended mixing ratio for every lightener and color formula.
Failing to saturate the hair leads to spots, bands and other forms of uneven results. “I take very thin partings,” says Jeannetta, “so I can ensure thorough saturation.”
Break out a New Bowl with Every Quadrant
“Bleach loses its power over time,” says Jeannetta, “so you can’t expect the same amount of lift from one large bowl of bleach from start to finish. That’s why I mix a new bowl of bleach for each quadrant, it insures you have the power you need for lightening.”
Tone with Demis
No ammonia demi-permanent shades are the workhorses for textured hair. Jeannetta uses Alfaparf Color Wear to deposit color on pre-lightened hair, to add shine, to refresh existing color and even for grey blending and grey coverage. There is no ammonia, so its gentle for delicate textures.
Map Out a Clear Home Care and Maintenance Plan
“One of the first things I discuss with the client is home care,” says Jeannetta. “Lots of stylists have a hard time ‘selling’ products, but at the end of the day, I care about the health of the hair and I want my clients to have great color. I tell them they’re protecting their investment. So they should at least walk out of my salon with the right shampoo and conditioner. I also talk to them about the proper method for detangling their hair—that’s so important. I recommend using a satin pillowcase or bonnet to protect the hair at night. And I always like to make a schedule of salon treatments before they leave the salon.”