When Min Kim’s once-a-year balayage client comes for her annual highlights, she’s instructed to make the last appointment of the day and bring wine! “This client has a ton of long, thick, curly hair,” explains the L’Oréal Professionnel Artist and Colorist at Butterfly Studio Salon in New York, “and because of her schedule, we only do her highlights once a year. So she’s in the salon for close to 3 ½ hours!”
But it’s worth the time spent, because despite the client’s dark natural level and infrequency of highlights, Min is able to keep her highlights cool, clear and bright all year long. She credits two secret weapons—the new L’Oréal Professionnel Blond Studio 9 Lightener with oil developer to lift her client’s dark hair in one session and leave it looking clear and bright, and L’Oréal Professionnel’s caring demi-permanent line, the DIA Light Milkshakes to tone evenly and leave a cool, pearly finish. She explains that the lightener is a first-of-its kind technology with improved lift of up to nine levels, a whipped-butter consistency and accelerated lightening power. “With Blond Studio 9, I achieve a more consistent, enhanced lift on my most resistant clients,” says Min. “The oil-based formula makes it so easy to paint, foil and apply! It is a true powerhouse, my new favorite product and a force to be reckoned with.”
Here’s Min’s Once-A-Year Balayage How-To:
Natural Level: 3 with grey
FORMULAS (all L’Oréal Professionnel)
Base/Grey coverage: LUO®COLOR 3N + 15 volume developer
Foil highlights and baby lights: Blond Studio 9 Lightener + 30-Volume Blond Studio 9 Oil Developer
Balayage Highlights: Blond Studio 9 Lightener + 20-Volume Blond Studio 9 Oil Developer
Toner after annual highlight application/base: DIA Light 8.1 + 15-volume DIActivateur developer
Toner after annual highlight application/mids and ends: DIA Light Milkshake 10.12 + 6-volume DIActivateur developer
Toner after subsequent grey retouches: DIA Light Milkshake 10.12 + a few drops of Clear + 1 ribbon DIA Light Milkshake 9.11 + 6-volume DIActivateur developer
Min uses LUO®COLOR to cover the client’s grey regrowth because she likes the fact that it provides youthful, tone-on-tone coverage that fades subtly. She uses L’Oreal Professionnel’s designated foils to apply brighter highlights around the face frame and perimeter—applying thin, back-to-back slices that won’t get lost in the client’s thick hair in the back of the head and thinner baby light weaves around the face that follow the shape of the hairline. Then she applies balayage highlights to the mid-lengths and ends, using Blond Studio 9 20-volume oil developer to add brightness and keep the ends looking beachy all year. She lifts the hair to pale yellow, tones the base with a level 8 to create a bit of a shadow root on the dark base and tones the remainder of the hair with a neutralizing ashy violet that provides a pearly cast. When the client comes in for her retouch appointments during the year, Min adds some Clear to the toner to enhance vibrancy.
At home, between yearly highlighting services, Min instructs her client to care for her hair with “everything!” She says, “She uses the Serie Expert Absolut Repair Shampoo, Masque and Repair 10-in-1 multipurpose spray,” says Min, “switching off with the Serie Expert Blondifier collection to keep the blonde highlights bright. She also uses the Serie Expert Silver purple shampoo to neutralize unwanted yellow tones. When she first came to me, she had really bad highlights. Now she trusts me with her hair and everything else. She even lets me tell her which mattress to buy!”
That’s a wrap, folks!
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