“I don’t really consider what I do ‘highlighting,’” Truss International Artist Mickey Colon says. “I think of it as lifting or blonding. When I think of highlighting, I think of classic foil work. I’m new school.” Colon points out that he doesn’t mean that foil highlighting is old school, just that he thinks of rows of foil highlights as more of a classic technique.
“It’s effective, but it’s not what I do on a regular basis in the salon or on stage,” Colon says. His “new school” blonding is a combination of techniques including teasy-lights, balayage, babylights, zigzag partings, angled sections, foiling and, most importantly, his signature color technique: Hand Touch.
It’s the Hand Touch step that adds special oomph to his color finishes. The technique involves placing lightener in his palms and then applying it gently to the mids before saturating to the ends. “It adds a real pop,” Colon says.
It’s this technique that helps keep Colon’s preferred lightening ratio accurate. “The lightening should be 25% at the base, 50% at the mids blending down to 100% at the ends where the color is very saturated.” Although there are some standards, Colon stresses that every application and placement should be unique to that client. “Cookie-cutter applications do not serve anyone, especially if you want special results,” he says.
A color service with Colon usually takes several hours. “Great color melts take time because of the attention to detail,” Colon says. “A long-hair color service can take up to four hours—just on the application and processing alone.”
Because the color may process for more than one hour, Colon says that low-volume developer should be used, bond builders must be added to the color, and each color service should end with a conditioning treatment.
STEP 1: Section hair as shown. Then, starting in the nape, take a 1-inch horizontal section and pull out from the head. Weave out the previously lightened hair.
STEP 2: Take the remaining section, gently tease the loose or top strands up toward the base. Teasing should be gentle, not “packing” to the base.
STEP 3: Take a handful of Truss Air Libre with 20-volume developer and, starting at the mid-lengths, slide down saturating to the ends.
STEP 4: Wipe away excess lightener on a towel. From mid-lengths brush color up. Ratio: 25% at base, 50% along the mid-lengths and 100% at the ends.
STEP 5: Place the section in foil. Continue applying color throughout the back in this manner in a bricklay fashion.
STEP 6: At the sides switch to diagonal sections. Isolate the hairs along the hairline to keep out of the foils and continue to apply color in the same manner as in the back. The first section should be behind the hairline to keep natural depth.
STEP 7: For the front piece, take a 1-inch diagonal back section and subdivide in thirds. The front section is then subdivided to two weaved back-to-back foils. The middle section is left as an interval piece for depth.
STEP 8: Take a 1-inch section from the point of the triangle behind front pieces from a zigzag parting. Tease at the base.
STEP 9: Place on foil and paint from the teased area to the ends, saturating at the ends. Continue within the triangle in back-to-back foils.
STEP 10: Foils placed as shown, all horizontal bricklayered in the back, diagonal along the front hairline, to vertical along the top. All babyhairs from the hairline are isolated to keep more natural. Process until evenly lifted to the color inside a banana peel.
STEP 11: Apply toner with bowl and brush using Truss demi perm 6.0 and 8.0 with 10 volume. Process five minutes. Do not rinse.
STEP 12: Now use the Hand Touch technique over the toner. Take a handful of Truss Air Libre lightener with 20 volume. Starting along the mid-lengths, run hands over the surface, blending to the ends. Press into ends for more coverage. Process for an additional
10 minutes. Tone at the bowl using 10.89 Truss Semi Perm and 10.3. Process an additional 10 minutes, rinse and towel dry.
Hair: Mickey Colon @MickeyColonjr; assisted by Kristen Colon @kristenmcolon
Photographer: Roberto LIgresti
Makeup: David Maderich for MAC Cosmetics
Fashion styling: Rod Novoa
PRODUCTS & TOOLS
Color: Air Libre, 8X Powder, Deluxe Prime Miracle, Net Mask, Color Perfect Blond, all by Truss Professional.
Stylers: Truss Volumizing, Styling Powder, Oasis flexible hairspray Elastic; Truss Instant Repair Serum
Foils: Product Club
Irons: Enzo Milano
Makeup: Becca Light Shifter Brightening Concealer; Becca Ultimate Coverage Longwear Concealer
“Great color melts take time because of the attention to detail. A long-hair color service can take up to four hours—just on the application and processing alone.” —Mickey Colon, Truss International Artist
“Every application and placement should be unique to that client. Cookie-cutter applications do not serve anyone, especially if you want special results.” —Mickey Colon, Truss International Artist