Expert Advice

Seeing Stars

October 16, 2013 | 1:46 PM

Seeing StarsKaty Perry may not have kept her hair blue for long—Christina Aguilera’s pink and lilac and Rihanna’s cherry weren’t keepers, either— but when celebrities swap out traditional hues for a few nights, weeks or months of blazing brights or poppin’ pastels, you can bet your edgier clients will want to do the same.

“Kids are picking up chalk and coloring their hair,” reports Lucie Doughty, editorial director at JPMS. “Pastels are still huge, especially with younger teens. Our Inkworks line addresses those trends. The color stays through just a few washes.”

Kelly Osborne’s silvery purple hair has become her signature look, inspiring fans’ experimentation with grays, lavenders and pearly blues.

“Silver and metallics will be big for holiday,” predicts Melissa Peverini, master hair designer and colorist at Cosmo and Company Salon and Spa and a promoter of Cricket tools. “Highlighting the hair in the mid-zone with a metallic will look almost as if a laser beam of light is hitting the hair shaft.”

Lorrene Conino, owner of Salon Lorrene in Palatine, Illinois, and director of Cosmetologist Chicago, agrees that these are fresh options for clients. “Iridescent, layered pastels are becoming beautiful alternatives to lowlights for adding pizzaz and life to blondes,” she says.

"Blondes go either
deep, caramel and
sophisticated, or lighter
with a candlelit glow.
—Beth Minardi, Joico

At the same time, there’s a move toward natural looks—what Wella Top Stylist Mark Debolt calls “hypernatural.” He notes that Wella’s Illumina is part of this trend, “making hair look truly lit from within.” For celebrity influence, Debolt reaches back to cinema’s golden era.

“I’m doing champagne blondes— really bright, creamy ‘Hitchcock blondes’—and vintage brown-based, soft reds worn by glamorous stars like Sophia Loren,” he says.

“Brunettes are spicy, dramatic and loaded with dimension,” adds Joico artist Beth Minardi, creator of Minardi Signature Color. “Vibrant reds step forward with shots of woodsy auburn or peachy gold running throughout. Blondes go two ways—either deep, caramel and sophisticated or lighter with a candlelit glow.”

Hair painting plays into the natural movement, says Robb Dubre, senior director artistic and education for Kenra Professional.“You’re following the way the hair grows and moves,” Dubre explains.

Hair painting can be incorporated into the foils, which are placed less precise this season, according to Conino. “Smudging is also hot for base blending,” she notes. “It’s a different take on bumping the base between foil retouches.”

Luis Alvarez, founder and creative director at Aquage, reports a trend toward solid color. “Women are darkening everything or making everything blonder,” he says. “Clients are requesting a beautiful solid shade with impact rather than just camouflaging a mousy brown.”

Seeing Stars

Seeing StarsOmbré: still fun, or so done?

Does so much solid color signal the end to ombré?

“People are still wearing ombré if they love themselves in it,” says Alvarez. “But I don’t see a fresh crop of people wearing it— there are no new recruits.”

Doughty sees ombré evolving, not ending. “There’s less contrast this season than in the past,” she says.

“We need to graduate and blend from dark to light rather than the specific lines of demarcation that ombré creates,” adds Dubre. “Go from Level 4 to 7 with graduation by blending in Levels 4, 5 and 6 instead of jumping in a severe manner from Level 4 to 10.”

Client demand continues for a few reasons.

“Darker at the root area and lighter and brighter at the ends is what’s natural,” says Debolt. “It’s what the sun does.”

Minardi notes, “Ombré makes having roots perfectly okay. The look reminds people of a trip to the beach that took place months ago. It is a natural-looking, softly sun-kissed expression.”

Conino says her guests love the low maintenance, so her staff is updating the placement and incorporating pastels.”



“Just because it’s winter is no reason for dull color!” says Joico celebrity hair stylist George Papanikolas. Follow his holiday forecast for brunettes, blondes and redheads.

Seeing Stars


“Strategically place accent highlights to brighten a brown base.” Highlight natural Level-5 strands around face with Joico VeroLight + 20-volume developer.

Tip: Concentrate most of the highlight formula on the mid-lengths and ends to achieve a twinkling pop of color while avoiding a “zebra stripe.”

Seeing Stars


“Balayage highlights with naturalcolored lowlights create this modern, dimensional blonde.”

1. On already highlighted strands, lowlight with Joico Vero K-PAK Chrome ½ N6 + ½ N8 + activator, concentrating color placement on mid-shafts.

2. Process, remove and place a few delicate balayage highlights on select mid-lengths and ends with Joico VeroLight + 20-volume developer.

Seeing Stars


“Warm brown or auburn shades come alive with a wash of vibrant copper.”

1. Retouch new growth.

2. Glaze roots to ends with Joico Vero K-PAK Chrome ¾ RC8 + ¼ RO + activator.

Commit to Color

This season, you’ll see every client walk through your doors. Rebook relentlessly to get each of them on a color continuum so that they’ll be popping their little outgrowth-budding heads into your station frequently throughout the year.

* Transition some clients to solid color. Highlights are a great add-on, but they make it easy for clients to stretch appointments. “With solid color, you’re back to roots!” observes Aquage Co-founder Luis Alvarez. “It’s probably the most profitable color service, because roots show after six weeks.” 

* Plan the client’s color evolution. “When you see clients during the holidays, mention interesting color and style trends for the new year,” says Joico’s Beth Minardi. “Suggest that when the client returns in January, you’d like to try something a bit new for the year ahead.”

Focus beyond the retouch and have a full consultation, agrees Robb Dubre, Kenra’s senior director artistic and education. “Think of the year’s end as a pre-beginning of next year!” he suggests. “Maybe do a little hair painting and tell the client, ‘We’ll do more hair painting next time and create a new you in January!’”

"Think of the year’s
end as a pre-beginning of
next year! Let the client
know where you’re going
next with her hair color.
—Robb Dubre,
Kenra Professional

Seeing Stars* Introduce color-care products. While clients will return when their roots show, they want their color looking vibrant and shiny in between visits. “No hair color can be beautiful unless it is properly treated,” says Minardi. “By providing the precise dose of nutrition to maintain optimum protection and support, each Minardi Signature Color product keeps color-treated hair looking and feeling its best.”

Of course, this approach will also boost your retail.

“Kenra has products that support the color and enhance the reflection as well as preserving the longevity,” says Dubre. “Our blow dry spray increases thermal protection at up to 428 degrees, according to our clinical testing.”

* Build the color ticket. Talk to clients about the exciting Sebastian relaunch and reformulation of Cellophanes. You can use it to add shine to a color service or as the gateway color service for non-color clients. Or, build the ticket by adding a conditioning treatment.

“We recommend combining Wella Professionals Oil Reflections with deep treatments for a special post-color treatment that you can market with every color service,” says Wella Top Stylist Mark Debolt.

* Devour education. When you’re excited about a new color technique, you’ll find yourself encouraging clients to let you show off your new skills! Color training is easy to find. Alvarez says Aquage’s Muse Collection CDs teach 15 techniques that can produce 200 looks.




“At holiday time, clients want to step it up,” says Lucie Doughty, editorial director at JPMS. Doughty suggests these formulas for your intense blondes and brunettes.

Sparkle Brunette

1. Apply Paul Mitchell shines XG 1½ oz 6G (6/3) + 2¼ oz 5-volume XG Processing Cream.

2. Process 25 minutes.

Sparkle Blonde

1. Lighten with scoop SynchroLift + 2 oz 20-volume Cream Developer.

2. Process to pale yellow.

3. Tone with Paul Mitchell shines XG 1 oz 10WB (10/03) + 1½ oz 5-volume XG Processing Cream.

4. Process 25 minutes.

More from Expert Advice

Expert Advice
Expert Advice

The Questions Every Stylist Should Ask at a Salon Interview

Alison Alhamed | June 20, 2019

Besides trying to impress the owner, it’s important to choose a salon that has a culture that aligns with who you are. Often, we spend more time at work than at home, so it’s important you choose a “work home” where you feel comfortable, where you feel supported, and where you feel like you have opportunity to grow and learn. These questions will arm you with answers to help make your decision.

Spencer Stevenson, aka Spex, is a world-renowned hair loss expert who offers unbiased advice based on his own research and experience.
Expert Advice Sponsored by Hair Restoration Laboratories

6 Truths for Stylists From a Hair Loss Expert

April 23, 2019

Spencer Stevenson has been battling hair loss for years. He’s had five hair transplants and figures he has spent close to $45,000 on hair loss solutions. He has become one of the world’s foremost hair loss authorities, pledging to provide honest, ethical and unbiased advice for hair loss sufferers. For the first time, he shares his insights into hair loss with salon professionals.

Load More