Industry News

Partying OutSide My Box- Part 2

Patrick McIvor | August 9, 2011 | 10:02 AM

So tape, pasties, an ice cream scoop and a candle, while actually being very professional - LOL (really). Here's how it happened, queue the dream sequence.

Partying OutSide My Box- Part 2TAPE

The wefts I use when coloring hair for guest's clip ins or for shows are usually the "613" color blonde (see picture) and 18" in length, which are not cheap hair. Because I wanted to test 6 formulas instead of cutting 6 - 1" strips and dying them out the 6 different formulas, I used 1 - 3" strips and placed 6 - 2" horizontal blocks, 1 of each formula from the weft base to the tips, with about a 1" of blonde left between each block. The test was good, but because I was not intending to make horizontal strips that were 3" wide, I had not even thought about making a straight line.

First, I tried 3" foam rollers from Home Depot but they held too much color and kept lifting up the hair weft, which is now 6 ft by 18" wide to make our piece for the model. Ok, then I thought, tape! …but you have to picture this is 6 ft of hair combed perfectly straight on the island in my kitchen which is wrapped in clear wrap. I tried duct tape with powder (still pulled the hair out), scotch tape (curls), masking tape (rips the plastic), blue tape (same), green tape (we have a winner).

I created the first weft at home starting at 8pm on Wednesday after finishing at the studio so I could bring it in the next day and present to Nathan, making sure it was what he needed for his idea. After some flat ironing and a good close look at the results, it was a go and I was off to the beauty supply store for 6 more packs of blonde human hair and a 50 pack of the cheap nylon blonde hair 613 (the braiding type). I then ran back to the studio to our MATRIX Color Bar with its silestone surface and I was ready to go. 4 packs of hair, 6 ft in width, 18 inches in length, colored in 5 different gradated strips with 1" precise lines made with green tape. Nathan did a quick 4 strand braid and we were good. (I will make a video showing the process that I did when MATRIX releases the looks.)


As many of you may know I have been with my wife, Leah, for 20 years, 15 of them married, so when in the brief on the phone we were told that for the first look the models were going to be naked, I said "thank you," to which lots of friends laughed. The funny part is it sounds like every straight guys dream, but when you get there it can just be awkward. You turn around to see someone naked, it's like, "Hi, nice weather today?" It's all business, it's not like we're doing a naked shoot, it's just a shoot without clothes. For some reason though, pasties which have fun flower shapes are supposed to make it better or more professional? I don't know, I can never figure that one out, like if a guy is wearing a sock is that more professional? For me it just makes trying to talk about the weather funnier/more awkward and again just part of the "normal" job. Our model Julia was amazing and nailed the beauty shot, so it was out of pasties and on to crazy.


The second look Nathan found genius. The balance of the hair was perfect but the density of the hair was not enough so with a bag of the nylon hair and a new shampoo from Matrix (again top secret) we hit our stride. Feeling great, we focused on craziest.


As Nathan was working with the last look of the piece he had created with the wefts, it just wasn't quite there. This is normal in a creative setting like this where you are shooting 1 model and 3 looks. Many times you have what seem like complete ideas and then you realize they were only as complete as you could get them not being in the context with the model, clothes, make-up and set, then you realize you need more, less or start over. For us it was more. Nathan began making pieces out of the nylon hair and it was coming alive, but as we looked at it and consulted with friends like Chrystofer Benson and Martin Dale, we thought sprouts of colored bits would work. I had colored 2 wefts other wefts at the studio so I knew there was enough left that I could make 3" colored sprouts of hair.

First, cutting a 6" width from the multicolored weft, I then bunched the hair together and cut each block of color off horizontally, laying them in neat piles on a table. I gathered pinches of them in one color about the same width as a straw and tried to secure the end with a rubber band, too hard with so little hair. Then, I found a candle and put the ends in hot wax, but the candle had too much oil in it and the wax flaked. Then I remembered that Nathan has a hot glue gun and I also know how hot that glue is, but I needed to touch the glue in order to form the ends, creating the colored sprouts we need. Fondue! The studio we were shooting in had a kitchen and with some searching, an ice cream scoop was found. I placed the scoop above the candle's flame, while its handle rested on a container of Matrix Design Pulse Fiber Shuffle Fibrous Play Paste so the glue stayed in the scoop and cooled enough so I could work it with my fingers to use on the ends of the bunches to make the colored sprouts. My favorite was when Martin Dale walked over and was looking at what I was doing and asked, "Who figured out that?" I did admit that Requiem For A Dream did reinforce my idea, though not through any personal experience.

I learned a lot from this shoot, and after 25 years in our industry it is great to know that there are so many new experiences, ideas to figure out and share. When Matrix releases the new collection I will follow up with part 3 sharing formulas, videos and pictures, including behind the scenes where I had a few awkward moments…STAY TUNED.

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