Mannequin Monday: Formula On These Amazing Color Designs

Maggie Mulhern | January 2, 2015 | 2:12 PM

One of MODERN's favorite artists, Cassandra McGlaughlin (@cassandraplatinum) is a top colorist, artist and educator. Owner of Platinum, Tampa, Florida, McGlaughlin is a renowned in-salon artist and a Paul Mitchell National Color Educator. Her transformations are legendary and we are learning how she (and staff) keeps on top of her skills. She calls it "Mannequin Monday."


Each Monday, McGlaughlin tries to post one of her mannequin finishes on Instagram. "We work on mannys anytime," she says. "Not just Mondays. My stylists have three main duties:


1. Work on a guest

2. Work on recruiting new guests

3. Work on their skills.


So when they have down time, I always encourage them to practice whenever they can." McGlaughlin makes practice easy by keeping manny heads around the salon.


"The idea of Mannequin Monday was kind of a joke at first," she says. "Dominique Limone (one of my stylists and good friend) and I were talking about how much attention the pictures of my mannequins were getting on Instagram. We joked that Instagrammers liked our mannequins better than our guest’s hair!  We decided that we would try to post some mannequin work each week.  It was really awesome to get this kind of response because I was a little reluctant to show my mannequins at first, but in our discussion we realized how much benefit that we get out of our practice. I was able to try out new color combinations and new color formulas and my mannequins were the perfect 'guinea pigs'.


"The Rose Gold formula that I originally used on my manny has been used in the salon and on many guests since.  I also played with different dilutions of Paul Mitchell Shines Xg on different canvases, and came up with a new foil placement using Paul Mitchell Inkworks. It's hard to describe, but having the freedom to play with any color like this and to physically see the end result gives you so much confidence to stretch your color formulations in salon life. It develops your eye to see what color will do. And you can create color without fear and without the limitations of what a guest wants.


"So ultimately our new Mannequin Mondays are to encourage all stylists to continue to practice, no matter where they are in their career. I love practicing my cutting and styling on mannequins too, it teaches you patience; mannequins can’t be cut or finished quickly. All in all, I really believe in continuing to practice your craft. I personally want to continue to grow in my skills and be on the cutting edge of hair color and my mannequin work will continue to play a vital role in that."


Here, McGlaughlin shares the formulas for these  HairART  mannequins, all starting at a gold level 7.



Step 1: Prelighten a top triangle from recession to recession right above the parietal with  Paul Mitch ell SynchroLift and 20 volume to a level 9/10 .

Shampoo and dry.

Step 2: Apply 7rv8a5vr and clear Paul Mitchell Shines Xg and 5 volume to the section below the parietal (1oz 7rv .25 oz 8a .5oz 5vr and 1oz clear) *Note: the 8a was to soften the gold base of the canvas and the 5vr was to add some more pigment and lower the level slightly.

Step 3: Apply 7rv and clear equal parts Shines Xg and 5 volume on the prelightened section above the parietal.

Step 4: Process for 25 minutes, shampoo and condition with Paul Mitchell Ultimate Color Repair Shampoo and Conditioner. 

Step 5: Cut the hair into a square one length with a very low triangular graduation.




Step 1: Topcoat the hair with Paul Mitchell Shines Xg 7rv and 10 volume. Process for 25 minutes, shampoo and dry.

Step 2: Apply three different formulas of InkWorks, placing them in thin diagonal slices across the part, leaving out larger sections of the 7rv. 



1. Equal parts Red and Hot Pink

2. Equal parts Red, Hot Pink and Purple

3. Two parts Purple and one part Red 


Step 3: Process 20 minutes at room temperature, rinse with cool water and lightly shampoo and condition with Paul Mitchell Ultimate Color Repair.

Step 4: Cut the hair in an asymmetrical triangular graduation, with a layered front disconnection. 



Step 1: Section into three triangular sections:


Section 1 - from recession to recession at the parietal 

Section 2 - from top of the ear to top of the ear

Section 3 - high occipital down.  


Step 2: In Section 3 apply 5r Shines Xg 10 volume.

Step 3: In Section 2 apply 5vr and clear shines Xg and 5 volume.

Step 4: In Section 1 apply 5vr at the root are and lightly comb through to soften the line, hand painting a few piece all the way through.

Step 5: Process for 25 minutes, shampoo and dry.

Step 6: Apply InkWorks 2 parts Hot Pink, 1 part Red over Section 1.

Step 7: Process, Shampoo and Condition with Ultimate Color Repair.

Step 8: Cut the hair with a strong square perimeter, with added short, textured round layers.



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