Expert Advice

HOW-TO: Midnight Fireworks

Maggie Mulhern | July 31, 2015 | 8:14 AM
Hair and iPhone photography: Sadie Gray
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Most Instagram artists are learning the importance of taking “before” photos, but many are learning that taking some step-by-step shots can help when sharing information with colleagues and clients. For this how-to, we called upon Sadie Gray (@sadiejcre8s), who regularly documents her transformations.

Gray, a master colorist at Déjà Vu Salon in Santa Rosa, California, is all about color and fun. There are almost 1,000 posts on her Instagram page, @sadiejcre8s, celebrating color ranging from strong and bright to consumer-friendly. For her Midnight Fireworks design, Gray pulled out many of her favorite shades and techniques.

Gray is a member of the Unicorn Tribe, a group of 90 colorists who share color designs and techniques.

“It’s beyond just plain old support,” Gray says. “Being a member of the Unicorn Tribe is about sharing ideas, inspiration, more inspiration, and encouraging and empowering each other. It has sparked the passion for what I do and transformed my work into each client a walking masterpiece.” Gray expresses that inspiration with a rainbow of colors including purples, pinks, greens and blues in addition to classic highlights and shades.

MODERN asked for more information on this design and were thrilled that Gray took these photos during the process. She even shares the sketch she drew before the application to use as a guide.


1. Section hair into quarters. Mix Wella Blondme with 7 volume and 1/8 oz Olaplex. Apply from midshaft to ends in ½-inch sections working from the back forward. Then apply the lightener to the root and lift to pale yellow. The entire process is about 45 minutes. “I always pre-lighten the hair if there is any residual color left on the hair shaft,” Gray says. “In doing so, the color applied has some serious pop in vibrancy, and it also makes for a clean canvas every time. If your canvas is muddy, it makes for lots of buildup.”

2. Prepare the following shades:

  • Joico Sapphire Blue; Light Turquoise
  • Pravana Cobalt and Pravana Neon Blue
  • Joico Pink with a dash of Magenta.
  • Pravana Neon Green.

3. Apply Joico Sapphire Blue at the roots in ½-inch sections.

4. Now apply the different shades separating with Embee Meche to prevent bleeding. Make sure to alternate and separate the colors for dimension.

5. Process at room temperature for 25 minutes. Rinse using cooler water. Apply step 2 of Olaplex. Process for 5 minutes. Rinse and apply Living Proof Leave In treatment and Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5 in 1 styling treatment.

6. Blowdry with Bio-Ionic dryer and curl with a ¾-inch barrel ISO Clipless Curling Wand. Finish with Living Proof Flex Hairspray. Advice to share with the client: wash hair in cool water to keep the color vibrant and minimize fading.


Color: Joico, Pravana, Wella, Olaplex

Processing papers: Embee Meche

Styling products: Living Proof

Appliances: Bio-Ionic, ISO

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