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Expert Advice

How-To: Babylights and Balayage

Elizabeth Jakaitis | October 1, 2015 | 8:56 AM
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Babylights and Balayage

“Breaking the bonds during coloring also eats away the protein,” Cunningham says. “Olaplex stops that protein loss, leaving the hair stronger, healthier and looking better.” For this blonde model, who needed fresh highlights and more pop, Cunningham put that “magic” to work. Using a combination of babylights and balayage, Cunningham brightened up the color and then “rooted” with a deeper blonde for a more natural finish and easier maintenance. After several Olaplex treatments, the hair is left in better condition after multiple color steps.

Previously, salon professionals discussed bonds in relation to breaking them and reforming them—but never multiplying them or cross-linking them. Thanks to chemistry, hair anatomy expertise and the power of social media, addressing the bond has become one of the most important parts of the salon service—whether working with color, lightener, relaxers, perms and keratin smoothing.

 

Bond building has opened the door to a whole new world, allowing hairdressers and colorists the opportunity to create looks and corrections never dreamed possible. By minimizing damage to the bonds from aggressive salon services, the offerings in this new category are being used as treatments, tools and services.

 

“When placing color, it’s all about the right pieces in all the right places,” says Tracey Cunningham, the go-to colorist for many of Hollywood’s A-listers. Cunningham works on up to 40 clients a day, placing hundreds of right pieces in hundreds of right places. For this feature, MODERN challenged Cunningham with two models: a classic highlighted blonde in need of a refreshed brightness in the form of babylights and balayage, and a correction to demonstrate how a proper color (and a lot of bond building) can result in a money-making finish.

 

“I add Olaplex to just about every formula I do these days,” says Cunningham, Redken Hair Ambassador, owner of Meche Salon, Beverly Hills, and Olaplex enthusiast. “It goes in all of my highlights, all my glosses and some of my color. We’ve never had anything like this on the market before. The technology has changed hairdressing, not just color, but for texture as well.”

 

Hair: Tracey Cunningham and Slim for Olaplex and Redken

Assisted by: Chiala Marvici

Photography: Roberto Ligresti

Makeup: David Maderich for Mehron Cosmetics

Fashion styling: Rod Novoa with Dennis Pinto

Nails: Reiko Omae

 

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