October 14, 2011

Parting The Red Sea: Sectioning The Hair

Parting -- Sectioning -- Tools

Here is a mandatory Post - for everyone that wants to color their hair. These are basics to accomplishing just about anything done to the hair. I'm sure most of you would refer this to "parting" the hair, but in the professional hair world it is called Sectioning. They both mean the same thing.

In most Cosmo Schools they do not teach this basic to the extent we were taught. I'm not sure why? Because when you get thrown in a Salon - -you sure better know how to look professional at the very beginning doing the very first thing you do to your client. I was taught to master the art of 'Sectioning' and you Crib Colorists should too. If you understand the art of Sectioning.........I'm telling you: Coloring your hair & Styling your hair will be soooooo much easier! . That is how important it is and I know it and I invite you all to listen, learn and practice this. In preparation to Color, to Cut, to trim your Fringe ( bangs), to Straighten, & to Blow Dry . . . the art of Preparation is about the most important step you will take in the entire process. Please don't discount it. I know so many like to crack open those bottles and pile on the color, while asking questions later. So many of you try that, only to come back to me with your tail between your legs and defeated. I honestly wish from the bottom of my heart that you could all avoid that step, which was the purpose of this site to begin with, so try to absorb this and at best . . . practice it a few times.

Hair Preparation includes Hair consultation which is what we tackle in the GROUP and I just wrote a very intricate post ON how to do a Consultation on yourself ( honestly) on the road to getting your Color Formulation correct..

Basic Tools for Hair Color. Within the Academy they give you an arms length list that you are required to purchase, as you cannot take the State Board Test without all of those tools. So many are outdated and still sit at the bottom of a Hair Case, so you will learn the ones you NEED & use constantly - the Bare Basics.

We are preparing to become good Crib Colorists, and to color our hair correctly  - - - so you could begin with the list of what I would suggest.

  • Cutting Comb #11
  • Tail Comb 

  • Paddle Brush

  • Clips - Strong quality

  • Water bottle

  • Clean Touch - skin color remover

  • Color Block.........we have a kit including both of this and the one above

  • Cape/ Old T-shirt

  • Gloves - Latex 
  • Tint Bowl
  • Tint Brush

All of these products can be purchased in our store

Cutting Comb: When I first got in this gig, I was shocked that people actually used combs. Seemed so archaic to me, then I learned they become your best friend. So cozy up and get a couple of these, the photo is of a very typical one, and I always have 20 - 25 of these ready to go, 2-3 will be sufficient for you. They are great for cutting hair - especially your fringe ( bangs) .

Tail Comb: This bugger is handy, for anything and everything (getting lettuce out of your teeth, even) Parting is its main mission and sectioning comes in second. Guess what many of the older Stylists use it for ?  . . . highlights... Remember: highlights are history. Many many uses for this, get the best one you can. Maybe get one $5. - $10.00 and 1-2 for $1.00. ?

Paddle Brush: My favorite all around brush. At Sassoon we use an old England stand-by..Denman brushes. Another point of contention for me when I began this adventure. The paddle brush looks up-to-date, but you should see some of their others. They do look like they are out of the 19th century hair vaults, but one more time -- they rock. There isn't a Denman brush I wouldn't use, and they are super reasonably priced. The paddle brush you see here is under $15.00. The 9-row is the best blow-drying brush around, although that does come along with the funny technique we teach...once I introduce it to you I imagine you will be a sucker for it as well.     We will be posting a Demo for using the other Denman's we carry, so you do not need a round brush ............... upcoming!

Clips: they must be strong like mine, or you will spend more money on replacing them than the cheap ones are worth. Remember - - NO metal if you ever plan on using blonde....the lighteners (bleach, etc...) we use has a bad reaction to metal..... We have 2 prices of clips I promise you the higher ones will last you forever AND they really hold up hair.! The are completely amazing. A Must.

Clean Touch: This product is only necessary for Level 7 and darker....as this is for cleaning the haircolor off of the hairline.I have a Matrix one here for the photo... there are many brands and I have never found the professional version of any brand to be better than the other.
 So I have chosen "Clean--Touch"
Obviously blonde will not stain the skin, but if you use anything darker than a Level 8 in your hair - or plan to, I would highly suggest the big bottle which will last a lifetime ( works on clothes, the carpeting) .
Neat workspace = Neat work. Take the extra minutes to clean up as you go.

Color Block: A very handy little tool that I use in a few different ways. One of our Killerstranders is in love with the product she uses it while dyeing her lace wigs. Its a rich thick cream that keeps hair color from 'creeping'. Works well with super tricky hair color tricks, as well as coating for the hairline ... to keep the color off the skin. Yep, a double shot way of keeping that damn color OFF-THE SKIN. Block it and Clean Touch it. As a hi-brow Colorist, you never EVER want one drop of Color on a clients forehead...I just don't think it should be done. Try to incorporate my standards into your practice, on yourself.


Sectioning and Parting must be mastered. Otherwise you will spend hours of time with piles of hair in the wrong place and things will not come out near as easy or as organized as you might have hoped.

Every time you get ready to do something to your hair, you must part & section it first, every single last time. The first thing you should do when getting ready to do anything INCLUDING BLOWDRYING, is to reach for that comb and part & section the hair, period. this should be the end of your "where do I start"? questions.

For a quick trick to memorize:NOSE TO NECK . . . . . . . . . . . EAR TO EAR

Use your tail comb, & practice this method of sectioning at least 20 times. I'M SERIOUS. The thing is, its easy to do when the hair is wet, but 90% of hair color is begun on dry hair. So practice getting that part straight on dry hair - which is not easy -it is important to be able to master it and for it...& to be done in the right spot. Directly in the middle of your nose and all the way back to the top of your spine. (a good time to have those rear-view mirrors installed in your bathroom)ort unless you have achieved access to the ultimate tool and that is a hair color partner. This can be a fun event, I hear it all the time now. Remember we are the founding fathers of a brand new American hobby -- Hair Color. I say, why the Hell not?

Now check out the top of the head here, there should be a criss-cross exactly in the middle of the head. Don't disregard this process please...parting affects how the hair color is applied and if we want to begin a new hobby we might as well use the business model from the most successful and reputable Hair Academy in the world. They are fanatic parting practitioners, I used to get very fed up.

This parting will work for a basic hair cut, something else I want to go into, and any basic hair color application. You now have 4 quadrants, that need to be looked at as their own unique individual sections. Applying the color to each quadrant needs to be purposeful and quick. I believe if you look at just getting through 1 quadrant at a time, it will be a lot easier on you. I encourage you all to attempt the Tint Brush and bowl method of application, once you practice with it you will learn that in the end it is not only easier, the haircolor saturates the strands of hair much better. Its important to use lots of color product on the brush and to brush it into the hair on applying. I truly do not think that can be handled with a bottle the way it needs to be.

No one expects you to be "HELENA HAIR COLOR" right off the bat.

NO one, so neither should you.

Give yourself some practice I still think investing in a doll head and clamp is a worthy investment. I live alone and love it, so I never think of every other person out there who most likely lives with others...I guess you all could just sit your daughter, husband or dog down on the Sofa and ask that they let you practice on their hair. Trade them for something, most people love having their head played with, it relaxes them.

This is Part 1 of Prepping hair for a haircoloring OR cutting........the more you practice the better....the results..

Stay tuned for additional info on this subject . .

thank you......

Killer Chemist
8 comments on "Parting The Red Sea: Sectioning The Hair"
  1. OOIE, Excellent! This will help me so much this weekend! So through!Blog looks great too. You have been very busy, haven't you?
    Thanks KC!

  2. T,
    TTTTTThanks, there is more as well, will try to get one more on today.

  3. Wow - I'm sending these pictures to my hair color partner. I knew there was a key step we were missing - and I think this is it!! If you don't part and quadrant it correctly, of course you can't get it even... (an Ah-ha moment for me). Got to get one of those combs! (I have a couple other "rat tail" combs but clearly have inadequate tools...). THANKS!!

  4. Thank you for the parting/sectioning instructions. I've been practicing and with long hair it's a pain in the @ss. When I do my root touch ups, can I wet my hair (not sopping wet) and section/part, then apply the color to the roots? I only pull-through to freshen the ends every couple of months or so..I mix conditioner with the remaining color for the pull-through mixture.


  5. Nik,
    Yes, I knew I was missing this, as it is DRILLED into Cosmo students heads. Over board, but there is a reason they do that. When parting and treating each quadrant as its own entity, you will get all hair covered thoroughly which is super important. I hope you/he practice the parting with using shave cream. With shave cream you can see where you are missing easily.
    For those with a Color partner:
    Also something I forgot to mention...STAND IN FRONT OF EACH QUADRANT, that way you can move faster through it. Your hands are directly in front of you. Move around the head, doing 1 quadrant at a time. It will help.

    Check out the new slide show as well. KC

  6. Jen,
    No, I would not wet the hair, that is not how its supposed to be done. Practice....Just practice more. I have long hair as well and do my own.. I wouldn't change the way its supposed to be done. Use the tail of the Tint brush and practice.
    Why would you add conditioner to the color? Never heard of that one... KC

  7. Yea! Thank you KC!

  8. Mad Scientist,
    where ya been? MIA??
    you OK? how did the hair turn out? KC


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