November 27, 2015

Why Is It That So Many People Want Blonde Hair, & What Happens When You Do?

From the Mouths of A Colorist . . . .

The single most important concept to understand to be able to Color Hair successfully is Color Theory.
1% of people have Red Hair and 1% have Blonde - Everyone else has Brown and Black is the number 1 Color. 
So that is why, I feel, everyone tries to head to blonde and now Red is making a roaring comeback - because they don't have it! 


Not one Stylist thinks this and not one Instructor or School  teaches this.  Which I m guessing: explains why there are many unqualified hair Colorists in the USA. My plan is to teach Color Theory more thoroughly here on the Killer Strands Blog, than it has ever been taught before  - - - anywhere. That way you will now have the tools you need – the education at hand, to color your hair successfully. No excuses. If you don’t grasp it at first…remember – repetition breeds education. Just keep repeating it.


The 3 primaries, when mixed in unequal amounts, make brown. If there is more yellow than red or blue, the brown will be light, even beige.  If there is more red than the other 2 primaries, the brown will be warm, and if there is more blue than yellow or red, the brown will be dark and cooler looking.   

 primary colors sidebar 2

Complementary colors turn a brown of some shade of either when mixed. When complementary colors are mixed, they create the presence of the 3 primaries in uneven  amounts.
for example:
when yellow mixes with blue + red which equals violet  ---  violet – we achieve a shade of brown . . . .the stronger shade will dominate the formula. 


All virgin hair is a shade of brown; it contains all 3 primaries. Whether the hair is dark brown with black being the darkest  (the bluest brown, Levels 1-4), auburn (the most warm brown, levels 5 –7), or blonde, ( the most yellow or lightest brown. levels 8-10), the color is an uneven combination of the 3 primary colors.
Equal amounts of yellow + red + blue = black, gray, or platinum  . . . depending on the level.


Extensive Lab tests have actually broken down melanin molecules and in all types of virgin hair, regardless of race, color or texture, unequal amounts of yellow, red and blue are found in each – which of course turns brown.
If you want, or you can simply trust me, you can test this theory very simply… just head down to your local Michaels or Toys R Us purchase some PLAY DOH and with that, hold your own experiments. Mixing the various colors. Mix a little Red and Yellow Play Doh together which will eventually turn out as orange… add a little blue - - yep you  get one shade of brown. In addition - - try all the other variations so you can check out all of these experiments demonstrate that primaries when mixed in uneven amounts equal brown.

BALANCED Color comes when all 3 primaries are present.
I would say one of the biggest and most prolific problems within the hair color world comes from ‘lightening’ and the uneven balance that is just the inevitable result from the imbalance of the 3 colors as color is taken out.  It is learning how to deal with this, which will make you a decent and qualified Colorist.

Very blond hair is brown hair with a dominance of yellow
Red Hair is Brown hair with a dominant of Red
Black Hair is the Bluest Brown
A simple example of the composition of hair color molecules

color molecules 1

color molecules 2

Try to remember when you are lightening hair color, you are not  really dealing with Brown, you are dealing with DURP (dominant underlying remaining pigment)………….which is reds….oranges….golds…(brass!!)  and yellows.


When you go to lighten hair as you head towards Blonde
The first pigment to leave the hair is blue.
If you begin with the blackest most coarse hair and apply bleach to it, the change will occur immediately…blue will again leave the hair quickest and head to the red zone ( also one of the most difficult to leave)….

I still feel that level 7(orange) is the most difficult level to get past ( thus the problems with brassy colors that plague our country – some people worry about politics – me - - I worry about brassy hair and how to rid the country of it !!    We all have our priorities ! ) 

For those of you truly interested in learning color theory I would encourage you to purchase a pack or two of the human hair swatches you will find at this link in our Killer Strands online Store  
Do some testing with bleach, we have both 1 oz & 3 oz. containers of Blondor bleach that you can use to do some experimenting. It will truly begin opening your eyes to how hair color truly  - - - basically - - - works….which then benefits you as you work on your own hair color. I promise light bulbs will begin to clink on all over your work, all over your thought bubbles in thinking about your next color project, whether on yourself, your kids, your girlfriend or your dog.


A lot more to come on Color Theory, along with many other color topics.
Happy Holidays one and all
Killer Chemist
November 22, 2015

AlI I Really Want Out Of Life is ROSE-GOLD Colored Hair !

You cannot open a magazine without seeing or someone mentioning Rose colored hair and the funny part about this new Stratosphere trend is that so many think it is brand new, which is really ( in the world of British trained Colorists, at least 15 years old).  I saw it for my first time the beginning  weeks of Hair Academy and I will never forget my mentor showing me the color and I didn't "get it AT ALL".   All the other color educators were oooohing and ahhhhing.....  
But she taught me that the true colors that were like gold if you could create them were the ones that did not come out of any bottle or tube....but colors that one created by mixing colors together or how ever you came up with the formula they were the odd colors the colors that the manufactured hair color companies have not figured out "HOW-TO-MAKE  YET" ! ! 

                                  BECOME AN EXPERT AT. 

That was a very long time ago so the fact that this has happened seems really odd to me..... I have seen it done and have done it my self using the below formula for the last 15 + years. Her color was Rose and mine was Silver and we would do every type of chunk of tips or whats now called ombre ( WE CALLED  Tip Drip!

Its all been around such a very long time and I am actually glad that the world now welcomes these colors instead of look at them as they are just for a "particular type of person". Art is art and in my opinion hair color is just one more form of art and I will never forget getting chewed out in front of an entire Salon full of people for bleaching a young mans hair.... pure white and when he tipped his chin to his chest there was a beautifully shaded and all  ............. 4 leaf Green Clover. 

It was his mother and they were 100% IRISH  and the next day was St.Patricks Day...I too am 100% Irish so I was proud to do this and this was in 2001!  But I ended up in tears, but thank Lord the owner came to my rescue 3/4 of the way through her tirade. "how could you do something like this to a young man of his nature"...........1st of all I was about the farthest thing from Cheap you could be and he paid me for it, he was 16 you would assume he got the money from his parents. Although we were in Malibu so kids walk around with black AM EX's all the I didn't take that into account. Anyway, thank the Lord aeveryone and there brother is walking around with crazy hair now!

First off we had to create the color from existing colors where as today there is a slow trail of Rose-Gold hair colors coming out from all of the major hair color manufacturers. That is how high fashion works, the ideas and colors and trends always follow something in history or nature or something that inspires me/ an artist or a Colorist in any Salon or World.

As far as hair color I feel I have decided to give you the formula we have used in Sassoon all these years. I was saving it for a book I wanted to write but I don't think that is going to happen, so you get a lovely surprize for Thanksgiving week - one of my secret formulas.


We have been making this Rose color for over 15 years we just never have this whole marketing bombshell behind it. We have made it by mixing 2 Koleston Perfect colors as you can see right here on this DEMO I did just to show you. I took a brunette ( real virgin human hair) and lightened her hair with Blondor's COOL BLONDE Cream lightener and used back to back foils to hurry the process up. Which you can see worked nicely. This was 2 applications. So many of you are so anxious to be done with coloring you lighten with one step and quit and wonder why you have to battle with brass all the time. Lighten one more time and you end up with this beautiful shade of blond with zero toner.

 Next. . . . You would begin by applying Gleam to hair, leaving on hair overnight prior to color day or at least apply 30-60 minutes prior to color. Next you mix 28 Grams of Koleston Perfect in 9/16AV with 3 grams of 6/45RV in a Tint bowl, stir these 2 colors together first ...then add 30 Grams of 10Volume Developer. Adjust accordingly if you need more color, all I needed was a small amount for this front quadrant of the hair !  Now take quadrant and begin at the bottom taking small sections applying with a tint brush as fast & as efficiently as possible to cover entire section. Process 45 minutes, rinse well. Apply INTENSIVE - leave on at least 25 minutes. Rinse and Dry and Style as usual. You will have the Rose look and a formula kept secret in the upper echelons for many many years. How do you may Rose? mixing White and Red/Violet if you you mix Red and white you get pink so its this very thin line between the two you may play with by varying the amount of 6/45 you put in the formula but this is perfect in real life I promise you.

Another choice is the MAGMA formula I came up with as well you can see it on the photos below with the dollhead next to the bottles of MAGMA.  AGAIN you would mix Red/Violet with White....which is done bu mixing Wella's pigmented lighteners called MAGMA ..........use colors #/89....which is Pearl Cendre or the white and color #65 VRV which again is the one you use a little tiny bit of see the front 2 inches of her hair, I should have used a little bit more of the #/65VRV but it is beautiful light rose and the chunk in the back is half and half so its a pretty bright rose.( too bright but I wanted to see what that would make.

BTW, I grabbed the wrong bottle for the photo so don't let that throw you sure you use /89 which is made for Level 6-7 which is for this doll. Or if you have darker ( Levels hair use the /89+ which is made if you have Level 2 - 5 hair. These pigmented lighteners are really a dream , just look at how beautiful that front 2 inches of hair is with that formula. Yes, I would now add 2 more grams ., but even like it is is the prettiest blonde I have ever fricken seen.....and that is saying a LOT!
November 6, 2015

The Shelf Life of Hair Color Has Been Answered

and other truths in the process pof the life-span of your hair color & cosmetics

With the recent review of a few heartfelt email questions I thought I would start out with a POST on something mellow -- yet imperative - SHELF LIFE and HAIR COLOR.
Shelf life is that length of time that food, medicine and other perishable items are given before they are considered unsuitable for sale or consumption. Shelf life is the time that products can be stored, during which the defined quality of a specified proportion of the goods remains acceptable under expected (or specified) conditions of distribution & storage. "WHEW!!

Just like with every other food and product you deal with during the course of a normal day, there is a shelf life of hair color and cosmetics. How long should you keep that blue mascara from high school you can't buy anymore? I know I have at least a half tube of a golden brown that if I throw in some auburn ought to cancel the yellow out . . . right?        
Sound Familiar?       
It should these are right out of some of YOUR emails { the names have been changed to protect the innocent}
Here is a very short general guideline for your cosmetics, because I feel so strong about this I'm even willing to roam over into the category of cosmetics for you (HAIR is big enough for me to cover without adding the never ending category of Cos. !)

First off, if it smells, stinks, has a distinct odor that should not be, throw it away! I am amazed at how long women will keep cosmetics that have a bad odor, look like its disintegrating or logically know it should be in the trash. Do yourself a favor and trash it.  Another good rule of thumb, if you can't remember when you purchased it, trash it. Makeup should not stir up memories from ten years ago, if your makeup bag does, throw it out. I think when you purchase cosmetics you should mark it down on your calendar. 6 months is all I would keep mascara, if you aren't using it up in 6 months, you aren't using it and quit buying it maybe. Personally I permanently TINT my eyelashes - with albino eyelashes - you HAVE to.

Now as far as the SHELF LIFE of your hair color, the more "organic" or "natural" the product . . . the more susceptible it will be to "going bad". That IS  one of the many down side's to the whole 'la-la' GREEN world. So one of the best tools to combat this - - - you already own, that I doubt you ever use <> is right there in your home and at your disposal . Your refrigerator. Store many of your cosmetics there if you are in need of becoming more thrifty, green and to be perfectly frank > smart. Yep its a pain to go back and forth, buy a tricky cool tray of some sort - one for cosmetics, one for hair color, even putting your teeth bleaching kits in there will preserve them the their fullest. If you are going to spend the CASH, get your money's worth. 

When I give examples like this remember I am always talking about the professional Hair Color we sell at Killerstrands as our reference point. I have been using it for many years and have that 10,000 HEADS of experience to go off of that I  feel safe and secure quoting to you, you will have to make adjustments with your own colors and brands. If you have any specific questions, remember an email to our store's email address : is still the FASTEST way to get an answer from ME ! I will always answer to, unless its a silly question. I really think hair color is good for up to 1 year and have used successfully hair color up to 18 months and it was fine. Look at it, keep it refrigerated, don't use it if something is odd about it.

What's that called?......................Common Sense
All of you new Crib Colorists are saving so much money by learning and doing this on your own -  PLEASE PLEASE use the proper colors we have determined will be correct for you.  Once you get past that initial consultation with me about your hair color formulation - buy 6 months worth of color and relax  - -  you only have to solve the hair color questions for your own hair 
Is your hair worth it?   
How much time and effort do we all put into our hair?  A LOT

          Killer Chemist
November 4, 2015

Tough to Cover Gray, What Can I Do?

This is one of the most common questions I get. . . .
I want to try of explaining in one other way so it will help many of you who are new to Killerstrands (of which there many lately) may understand a little bit better !

This woman wrote in and said for a few years she had good gray coverage by Wella's
Color Charm .....this is what I have to say to all of you whom not only use Color Charm, but also any hair color from Sally's or ANY boxed hair color of any brand. Eventually you will all realize your hair either feels like straw OR your gray no longer keeps its coverage. Here is what I said to her and to the hundreds of thousands of you out there with the same issues. 

Wella is an absolute vast company and they are so heavily involved in Hair color that they have 3 tiers of Quality in their various hair color lines. Premium -- Moderate  & Economy.
As in all items from cooking to cars you can purchase the same item....the EXACT same ''end product'' in many different Q-U-A-L-I-T-I-E-S !  For example: a cake bought at your local grocery store VERSUS one made by your mother or from you by scratch and the difference truly in taste is night & day, as I'm sure many of you know.  Take cars..........whats the difference between a VW and a Bentley? They both get you from point A to Point B , but5 the Bentley has mile high better ingredients that go into making it.>>ever driven in one? You don't even know you are in a car, it feels like you floating along the street on a hovercraft ! It all has to do with QUALITY. Same in exactly the same dimensions as premium hair color.

Why is there such a difference (being as the end result is the same) ..........It is for one reason only : the quality of the ingredients used. The same holds true in hair color. While you can purchase boxed color for under $10.00, when you get your hair colored in a Salon - - - they will barely shampoo your hair for that amount. Its widely understood that high quality items cost more and if I can save even more grief every single week I receive between 1 & 10 emails from people who have been duped by purchasing Wella hair color on Amazon or EBAY. There are now what they think to be, over 100 countries counterfeiting the Wella brand of hair color. The tube and the box look almost exactly the same I have asked a couple people to send me their boxes and they were indeed counter missing just a few of the proper its hard to tell. How did they tell? They said their hair felt like straw after using it 2-4 times....they couldn't tell right away as that was just on the 1 inch of their roots! So its out there and everywhere. The only way I know how to tell you if its fake or not is by purchasing it here. Wella is the top-of-the-Line of premium Hair colors and actually is the highest quality hair color, I purchase it direct from the factory and Wella's headquarters is about 20 minutes from here. You couldn't get a newer -- fresher product.

Premium hair colors main charm is the "QUALITY" of the ingredients that go into that small tube ( or bottle !) They simply use the top-of-the-line ingredients and if you have ever gotten your hair done at a trendy - well known - ( expensive) Salon, the minute you walk out of there you touch your hair and know that the difference is huge. The way it covers gray, the amount of time it covers that gray, the shine, fade-ability - just about every little single thing is better !

Color Charm line is Wella's "lower quality" hair color line - it's sold at Sally's and anyone with 2 feet can purchase it.  If you notice next time u are there--- they don't sell the color I carry which is professional hair color
Wella has this 3 tiered system they sell to the world.

They don't sell the color to the public, I carry which is professional hair color. Which is why I changed my mission when I began this whole operation 10 years ago, Hair color is made in different qualities.

 I'll use this as an example.. Have you ever tasted a home baked cake vs something you buy at a cheap grocery store? The difference is the ingredients. Good professional hair color uses good ingredients and companies hold those good ingredients for professional use and salon level hair color.

For gray coverage, I  suggest  using Koleston Perfect because it's best for gray coverage and gives ton of shine. In hair color, there are two variations. For example there is the color 7-0 and 7-00. The double zero means double pigment. 

So if you want excellent gray coverage be sure to do 2 things:
  1.  Use professional brand color ( Wella Koleston Perfect or Illumina)
  2. Be sure you use double pigment which is 7/00 versus 7/0 which is regular pigment in your formula. 
  3. Be sure to mix your NEUTRAL in the percentage of Gray hair you have. Do you have 30% Gray - use 30% 7/00 if you are covering Level 6 Hair. Why 6 if you are a Level 7? Because Wella in all their grand knowledge has always been 1 level darker than what they are supposed to be. 
  4. Why? I have no idea! ! ! !  I think because they began in Europe and used to be based in Europe and then 8-9 years ago came in wacky California !     

Remember we do quick fast Consultation here in the store.. . . . . .  for $39.00 . . . or read this Blog I promise its all in here for you to figure it out all on your own