August 31, 2017

Number 1 Shampoo in the Land of Bubbles & Sulfate-Free

I would imagine most consumers think there are constant changes going on in shampoos, from all the wacky commercials on the tube. Frankly, within the chemistry make-up and formulation ends they have not changed that much in the last 30 my eyes, that is not a good thing. About a month ago I made a few calls to some of the major shampoo manufacturers in the USA to see what they had to say about the biggest changes  within their up coming shampoo releases.

This was the best news I have heard in a very very long time. They all said the same thing: "Sulfate-Free" is their number 1 Red Flag. Which has been a knife in my side now for at least 4 years . . . .
So rejoice . . they have finally heard the complaints and bitching I and many of my stylist compadres have unleashed on the world! I'm not going to complain about the time it took . . . at least "it took". That is a very good thing.

I cannot completely prove that SLS or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a 100% cause of all the hair loss and hair thinning in women of late....because I still feel from all my research that it is because of the synergistic effect of any one of, or combination of ... of the 10 steps of 10,000 HEADS. 


But when you open the top of a simple small jar of SLS and the inside of your nose,eyes and lungs BURN  from 1 tiny inhale ( which is what I did !) .....SOMETHING IS DRASTICALLY WRONG ... who in their right mind would put that on the hair and hair follicles...??? wow that subject infuriates me...and always will. Stay away from SLS, become accustom to reading labels please....just like you do for your food. You have to learn to protect yourself...there are so many millions of products on the market now that it is not even realistic to think that our government could keep control over that entire industry. 
We can't even keep Terrorists out of the country that are trying to kill us with guns and 747 Airplanes !

August 28, 2017

GAME OF TONES Versus THRONES : Platinum Queen? Tinted Oil Bleach : Mandatory

Platinum Hair is the Hair of the Gods

As the end of Game of Thrones drew to a close the requests for blonde's and blonding come floating in the email "in" box Most of the country. . . wanting a nice platinum blonde. I happen to think Game of THRONES turned into a wonderful story to watch. Its now a love story, but the author of the books already told us that now didn't he. I never knew, til Sunday! Now I want Platinum hair !


 Daernery's hair color...they call it silver on the show , it is merely platinum though, she does wear many different wigs so please don't be under the illusion that is her real hair.

 But we have a product that I have not talked about enough. I was telling a fan about it today as we discussed going blonde and my answer was the number one way to go blonde is our blue/violet tinted oil creamy bleach that we make I am most proud of 3 products we make here at killerstrands that you can get nowhere in the world but here. Blue/Violet tinted oil-Creamy bleach 

 Gleam and BLAST..........
I've tested this product on many levels of hair color and the amount of yellow and brass it gets rid of simply amazing. I am not exaggerating....... just having the bleach AND the developer tinted with these colors is truly amazing to me. I wish Colorists would try it just to see the difference it makes. It makes going blond 1 full Level easier, because the blue-violet gets in the strands and really stamps out the damn brass and gold so common when lifting hair lighter.

This technique is referred to as double process, which is deceiving and inappropriate in my book, but I suppose I cannot re-write History. The 1st process would be the bleaching, the 2nd the Toner.  . . .Toning is not a "process" its an application - well on 2nd thought it is a process...because anything you apply to the hair is a process.. But there you have the technical name of the process that you can ask for at any good Hair Salon . My suggestion is, if you are thinking of going platinum, go have a consultation first.  Any good Stylist should give out free consults in my book or charge and take it off the price of the appointment. Its expensive if done correctly my book it should never be a rushed procedure taking time when doing major conversions to the hair make the hair healthier and stronger. Let the hair lighten slowly and evenly  by leaving the lightener on for minimum 65-75 minutes, removing it rinsing, and drying the hair and then re-applying . The trick is the re-application, don't waste time leaving the lightener on longer its just simply the wrong method.

A good colorist knows that at about 65-75 minutes the top strength of the bleach fades and slows to to a crawl. To get maximum and safe lift the true trick we all use is reapplying it and NOT using a dryer - EVER. Bleach is not supposed to have heat applied to it and I hear that so many people get stuck under a hair dryer while they wait for there stylist to free-up from the other person they started. DON'T LET THAT HAPPEN.
Going Platinum Blond is a statement and a mission . .  I have seen meager timid guys go from mice to men and shy submissive women turn out as dominating after this transformation and I am not exaggerating. Its why Colorists love what they do so much......a good one gives a person a new identity 9 times out of 10 and that is an amazing feeling. 

Its amazing what a hair color 
can do to a personality

When mixing Killerstrands Oil Bleach ... (found in Killerstrands Clinic) it may not seem like it but it is crucial that you mix in the order described.  The creme and oil should connect first. . .  mix well  . .followed by the addition of the Developer. If for some reason you forget and begin doing it the wrong way please stop and start over. I have tried it before and the results were NOT the same - so please remember that. You want the bleach to apply in a nice silky manner so it does not drip . . . nor is too dry - - so the moisture needs to be perfect. 

Following the enclosed personal directions from a T....... will give you that

The usual method of application for a full bleach out is similar to the double application method for single process color. First apply 1 inch away from scalp, then, when the mid-shaft is nearly the desired stage of lightening, apply to the scalp area.

Now here is an alternative method  . . . which when going through my old notes from the Academy, I remembered. It was refreshing enough to read, and my next bleaching will be using this method.

First , apply the bleach. . .scalp to ends . . using the parting and sectioning I have pointed out in previous posts. When the scalp area is the desired stage of lightening . .rinse and shampoo. Dry the hair with a cool dryer. Now with this method you can see where exactly the hair needs its 2nd dose of bleach and you won't have any overlapping or over-bleaching of more vulnerable areas of the hair such as over-porous end or a fine hairline
There is no more meticulous application of product than that for on-the-scalp bleaching.  The rewards for precision are even bleaching, even toning, and hair that doesn't break. Begin the application in the darkest or coarsest area of the hair. Take fine sections with your TAIL COMB. ..thin enough to see through. With re-touches, you MUST be careful of overlapping - - and its easier to just lay a line of bleach at the scalp, then lay the next section against it, rather than smearing the bleach in with fingers.

If you are lifting past yellow be patient. . .GOLD IS ALWAYS the toughest pigment color to eliminate. It will probably take longer to go from yellow to pale yellow than it took bring the natural base to yellow

10 degrees99With double process this is important: When you rinse the bleach - -  be gentle and very thorough.Lukewarm water most efficiently rinses the thick oil bleach . . .followed by a very gentle SLS-FREE Shampoo . .  another rinse and then the final smothering in our Killerstrands INTENSIVE, which will pH balance your hair and stop & lock-in the color . This will completely stop any bleach from continuing to work, HOORAY!  Rinse well and towel dry the hair gently. Leaving INTENSIVE on for 30-45 minutes is always what I end up doing but it is totally optional.  INTENSIVE is a porosity treatment and there is nothing better  for lightened hair than porosity treatment. 

Check your Toners Directions  most of them can be applied to damp hair or dry hair.  I would truly consider using Boost & Burst if you want or need any toning............why? . Toners are many times an oxidative tint (need a developer) Many of the Professional hair color lines including Wella have enlisted specific colors on their chart to be made into Toners...although using a TONER made just for Toning, will have less ammonia, a lower pH, and in general will be gentler to both head and scalp. Toners only need a very low volume of developer. 

Purposes of toners are to conceal or beautify underlying warmth, depositing the desired hue and evening-out small defects in the bleach-out.I would truly consider using Boost & Burst if you want or need any toning............why? They are not oxidative - they are Semi-permanent - which means they do not use a developer but work just as well on platinum hair, a nice one to start out with is No-MO-Brass or PERP or Violet Pilot.........let your hair calm down and rest after it has been lightened and it will stay healthy and on your head.

 How the toner takes depends on the porosity of the hair . . . and guess what helps the porosity become even after all the up and downs of chemical services? ?  INTENSIVE followed by an overnight conditioning with THRIVEN rinse in cool water in the morning for 8-10 minutes and you will be one very happy Targaryn - I mean Platinum-head .......then go looking for your own Jon Snow.The looks you will get will set you free!

August 24, 2017

Dad's Love/Fight Their Daughters Hair - The Natural Way

I always write my own Posts and try to educate as many people across-the-board, but I am wanting to expand Killerstrands reach and point ourselves toward the Latino and African-American communities - both work here and it is simply not fair to not include them with specific Posts and Products designed for them, their hair and their problems.

Its an avenue I want to learn more about, as back in my Salon days I was known as the "QUEEN OF THE RELAXER" and I loved doing them, because when you perform the single hardest and most unique process -- SUCCESSFULLY - - you will never ever see a happier person. The first time they shower they simply do not believe their hair has remained straight afterwards.
  If you have been living under-a-rock and don't know what a Relaxer is, well it is a very strong/ incredibly long treatment that is used and has been used for many many years to chemically straighten (permanently) hair. It began in the Black community, but I used to do them on myself because of my wretched curly/frizzy red hair - so the range is vast. The problem with this procedure is, the person performing it better be a perfectionist because one wrong move and plop, the hair can be on the ground. I would never perform them on children or kids even though I was asked...Truly I love natural hair on everyone, but with my own being a nightmare I can certainly relate.

So a story from somewhere else that I cannot find ........popped up and I read it ........copy and pasted it and now cannot find it again..........but,I just thought it was the loveliest story, so I copy and pasted it here for you all to read. 

From Chance the Rapper to a zillion other boys the internet can't get enough of dads doing their daughter's hair. But these viral moments aren't just cute — they're an important moment for representation and encouraging positive paternal moments. That's part of the reason NFL wide receiver-turned-movie director Matthew Cherry, decided to create Hair Love, a Pixar-style animated short film about a Black father, Stephen, trying to do his daughter Zuri's hair.
Cherry, who has nearly 73,000 followers on Twitter, began dropping hints about the project on July 3 by sharing a black-and-white sketch of Zuri. On July 10, he launched his Kickstarter campaign to get the movie up and running. And today, he's already met $27,757 of his $75,000 goal (and counting). For what it's worth, Hair Love has some pretty impressive production credits. For example: Animator Frank Abney is currently working on Incredibles 2 and Peter Ramsey, who's an executive producer on the film, is the first Black director to direct a feature-length animated film, Rise of The Guardians.
Brag-able team aside, Cherry says that the significance of this film has a priceless takeaway. "I'm not a father yet, but I think you should respect women regardless of your connection to them," Cherry says. "So the importance of this is pretty obvious. Any time a father can be in his child's life, that's a beautiful thing."
Read on to fall in love with Hair Love even further.

Can you tell us what motivated you to create this film?
"I've had the idea for a couple of years now. It was sparked around the time that I saw Rihanna's movie Home. That was one of the first times, outside of characters in Princess and the Frog, that I saw a little Black girl as a main character in a 3D animated movie. I’ve always come across these videos — and maybe I have a little baby fever myself — because I'm always sharing cute videos of kids.

"This year, I really started seeing more people sharing videos of Black fathers doing stuff with their kids. I think a reason why all these Black father and daughter videos were hitting was because of what society has put out there. People think Black men aren't in their kids’ lives — so when people do see the videos, they look at these as an anomaly. On one hand, I'm happy seeing these videos, but on the other hand, it made me sad because I knew that a reason that these videos were going viral was because people didn't think that was normal. In the animation world, you don’t see a lot of representation of characters of color. They might fill a background role or sidekick, but you never really see a lot of lead characters of color.

"In the Black community, hair is a huge deal — it's a multi-billion dollar business and industry. I feel like there has been a huge natural hair movement that has taken off in the past few years, too. You want little girls to take pride in their natural hair, not feeling like they have to adhere to European standards of beauty. You have the lack of diversity in these animated films. Then there's the whole lack of representation of Black fathers. So it stems from those three different things."

Who’s the inspiration behind the natural hair vlogger in the film, Angela? Did you find yourself sucked into the world of vlogging while doing research?

"On my Tumblr page, I already followed lots of natural hair pages. Hair is something I've always been interested in. For men, back in the day, if you didn’t have waves, you were nappy. Now you see this whole new wave with sponge brushes — guys embracing their natural 'fro and growing their hair out more. In terms of the bloggers, I never really saw one depicted in the animated world before, so I thought it would be a cool thing to include.

"I also put myself in that position of a father. If I had to do my daughter's hair, what steps would I take? One of the first things I’d do is get into a YouTube tutorial and see what they do. The character Angela, being a natural hair vlogger, had to be as representative in the film as possible. I talked to [an] animator, and gave her some real specifics about the look. I wanted her hair to be big and a little darker, because I felt that was important."

Does Hair Love echo any of your own experiences? Or did you feel like you had to assimilate with a certain haircut at an early age?

"I think the hair situation hits everybody, both men and women. We all have hair journeys that we go through where people don't get it. They want to touch your 'fro and see if it's different. People are confused when you tell them that you cut your hair every couple weeks. There are a lot of microaggressions that tend to make a lot of people self-conscious. The coolest thing I've seen through this project is that people are able to relate to these images. They say, 'I remember when my dad did my hair and he messed it up,' or 'he did a really good job.' Most importantly, people are saying: 'Wow, I wish I had a character like this when I was growing up because it would have made me feel differently about my own hair.' You don't think about things like that, but when you're growing up and you don't see yourself represented — you think you're different."

Have you received any feedback from young fans?

"I've gotten several tweets from people saying that they've shown their kids pictures and images, and they're really excited and can't wait to see it. Even today, we're in the process of trying to collaborate with some of these Black girl doll companies, to see if we can get a character design. Her hair can be customized to where a little girl can play with it and style it, and have it be representative of what we really look like. We wanted to make sure that the hair was of various textures and very customizable. Dads and moms and kids can style it, and practice on it. I'm fairly confident that we’ll be able to get a doll made and include that in the Kickstarter, too."

Where do you hope this film will run?
"In a perfect world, I would love to treat it like an indie film and do the festival circuit. I would love if Disney, Pixar, or Sony animations saw it and would want to put it in one of their animated movies. Like maybe a short— that would be super ideal. If not, we'd still do the festival circuit, maybe Sundance in 2018. For me, the most important thing is that people see it. With short films, it's a little different than traditional movies."

 Have you received any feedback from young fans?
"I've gotten several tweets from people saying that they've shown their kids pictures and images, and they're really excited and can't wait to see it. Even today, we're in the process of trying to collaborate with some of these Black girl doll companies, to see if we can get a character design. Her hair can be customized to where a little girl can play with it and style it, and have it be representative of what we really look like. We wanted to make sure that the hair was of various textures and very customizable. Dads and moms and kids can style it, and practice on it. I'm fairly confident that we’ll be able to get a doll made and include that in the Kickstarter, too."

What message do you hope Hair Love will send?

"Even though the film features an African-American daughter and her dad, I think it's a universal story. Parents everywhere can relate to it in the same way. Kids of all ethnicity's  can see the humanity in this film. To me, it's an important story because representation matters.

"So many people have told me that they wish that they had a project like this when they were growing up, which could have helped them feel more confidence with their appearance and their natural hair.

"If you see something you can relate to with it, please support. That doesn't have to mean money. Even if you just share it, then someone else might donate, support, or share it. We're just excited about the project. I think the initial feedback has proven that we're ready to see more films that feature characters of color in the animation world."

Can you believe a football player who doesn't even have his own kids, is behind this, that in and of itself is remarkable  - he is one very centered human being!  Please donate on Kickstarter , even if it is only a little, every bit helps !
August 20, 2017

Balayage (hair painting) : a Look I Love, But a Technique I Can Do Without

The More You Know the Less You FEAR

This post always generates a lot of hair stylists tearing me apart & putting me in answer to that, I have filled in some areas and re-written this so as to address the concerns they keep bringing up. Last I checked we still lived in the USA and there is room for everyone:

> professional hair stylists

> crib colorists 

> damn Boxed hair color

   Had 1 more sad story emailed to me about Balayage this week,  this is a topic I have been tap dancing around for the entire time the KS Blog has been in existence. I have been promising forever to address my opinion about the technique. So, while it is not at all what I was planning on writing today, sometimes adapting to my readers, is the smartest decision.

 I need to be clear on something.......its not the "look" of Balayage I don't like ...its the "application " people are trying. Of course there are some beautiful balayage heads of hair out there, and a lot of talented artists doing the "freehand technique'' - but that is not the norm. that I hear from . Many people end up here because of some hair disaster - so when you hear it as much as I do, you really wonder if this whole hair painting thing is worth the marketing ploy.

About 18-19 years ago {yep, that’s how old this technique is} I first got wind of BALAYAGE - ( which was not its name for about 5 years). I can still remember hearing about it, and thought, uh geez……one more “cowboy color” move, I never talked or thought about it again. Once a year – every year, some new “technique’ within the hair color world gets introduced and then proceeds to (almost) always fail. I'm not saying all 'new' hair coloring techniques will not be successful.....but you have to remember that unless a new chemical has been introduced, millions have people have been working on this issue for over 100 years......many brilliant artists and cosmetic chemists have been working and playing on new techniques and art forms.

 This dinghy Balayage is like gum on my shoe just won't go AWAY ! ! !  Everything about it makes absolutely no sense, although for the interest in the comment section, that shows me that many of you sure are intrigued by it....

Having wondered ‘where’ these quirky little processes  come from, makes me question - - the reason behind them. Within a Colorists world there is always a “new” technique around the corner..the industry of hair coloring was an 8 billion dollar sector of the market in 2016. That's right up there with the pentagon (j/k).   That new technique is almost always just a new name for something we already do, which means it is merely the result of the hair world’s > “Marketing-machine”.  In other words . . . the theory is, if a new technique is announced it will get more people into Salons, which is brilliant - do not get me wrong on that one.                          
Yep, that’s how the world of Color rolls! Why do you think they show pure white snowy blonds ( see my previous post) one month and raven dark haired vixens the next. As long as “change” is happening in hair color, then its a good thing for the “business” of hair color and the world of hair. If everyone were to remain a level 8 B ….year after year after year, what a boring ho-hum world it would be, and how hum drum it would be for business. Just like everything else in today’s world, Hair Color is first and foremost  - -  a business - -  and it needs rejuvenation and spark to stay interesting and provocative, just like any other.

I was trained at …. Vidal Sassoon. A school that has strict rules and regulations for extremely valid reasons. I admire their ways & means of teaching and continue to follow them all to this day. This entire BLOG is littered with both: KC-isms & Sassoon-isms… so if you want to learn the same, I would read and absorb…… and absorb. 

Now, when any Colorist is preparing to color a hair models hair, the first step always is the “consultation”. To me there is no more important step. The reason so many Stylists/Colorists make mistakes, is because they don’t take the time necessary to properly analyze this step and look at their clients hair back story. It is crucial to a successful outcome, to fully
  • analyze the hair’s characteristics,
  • learn the previous color processes performed
  • understand the “desired” look
Now, one of the biggest and most common mistakes one will see on blonds, is when the hair turns yellow/brass/orange/gold . I’ve tried many ways of explaining why that happens, we will try another one today. There is a misconception that ‘brass’ is a color and it can be removed, when nothing could be further from the truth. Its a bit of an ‘odd’ concept how the color Brass, or blorange, or Gold shows its ugly head in hair. But let me try  to explain how, where and why it comes from. I can’t tell you the amount of readers that have asked me if they could use the artificial hair color remover “VANISH” to remove the BRASS from their hair.’ 

Another KC-ism in Hair Color is

Using Vanish is the complete wrong tool, and it seems to be my issue in not teaching this concept properly….as to why some of you don’t understand why not....I would like to try to get this clarified in this post, if you don’t understand, PLEASE ask in the COMMENTS section below, so I can see what I am missing.

When you apply color to the hair you are adding color . Color + Color (=) makes more Color, so the hair has more pigment. If the color used is addition only, the hair will often (but not always) be darker.

When finally comprehending color theory, it can benefit much more than hair color, it can add to the Interior or Exterior Design of your Home, the Clothing you put together and wear, it can even benefit the Frosting or Decorations you make on a cake. Color Theory affects many different aspects of ones life, and once it sinks in,you will find yourself having “aha” moments that deal with color theory revelations randomly.I receive emails from new Crib Colorists all the time with various stories of how color theory has popped  into their everyday life. Remember ANY education, is good for you. 

For a balanced natural hair color: all 3 primaries must be present
An imbalance (lack of any of 3 primaries) of primaries leads to an imbalance of end result
Therefore if you are blond, with brassy tones, the method one would use to “COUNTER” the brassy tones is what?
If the hair color is brassy, that means the primary that is the strongest is the YELLOW.
{Primary colors are Red, Blue & Yellow}
So, if the YELLOW is predominant and is what is causing the hair to be an obnoxious brassy color
Use the rule, that if the color is objectionable, then play with the primary colors to solve the problem.Take the 2 other primary colors…..???? RED & BLUE, mix them together which makes PURPLE ( right?)
Add a PURPLE TONER to that brassy Blond and it will knock that brass right out of the hair .
Once you begin to lighten hair….warmth is released. The first pigment to be released during lightening is BLUE. If you start with the blackest most coarse hair and begin to lighten it with bleach, you immediately see a change.
Because BLUE is the first pigment to leave the hair, you would go very quickly into the RED Zone, which is also the most difficult zone to leave. However if you use a microscope to observe the same black hair being lightened, you would see a different dominance of pigment at each step
So, if you were to observe the amount of natural pigment remaining in the hair at each level under a microscope, you would see a dominance of blue pigment at LEVEL 1 – BLACK, Which makes sense because black is really the BLUEST BROWN.
  • Level 2: very very dark brown, a dominance of blue/violet, which is still very dark but not black,prevails.
  • Level 3 : violet dominates
  • Level 4: violet/Red
  • Level 5: Red
  • Level 6: Red/Orange
  • Level 7: Orange
**LEVEL 7, btw is the most difficult stage or level to get past  -  all the trouble with brassy colors in hair stems from this
  • Level 8 : DURP Gold
  • Level 9: Yellow
  • Level 10: Very Pale Yellow10 degrees99
Now, that is an overview of where “brass” comes from and why it is so very difficult to get rid of. It is the most dominant color, it is the hardest color to counter, and the most impossible color to eliminate. There is no avoiding it, it is the most predominant color in everyone’s hair, no matter ‘what’ color the Virgin hair is.
Now to explain ‘why the Balyage technique makes no sense to “this Colorist” anyway!
The color hardest to get out of the hair………is Gold/Brass {Level 7 Brass/Gold is like Glue}
The way in which hair is lightened is by applying bleach to the hair. The bleach then “lifts” the  color OUT OF THE STRANDS….in an effort to lighten it into the desired blond shade of choice….. in other words its like  sucking the color out the strands of hair…..
(I want to put this in the most simplified terms possible)
Say the hair is BLACK………….and you DESIRE PLATINUM
The mixture of Bleach plus 40 VOLUME DEVELOPER  is applied to the black hair and the bleach begins to suck the color out of the hair…………..
The lightening train goes like this….color is drawn out of the hair strand in this method:
  • BLACK - ->>> GOES TO
  • DARKEST BROWN ----> > >TO
  • DARK  BROWN  - - -> > >  GOES TO
  • BROWN  - - -> > >  GOES TO
  • LIGHT BROWN - - - -  GOES TO
  • RED - - - > > >  GOES TO
  • RED-ORANGE---->>> WHICH goes TO - - - >>>
  • GOLD  - - -  - which goes to
  • YELLOW - - - -> > > >
  • PALE BLOND the desired colored when millions of women go looking for a Sun-Kissed Blond Look).
Bleach/ lightener doesn't keep its strength forever.........Really after 75 minutes ( or knowing how well your hair lifts ,which should always be calculated with a strand test prior to using this product) 
Now what happens to so very many blonds that have BRASS instead of BLOND….is the lightener ( of whichever type or kind has been used)has not been left on long enough, OR a strong enough developer was not used. Resulting in the hair lightening up but getting stuck at the “GOLD” Level…..see it up there? If the lightener would have stayed on longer or a stronger volume developer would have been used it would have been able to climb those remaining 2 levels to PALE YELLOW BLOND .

Now when this dippy Balayage method, paints the Lightener on the hair –  FreeHand as you see in this photo:  001 Ballyage001
Why would you paint the lightener on the hair free hand? I have no idea what that accomplishes?
I wonder if they think it looks more natural??  It won’t……I wonder if they think it’s faster ?? Most likely.. . . .
 Foils are difficult to learn - they had foiling BOOT camps at Sassoon because they not only wanted your foiling work to be 'pretty' looking - when the foils were on the head  ( which at first I thought was sooooooooo bizarre - who cares???) ..............then after I finally absorbed and understood the entire Sassoon world and education I finally GOT IT ! While the other people in the salon had screwy looking uneven and  horribly placed foils - yours would be perfect and orderly, it not only made your client feel special I cannot tell you how many clients switched to me to be their Colorist -- SIMPLY because of my foiling work. I OWE THAT ALL TO SASSOON ! ) Remember Foils keeping moisture in and on the strands. Moisture keeps the lightener active and working, the last thing you want is for it to dry out.........which is what will happen to it in the AIR .....during Balayage. Do you really think no one thought of this before?  That's the part that gets me. So 70 years ago when all of these techniques were first being formulated you don't think the first Colorists didn't think of painting the bleach on the hair FIRST????


Because when you did that the client would repeatedly end up with brassy hair - then the hair needs to be "re-colored' and REPEATING lightening processes on top of each other is called OVER-LAPPING and check in my rules about how to achieve the most damage in lightening hair. OVER-LAPPING is at the top of the list. 

They figured out a long time ago if foils were used that the majority of people would have properly colored blonde hair. They did NOT make up the process just because they wanted to add a useless step to lightening hair. 


I know this is a very controversial subject but I stick to my guns about how foiling is the proper method for achieving natural looking "off- scalp" streaks, wisps or ribbons or ropes or pieces or whatever you want to call little pieces of hair that are lightened lighter than the rest of the hair.
FOILS are hard to learn. Ask anyone who is an A List Colorist and if properly placed they can achieve the exact same look with less time and more control.

 Here is another photo of Balayage, which I would foil and would achieve this exact same look.


As a Colorist .......what you want when you color hair is “control”. 

Control and Timing so I know exactly what is going to happen and WHEN. If you are to paint lightener on the hair you are going to lose the body’s warmth that comes from using foils. Once the lightener is applied to the strand of hair then the foil is folded over that strand …. both the body and the foil create HEAT a very mild warmth which is actually just perfect -- it gently helps the lightening action along. if you don’t use foil, you lose that, which means you have a much greater risk of ending up in the BRASS RANGE. The dreaded BRASS – range......... its why we use foils. 
 Lightening hair without the use of foils is archaic and unnecessary. If anything, apply the foils with the lightener, as hair stylists you must learn how to check hair that has lightener on it, and KNOW WHAT STAGE IT IS, I mean it doesn’t take long…in about 2 months of practice you could be good at foils and should know what hair looks like when you scrape off the lightener from a clients foils….to be able to tell whether or not you should rinse a client now or in 20 minutes. Yes, its an  art, but dammit, get GOOD at that art….its why you went into this biz, don’t be a slacker.

I cannot even figure out what the purpose of Balayage is, to be perfectly frank.

 I need to be clear on something.......its not the "look" of Balayage I don't like ...its the "application form" people are trying. Of course there are some beautiful balayage heads of hair out there, and a lot of talented artists doing the "freehand technique'' - but that is not the norm. I hear from . Many people end up here because of some hair disaster - so when you hear it as much as I do, you really wonder if this whole hair painting thing is worth the marketing ploy.
With foils you can create just about any work of art you would like….. foils let Color 1 be on a certain portion of hair. . . . while allowing Colors 4-7 & 9 to NOT be other portions…. 

Using foils are the mark of a Great Colorist. Everything they claim Balayage can create we have been doing for years with foils. There is a certain strain of hairstylists that don’t use foils and the only reason I could possibly imagine for not using foils is laziness, they are untrained in the art, or...the clients hair lifts so quickly it may get damaged.  . Foils are used for the heat they retain – the art they allow to have and the mobility they impart when trying to display a rainbow of colors WITHOUT BRASS in the blond’s. 

I will have at least a half dozen people every week ask me what they can do to get the brass out…..or the ‘orange’ out…I ask how the Stylist colored their hair and the answer is ALWAYS BALAYAGE!!!!!! So, if you believe nothing else, believe that, or your own experience.
The only way to lighten hair with “control” over how light it does or does not get is with Bleach. So many are hesitant of the use of bleach, . As an experienced Colorist, bleach can be your best friend … there are just soooo many uses for it, but never ever use it without plenty of experience behind you. 

Balayage began in the country of France, which explains a lot (to me) . Balayage,  is a French term for hair painting. It is a freehand placement of highlights, without the use of foils, allows for a more natural color application that complements and contrasts in all the right places.THAT is what the textbooks say. I say, bring back the foils!

This is what Balyage looks like;


Think before you request this technique and I never EVER would suggest or imply that anyone should try to do this technique at home, this is where the talented hair colorist comes in and they come in with a BANG doing this right! Ask that Stylist if they also do foils. 
Remember foils give the colorist more control and get the hair PAST that dreaded ‘brass’ stage.
Something.................anyone Loves !

August 19, 2017

Become LLLEVEL Headed, Knowing the ''Level System of Hair Coloring" Can Prevent Disasters

Back to the Books
 If you plan on trying to learn the CRIB COLORIST method you must review the entire blog.
 Please, read through the entire Blog, take a week to do it - if it seems overwhelming or 'too much' ... it doesn't take that long and everyone I ask to do that - 'Thanks me' - when they are finished.... they really do! Absorb and learn it so you have the advantage/knowledge for the rest of your life.


I want to go back and review some of the Level System. Of course in this small arena, I have not covered it all. I tried to focus on the important parts, but I realize there are additional areas I must cover so the education is more thorough.

What I'd like to do is to get everyone on Killerstrands talking in 'Levels and Tones', as a Sassoon Colorist that's how we roll. Everyone is known by their hair color level & tone, every single person has one, even if they have never colored their hair. So as you go through your day, as you stand in the line at the post office - start guessing everyone's Level and Tone - practice makes perfect

The first task in learning hair color theory is to understand the difference between LEVEL and TONE. These 2 characteristics of Color are the most important and vital to understanding the concept.

Level, I thought I felt confidant that most everyone understands this concept, it simply refers to the lightness or darkness of hair color be it natural or artificial............. but over the course of this last week........I am realizing there will always be brand new people showing up and my teaching will never be done.  If anyone out there is having a difficult time with the concept of "Level" I want you to post a comment at the end of this post OR email me so I know. Everyone here needs to be able to name every person in your life's Level/Tone of hair. Think about that. . can you?

 Everyone is one level between  LEVEL 1 & 12 .

The amount of Tones is a whole different story. Especially in 2017. Because now it is normal to have a Rose-Gold in your line and if you don't you better get back to the Lab and invent one ! Because that was the single most desired tone in Salons  in 2016 ! and I don't see it doing away anytime soon. I guess the confusing part comes from the fact that as soon as the major hair color manufacturers decide on a basic 8 Tones, one of the companies decides to add a new tone or two, for Pizzazz! As colorists we are never more thrilled when we hear of a new tone coming down the pike. They call that a Lab-Rat, and sadly I may fit well into that category -- what a loser.

Manufacturers Level Systems vary somewhat from one another. Some products have ten levels, some 11, some 12. Regardless of the variations the lowest number will be the darkest color in any given system - highest number the lightest color.

Levels are precise degrees of lightness standardized across the manufacturer's tonal groups. All colors of the same level will have the same degree of lightness or depth, whether natural (neutral), ash, gold, matte, Pearl, Brown-Red-Violet, or any other tone.
To illustrate this, visualize a tall building, black is the basement and white is the penthouse, graduating from dark to light each story a grade lighter than the one beneath it. 
That is the International Level System, with numbers identifying those grades of dark to light. 
If you wash this image with a hue, such as gold, then you have a tonal series. 
 Imagine a "black and White" photograph - in that you are only seeing 'Levels" of color. Before color in our TV's and in our photographs we only had this "tonal" look. Its taking one color and going from the dark to light in each.

Tone refers to the hue of a hair color, be it natural or artificial. The main tones, or hues, of hair coloring are natural, ash, beige, gold & red...although I like to add, matt, pearl, brown-red and a few others. 

Another point I know I didn't clarify was the labeling of hair color, so when you go to buy that first tube of color you won't be thoroughly confused by what's printed on the end of the box. Manufacturers usually indicate the tones of their colors with letters: 'A' for Ash ....'N' for Neutral and so on. Numbers are also used to designate 'tone', for instance, if ".1" means ASH , then a Level 6 ASH would be a 6.1. That's the method, my European based WELLA line uses and to make it easier on the end of the box it says : 6/01A, so you get both.

Any color can be described in level and tone. If the sky is blue and darkest blue almost navy along the horizon and then graduates up as you look into the sky. Those are also distinctions in "levels". The level system pertains specifically and only to hair coloring.
If you are having problem distinguishing between level and tone, give it some more time. It will come to you. Its just foreign lingo.

FYI: the painters use of these words are totally different than the hair colorists and should not be related -- each has different vernaculars, but it is still all COLOR THEORY !