Posts Tagged ‘kristin ess color’

AT HOME ROOT TOUCH UP

PHOTOS/POST/DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS

I’d like to handle this post with soft hands. Thursday I posted a teaser photo of this on Instagram. Got some heat right away. I’d like to avoid that here by saying up front– we’re not trying to put colorists (like myself) out of work, we’re not trying to get your clients to come in less frequently, and we’re certainly not encouraging people to start box dying their hair at home instead of going to a pro. In no way should any colorists feel threatened by this post. This is basic info that can be found on the internet already, not to mention most of it is inside of the box! This tutorial is not even 1/1000th of what a good colorist knows and it’s not going to give someone enough confidence to leave their stylist to start doing it at home. Please be open minded to the fact that some people cannot make it into a salon for many reasons– budget constraints, distance, their colorist cancels last minute before an important date and they can’t get in anywhere else, etc. In addition, I personally have a very soft spot for at-home box dye experimenting because my first box of “Cinnamon Stick” by Natural Instincts in the 90’s is what made me want to become a colorist in the first place. Experimenting and gaining knowledge is part of life, ladies and g’s.

That being said, let’s do it…

 

  1. Detangle your hair with a detangling brush.
  2. Drape yourself with a cape or an old towel around your neck.
  3. Determine where your regrowth (your roots) stops.
  4. Use a tail comb to accurately create 4 sections. When coloring your hair, it’s important to work in clean sections to avoid patches/missed spots.
  5. Your four sections should look like this.

 

  1. If you’re someone who does their own root color regularly, it’s a good idea to invest in a tint brush, color bowl and a small wire whisk. If you prefer to use the bottle from the box, you can definitely do that, but I feel like the brush/bowl method helps with accuracy.
  2. Use a wire whisk to mix your color & developer together until you see zero “chunks”. Or you can shake it up in the bottle and pour the contents into the bowl.
  3. This is a tint brush. You can pick one up at most beauty supplies. This one has rounded edges, which I prefer, but you don’t have to get that.
  4. Put protective gloves on before you start applying color.

*if your skin stains easily or if you’re using a dark/rich color, put a thin application of Vaseline around your hairline and on the tops of your ears to create a barrier.

NOW… this is where opinions will vary. From here on, this is my personal opinion which you can follow or not. This is how I like to color my own hair when I’m in a pinch or can’t find time to get it done by one of my pro friends. If you like to start at the bottom or do anything differently, by all means, go for it! The reason I like to start on top is because I want the color to look most perfect on top and in the front where it’s the most visible. Sometimes when you start on the bottom, the color gets less powerful (aka: oxidizes) by the time you get to the top. If the color is slightly less powerful by the time I get to the bottom, I’m okay with that, but not the other way around. I also find it easier to keep my sections organized when I start in front.

Warning: This application is NOT the same for bleach and in my opinion you should never try to bleach your hair at home. That’s next level and you should always leave that to a professional, no matter what.

 

  1. Apply a layer of color at the top center part.
  2. Using the tail of your tint brush, take a 1/4″ section and flip it up and over to the other side.
  3. Your sections should look like this. You should be able to see color through the other side. If you can’t see color through the section, it might be too big and you should take a smaller section to insure accuracy.
  4. When you paint each section, brush the color upward  when going above the part and then paint downward below the parting. This will help you make sure you don’t miss any spots.
  5. If you’re not quite sure that you go it all the way through, you can very lightly comb through to be sure. But again, you could just take smaller sections if you think you missed a spot.
  6. Once you finish the top/front sections, clip them together so they don’t get mixed into the back sections. Don’t clip where there’s color. Don’t twist the hair either. Just gather it all and gently place the clip below the color.
  7. The back sections can be tricky. I like to start at the top and do diagonal sections laying them forward as I go. If you look at photos 7 & 8 you’ll see the direction in which I work. Start at the top and work your way to the bottom.
  8. Check in the mirror behind you and make sure you get your hairline at the neck accurately. Nothing worse than putting your hair in a ponytail and having missed a spot.
  9. Go around the front hairline once more (especially if you have stubborn grays). Clean up your hairline so you don’t get a giant mark across your forehead.

 

I am obsessed with glosses. I put one on every client who gets a base color because I feel like it’s just not the same without a gloss. You may remember THIS POST about glazes, which you is the at-home version of a gloss. You can’t buy the type of glosses we use at the salon to use at home so if you’re looking for that kind of shine, book an appointment with your colorist. Otherwise you can glaze it up like this:

  1. After your hair color processes for the time suggested by the manufacturer it will stop. At that point,  you can clip up the top half of your hair. Don’t push it into the color on top of your head. Just set it up there lightly and clip.
  2. Apply glaze liberally until you get to the top. Let it sit for the suggested time, then rinse everything all together.

Optional: If you’re planning on pulling color through your ends instead of  doing a glaze, follow the timing instructions on the box. Every brand is different. This tutorial is specifically for touching up regrowth + glaze, not for doing a solid over-all color– you need a pro for that.

HAIR COLOR GUIDE (REDS)

POST/GRAPHIC DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS

The best thing in the world is when a client walks into the studio and says “I think I want to go red.” It’s hard to keep from jumping up and down. First thing you have to do as a colorist is find out what kind of red your client is attracted to. And if you’re doing the color at home, you have to figure out what tones you want to have. I made this chart to show you the 4 main red families. It’s important to know because there are so many different names for red– colorists, am I right? One person’s chestnut is another person’s auburn, and one person’s copper is another person’s strawberry blonde. This guide gives you a clearer understanding and something to take with you when getting your color done or shopping for the right box to use at home. Below I’ve listed the 4 main families of red and some helpful info about each one…

  • Ginger. This is the kind of color you see on someone who is a natural redhead. Think of Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Isla Fisher, Jessica Chastain, etc… Gingers are typically a lighter shade because as this tone goes darker it leans more toward “a hint of red, which we discussed in the last color guide post. Ginger is not an intense red so the darker you go, the less you see the red. I suggest you go for this if you have fair skin and light eyes.
  • Copper/Orange. This is one of the most popular reds on earth thanks to Christina Hendricks and Taylor Tomassi Hill. Admit it! You’ve definitely wondered if you could pull of that sparkling shade of Joan. It’s vibrant and rich and reflects so much light. The good news is it can be done on almost any skin tone as long as it’s done right. A true copper will have a very “orange” tone to it so you’ll have to work hard to keep it from fading but it’s so worth it. Bright copper/orange tones are stunning. I tend to put this on the girls who love a very vintage vibe and have great style.
  • Blue Reds. Don’t let the blue part scare you. It just means this is more of a true red. Think koolaid, think red velvet cake, think Jessica Rabbit. Just like the copper/orange family, I vote you can put this one almost anyone who’s willing to try it. It looks great on any skin tone if it’s done right. I’ve put this on girls with every skin tone and I can tell you it works, but you have to have a very special attitude to pull this off. I like to discribe this as decadent, rebellious and glamourous. This color isn’t for the shy girl.
  • Purple Reds. We’re talking merlot, black cherry, plum and berries. These are my favorite for girls who have naturally dark hair and want to dip into the red family. It tends to go well with a more olive skin tone. I usually like to stay away from putting purple-reds on girls with redness or pink tones in their skin. The purple tones can bring out the redness. Purple based reds aren’t supposed to look natural! Shine and intensity is what this color is all about. When I do this on someone, I encourage them to wear their hair wavy because it really helps give it a little dimesion and keeps it from looking wig-like.

Fading: Synthetic reds (as in anything you use color to achieve) are known for fading fast.

  • Use a color shampoo. Either one that deposits color or one that is intended to keep the color longer. (Stay tuned for the color shampoo round up! I’ll spill my favorites for keeping color in place next week.)
  • Start strong. I always formulate my color so that it’s extra bright for the first week and then fades out to a perfect shade by the second week, then it holds that color for weeks to come. Try going a slightly brighter color so it settles where you want it!
  • Give it some time. With red, you have to apply it over and over and over in order for it to really stick– especially if you’re going red from a lighter color. My red faded out so much for the first year, but once I got into the second year there was a major decrease in fading. Think about it– if you put red dye on a white towel and wash it, it will be pink. When you dye it over and over it will start to keep the color more. Give it time.
  • It’s easier to keep the color in if you’re going from a darker shade to red vs. a lighter shade to red. Natural dark hair color has so much red under it already that it supports the red and keeps it from fading so fast. Lighter hair doesn’t have the same underlying red tones to support. Just know it may be a little harder. (Talk to your colorist if you want a more indepth understanding of this.)

Hope you guys have loved these color guides! If you missed any, see them here: ASHE, NEUTRALGOLD, WARM GOLD, HINT OF RED.

HAIR COLOR GUIDE (NEUTRAL)

  

POST/GRAPHIC DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS

Next up in our “Hair Color Guide” series is the good ol’ neutral family. The name may sound boring, however, the unique beauty of this perfectly balanced shade is anything but boring. The way I like to describe neutral to my clients is by telling them it’s “nearly toneless”. I tell them to think of “sand at the beach” to picture the right hue. It’s not gold/warm and it’s not cool/ashe. It’s still shiny but it won’t give off any particular tone. That being said– don’t confuse the word “neutral” with the word “natural”! Someone’s natural hair color can be a neutral tone, and another person’s natural hair color can be a golden tone so natural doesn’t mean neutral. (A confusing statement I know, but read it a couple times if you need to and hopefully it will make sense.)  A few things to keep in mind when considering a neutral tone:

  • It may take some time. Neutral hair doesn’t always happen in one color application, especially if you’re coming from a warmer color. Cutting underlying warm tones can take a couple rounds. Be patient whether you’re doing this yourself or going to a colorist. Know that it will happen with repeated application.
  • Go in for a gloss. Ask your colorist if you can come in to get a color gloss in between color appointments. It’s a quick process and will help keep unwanted tones away.
  • It’s a thin line between ashe and neutral. Ashe is jusssssst over the fence from neutral. If you really desire that perfect neutral tone, you may have to overshoot into ashe and live with it for 2-3 shampoos. I know– nobody wants to leave the hairstylist and wait 2-3 shampoos for the perfect color to surface, and with most tones you shouldn’t have to but with neutral tones you just might. Mentally prep yourself for that (aka: don’t schedule a hot date for the next evening). If you don’t have the patience for that, stay tuned for our next post.
  • Purple shampoo every other time. You just have to. It’s the law. No but really, if you don’t the likely hood is high that warm tones will work their way into your hair.
  • Conditioning treatments are important. Just like ashe colors, if this starts to look dull, it can look bad. Keep it shiny and keep it clean.
  • Who can wear neutral tones? Almost anyone! The most important thing to think about, however, is “Is this my most flattering color?” Sometimes just because you can pull it off doesn’t mean it’s your best color. I was platinum blonde for 8 years and it looked good but nothing compared to how I felt when I went bright red. So ask yourself, is this my best/most flattering color?

Hope you’ve enjoyed the first two (neutral + ashe). See you next week for gold tones, warm golds and hints of red!

DARKENING YOUR EYEBROWS

This one is for all you gorgeous gals with brows lighter than your hair color. The lovely Hannah was so kind to let me borrow her brows to show you how this is done. Her hair is naturally brown but her brows are fine and blonde. I do this on a lot of my clients in the salon if their brows are lighter than their hair color– often times on a blonde who goes darker. But you can do this at home with a rich brown dye. I prefer to get something in the ashe family when doing brows because ashe combats warmth and keeps your brows from going too golden/red. I also prefer to use something with a lower volume since your goal is not to lift, but to deposit. Try a non-permanent dye like the ones that wash out in 28 washes. I find that regular dye gets too intense and looks a bit fake when darkening brows. These ones by Clairol will do the trick! By the way– this is not the same process as lightening eyebrows (which we’ll get to soon) so keep in mind these steps are only for darkening. Okay, here we go!

You always want to be incredibly careful when using dye near your eyes. If you’re not good with stuff like this, enlist a friend! Keep your eyes closed while the color processes just to be safe.

  1. Start with clean dry brows. You don’t want to do this on brows that have been filled in with makeup because you won’t see the color change as well.
  2. Using a spoolie (which you can buy at any beauty supply) or an old mascara wand that has been shampooed and dried, comb out your brows.
  3. Apply color first to the inside half of the brow as you see Hannah doing above. I prefer doing this part first because I always find that it needs a little more time to process than the outsides. The hairs are usually thicker and more dense on the inside half.
  4. Wait a minute or two and go over it one more time with a little more color to make sure you didn’t miss any little spots– the inside halves of the brow can be really dense!
  5. Clean up the edges with a pointed q-tip. I use professional color remover, but you can also just use warm water. If you see any staining you can use SeaBreeze or any facial tonic to help remove the spot. But the whole reason you clean up as you go is to avoid staining. I would say you should give the insides 5-7 minutes to process before moving to the next step. You should see the color start changing/oxidizing.
  6. Next, apply the color to the outer halves.
  7. Clean up the edges again with a pointed q-tip and wait another 5-10 minutes. The color will probably appear darker than it really is and it can look a little scary. You can always remove a little dye with a q-tip to see where they’re at. If they’re not done, just put a little more color over that spot with your spoolie.
  8. Once it’s to your desired shade, use a dark towel with warm water to remove the rest of the color. You shouldn’t have much staining since you cleaned up as you go.
  9. Check your work in the mirror to make sure you didn’t miss any spots. If you did, just go back in and spot-treat it.

Good luck! Would love to hear your brow darkening experiences or any requests you have below. xo