Posts Tagged ‘toner’

AT-HOME HIGHLIGHTS

PHOTOS + POST: KRISTIN ESS

PHOTOS + POST: KRISTIN ESS

Last week, something fascinating happened; I learned that it IS possible for one to give themselves a mini highlight at home, both safely and beautifully. When I was about 14 I started highlighting all of my friends’ hair at home (oh yah… from a cap.) and somehow it always turned out great, so I suppose my initial confidence in this project sprouted from my experimental younger self mixed with my faith in Dana because she’s a smart girl. Now let me give you a little back story. I get asked about DIY highlights all the time and my reaction has always been the same: “JUST DO NOT.”, accompanied by a look that puts the fear of gawd into the person asking. But when Dana asked me if it was possible to add a little brightness around the front of her hair at home, as much as I wanted to put her on my schedule and offer to do it for her, something told me we should roll with this and turn this into a guide for those of you who really need it.

As a professional colorist, it used to be my NIGHTMARE to see people take bleach into their own hands at home. But in this day and age, I know people are going to do it anyway, so I figure if you’re audacious enough to try, the least I can do (as everyones digital big sister) is guide you through! All I ask is that you not try to do more than what’s easy and safe for you. I don’t recommend doing more than a little face frame highlight around the front because by doing more than that you could easily lose control and things could go very, very wrong. Okay… here we go.

To start, I’ll tell you the same thing I told Dana: please check all allergies (instructions to conduct an allergy test will be on the box), wear gloves, protective clothing and keep bleach off of your skin and away from your eyes throughout this process. Be an adult about this and don’t do things that are unsafe or unclear.

manic panic bleach kit the beauty department

First things first, you will need a bleach kit. I wanted to be as realistic as possible about this so instead of going to the professional beauty supply stores I normally go to, I took Dana to Sally’s Beauty Supply in LA because I know the majority of you will have a Sally’s and you don’t need a license to shop there.

We got THIS EXACT BLEACH KIT for $10. If that sells out, it’s also available RIGHT HERE for a couple dollars more. I’m sure there are other great at-home bleach kits, but I wanted to make sure we got one that is widely available! (bonus: this kit also comes with a pair of latex gloves!)

highlight brushes at home highlights

I think it’s important to have 2 brushes: one to apply the bleach and one to blend. Dana is going to use the application brush from the kit as well as a “spoolie” brush which is a small brush made for brows and lashes. It’s basically a disposable mascara wand. You can grab those at any beauty supply or if you don’t have that you can use an old toothbrush that you will then need to throw away.

at home highlights the beauty department

Next steps are going to be grabbing your SECTIONING CLIPS, putting on your PROTECTIVE CAPE, and clipping one side of your hair back. I encouraged Dana to part her hair where she normally would (she chose a subtle side part), and then push everything back on one side so she could focus on one side at a time. (By the way, it is SO fun and entertaining to watch and guide someone through this process!!)

thebeautydepartment.com at home highlights

Now you have to find the exact pieces you want to highlight! I asked Dana to look at her hair and find the key pieces that she thought would look best highlighted when her hair is styled. OHHHH! I should mention– I also asked her to do this on styled hair so she could see where the lighter pieces should fall with the way she normally wears it. I think that is very important! In the right photo above you can see the pieces she chose. I think each piece you choose should be no bigger than a regular shoe lace.

beauty dept at home highlights

Once you have your pieces out and the rest of your hair securely clipped out of the way, it’s time to mix your bleach! Follow every little tiny instruction on the box. I told Dana to mix half of the contents first and apply to one side, then go back and mix a fresh batch when she was ready to do the other side. Otherwise your bleach can oxidize and get weaker as it sits out.

diy highlight the beauty department

Time to applyyyyyy!! On the left you can see that she applied from the middle to ends. Do NOT even try to go higher than that, please. You’ll end up with problems. We want to keep this as easy and safe as possible, so pleeeeease don’t go up high with your bleach. Apply middle to ends on each thin section.

thebeautydepartment.com face frame highlights at home

Once you apply with your applicator brush from middle down, use your spoolie to soften the transition between the dark and light hair. You don’t want a harsh line where the bleach stops so lightly drag your spoolie up and down where your bleach stops and soften the look! Once you feel like you’re in a good place with your blending, put the colored strands in either saran wrap or HAIR COLOR FOILS to keep the color from drying out. (ps: I had Dana put one extra foil above that one just to be safe and keep it away from her eyes on the side that’s heavier. She’ll only need one foil on the less heavy side.)

Keep in mind, bleach works very differently than hair color. Hair color stops, bleach does not. You will need to check your hair from time to time inside the foil/saran wrap to see how light it’s getting. Since this is a 30 volume bleach, it moves quickly and you should keep an eye on it. Don’t try to make the pieces platinum, use your best judgement and follow the instructions. You just want a subtle highlight.

at home highlight tutorial the beauty department 1

Dana has very dark, very coarse, strong hair. I felt it was safe for her to section, mix more bleach and apply the second side while the first side was processing in the foil. But if you have dry, damaged hair, previously bleached hair or light hair naturally you should do one side at a time, start to finish because you may need to take side 1 off sooner than you think.

the beauty dept diy highlights

Keep an eye on both sides as they process. One will be lighter than the other as you go because you applied one side first. Do not apply heat when doing this at home. Things can get too out of control too quickly! Slow and steady definitely wins the race! In total Dana kept her foils on for 20 minutes per side but her hair is super dark and very strong. I would say the average is going to be 15 minutes give or take. Remember: Dana’s first side was put on 10 minutes before the other side so that time counts as processing time! In other words, her first side will be ready 1o minutes before the second side.

toning at home highlights the beauty department

When the hair is ready, you’ll rinse, shampoo and tone. For this Dana shampooed with THIS, then applied THIS TONER, then THIS CONDITIONER. What tone you like is really based on your own personal taste. When you go into your beauty supply, talk to someone who works there about what tones you like and tell them you’re looking for a toner rather than a permanent color. Toner is like a sheer-colored top coat for the hair. It can cut out yellow, add warmth, add pink tones, whatever you want. So since I don’t know what you’re going for, it’s best to get advised by someone who works there. If you’re not sure what tones you love, check my tone guides here: ASHY, NEUTRAL, GOLD WARM TONES, HINT OF REDRED. With Dana, she wanted to make it more neutral so she used an ash toner. She applied it and left it on for 6 minutes and rinsed when it looked ready. Remember to keep the rest of your hair clipped back and away from all this color. Only apply the toner to those few pieces you’ve lightened, otherwise it can mess with your hair color and it can create extra unnecessary work for your salon colorist if you apply all over.

at home hair color highlights kristin ess

This was the final result once the hair was dried and waved. I think she did an EPIC job, especially for never coloring her hair own or anyone else’s hair ever before. She slayed the game and I was like a proud mom when all was said and done. Too bad she doesn’t want to do hair! Ha.

You may ask why this is neccessary. I think we all have very different lives and different priorites and before anyone slams the idea of me sharing this info with the general public, we need to remember that we’re not all the same. This world is big and we don’t all have access to a great colorist, not all of us have money to spend in the salon and frankly some just don’t have the time. But we have access to information by the click of a button and that’s what this is. That being said, would you have the courage to brighten a couple little strands at home?

PLANNING FOR PLATINUM

the beauty department platinum

PHOTOS/POST: KRISTIN ESS, ALLIE MARIE EVANS

It seems to be a pattern lately… Girl gets lob. Girl the loves lob so much she gets a bob. Girl goes a little blonder. Girl loves lightest pieces so much she wants them all over, so girl goes platinum. And I love this game! When it comes to the palest shades of blonde there are some things you should know that will help you enjoy the cool-girl platinum life a little more. The brightest shade of blonde always has and always will be classic so whether you’re new to the world of “bleach and tone” or a total veteran, you can use this guide to help better your process. Let’s discuss…

PREPPING FOR PLATINUM:

Don’t shampoo that day. I always encourage my clients to avoid shampooing their hair the same day they’re getting it bleached and toned. A common misconception is that if the hair is dirty the bleach may not cut through. That’s not true at at all. In fact, I typically encourage my girls to not wash two days before they come in for a bleach and tone. Natural oils help coat the scalp and make it less painful in my, and my client’s, opinions. When you shampoo the hair the same day, you’ve stimulated the scalp and bleaching after that can be quite painful. So dirty hair is good! Avoid excessive brushing on the day of as well!

Newness is key. When going platinum, you don’t want anyone “out of touch” doing your color. Instead you may want to go to to a colorist who educates themselves on what new advances are being made in the color world. There are so many new toners, new bleaches, and new additives that you, as the client, depend on your colorist to research and find to make your experience and color as wonderful as possible. Make sure your colorist is up on the newest advances being made in hair color. Of course there are classic/old school techniques and if they work and you’re happy with them, great,

Don’t be cheap about platinum hair. Go to someone who uses Olaplex with their color! It’s a bond rebuilder that gets added into your bleach and it’s worth every penny. I use it on so many people and it’s such a game changer for a bleach and tone. You’ll pay a bit more for the color but your hair feels like it’s never been bleached!

Have realistic expectations. If you’ve never been platinum before, it may not happen the first time around. You may have to settle for a sweet shade of “champagne” or a “winter wheat” that’s almost platinum but not quite on round one. Platinum hair happens when you’ve literally emptied the hair of pigment so getting to that point can take a couple visits, end of story. If your colorist gets you there on the first try, count your lucky stars! But if it doesn’t, have patience. Below is a photo of Allie Marie Evans’ first ever round of bleach and tone. While it’s very pale and very pretty on her, it’s not completely white. And I made sure to tell her that might be the case before we did it. Sometimes it just takes a couple times! Depends on your natural lightness, darkness and previous colors in the hair!

Stock up on platinum stuff! You’re definitely going to want some purple-based toning supplies for home use. Purple is opposite yellow on the color wheel so when you’re trying to cancel out unwanted brassiness and yellow tones, you’ll need things that have purple pigment in them. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Schwarzkopf Bonacure Shampoo Okay, this shampoo is scary purple when you look at it in the bottle. People are often afraid of it when they see it for the first time, but it’s hands down my favorite purple shampoo for toning out yellow. It’s not as intense as it looks in the bottle, it tones amazingly well (and smells sooooo good).
  • ColorWow Brass Banned Mousse This stuff is pretty cool. It’s basically like a styling mousse but with tone in it! You apply it to damp hair and then blowout and style as usual. I love this because you don’t wash it out and most things that you use to tone at home get washed out but this is great for any intense yellow-y sections you may have. Mousse is mainly used to boost volume at the root and most platinum girls get brassy at the root more than anywhere else, so this is a win-win!
  • Rita Hazan Gloss Breaking Brass I love this because this is something you can do on your hair at home to tone and create shine. It’s like toner and treatment in one! I like to tell clients to put this on the root area for about 5 minutes after you shampoo, then work some through the middle to ends for 2 additional minutes (ends will soak it up much faster than the roots). Then you rinse everything and condition. It’s a great substitute for anyone who can’t get into the salon for a gloss in between colors.
  • Sachajuan Silver Conditioner There are a trillion purple shampoos but there are not a lot of great purple/silver conditioners out there. For someone who really gets brassy it’s great to use purple shampoo but maybe it’s not enough? Maybe you like it super silver-y. Maybe you need additional reinforcement with some purple conditioner! I’ve been super into Sachajuan’s conditioners in general lately, they’re SO good!
  • Shu Uemura Colour Lustre Cool Blonde Holy grail. The most intense at-home gloss toning I’ve ever seen. This is for those who love that ashy silver look ONLY. It’s pretty amazing but no joke, you must like ashy or silver tones. It’s expensive but very worth it. You put it on like a conditioner after you shampoo and it tones like crazy, not to mention, makes the hair epic shiny and soft. Ah-may-zing.
  • Shimmer Lights A budget-friendly classic! This pack comes with shampoo and conditioner together. It gets the toning job done, but it’s not my favorite for the way it makes the hair feel. But if you’re trying to save money this will do the trick and you’ll like the way it makes your wallet feel! Maybe do a deep conditioner or coconut oil application once a week if you use this.
  • John Frieda Toning Shampoo and Condtioner LOVE this for subtle toning. Let’s say you’re at that perfect platinum place, and let’s say you just need to maintain, this will be your jam (your very affordable jam!). It has subtle purple tones in both the shampoo and conditioner. It’s not overpowering and won’t make your hair ashy. It keeps the hair a nice shade of neutral.
  • Bumble and Bumble White Dry Shampoo This isn’t like the other white dry shampoos. It doesn’t become translucent and blend into the hair. It’s a pretty intense white powder that stays I would encourage you to get if you end up with brassy roots. You spray it anywhere you feel too yellow-y and it blends out the yellow nicely. You don’t want to over-do it with this or you might end up looking a little too Marie Antoinette for your day-to-day liking. But it conceals any yellow at the root temporarily, making it appear more white.

Don’t wait 2 months to get retouched. Okay, I understand if you like the platinum look with roots. Very cool-girl for sure. However, if you wait too long in between visits, it can be difficult for your colorist to control the consistency of color at the root. Your natural body heat accelerates the bleach at the scalp, if there’s more than a full inch or so of regrowth, you could end up with what we call “bands”. Bands are inconsistencies in the hair that you can usually see when you lift the hair up straight from the head. You don’t want them and the best way to avoid them is to get your platinum hair redone every 4 to 6 weeks at the latest.

Don’t book other things around it. From a colorist’s perspective, you’re asking for a miracle if you want to go platinum for the first time and then make a dinner date a few hours later. Just don’t. Make sure you don’t put a time constraint on your hairdresser when you’re doing this for the first time. It can take all day or maybe just a couple hours. Better to plan for more time for both you AND the colorist.

It’s going to be more expensive for the first time around. Depending on your hair, you could have a lot of color correcting that needs to happen in order to get to the palest blonde. Once you’re there, root upkeep is a different story. But the first time you do this, you’re probably going to pay a pretty penny. Just know that. When I take a client platinum for the first time, I charge them in the same way I would for a color correction, because you just don’t know how long it will take and how many bottles of color you’ll go through. The first time is an investment.

PHOTOS/POST: KRISTIN ESS, ALLIE MARIE EVANS

If you have any favorite tips, trick or products you like to share with your fellow PLATINUM peeps, leave them in the comments below! We love hearing your favorite things, too and so do our other readers. XX

KITCHEN BEAUTICIAN

TUTORIAL & PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY NADINE, GRAPHIC DESIGN BY EUNICE CHUN

I never really appreciated toner for some reason. I thought it was something companies made to get us to buy more but wasn’t really necessary. And I still feel that way about some of them, but apple cider vinegar does something in a way that lotions and face washes don’t. It tightens pores, helps clear up acne and fights future breakouts. It’s anti-bacterial and an antiseptic and helps to re-balance your skin’s pH level after it’s been disrupted from washing it. I have yet to find a toner out there that can duplicate its properties. Here’s all you need to know:

TOOLS:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar– Look for an organic version (with Mother in it if you can as it’s full of enzymes).
  • Distilled/Filtered Water
  • Container — preferably a glass bottle
  • Chopstick or Spoon
  • Cotton Ball/Pad/Square

STEPS:

**Optional: If you are the very thorough type, you can first sterilize the glass bottle by boiling it in water.

  1. Fill half of the bottle with water. Again, if you’re the thorough type, you can certainly measure both the water and the apple cider vinegar. I prefer to eye it! Then shake the bottle of vinegar and pour it into the remaining half of the bottle.
  2. Give it a good stir.
  3. Place a cotton pad on top of the opening and turn it upside down to load it up.
  4. After you wash your face, sweep the cotton pad all over it (chest and back too if needed).

**If you have sensitive skin, instead of equal parts, try one part vinegar to 6 parts water to dilute it more. You can keep it that strength or eventually work up to 1:1. Some people can handle the vinegar undiluted, straight from the bottle!