Every year, we scour the globe with Oway to find the most beautiful Oway salons. This year, 5 green salons from North America have been chosen as one of the best 50W Salons in 2018.
If you’re looking for interior design and retail display ideas, these beautiful spaces will definitely inspire you to begin creating your own.
Join us in congratulating these holistic hairstylists and salon owners!
Periwinkle Beauty Studio
Owned by Simply Organic Beauty Educator Bailey Lyn Simon, Periwinkle Beauty Studio is the most charming holistic hair salon you will ever find in Geismar, LA. From treating hair loss concerns to making magic with color, this rustic studio is where she treats her clients to a multi-sensorial experience behind the chair.
Her use of soft colors and adorable decors truly complements her personality as a holistic hair stylist and the Organic Way of life aesthetic.
ARCO New York
Tucked into the bustling streets of Brooklyn, ARCO New York is an eco-salon that offers holistic hair services unlike any other salons in the neighborhood. The space combines modern luxury with sustainability – a place where, according to Owner Gary Levin, “you get glamour and chic-ness of a Manhattan salon with a non-pretentious approach.”
Bigsby House Salon
Nestled between Downtown San Jose and the historic Rose Garden District, Bigsby House is a visionary hair salon known for their space’s understated sophistication and minimalist lifestyle.
The salon was founded in 2012 by Lisa and Leti Marquez, and has since attracted quite a following of passionate and eco-conscious stylists and clients.
Ever Green Salon & Barbering Co.
Known as a farm-to-table salon and barbershop, Ever Green Salon & Barbering Co. is built by Jolie and Michael Faulkner after failing to find a salon space that offers ethical, holistic hair products.
Now, Ever Green Salon & Barbering Co. is one of the most prominent eco-friendly salon and barbershop in Portland, OR.
Located in New Brunswick, Canada, Studio RōZ opened to the holistic hair community in July 2017. Owned by Joline Langis, the salon combines industrial elements with natural influences to create an eco-friendly design aesthetic.
Apply to be a featured 2019 Oway Salon!
Are you an Oway salon and proud of your space?
This could be your chance to be featured in Oway’s 50W Salons Book in 2019! Simply fill out the form below and attach 5 high-resolution photos of different areas of your salon.
Deadline for submission is on November 26, 2018. Winners will be notified by Simply Organic Beauty in Winter 2019.
This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we chatted with Original & Mineral stylist and owner of Alkemi Salon, Marie-Anne Tsoukalas, on what inspired her to become a stylist and how she fell in love with O&M CØR.color.
Read her interview below!
How did you decide that you wanted to be hairdresser?
I’ve wanted to be a hairdresser since I was a little girl. I can’t remember being anything else. Ever. I cut every single doll’s hair that I ever owned. I cut my own hair, my friend’s hair and even children’s hair at my kindergarten. I still have the heads of some of my Barbie dolls that I cut and colored with food coloring.
My passion burned from the pit of my stomach. I would concoct potions out of clothing bleach and household detergents. I would “tone” my hair with mercurochrome and sit for hours in the sun with lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda on my head. I would beg my mother to let me purchase color from the pharmacy, but she would always say no. While she would do her grocery shopping, I would go to the toiletry aisle and look at the back of the Clairol packet and read the list of ingredients. I was enchanted by these boxes of magic. The very idea that you could predict the EXACT outcome was amazing to me.
One day my mother went to the local salon and had a perm. “How does your hair STAY curly?” The hairdresser looked up at me. Her jaw stopped it’s rhythmic chewing. “What?” “How does it stay curly? Even after you wet it?” I had practiced wetting my hair and drying it around pencils but the curls would return after they got wet again. I never really got a satisfactory answer from that black clad stylist. Maybe she was taken back by the fact that I was only 9 years old and had a self-cut asymmetric bob.
My life took many ups and downs but there was one constant. My determination for answers. My yearning to be a hairdresser. I studied after school, got my masters and then studied further to become a color technician. The more I learned the more I wanted to know. I became entranced. I went on to become an educator and won prestigious prizes and accolades. Life has this way of throwing you curve balls and Hairdressing became my silver lining. The light at the end of the tunnel.
Many say that a stylist is only as good as the products and tools they use. Do you agree?
To me, hair is art. And the product I use is my medium. The hair is my canvas. So for me what I use is extremely important. It has a ripple effect. I want the best quality and I dislike not being in control. As a stylist, while we can’t always control our canvas, we can control the paint we use. O&M helps me control my canvas. Nourish it. Make it better.
An artist needs not only good paint with fine pigments, but also the quality of the canvas plays an integral role in the end result. The more I use O&M and the more my client uses O&M at home, the better my canvas. The health of the artist as well as the environment in which the art shall be exhibited are also key factors. If my hands burn while I paint, or my client is not comfortable while I’m being creative, this is not a good sign. And this is where I feel O&M is the ONLY range that meets ALL my needs.
I was also touched by the story of how O&M was created because I also developed contact dermatitis on my hands due to years of exposure to harsh chemicals in the salon. I am blessed to be able to have found O&M. I document every single color I do behind the chair in the hopes of creating awareness of this phenomenal product. I feel that once you have become enlightened and become aware of the difference between O&M and traditional color, you have NO excuse NOT to use it.
What makes O&M such a groundbreaking line for you?
As a product, it is simply superb. It has stunning ingredients, it spreads well, and “paints well”. The mixing ratio makes it affordable and less wasteful. The packaging is recyclable. The colors are predictable and wide-ranging. There are no harsh smells, the color is easy to clean off the bowls and brushes and doesn’t stain the skin or hands easily.
As for what is does to my “canvas”, because the color range does not contain Ammonia, PPD, or Resorcinol, the whole experience is so much better for my client. There’s no Gluten or Soy in the formulations so the scalp stays calm during the tinting process. Due to the exclusion of PPD, most allergic reactions are alleviated. Ammonia has been replaced by MEA, a safer alkaline alternative. Ammonia is the conventional catalyst in the oxidation process, which creates harsh fumes and causes irritation, red eyes and hair damage. Most importantly, O&M has also removed Resorcinol from their tints. Resorcinol is a popular coloring agent that is proven to be extremely detrimental to the human immune system and the planet. Now if you can imagine every single hair salon in the world on a Saturday rinsing just one client, and that resorcinol running down the drain…
And then there is the “Free from Five Formulation”, which is the ethos behind all the O&M Care and Styling products:
No Propylene Glycol
All the ingredients are vegan and certified by PETA as cruelty-free.
Which EVER way you look at it… Environmentally, ethically, health wise or financially. There is no reason to ever use another brand. Why would you want to use something that damages YOUR health? Why would you want to use something that damages your client’s hair and health? Why would you want something that damages the environment? That is tested on animals?
I use O&M because it would be an ethical crime to use anything else. I’ve been a salon owner, stylist, educator, color technician, worked on shoots, and in every area of the industry. But I think I have truly found my calling. I want to spread awareness not only to my clients but to other stylists as well, so they can share it with their clients. I want to be an O&M advocate. As an industry, we have a responsibility for the footprints we leave behind.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Can you share a Pink Hair Color formula that our Holistic Hair Tribe can re-create in their salons?
Absolutely! For this look, my goal was to achieve a soft hair color that’s feminine and subtle. I wanted to create a look that’s wearable and classy, keeping within the O&M vision of bringing nature and luxury together.
I therefore adapted my technique and color choice accordingly. I specifically chose tones that would flatter my particular model and would help me create enough pink “ribbons” to honor Breast Cancer Awareness, without it being too overpowering and unnatural-looking.
Please describe your process.
I started by cleansing the hair with O&M Original Detox Shampoo and then shampooed once with O&M Fine Intellect Shampoo as I find it helps even out the porosity. No conditioner or treatment was applied. I prefer working on clean blow-dried hair with the basic cut in place as my canvas, then Ieaving the texturizing and personalization for after the color. This way I achieve a far better end result. I know exactly where I want to place my accents, shadows, and sections. I can be very precise and have almost zero waste. This is better for your pocket and the environment. It’s like building a house. First you build the walls, then you paint them.
Sectioning is paramount. Clean sections, combs and clips. This goes hand in hand with your clean products.
PRO TIP: A good tip is to mark each bowl (I do this with stickers).
I then proceeded to weave sections with my tailcomb and “balayaged” the root mixture a bit further down and applied the 9.6 to half the mid lengths from the direction of the mid lengths up, leaving a tiny gap between the root mixture (this is to ensure the brush stays clean and the colors do not mix). Then, I painted the Dusty Pink about 2mm below where the 9.6 ends and painted it all the way to the ends.
From where the root mixture ends, I blended the darker color downwards with my finger, almost like finger painting. I isolated these in foils, so they did not smudge onto the other hair. I was careful to fold the foils in such a way that the three colors didn’t overlap and mix or press too hard that the product would squish out or leak.
With the second foil, I “dragged” the root smudge about three to four cm’s lower, alternating this measurement as the head shape changes and as I worked up from the nape, making sure that the second foil in my pattern has a longer root mixture application than the first. The reason for this is to create depth and texture. Each foil creates contrast for the next.
I now painted the mixture from Bowl 1 for FOIL TWO, also making sure to apply it a few mm’s from where the root color ended, and then finger blending the colors together and carefully folding and closing the foil in the same way I folded the first one.
I began at the nape so as not to smudge or mess product on the “clean hair”. Then from the hair line around the face, I worked towards the back of each of those squares.
When I had foiled the whole head, alternating between finer and chunkier weaves depending on where I wanted to place my lighter or darker “ribbons”, I mixed my final mixture.
This mixture was for the hair remaining between the foils. I mixed O&M CØR.color 10.6 Lightest Violet Blonde with O&M CØR.color 20 vol Activator with a ratio of 1:1.5. I used 20 vol because I wanted to smooth out any lines that may have formed where the root color had ended because it had already developed by now. I applied it around the face first and worked backwards. I rubbed the color over the line of demarcation where the root color ended on the mid lengths. Then I got a small plastic bag and put a dark towel around my model’s shoulders.
I’m not advocating that you should do the same. This is just how I do it. But to make sure I have a seamless blend, I took off my gloves and got two towels. A wet one and a dry one. And then from the nape, I removed the foils one by one (That’s what the bag is for). As I removed the foil, with my naked hands I blended the colors on the hair, making sure that all the hair is saturated, and the blend is smooth. I feel it is too slippery with gloves and even if you dry your gloves with a towel you can never be sure they are clean. With bare hands I can FEEL the hair, wipe my hands with my wet towel and dry them with the dry one and know for sure my hands are clean and dry between each foil. As a sufferer of contact dermatitis for many years and almost having to end my career, O&M saved me. I believe if you have to wear gloves, it can’t possibly be healthy in the long run.
This way of dimensional foiling, or “foiliage” as I like to call it, is a very good way to do color corrections or big changes that would usually require multiple services in one application. It takes much longer but the results are worth it. You only have to process each strand once and have absolute control.
Another reason I love O&M is that I have the confidence to do hair painting and “repair work”. Knowing that the products I use do not have ammonia and unnecessary chemicals, the hair is not compromised as it would be with traditional brands. I can mix creativity and innovation to produce high-quality work while maintaining the integrity of then hair. Most importantly, I do not have to rush against the clock because I know it’s gentle on the hair and scalp, and won’t over process.
Check out Marie-Anne’s Pink Ribbon Hair Color Creation for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
Years ago, when drugs and radiation therapy were still non-existent, our ancestors relied on nature to cure illnesses. Herbs, flowers, barks and their essential oils were used to treat all kinds of ailments, from the physical to the emotional – even psychological. How man came to distrust this way of life is unknown, but one thing is for sure – more and more people are now realizing the health benefits of essential oils and are going back to this practice.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants through a process called distillation. These oils serve various purposes but are popularly used as fragrance in cosmetics and, more importantly, for aromatherapy. It can be diffused or applied topically when mixed with a carrier oil. But because they are highly concentrated, essential oils need to be diluted with a carrier oil to avoid burning the skin.
Essential Oils for Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is an alternative and complementary therapy with mainstream medicine that mainly uses essential oils as its primary therapeutic agent. Essential oils rose to fame once again when a group of scientists discovered their antiseptic and healing benefits. Their study revealed that due to the oils’ permeability properties, they can induce “relief from numerous ailments like depression, indigestion, headache, insomnia, muscular pain, respiratory problems, skin ailments, swollen joints, urine associated complications” as well as cancer.
In recent years, more research of essential oils for cancer has been conducted. As a matter of fact, one study highlights that novel anticancer molecules can be found in certain essential oils, some of which are already in various phases of clinical trials. Apart from helping prevent cancer, EOs are highly effective in managing side effects of many illnesses.
With that being said, more research and trials are still needed to investigate the risks and maximize the benefits of EOs. However, based on medical literature the following are some of essential oils that have been found to help improve well-being and boost the body’s immunity.
Essential Oils for Well-Being
Rich in d-limonene, oils extracted from citrus plants like orange and lemon are believed to be highly effective at inhibiting tumor growth, according to PubChem.
“Although the mechanism of action has yet to be fully elucidated, limonene and its metabolites perillic acid, dihydroperillic acid, uroterpenol and limonene 1,2-diol may inhibit tumor growth through inhibition of p21-dependent signaling and may induce apoptosis via the induction of the transforming growth factor beta-signaling pathway.”
Popular for its relaxing properties, Lavender Essential Oil is considered a superhealer for its high antioxidant content. One of the main causes of cancer is the presence of free radicals in the body, and – according to one study – antioxidants from Lavender help protect the body from oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
In 2009, researchers conducted an in vitro study on 12 human cancer lines, and an in vivo anti-cancer experiments on mice. They discovered that essential oil from a lemon grass variety of Cymbopogon flexuosus showed promising anticancer activity, inhibiting tumor growth.
Recent studies have shown that Rosemary contains two ingredients, caffeic acid and rosemarinic acid, that are considered potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents according to Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. These properties help protect the body from free radical damage and detoxify substances that can cause breast cancer.
A study in 2010 tested 10 essential oils to see how they can stand up against cancer cells. Among the 10, essential oil from thyme exhibited the strongest cytotoxicity towards prostate, lung carcinoma, and breast cancers. This result was further verified when a group of researchers in 2012 were able to induce death in breast cancer cells up to 98%.
Aromatherapy has been used since the ancient times, and it’s amazing how we are slowly but surely embracing it as part of our health and wellness regimen. While it may never fully replace conventional medicine, this type of natural therapy makes an excellent complementary treatment.
Check out the following pure, organic essential oils!
Countless studies have shown that ingredients such as phthalates and parabens are linked to hormone-related issues and breast cancer in women. Widely used in cosmetics, these chemical groups can penetrate the body and disrupt the balance of the hormones, potentially stimulating the growth of cancer cells.
But despite widespread awareness of these cancer-causing ingredients, many personal care products still use them due to lack of regulation. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require beauty brands to seek approval before they go on the market, so millions of consumers who buy these products are unwittingly exposing themselves to various potential health problems.
In the last decade, however, many Americans have become more conscious of the products they use. This is due, in part, to the increasing number of professionals who demand safer, cleaner cosmetics, such as hairdressers and salon owners. So it’s not surprising that mindful clients look to none other than Hair Stylists not only to get their hair done but also to seek advice on beauty products.
Being in the business of beauty, cosmetologists’ knowledge on products go beyond the surface. They know that being surrounded by chemicals daily can have adverse effects on their health. In fact hairdressing is known as being one of the most toxic careers, and Hair Stylist health problems like cancer and fertility issues continue to increase. Professionals know the only way to prevent illness is to arm themselves with information and non-toxic products, and this knowledge needs to be passed on to the client.
Salons: The New Health Advocates
While there’s no replacing doctors and clinics as primary healthcare providers, salons have become trusted venues for promotion of health behaviors in the US, according to a study and program headed by the National Cancer Institute. Because they are more accessible and well-informed in health-related topics, hairdressers (especially Holistic Hair Stylists) enjoy a level of trust from their clients which gives stylists access to information not readily available to people outside the beauty community. In addition, women regularly visit hair salons (more often than they visit their family physician), providing more opportunities to discuss their health and lifestyle.
In fact, over the years, barbershops and salons have helped and encouraged many clients to get screened for breast cancer, prostate cancer and high blood pleasure.
So as a Holistic Hair Stylist, what can you do to promote health and wellness within your space?
1. Use products that contain the least amount of chemicals. Hair Stylists work with chemicals, day in and out. While there are no 100% chemical-free salons products that work at a professional level, there are many non-toxic options in the market that you can use, such as ammonia-free hair color from Oway and Original & Mineral.
2. Minimize your use of plastic in the salon. Plastic contains the chemical called Phthalates, which have been linked to breast cancer and hormone issues. This chemical can leach into hair products and find its way into our system. Opt for glass containers instead – they preserve the formula of the product and does not leach harmful chemicals into it.
3. Avoid synthetic fragrance. Aside from containing phthalates, many companies sneak other chemicals in this ingredient and disguise them as fragrance.
4. Find out where product ingredients come from. While it’s great that natural beauty products are becoming popular, chemicals like pesticides and chemical fertilizers used in growing ingredients can find their way into our system as well. We highly recommend purchasing professional organic salon products to be safe.
5. Partner with your local health department and organize screenings. This will not only establish you as a health advocate in your community, but you also get to help clients take charge of their own wellness. You could be saving lives, and that in itself is already a tremendous accomplishment.
6. Learn to have thoughtful discussions on lifestyle and health. As Hair Stylists, sometimes having a discussion on healthier lifestyles is avoided because you don’t want to be “too preachy.” However, there’s thoughtful and informative ways to have discussions with your clients on their health and wellness.
Seasonal changes in weather can wreak havoc on the hair, causing dryness and damage like split ends. But aside from environmental stress, split ends can be brought about by a number of factors.
In this article, we explore the different types of split ends, their causes and the holistic ways we can treat and prevent this issue.
Types & Causes of Split Ends
There are many types of split ends, but these are the common ones you can find in the hair.
The Traditional Split
The most common of all split end types, the Traditional is a sign of early split development, largely due to dehydration and friction. It’s mini counterpart, the Baby Split occurs for the same reason – so if you spot one be sure to trim it right away to prevent it from getting worse.
The Deep Split
This type of split is usually seen on hair that’s been chemically treated. This means damage has occurred in a certain spot, causing it to split.
The Feather Split
When the Deep Split is not addressed immediately, it evolves into a Feather type of split wherein the cuticle begins to peel away more on one side of the strand. This is a result of the hair undergoing excessive chemical treatments and infrequent trimming.
The Taper Split
This type of split is a sign of significant loss of cuticle layers, leaving the cortex exposed and vulnerable to even worse damage. Any type of chemical treatment is strongly discouraged.
The Incomplete Split
The Incomplete Split usually occurs because of rough styling. This means a certain spot is weak and will split soon if not trimmed.
The Knot is commonly seen in curly hair girls. While this isn’t exactly a type of split end, it causes tangles and breakage at the knotty spot when not careful brushing.
Split Ends Treatment
Hair begins to wear out at around every 3-4 months. But apart from a good trim, there are several precautionary measures you can do to prevent split ends.
1. Limit the use of heat on hair. Heat is the hair’s worst enemy. When the hair is dehydrated, the cuticle starts to rise, leaving the hair vulnerable to harsh elements.
2. If you must use a heat, apply an organic serum before styling to prevent damage. As they say, prevention is better than cure. Applying a protective serum, like Oway Nurturing Drops, prior to using a heatstyling tool will keep the hair hydrated and guard it against damage.
3. Opt for rebuilding or deep conditioning treatment instead of chemical treatments. If the hair already has split ends, getting hair colored, bleached, permed or straightened will only cause more harm than good. Request for a repair or deep conditioning treatment, like Oway Rebuilding Treatment, to keep the hair in top shape. Oway’s Rebuilding Treatment infuses the hair with proteins and minerals lost from frequent chemical processes.
4. Eat a balanced, nutritious diet. What you eat will show through your hair. Make sure to consume food rich in Vitamin E and Omega fatty acids for healthy keratin production.
5. Drink plenty of water. If heat is the hair’s number one enemy, hydration is the hair’s best friend. Keeping your body hydrated will moisturize the hair and scalp, allowing every cell responsible for healthy hair to function properly.
One of the most anticipated fashion events of the year is finally over. And what better way to commemorate this exhilarating – and crazy – week, than to look back at the best runway looks our Holistic Hair Tribe and Original & Mineral created together.
Check out our favorite New York Fashion Week 2018 Spring/Summer 2018 hairstyles below and the step-by-step process on how to re-create them for your clients!
Create a pony tail with your hands, place just above the crown, then tie with elastic.
Lightly brush backwards in the opposite direction to create wispy pieces
Create a center part in the middle of the triangle take ½ inch (1cm) sections layer with O&M Original Queenie Firm Hold Hair Spray then use Hot Tools Black Gold Turbo Ionic Salon Dryer to set. Use Pin curl clips for the side to set on the angle.
Wrap hair around pony and secure with a pin knot both sides together and secure with a pin. Repeat on another side.
Tie knots in the large section of the pony, until you reach the end, leave a wispy tail and pull over and secure down the center of the head.
One of our main goals as hairstylists is to make our clients happy. But more often than not, there is a huge disparity between what the client wants and what is realistic, especially when it comes to blonding. Because of the internet, many clients would come to a salon with a photo from Pinterest or Instagram in hand, thinking that they can get the same gorgeous blonde hair when they walk out of the salon.
As professionals, we want to do everything within our power to make sure they don’t go running to the next salon. After all, our business relies on them. But how can we provide them what they want without compromising the health of their hair and our reputation?
We’ve spoken to three Holistic Hair Stylists on how they handle such situations, and the techniques they use to create healthy, beautiful blondes.
Balayage & Blonding Tips
Tip #1: Be honest with your client.
How many times have you encountered a Level 2 client wanting to be a blonde but does not want to go through the brassy stage? Majority of clients are unaware of the stages of blonding, so as the professional it is ultimately our responsibility to educate them.
“I have this conversation all the time. Regardless if it’s virgin hair or previously colored hair, you cannot go from brown to blonde without passing through the fiery gates of red, orange, and yellow,” says Jolie Faulkner, owner and stylist at Ever Green Salon and Barbering Company. “Part of our obligation as a professional is to help manage clients’ expectations versus the reality of their particular situation.”
“Is it possible? Yes. Would I recommend it? No,” according toMeredith Blake, senior hairstylist at Abloom Salon. The Internet and social media have made it more difficult for hairstylists to say no to a client. “In this day and age, hairstylists are pushed to make “magical changes” in a makeover format to please clients’ ever-changing minds and the Internet’s pressure to be the best. Clients have access to a portal (social media) in which they are sold on the idea that they can be blonde or get a fantasy color within one session.”
So what can you do when you encounter such clients? Leah Michael Taylor, owner and stylist at Smoke + Mirrors Handcrafted Hair, recommends being blunt and realistic with your clients. “You have to be honest with your client as soon as they sit in their chair. They need to know all of the possibilities that can arise on this journey, explaining that it is a “color correction.” With that being said, the stylist has to address each step as they come. Once the hair reaches its max for that session, make sure to formulate the proper toner to avoid those ugly tones that will most definitely arise.”
Meredith follows a four-step consultation process to decide whether she should go for something drastic or create something subtler, and determine the sessions needed to get them to their goal:
Determine Goals and Discuss Lifestyle. Find out if they are using ‘clean’ products at home, even professional but unclean products can leave residue and chemicals in the hair that can interrupt the lightening process.
Discuss process and home care. Are they committed to coming in monthly for toners and treatments?
Price accordingly. A drastic change means 5-8 hours of work, subtle means 2-4 hours of work. The price difference might steer your client into the healthier direction.
Finally, ALWAYS WORK WITH INTEGRITY.
Tip #2: Use a non-toxic lightener.
The lightener you use plays a huge part in preserving the health and integrity of your client’s hair. Is it full of toxic chemicals that can further damage hair? Avoiding lighteners that contain ammonia can save you from having to do additional treatments after lifting the hair. Ammonia is an aggressive chemical that blasts open the cuticle, damaging it.
“My favorite lightener for heavy lift painting is Hbleach,” shares Meredith. “Hbleach has a creamy consistency, its full of nourishing ingredients, and it doesn’t smell harsh the way every other lightener does.”
Oway Hbleach is the first ammonia-free cream lightener that uses the nourishing properties of Kukui Butter and pure essential oils from Lavender, Perilla and Dates to keep the hair hydrated and protected while processing. These ingredients also give it a creamy, controllable consistency that makes it ideal for any lightening technique, adds Jolie. “The consistency allows me to go from open air balayage to foils with just changing the ratio and strength of developer to lightener. I can create any look without damaging the hair.
“However, it’s also important to remember that because it’s ammonia-free, it may take more time for hair to lift to the desired level.” Slow and steady wins the race, according to Leah.
Tip #3: Choose a technique that gives a blended, effortless look.
Balayage is a blonding and hairpainting technique that has become incredibly popular in recent years due to the natural effect it gives. Later on, balayage has evolved to describe that highly sought-after lived-in look – which can be achieved in different ways.
Leah calls hers Effortless Lived-In Color. “My goal is to create effortless color for the client that ages well. Knowing what the client is willing to put into their hair is so important. Each time they come back, there needs to be another consultation to see where they are and customize to their needs every time. Sometimes that means painting and sometimes a couple foils and a toner are the only thing needed.”
For Jolie, it’s all about creating dimensional color in an efficient manner. Called 3X3X3, “it refers to the foil count around the hairline, part line, and area of the back-parietal ridge. The numbers are interchangeable but it’s just what I use to describe the technique. Once you have the 3X3X3 foils in place, the rest is left to creative freedom and different techniques for the interior of the hair are encouraged. This guarantees a blended and finished look no matter what.”
On the other hand, Meredith’s application technique, Balanced Balayage, is gaining a passionate following on social media. “Balanced Balayage has been 5 years in the making. Through constant practice, re-inventing and diving into it unforgivingly I have developed something that feels unique for me, for clients and for the stylists that I teach. What I’ve developed is unique to the holistic hairdresser, because it’s derived from the idea that natural beauty is the only beauty. Balanced Balayage is a technique that is purely open-air painting: a brush, a non-toxic lightener and your hands. No Foil, No Plastic Wrap. It’s a minimal approach with maximum result. The result being hair that looks how it was naturally meant to look. Almost every client that receives this type of paint says, ‘Wow, now THIS feels like ME.’
“And isn’t that our job? Not to change people too much, but just enough to help them feel like themselves again. A part of themselves that feels true, effortless and beautiful.”
This brings us to one common mistake hairstylists new to blonding and balayage often make: Not using enough tension.
“You want to have strong pressure from the hand holding the hair, and light pressure from the hand applying.” This will give you a flat surface to paint on and avoid causing splotches, explains Jolie.
Meredith agrees. “You have to grasp each section thoroughly, apply a hair oil to each section to create a smooth surface to paint, then have at it! I brace each client for the “pull” and I let the section go in a gentle manner in order to not jerk the client around. I always promise my clients a good head and neck massage after a balayage!” 😉
However as easy as that sounds, handpainting is not for everyone, shares Leah. “If you feel more confident starting out with foils and know you can bust it out with confidence, do it! There are many foiling techniques, too. Also, social media and Youtube are great tools to see what other people are successfully doing out there.”
Tip # 5: Discuss home care.
Unfortunately, many clients do not realize the amount of care and upkeep going blonde entails, until their hair starts to go brassy or roots start to show.
“Home care is just as important as the in-salon service… To help fade, clients have to use a sulfate-free shampoo, hands down. Balayage clients may only be getting their color touched up a couple times a year now, but they may need to schedule a toner with their next haircut to bring that tone back to life. You can also customize a shampoo and conditioner of their choice (i.e. Oway Hmelt Mask) and need by adding the Oway Hmelt Pure Pigments. No matter what, lightened ends need more love and it may also be important to suggest an in-salon conditioning treatment like the Oway Rebuilding Treatment several times a year.”
Apart from staying on top of the toners and treatments, Meredith gives emphasis on the significance of picking a salon and stylist clients can TRUST. “If the stylist’s main goal isn’t to keep/make your hair healthy then run! Also, stay away from heat! Try wet styling, and low heat styles.”
Most importantly, Jolie reminds stylists that clients must be told BEFORE the service what care it will take to maintain their hair. “They must use approved shampoo and conditioners, heat protection when styling, an organic purple shampoo when applicable, toning and refreshing appointments in between. Hair has a lower maintenance look to it these days so clients are going longer between appointments. I encourage them to come in between to clarify and tone. Clarifying is just as important as toning. Blonde hair has less pigment, so environmental and product build up is more visible. I also suggest a shower filter that can keep any mineral build up from causing brassiness.
I always say having blonde hair is like having a dry clean only piece of clothing. It takes extra care to look as good as it did the day you bought it.”
Check out Jolie, Leah and Meredith’s favorite work using Hbleach!