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Last updated: September 26, 2017

7 Quickie How-Tos & Tips From Top Industry Experts

Splash Light Color, Crystal-Inspired Sectioning & More!

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When the Ulta Beauty Pro Team gets together there is a lot of talent in the room—we’re talking superstar stylists and colorists Nick Stenson, Sonya Dove, Ammon Carver, Danielle Keasling, Carmody Homan and Sean Godard. So when they invited us behind the scenes for one of their new Ulta Beauty collection photo shoots, we jumped at the opportunity and quickly got on Facebook Live to go over some of their best-kept coloring, styling and cutting secrets.


Check out their tips and watch the Facebook Live below.


Splash Light Color Technique
When the Chief Creative Director for Ulta spills his secrets on a cool new color technique, we listen! Here’s what Nick tells us about the splash light color technique:

  1. This isn’t for your typical color client—it’s for the clients who are a little more daring.
  2. The splash light color pattern will allow the color to move back and forth through the midsection and looks best/coolest when created with fashion colors.
  3. Use really fine sections, starting about 1 ½ inches from the roots (or at the eyebrow) and apply the color evenly through the hair with a horizontal brushing pattern.
  4. Color only about 1 to 2 inches of hair, remembering to not oversaturate the brush while using a side-brushing technique. This will help control the color while you feather it out.
  5. The purpose of this technique is to place the color strategically in order to create a halo of color.

Watch the first 10 minutes of the video to see Nick talk through the application.



Remember! Color only about 1 to 2 inches of hair, remembering to not oversaturate the brush. Apply first with a horizontal brushstroke, then diffuse the color using a side-brushing technique.

Creating a Sleek, Chic Style
For Sonya, when it comes to dressing the hair, it’s all about the prep and the blow-dry. Here’s what she says to do when trying to create the ultimate slicked-back style.


  • Create mini sections on the side of the hair, apply Wella EIMI Shape Me and blow-dry the hair back firmly.
  • But, instead of blow-drying big sections in one go, subdivide the whole section into small vertical sections, then take a comb and blow-dry the hair super flat.
  • The smaller the sections, the sleeker the look.


A Crimping Quickie
Sonya’s tip for big texture? A crimper! But use it wisely. If you only need the body or volume from the roots to the midlengths, only crimp that area of the hair.






The Perfect Ponytail
For the ultimate ponytail, create a small triangle section at the top of the head (the point should be at the crown and the two bottom points should come out to a little above the eyebrow on each side of the head) and clip away. Then, after the ponytail is created, allow that top section to fall naturally and use that hair to drape the sides of the ponytail. Tune in at 20 minutes to see Ammon in action!


Keep a small triangle parting sectioned off while creating the ponytail.
Once the ponytail is in place, let the triangle section fall. Then drape the hair along the sides of the head and add to the ponytail


Prelightening Shouldn’t Be Taken Lightly!
Never overlook the prelightening step of any color application. Here are a couple key ways to get it right from Danielle.

  1. Focus on the parietal ridge. Why? That’s where the biggest impact should be. To do this, don’t leave any hair out and always section your foils back to back.
  2. Moving outside the parietal ridge, apply the lightener below the line that you actually want to fuse. Why? If the lightener is applied at the fusion line, you’ll feather the lightener up too high. Instead, apply it below and then diffuse toward the root.

Watch at 25 minutes for all of Danielle’s tips!


Always apply the lightener below the line that you actually want to fuse.


Ulta Beauty Goes International
When Carmody talks cutting techniques, international trends are bound to come up. Here’s a look at what cutting trends are happening overseas:

  • Short texture internally
  • Longer external (or optional) length throughout the perimeter
  • Short, strong fringes in front

Another thing to note? Carmody says cutting lotions are key when creating a cool, textured chop. Get something that keeps the hair controlled and malleable while working, but isn’t overly stiff. Watch at 30 minutes to hear more about trends and see him cut.


International trends are saying a short fringe is IN.

Crystal-Inspired Color Melt
Sean likes to section his color melts in a slightly random pattern, using crystal-like shapes as his inspiration. Why does he work that way? It allows him to melt the color at different lengths when working with different subsections, which then creates a super-blended color. 


A close-up look at Sean’s sectioning process.
Color melted to different lengths can create a more movable, seamless blend.
The Ulta Beauty Pro Team looking good behind the scenes!

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