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Last updated: June 17, 2019

Embrace The Fade: Read This Before Trying Fashion Colors

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Fashion colors are a journey and Rebecca Taylor (@rebeccataylorhair) is all about embracing the fade—finding beauty in the way the color shifts and becomes more translucent every time your client shampoos. While the OG vibrancy doesn’t last the 4 to 6 weeks in between appointments, it’s important to manage expectations and help your client maintain (and maximize!) their color at home. Here’s everything you need to know about fashion colors—straight from the expert!



1. Be Upfront With Expectations
Be clear and manage expectations. If your client is requesting a silver/pastel but they’ve been using black box dye, let them know it may take several sessions to achieve their desired haircolor and offer alternative looks along the way.


Pro Tip: If you’re trying to lift a brunette and it’s their first session, try a “sunset” look using warm colors—use reds, oranges and magenta. Work with the canvas you have until you can safely lift again. Under-promise and over-deliver!


2. Lighten Up
Get your canvas as even as possible by using the correct lightening technique. For example, when you cover up banding with a darker color, it will eventually reveal itself when the client’s color fades, appearing harsh and uneven. Help your client embrace their gradual fade. 


3. Achieve Dimensional Color
Even if your client desires the appearance of one all-over color, mix several shades in the same tonal family and alternate when applying. This will give the color dimension and it won’t fade as harshly.



4. Avoid Hot Roots
To avoid nasty, “glowing” roots, mix a slightly darker shade for the regrowth area. The hair closest to the scalp has a more compact cuticle layer and the color penetrates that area more than in the midlengths and ends. By mixing a slightly darker shade, the color saturation will be more even. 


“I think fashion color is more of a philosophy than just a color category,” says Rebecca.


5. They’ve Left The Salon. Now What?
It’s important to communicate how your client can take care of their hair—maximizing the life of their color, embracing the fade and preparing for their next appointment. This is what you should be talking to your client about:


  • Infrequent Shampoos – Only shampoo 1-2 times a week, using a dry shampoo between. Use cold water and sulfate-free shampoo, alternating with co-wash products.
  • Weekly Conditioning Treatments – Rebecca swears by b3 Brazilian Bond Builder Instant Restore and Protect Reconstructor Demi-Conditioner.
  • Sun Protection – Cover hair anytime you’re being subjected to long-term, intense UVA/UVB exposure.
  • Turn Down The Heat – Turn down the temperature on your hot tools and air-dry when possible.


6. Make Plans
Have a conversation with your client about what color they want next, so they know what to do right before their appointment to help the fading process—especially if they want to transition to a different color palette!


7. Skip The Bleach Every Other Time
Always recommend that your client rocks a shadow root! Only offer a bleach retouch EVERY OTHER appointment. If you bleach every time (even with the best lightening application!) there will be overlapping over and that’s not a good look!  


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