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Last updated: November 26, 2017

Get Real: Modern Approaches To Better-Than-Natural Color

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Periwinkle, peridot, plum. If it’s a color that can be found on the spectrum, there’s a colorist who has turned it into a gorgeous shade for hair. Cue applause for your creativity and skills. But can we get real for a moment? For every one out of 100 clients who happily sports your genius seafoam green and silver creation, the other 99 yearn for what haircolor clients have always wanted—color that looks shiny, realistic, flattering and, in the words of one recently overheard client, “like my natural color only better.” So as the season shifts, we invite you to look with fresh eyes at the blonde, brunette and red designs, shades and techniques that satisfy and delight that 99 percent. Because don’t forget—real color for real clients = real money!


BLONDES—Kissed By The Sun
With any natural-looking hue, contrast is key. A little bit of warmth, a little bit of cool color. “Stay away from obvious pastel or overly platinum tones,” advises Haley Kimble, Ulta Beauty Artistic Team Member and Technical Trainer for The Salon at Ulta Beauty. “Incorporate a whisper of blush or even violet into a neutral or vanilla blonde.”


For Davines Artistic Director, Angelo Seminara, it’s the season of the “Goldess,” which also happens to be the name of his new collection. His modern haircolor shades, created in collaboration with Davines International Creative Colour Ambassador, Edoardo Paludo, combine warm tones with metallic shades for shimmering effects.


For Schwarzkopf Professional BLONDME Global Ambassador and Beverly Hills blonding expert, Kim Vo, sun-anointed blonde is a way of life. “As a Leo, I’m inspired by the sun, which radiates and reigns supreme!” he declares. “I like to create radiant illusions with subtle shots of apricot tones.”


And while it’s not a new concept, the idea of mirroring the multiple tones in a child’s blonde hair is still the standard for creating natural blonde color. “I have clients who grew up on the beach,” comments Goldwell National Artist, Nick Pagano, “and as kids, their hair contained shades of strawberry gold, warm gold beige and lightest beachwood. Today I mimic that effect with hand-painting techniques using three shades to create contrast, shading and brightness, applying the color slightly off-base and heavier toward the ends.”


L’Oréal Professionnel Artist Nancy Braun agrees, “I like to give blondes the color they feel they had as a child. It’s all about framing the face with brighter pieces and creating a sun-kissed halo effect around the hairline.”





Using diagonal back sections and a classic Flamboyage Meche technique, Angelo Seminara and Edoardo Paludo alternated the following two highlight formulas on a natural Level 8/01 to create this shimmering blonde from the Goldess collection:



formula a: 20g A New Colour Bleaching Powder + 40g 10-volume A New Colour Activator


formula b: 20g Mask 12,7 CPS + 40g 40-volume Activation Source


photography: Andrew O’Toole


makeup: Laura Dominique


stylist: Niccolò Torelli


Schwarzkopf Professional



Kim Vo applied subtle apricot lights in diagonal forward subsections across the top of the head from ear to ear to produce this sun-shimmer hue.



formula a/prelighten:
BLONDME Premium Lift 9+ + BLONDME Premium Care Developer 6% (20-volume) 1:2


formula b/highlights: BLONDME Toner Apricot + BLONDME Premium Care Developer 2% (7-volume) 1:1


formula c/highlights: BLONDME Toner Apricot + BLONDME Tone Softener + BLONDME Premium Care Developer 2% (7-volume) 1:1:2





“For our lighter blonde clients,” says TIGI® American Technical Director, Richy Kandasamy, “we are creating seamless, natural effects with suntanned neutrals like toasted almond and elderflower blonde.”



natural level: 7


formula a: 40g copyright©olour gloss 00/ + 60g copyright©olour activator 5-volume/1.5%


formula b: copyright©olour true light + copyright©olour activator 8.5-volume/2.55%


formula c: 40g copyright©olour gloss 8/30 + 60g copyright©olour activator 5-volume/1.5%


formula d: 30g copyright©olour gloss 10/03 + 45g copyright©olour activator 8.5-volume/2.55%





Goldwell’s Nick Pagano mirrors the gradations of a child’s hair with base color, lowlights, highlights and toner.



natural level: 8


base color/shading: 40ml Colorance Lotion + 18ml 9GB + 2ml 9KG


lowlights/shadowing: 30ml Colorance Cover Plus Lotion + 15ml Colorance Lowlights 7-8 natural


Highlights/brightening: 35ml SilkLift Conditioning Cream Developer 20-volume + 1 scoop SilkLift High Performance Lightener + 3 pumps Intense Conditioning Serum


toner/blending: Elumen NB@10


photography: Soamstudio, Andrea Urbinati-Marzia Gamba


makeup: Cheryl Esposito


styling: Giulia Manizza


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