Articles > Hair Color > Natural Texture, S-Waves and No-Commitment Color: 3 Backstage Techniques
May 2, 2017

Natural Texture, S-Waves and No-Commitment Color: 3 Backstage Techniques

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This week, BTC was invited to witness six of the biggest names in the beauty industry all working together under one roof, for one of the very first times EVER (ICYMI: Ulta Beauty now has a Salon Pro team, and it’s nothing short of #squadgoals!).


So we jetted off to Orlando to see the Ulta Beauty Pro Team’s first official artistic presentation as a group. For the presentation, the team styled a group of dancers, and before the show, BTC was in the prep area backstage, picking up some styling and coloring tips from Ammon Carver, Carmody Homan and Sean Godard. Check ‘em out below!  


And for more Pro Team insights,
check out our exclusive Q&A with the team!


How-To: Perfect Natural Texture
To give one of the dancers an edgy, Brooklyn-inspired vibe, Carmody worked with the natural texture of his model’s hair, enhancing each curl with small tongs, a hairdryer and a lot of finger styling. Here’s how he did it. 


1. Carmody spritzed random ½-inch sections with Redken Iron Shape 11 at about an arm’s length away.


2. Starting about an inch off the root, he used a classic spiral tonging technique at an extremely low elevation (to keep it from looking too “done”), leaving about a ½-inch out at the ends.



3. Once the hair had cooled, Carmody separated each section into approximately three smaller sections and pulled and stretched each section.



4. Then, using a dryer on half speed and full heat, he used his fingers to stretch the root to the midlengths to expand the curl, giving it a more lived-in feel.



Ammon Carver’s Modern Curls
Ammon has his modern curling technique down to a science (his go-to look is a relaxed, S-wave formation), and he shared all of his curling secrets with us.



1. Pointing a 1-inch curling iron toward the floor, flat wrap the section on the back side of the iron and then a twist the hair on the front side. Repeat all the way down the strand—flat wrapping, then twisting, flat wrapping, then twisting.



2. Place your fingers on the section of hair (this eliminates fishhooks and loose ends) and once the hair is heated through, let it go into the palm of your hand.



3. Grab onto the end of the curl, pinch and lightly tug to open it up. This creates an S-shaped curl formation.



4. Allow the curls to set as is, then once cool, loosely blouse the strand to expand and build volume.



Note: for someone who doesn’t want to hold as much curl, lightly press the coiled curl as it’s cooling to create a stronger ridge.



BONUS: Sean Godard’s color formula!



To give his model a “consumer-friendly edge,” Sean first applied a root shadow to Level 9 hair using Redken Shades EQ Cream 6NA. He blended the color down a few inches with the Redken Edging Brush, using the round of the head as a guide.


At the same time, he toned the ends with Shades EQ 09P. “Toning the ends at the same times as the roots prevents the dark color from bleeding into the lighter areas,” says Sean.  


Sean then applied Redken City Beats in Ballet Pink to the midlengths, using his fingers to blend it up into the root area, and bringing it down randomly through some of the ends.


Pro tip: “When I did the root extension, because the hair was quite light, instead of filling it, I applied the 6NA first, and while that was processing, I went right back in the root area and applied a Level 4 over the top of it,” says Sean. “What that did was put a fill underneath it so I didn’t have to worry about rinsing off the color and re-applying. Plus, it gave me a really nice transition of color that looks much more believable.”


Color for Low-Commitment Clients
Since the hair models in the presentation were actually all dancers, the artists were prevented from doing anything super crazy with their hair. So Sean used Hairdo tape-in extensions to add pops of color to his model’s natural hair. “We did one set that was orange and yellow checkerboard and another that was pink and violet checkerboard,” says Sean. “When we applied them, we did one weft on one side of the head and the other on the other side.” These extensions can stay in the hair for up to eight weeks!


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