Rebecca Taylor Goes Over the Rainbow
Rebecca Taylor, owner and lead educator of Vivid.Education has named her business after the vibrant hues she loves. Her skills with the colors of the rainbow—mint, pink, orange sherbet, grape—are followed by more than 100,000 fans on Instagram. With Vivid.Education, she’s on the road constantly—bringing her unique brand of color education to salons throughout the world. Even with her busy schedule, Rebecca agreed to a little one-on-one time with BTC. Here, she gives us the lowdown on all things VIVID.
BTC: What’s the most important advice you can give about working with pastel and vivid shades?
Rebecca: Keep the hair healthy. Never do anything that will compromise the hair. Consider your integrity as a stylist. It’s never OK to wreck someone’s hair just for the sake of achieving a color. I’m very realistic with my clients. I tell them, “If you want fire engine red, you’d better not come back the next time and tell me you want mint green. It’s not going to happen.”
BTC: How do you convince your clients to try fashion colors?
Rebecca: You can start with balayage or a blended ombré on the ends.
For darker haired clients, you can do peek-a-boos or ombré ends. I work near a Navy base in Florida, so I get a lot of military clients. These clients aren’t allowed to wear highlights or bright colors. But I’m a rebel, so when they come in and request a fun color, I place internal, peek-a-boo highlights. If they wear their hair in a ponytail or style it differently, you can see the color.
BTC: How do you approach a big color change or color correction?
Rebecca: Under-promise and over-deliver. Let’s say that fire engine redhead wants to be green. I’ll first encourage her to allow the red color to fade as much as possible after the initial service, with lots of deep conditioning in the interim. Then I will start the lightening process, using low volume and a gentle crème lightener. In most cases, if I’m diligent and cautious, I can get the look they want in two to three appointments. I don’t sugarcoat anything—I want them to know exactly what to expect.
“You can apply fashion colors like balayage or as a blended ombré just on the ends. For darker haired clients, you can do peek-a-boos or the same kind of ombré technique with bright or muted color on the ends,” shares Rebecca.
BTC: Tell us about your relationship with Guy Tang.
Rebecca: We’ve been friends for close to five years. We met when we were educators for a manufacturer. We relate. We’re both very passionate about hair, and we are doing things in the industry that no one else has ever done. We’re independent and we’re using social media as a platform. We figure things out as we go, because there really is no model for how to do this. We have also collaborated on several YouTube videos. We launched PRAVANA NEONS in a video—we each did a model. We tested Olaplex before it was available for purchase. We collaborate all the time, and we have something new in the works!
Rebecca and BFF Guy Tang
BTC: Are you a mentor for hairdressers?
Rebecca: I try to be as much as possible. In my classes, I present two models—a vivid and a natural. That’s the technical portion. The rest of the focus is on social media, how to build your business, etc. Stylists write to me all the time asking how I created my brand, looking for advice. Any time I have a moment, I love helping fellow stylists. It makes me so happy when I can make an impact on someone—big or small.
BTC: How has social media boosted your business?
Rebecca: Up until recently, unless you aligned yourself with a manufacturer, there really wasn’t a way to get your work out there. Social media has allowed me to expand across many platforms and be independent. Guy introduced me to Instagram two years ago, and I started posting pictures, but I wasn’t developing my brand the right way. My page wasn’t hair-centric. With some mentoring from Guy, I was able to properly brand myself. It allowed me to create my own, independent education company. If you want to take social media seriously and grow your business, you absolutely have to find a way to brand yourself. Don’t try and emulate someone else. Pink once said, “Imitation isn’t the highest form of flattery, it’s just annoying.” I try hard not to copy anything I see.
6 Vivid/Pastel Tips from Rebecca!
1. Prelighten safely and properly. Without proper prelightening, the color won’t adhere, the hair will appear hollow and the color will not go on evenly.
2. Always be mindful of the remaining pigment when applying your color. For example, if you lift the hair and it looks like candy corn—light at the root, yellow in the middle and orange at the ends—avoid applying blue or silver on the ends. The result will look like awful, muddy camouflage.
3. Experiment and customize. “I never just use something right out of the tube,” says Rebecca. “I always custom-mix my shades. It’s much more artistic.”
4. Never cut processing time short. Rebecca processes for 30 minutes with no heat. Always.
5. When rinsing, work quickly and shampoo in cold water with a gentle shampoo. Don’t over-rinse at the bowl—this could cause the shades to lay on top of each other and then bleed or transfer.
6. If your client wants a less-vivid result, advise her to rinse frequently with hot water.