Articles > Hair Color > Speed Up Your Color, Highlights and Retouches!
Last updated: October 27, 2017

Speed Up Your Color, Highlights and Retouches!

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So you’re looking to service on the quick without letting quality slip. Love it! But first there are some things you need to know! Here are some tips from the pros to help you out.


“Try my Reverse Traditional Highlights! It’s a combination of highlights and a ‘smudge’ retouch in an hour. I’m doing it on all my Beverly Hills clients! The idea is to think ‘opposite.’ Focus on the ends first, then go back and smudge the roots. So, for example, start by clipping away the fringe section. Apply a lightener like Schwarzkopf Professional Vario Blond + 20-volume developer to the midlengths and ends of random vertical strands using a side-brushing technique. Work artistically around the head from side to side. Release the fringe and repeat these vertical, side-brushed highlights, this time alternating the Vario Blond formula with the Schwarzkopf Professional BlondMe formula of your choice. (I love Sand and Ice!) Process for a few minutes, then smudge the appropriate Schwarzkopf Professional IGORA Color 10 formula into the regrowth—it processes in just 10 minutes. Rinse, and there you have it—a highlight and retouch in about an hour!”
Kim Vò


“ Stop using a bowl and brush to apply color. Start using an applicator bottle and you’ll have a lot more fun. Think about it—the brush is in your hand, the bowl is over there. Your hand is moving from the head to the sky to the bowl to the sky to the head. It takes time, and it’s not the most accurate way to apply color. My Beth Minardi Signature Color shades were made for an applicator bottle. Your product is with you in that bottle and you’re gliding through the hair. It’s like frosting a cake—squeezing, releasing, squeezing, releasing. You’re able to take tiny sections and move through the head in a fluid way. When I’m working on long hair, I start in the back, sectioning the hair vertically throughout the head and then continue working vertically through to the front. Another tip to speed up your application? Fold the foil less. There’s no reason to fold the foil in on both sides and then up and up again. Every time you fold a foil it takes three seconds, so you can spend six to nine extra seconds when you fold and fold. Instead, place your color foil to foil, or pleat the foil once and secure it with a single prong clip.”
Beth Minardi


“One of my favorite ways to speed up my highlights is to work within the interior parietal round. This showcases your work rather than smothers it, because you can see the individual highlights that you’re adding. Work with weaves or slices and take very thin sections. Even if a section is thin, you’ll get maximum impact and perfect fall if it’s placed properly. Saturate the middle of the section first, then work the color into the ends to avoid that ungodly color bleed, then work into the new growth by ‘pushing back’ vertically, using a diagonal brush. You’ll produce a seamless edge that moves into the scalp area. You won’t need a full head of 300 foils; you may only need a count of three, six or nine per section, if everything is in the right position.”
John Simpson


“ One of the biggest problems when doing a root application is if the hair is quite thick or quite long, the color may end up being on the scalp for too long. So I use my Aqua Splash Tangle Teezer brush to pull the color through from roots to ends. The bristles distribute the color evenly, and as a bonus, they detangle the hair along the way! You get great coverage in record time.”
Shaun P.


“ Here’s a quick way to take care of those fine hairline hairs that don’t always get covered completely, and really show when the client tucks her hair behind her ears. After applying and processing your foil highlights, rough-dry the hair. Pull the client’s hair back behind her ears. Take a dry brush, dip it into your highlight formula, then wipe it so there’s very little product on the brush. Gently side-brush all of those little baby hairs around the face. Process quickly and remove. Now when the client pulls her hair back, there will be absolutely no demarcation.”
Nick Stenson


“ Try the halo highlight technique. Section the hair around the crown and clip away the top. Place foil in a halo pattern off of the parting, following the head shape. Release the top, create another parting further up the head, clip away the top and repeat. You’ll create beautiful highlights with minimal foils.”
Patrick Kalle


“Sometimes when we need to speed up our single process services in the salon, we team up, and two stylists will work on a client. In addition to cutting application time, it makes clients feel like the entire staff is invested in the outcome of their service.”
—Michael Albor