With Julia, as with all my redheads, no two appointments are ever the same, and coloring her hair all these years has really taught me the importance of thinking outside of the box with my formulations, and always leaving room for things to unfold organically as I paint, because that’s usually where the magic occurs.
As a colorist, redheads keep your formulating skills sharp, as there is always a balance to strike of when (and where) to hold back and practice restraint in the formula, and when to just go for it and add pops of copper, gold, or auburn. Whether soft and romantic, or bright and electric, it takes a special confidence (unless you’re one of the lucky 1 to 2 % born with it) to pull it off.
To create natural dimension with red hair requires a careful and thoughtful approach, and my cardinal rule is that it’s possible to achieve movement without bleaching or highlighting. Overly highlighted and overthought redheads are one of my biggest color pet peeves. At most, I will usually sprinkle in a ‘halo’ of highlights once year, and use the placement of these highlights continuously in order to give the effect of the hair being lit from within.
Because every color always looks better with movement and texture, I always “save” strategic pieces of faded color in areas I would normally place a highlight, and then accentuate them by the heavy use of ‘lowlighting’ throughout the lengths of the hair so the highlights can once again pop. I then finish by mixing a vibrant gloss that is 1-2 shades lighter than the base color and apply that all over for 10 minutes to give the saved pieces an intentional tone, and the rest of the hair tons of shine. The result is time saved, and way healthier hair.
Thank you Julia for being the ultimate muse and color chameleon! No matter what color we try, I’m always left challenged and inspired, and as an artist, I simply can’t think of a better gift.