It’s been no secret that I’m loving warm tones in hair color lately. Honey, gold, whatever your description, I just can’t get enough. As I’ve stated before on the blog, our hair is a color wheel, with all the naturally occurring colors of the rainbow waiting to be revealed. The one thing that most of us have in common, no matter whether our starting point is darkest brown or blonde, is warmth. Warm tones are universally flattering, yet we spend a lot of time in the salon fighting against them. To me, it’s maddening. Even more frustrating, with Instagram, (and the filter that some employ to hide the hair’s natural warmth, clients often arrive to the salon requesting ashy, almost gray shades of blonde, devoid of any remaining warmth.
Some, afraid to disappoint, will spend hours stripping and toning the hair, instead of standing firm and explaining to the client that the toner used will, a) eventually wash out, and b) the process is doing irreparable damage that no amount of bonder will reverse. In the end, I blame social media really. Added hair pieces that give the illusion of almost silver/super ashy strands, put other colorists at a severe disadvantage when clients arrive with those inspiration photos in tow.
Meanwhile, they are all missing out on a “golden opportunity”. One of the best parts of embracing the warmth, is the natural grow out process. When hair is stripped or lifted to an unnatural color, or a color that your hair doesn’t want to naturally do, the upkeep is constant. Toners fade, and to maintain continuity, trips every four weeks to the salon are required. On the other hand, embracing the warmth allows a much softer grow out, as natural tones still remain in the hair, and don’t appear jarring as ones roots begin to grow in. My clients who choose warmer tones can easily stretch the time between appointments to double, or even triple, the amount of time.
Now, to play devils advocate, there is definitely a slippery slope when gold can veer into some scary territory. Think orange and/or brassy. While I never try to lift highlights too light when my aim is gold, because I know that hair naturally oxidizes no matter the precaution taken, I try to go just a bit lighter than my target (about half a shade) and then whatever target gloss or toner I use is then more of an enhancer, than a fix. This also helps to prevent the brassiness from occurring since I’ve made it to a point to go slightly lighter and break through it.
Another factor that has significantly changed the way I approach all my highlighting and balayage, is the discovery of a new product called “ColorKick” by Virtue Labs. I was given it late last year to try, and I have to say I was blown away at the difference in my clients’ color, especially my golden blondes. What is ColorKick exactly? Made with Alpha Keratin 60ku, a proprietary ingredient that is a part of all VirtueLabs products, it is the first-ever hair filler made from 100% pure, human keratin. What looks like delicate flakes of gold is mixed right into color or bleach, and it essentially replaces the cuticle of the hair. Think of a rocky, bumpy road being paved smooth. As a filler (NOT a bonder), it helps to replace lost keratin through the coloring process. Basically, it’s not a band-aid, it’s really doing permanent reparative work. You guys, basically it’s next level.
How does this translate to better hair color? Well, hair that’s been colored has usually lost a bit of its natural shine as a result of the chemical treatment. With ColorKick, because the cuticle is now way smoother, the shine and reflection of the color is dialed way up. Before, I used to proceed with maximum caution (that will never really change), but my mind really became convinced and more at ease after I had a major color correction from brown to blonde that had to be done in one day, and my client’s hair actually felt healthier and looked shinier AFTER we were done. It can also be mixed into hair masks and processes with heat for an ultimate shine treatment.
What a pleasant surprise to discover a product that truly enhances an already favorite shade of mine. The only downside is that it is a bit pricey. I’m currently exploring ways that I can incorporate this product into more, if not most of my color treatments. Once the mathematics of it all are done (I am at the end of the day an independent contractor running a business!) I’ll pass on to clients how this can be added onto their color services. Stay tuned, and stay golden!
All hair color pictured – Kadi Lee
(Note: this post is NOT sponsored in any way, and all opinions expressed are just that, an opinion;))