Intuition or Practice

What part of colouring hair is intuitive, and what is years of practice?  As I worked with a new assistant yesterday, she said she used to work with Logics haircolor, and where she worked before, they couldn't look at a color chart.  They learned by knowing the boxes of color, the color level and tone.  As we talked, I realized I trained myself in haircolor, and that has it's pluses and minuses, right? Knowing levels and tones of haircolor without a chart is a definite must, because it is about training the eye to see color.  Some stylists have this gift, this natural ability.  Since I did train myself, and with practice, it is intuitive, and knowing what level and tone is second nature.  And, I still refer to a chart to get a visual strongly placed in my head, and it happens within minutes.

We are playing with Dia haircolor now.  I like it.  The range of tones, flexibility, and shine is wonderful.  The other day, I saw a new client for a weave and haircut.  I liked her, she seemed to respond to my ideas, and our communication felt on track and we articulated a plan.  She had a natural level 5, and she was heavily highlighted.  We decided to not go that light. So I highlighted her hair with slices of Blondor and 9%.   Then I went back through with a thin slice of light brown, with a bit of copper, and a bit of gold.  I like that you can add a squirt of this and a squirt of that.  I thought, after I shook the formula in the jar that maybe I needed to add more gold or natural to the formula, but I didn't.  but I did at a toner for the blonde of Richesse 9.3, which undid the shine, I am sure.  Next time, I would see what the Dia equivalent would be. 

The color was beautiful, definite coppery lowlights, but not brassy.  The overall look had a zing to it.  I loved it, and she was happy.  The finesse of color formulating is to see what the gut says, and listen, or to follow through with what you worked up, and take a risk.  To me being a great colorist is not perfect formulation, but knowing how to get back when you've gone too far.  Some of it is intuition and some of it is practice.

Posted on July 10, 2008 and filed under Creativity, haircolor, hairstylist, inspiration, Salon Life.