haircoloristAre you a new cosmetologist that isn’t sure hot to be a confident haircolorist?

It’s completely normal, so don’t worry because everyone has to start somewhere! I was more confident in color than cuts because I was naturally drawn to it. Coloring hair is more creative and cutting hair isn’t until you start expanding your skills.

Every school is different, and I was lucky that Paul Mitchell Schools lets students push the limits with color. I learned so much about color that most people don’t catch on to until they’ve been working in the salon for a few years.

Being more confident with hair coloring won’t just happen, and you can’t make it happen with practice or studying color knowledge. Confidence comes from making mistakes and correcting them. It also comes from working with other talented hairstylists that you can learn from.

Coloring hair is more than just knowing the color wheel and how to formulate. It’s also about chemistry and knowing how to “bend the rules”. You should start out with the basics, and as you go you will feel more confident and comfortable enough to start trying new things.

Remember…you will make mistakes. You will feel like you didn’t do a great job on someone’s hair from time to time. There’s no way around that…it just has to happen. Once it does you’ll know what you did wrong, and next time you’ll do better!

How To Be A Confident Haircolorist

Here’s a great Q&A from a reader/new cosmetologist:

Hi Erika!

I work at a salon in a small town. I just started here a month ago and am trying to build my clientele. I get a little nervous when it comes to color.

Where I went to beauty school they didn’t go over color a whole lot and when they did, I was always a little confused. Just didn’t put 2 and 2 together real well.

I am trying to get better, but do you have a suggestion on what I could do to help myself?! Seems like I always second guess myself and I want to be able to get the confidence like the other girls in the salon.

I have been out of school since 2010. I love doing hair and have fun doing it, just want to be more confident in my color in all. I’ll take anything I can get! 🙂

-Age 24

Hi Kalei,
I have a few questions first and that will help me determine where you are and what you need to be confident with color. I will admit that it takes years to be completely confident with color.

1. What color line do you use?
2. Do you understand undertones well?
3. Do you feel confident with foiling other than the formula?
4. What color line did you learn with?

If it’s confidence in color is a goal of yours you may want to go for the ABCH certification one day. I’ll be honest, it’s really intense and I’m lucky to have passed at my age. There is a portion that you can’t study for and is all based off experience. But the main thing I was told before starting the course is that if you want to finally be completely confident in color that is the way to go…so true. I will be doing some video “classes” that are directed at ABCH in the near future…those will also be great for you to build some skills.

Here are a few things to remember…

1. The color swatch you want to achieve is not always(and rarely) the color to put on the hair unless it is virgin and the same level.

2. Overlapping color will cause banding, some people just apply sloppy, I am precise and careful to only dab on the regrowth and sometimes a little will feather through.

3. If it’s permanent (even semi or demi in some cases), it doesn’t need to be applied root to ends. ABCH teaches that you should refresh the ends with that formula in the demi line….a less complicated way is to rinse the regrowth(and this doesn’t have to be completely)and apply the rest of your formula to refresh the ends. Comb through at the bowl without applying to the regrowth that is rinsed and give it 10 minutes. The water that the hair is still holding will help it to not grab the color too much. It is also best to towel dry the hair a little before applying.

4. Pay attention to the tones in your color, a lot of people don’t and it really matters. My old salon used Loreal Pro color and I needed a 6.31, we were out and one of the girls said …”oh we have a tone of use that”. Really? What a disaster that would be! Even though both tones are in the color we are talking about going from a beautiful muted gold brown to a very cool and much darker looking brown even though it is the same level. Which reminds me, cooler colors usually look darker.

5. With very processed blonde that wants to be a level 6/7 or darker ALWAYS fill with a copper level 7 or 8. And I’m talking orange. It will help the hair to hold the color, you are replacing the pigment that has been stripped. Blonde hair is like clear hair, the undertones are gone, or sometimes you have a mix of undertones. Going darker will always require you to replace those tones so the color can grab. A lot of people skip this step because they don’t want to take the time. Using a semi will work just as well as permanent and will take less time to process before applying the other color.
I just saw a girl in my salon do this the other day that has been doing hair for 10 years. She had a very processed blonde with 1.5 inches of level 6 regrowth and she wanted to be dark red/violet. I asked her if she was going to fill and she said no, it will be fine. It turned out an awful light pinkish red/violet and they had to blow dry and reapply. Either way, there is still empty hair underneath and in a week or less that girls hair will still look like crap

Sorry for the random overload of information! I just don’t know what you know and these are the things that I have had to learn the hard way over time!

Have you had a color oopsy lately that you wish could have gone differently? Sometimes figuring out what would have worked is the best way to learn and remember. At any time if you have any questions please feel free to contact me!

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Professional Hairstylist | American Board Certified Haircolorist | Makeup Artist | Beauty Blogger

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