Balayage Highlights with Illumina, Plus a Beautiful Textured Cut

Earlier this week I was honored to be the first professional to color Nichole’s hair. I wanted to start her off with something that required minimal commitment and a definite, yet natural, change. I chose to go with balayage highlights using our Illumina color line.

Illumina is Wella’s new color line and it works beautifully on blondes. It has a violet base, giving a cool and unique tonality that also cuts some of the warmth. Even the warm tones have bite of cool, giving a complex tonality. Illumina imparts incredible shine and keeps hair as close as possible to its virgin state. It does not lift or cover grey as much as Koleston Perfect, Wella’s other permanent color line, but neither of those issues were relevant to Nichole. With her hair texture it would not be difficult for her hair to lift.

Her formula is: Illumina .2 8/81, .2 9/60, .4 10/36 = 40 vol

I painted on Nichole’s color with a medium small brush and did a balayage technique using Saran Wrap, based on the method from our class last month with The Doves,

Next we cut! She lost about five inches of length for a summery new look with lots of interior and exterior layering. Nichole has a great texture and density; even though she has fine hair she can handle a lot of layering without looking sparse. I did a variation of Sebastian’s Jagged Edge cut, throwing in more layering with a back cutting technique.

Styled with Volupt Soray, Trilliance and a little bit of Matte Putty.


Two Days of Training With The Doves

The Doves, Christopher and Sonya, are an incredibly successful hairdressing duo. Originally from the UK, they are based out of sunny Santa Monica and travel the world teaching, training and styling. They have won some of the top honors in the national and international hairstyling community. All the while, they are very down to earth and approachable. This year, my salon met up with some of the other Salon Vivace locations in Santa Monica to spend a few days with the Doves. Some of the more experienced stylists had met them before at prior classes and their familiarity with our company was very flattering. Sonya has such a sweet and gentle nature with so much passion, it is truly intoxicating to listen to her soft British accent. And Christopher is always entertaining, always finding the right balance if playful and attentive.

The first day we went over a long, layered bob hair cut with the razor. Razor cutting is actually something that intrigued me a lot prior to doing hair professionally. In high school and college I used the razor quite a bit and probably tortured quite a few of my friends with dull blades (so sorry to all of you!), but as of late I have primarily been working with scissors. I am excited to jump back in and try some of the techniques from the class. Their cutting style is so intuitive, less architectural than some schools of cutting (think Sassoon). Very modern and right in line with the trends to simplify. I am usually attracted to more structure, more sections, over directing this way and that way, but that is mainly because those styles are counter to my own nature. It is nice to consider returning to some degree back to a more intuitive and natural style.

We returned to scissors the second day for a rounded bob. An oval perimeter is a particularly deceiving cut because it looks much simpler than it is. It is actually one of the easiest cuts to become lopsided, and probably the cut I see the most from people who come to me for the first time needing a hair fix. Christopher showed us his own tips and tricks on how to achieve the perfect oval bob.

Sonya demonstrated some very quick and salon friendly block color techniques. I am very excited to try them on some clients! I always love block color because it is a much more thoughtful way to do color than just lining up foils over an entire head and it is better for creating emphasis and interest. It is getting the hair and its natural fall to work with and not against the stylist. I will post some pictures of the finished cuts with the color techniques later on after I am back in Pittsburgh.

Sonya and Christopher also did some demonstrations for us with the new Illumina line from Wella and baliage highlights. Christopher was also excited to show some new hair styling gadgets. All in all, they were great mentors to us product knowledge, business skills and, of course, hair cut and color techniques! I had a great time with them in Santa Monica and would definitely recommend their classes to other hair stylists. Check them out: The Doves Studio (You can also find them on Instagram and Facebook.)

Here I am with the Doves!

After the first picture and some signals going literally over my head Christopher asked for another picture and they scooped me up.