Thinking of changing up your clients’ tone for fall? It doesn’t have to be the traditional blonde to brunette! Changing the formulation thought process can be a great method to custom color hair that will make your work stand out without screaming for attention.
To get an understanding of how to introduce custom tone is to understand the Munsell color system and how to relate it to the hair coloring system. The Munsell color theory represents each color to having three qualities: (HVC)
Hue- the color/tone such as red, orange, yellow etc.
Value- the lightness of darkness of color
Chroma- the saturation of color
In relation to hair color, hue can be referred to as the tone of hair, value can be referred to as the lightness or darkness (level) of hair and chroma can be referred to as the intensity or vibrancy of tone.
In hair color, hair lightness and darkness is rated on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the darkest and 10 being the lightest.
For example, in a 9V toner, v for violet, is the hue (tone) of that individual color. 9 is the value (level) of hair. The chroma is dependent on the hair you are applying the tone to. On a level 10, newly lifted hair, a 9V toner will be vibrant and contain a high chroma or saturation. If using a 9V on a level below 9, the chroma (saturation) would be considerably less, as the toner is not strong enough to counteract the underlying warmth.
Now that we’ve translated the Munsell system into haircolor terms, let’s dive into how to create custom tones. Breaking down a custom tone is majorly due to the hue (tone) and chroma (saturation/intensity) of the hair. This plays into custom toners and formulations. I prefer to add pure pigment colors into my formulations to add chroma. Below are examples of custom tones created with pure pigments.
To achieve these looks I solely used Davines Mask and A New Colour.
Enhanced Gold Formula
Full head babylights l using Davines Century of Light: Progress with 10vol working your way to 20vol.
Process until pale yellow.
Rinse and tone with Davines Mask 15g 8,33 to 15g, 9,04 with the addition of 10g YELLOW from Davines A New Colour with 10 vol.
Process for 20-25 minutes and rinse.
Rose Bronze Formula
Full highlight with Davines A New Colour: 25g 10,22 to 15g VIOLET with 30vol
Tone in between foils with Davines Mask: 20g 7,32 to 20g 10,23 with 10g VIOLET A New Colour and 5vol
Process for 35 minutes and rinse.
The addition of the YELLOW and VIOLET from A New Colour allow for an overload of pigment into the strands. This makes the color reflect in an enhanced, yet natural way while adding dimensional to the tones.
When speaking to your client, hair tonality does not have to be defined by “blonde, brunette and auburn.” I believe it is our job as professionals to educate our clients about the process of getting a custom tone. You’d be surprised how receptive people are to learning about the three qualities of color. After creating the custom tone, you can then be creative with the name of the look. For example, I chose “Enhanced Gold” instead of saying “Warm Blonde”; and “Rose Bronze” instead of “Auburn, or Warm Brown”. When the time is taken to create an individualized tone, it deserves an individualized name to go along with it.
Be honest about the vision you have for their locks. Reference photos of a color are great, but keep in mind where they are, how to get to where they want to be, if it’s achievable in one sitting and if you think the tone would live naturally in their daily life. The most important aspect of hair color is to keep the the integrity of the hair in mind. Don’t promise the impossible; instead create a dialog that allows the client to fully understand that color is a individualized process.
*Color, cut, style, photos + article by Andy Judd (@AndyDoesYourHair)