Interview: Erick Orellana Shares How to Choose The Right Haircolor for Your Client's Complexion

Image7Celebrity stylist Erick Orellana from Cristophe Salon got his start styling hair in high school. As a shy teenager, having the skills to cut and style hair helped Erick break the ice and make new friends. Now a stylist to the stars in Beverly Hills, Erick shares his expert hair color tips.


What are your specialties?

After attempting to do both cut and color I always found myself having a hard time with cutting women's hair. After several attempts, I almost changed careers because of it. After a few years assisting a stylist that did both, I got an opportunity to work with a colorist and I sought out salon in West Hollywood I really wanted to be at. This was the John Freida salon. I realized that color was my true calling since it came to me naturally, especially color corrections. They are my favorite and I am very fast at them.

What is your favorite color trend/technique of the moment?

I have always been a fan of the Balayage technique and the natural looking color that almost looks like it was caused by nature. I am also a big fan of color melting which is when you highlight or lighten in a transitional matter from darker at the top to lighter at the bottom. This technique can be used in a wide range of colors including redheads, brunettes, and blondes.

What are your top tips for choosing a color that will go well with a client's complexion?

Something I have learned from doing hair throughout the years is that choosing the right tone makes a world of a difference. A little secret I like to do when having a consultation: I look at the area surrounding the pupil of the eye. The tone you find in that area is usually the complementing tone for your skin whether it is warm or cool.

Do you have any advice for how to handle a situation where a client wants a color that will not work well with her complexion?

Working in Beverly Hills, we run into this problem consistently. Clients tend to like to bring in pictures of what they want to achieve on their hair without taking any consideration of what the person in this picture looks like, skin tone, and even lifestyle. I usually don't like to just knock their idea down and tell them that they are completely wrong. What I like to suggest is WHAT I can do to help customize it better to suit them. Most of the time this is very effective since I still like to appreciate the time they took looking up ideas for their own hair.


[Images courtesy of Erick Orellana]

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