A Return to a Blonde Idol by David Stanko and Jenny Balding

"I was always that girl - the one with the pretty hair," states Cutler NYC Salon client, Nicole.  

All through high school, when Nicole began to color her own hair, and carrying on into college, she became a "dual-user" - sometimes coloring and highlighting in salons and other times opting for box color - with relative success. However, the day before Christmas 2012, Nicole booked a color appointment, feeling like a change, and asked for a "reverse ombre." No other client/stylist consultation was pursued.  

Fast-forward: over the next 14 months, Nicole visited 3 different salons in repeated attempts to fix her reverse ombre, purchased clip-in hair pieces of her desired blonde shade and even reluctantly reverted to coloring her own hair again. The result: khaki brown with orange tones on top, brassy hair underneath and an indescribable not-found-in-nature color on her previously pristine highlights.

Finally, Nicole decided to book an appointment at Cutler NYC Salon based upon a referral. Enter the color and styling dream-team David Stanko and Jenny Balding.

"Nicole was literally shaking as she flipped through her phone to show me what she used to look like," says Stanko. "I listened for 15 minutes, offered her tissues (to wipe her tears) and a cappuccino, which makes everyone feel better." Then it was time to get down to business.

Stanko helped transition Nicole from bad to blonde using the Redken Color and the following formula:
"First, stand test with Blonde Icing Cream Lightener and 20 volume 1:3. In 7 minutes I achieved BLONDE in 1 foil. Important to note. Remove.

"Next, equal parts Color Gels 7NA + 6N + 10 vol. Slow and steady wins the race - not 'the' blonde Nicole wanted, but, with the myriad of off-tones, this was the safest way to lift her natural ashy level 5 so it blended with the mid-shaft, all the while counseling Nicole that we will gradually lighten her base, so long as she's committed to me and her haircolor. Base: done.  

"Next, with the speed of a hundred colorists before me, I placed Blonde Icing highlights around the face, fringe and top layers - about 20 foils. Then, balayage through the back. My goal: when she looks in the mirror - BLONDE-er.  

"Finally, a Shades EQ Glaze atop all her hair: Crystal Clear mixed with 2 caps of 09V Platinum Ice. Roots first, then mids, and lastly the ends. High level correction requires Redken Chemisty Color Extend and Extreme shots.
"Final step, onto the magical and caring Jenny Balding. Length was lifted, long-layers cleaned up. Styled with Pillow Proof Express Primer and Fashion Work 12. A careful blow-dry, beach-y curling iron set. and [it was] goodbye hair extensions and welcome back, 'the girl with pretty hair!'
"Over the next 4 months, Nicole [saw] me religiously for color tweaks and maintenance. You see, I listened, cared, strand-tested and provided a plan that included 'health trims' with Jenny.
"A client for life, a Redken retail Blonde Idol user and a Blonde Idol for summer!"

[Images courtesy of LiFt Consulting, LLC]

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