I have found that it is very difficult to achieve the perfect caramel highlight for fall that women with dark hair crave around this time of year! Even though highlights add warmth and depth, it is not unusual for a client to be dissatisfied after requesting this service. You may hear complaints such as, this looks brassy, it's dull, or heaven forbid the orange word! I have a fool proof method with results so amazing I feel compelled to share them with my fellow stylists. First, I ask my client if they would like a bold or natural look. Taking that into consideration, I give my rockstar chicks a chunky funky look, and my conservative professional clientele, a blended subtle highlight.
Using Wella's pre-lightener and 20 volume developer, I usually lift the hair up to a level 8 or 9. After washing, I use 7/7 wella koleston perfect with pastel developer in equal parts as a toner until it turns into the beautiful color desired. In about 10 minutes, you have a color that is rich, velvety, and as smooth as your favorite creme brulee dessert! This technique can also be used on the ends of pre-lightened hair for a nice transitional Ombre look, which is one of the years hottest trends worn by many stars. This is a unique concept because Wella only recommends using levels 8 and above for toning hair. Sometimes you have to bend the rules to discover the uncharted. This formula will undoubtedly impress your extremely meticulous clientele as well.
Zena Quattlebaum Panico is the owner of Zena Salon in Lexington, South Carolina. Recently, her lollipop hair design was chosen as one Brig Van Osten's favorite entries in the Pravana "Show Us Your Vivids" Contest.
[Images courtesy of Zena Quattlebaum Panico]