Hi my dears! Wanted to share a piece that I wrote for Shiva Rose’s lovely blog The Local Rose. I had the pleasure of meeting Shiva at last years Spiritweavers, having been a reader of hers for several years and am so happy and honored to share my words with her readers, and with you all here at HTHG.
The post is called Hair Rituals, and it is inspired by a lifetimes worth of stories about cultural rituals related to hair that I have collected from women in the salon……I wanted to use the stories of ritual to help guide a more thoughtful approach to hair care.
I have to take a minute to introduce you to my two favorite babes in the Country Music scene, who I had the pleasure of styling last weekend.
Meet Jaime Wyatt of Jaime Wyatt and the Bang Bangs and Lucile Kuntz from The Crying Shame, both up and coming country music lady legends in their own right……and by Country, I mean like some real chops, throw-back to the greats of country music Country, but with just the right amount of Pacific Northwest Flavor, like the same flavor that happened when Loretta Lynn lived in Aberdeen, WA.
Jaime got a little bit of a Keith Richards Rock n’ Roll braid with white leather tassels and a couple of feathers wrapped into the ends. She said it reminded her of a pony that her family used to have named Feather who was a real asshole and bit her once on the stomach. Jaime’s sister used to braid feathers into Feather’s pony hair.
Lucile got a daringly sweet little low half-up beehive bump with a little braid coming from each side, and a little white stripped leather bow pinned into it.
Sadly, I couldn’t make it to hear them play that night, I had to be home with the kids. Which was great, I just really wanted to stay for the music…..But as my grandfather would say….’ you can’t kiss all the girls.’ So there.
Photo by Ryan Jorgensen
Check these ladies out and listen to what they have been working on and while you are ad it check out their tour dates to see when you can catch em in your town…….I have a hunch that you will be really into it.
Hey babes. This beautiful low pin-curled hairstyle is dedicated to my dear friend Sarah Ann Marie, who happens to be also modeling the hairstyle. We went to Bandittown together last month….She sold her leather-emblazoned bags and jackets (her collection is called 10th and Olive) while I was doing hair on the porch of an old rundown cabin.
She made that great vest in the photo above!
Now I have been doing Sarah’s hair for years and years. Colors, cuts and styles. And she is hands down my favorite with green hair. She is just one of those lucky people who looks like she could almost be a natural green, if that was a real thing.
Sarah is super resistant to my beehives. Like she has basically forbidden me to give them to her because of the wear and tear that happens as a result of all the back-combing that has to happen when one gets a beehive. This, as you can imagine, pains me to no end because I want her give her a green beehive so bad, mostly because I have been forbidden them, but also because she is such a beauty and she has such great style, I just want to ice her cake with an epic beehive. You know how it goes.
Well, this time, we negotiated her beehive and compromised on some VERY light back-combing to build a low height/low impact beehive with all the decoration down low, so that the hairstyle felt more flapper and less of the doo-wop.
I started by sprinkling some Dry Shampoo into my boar-bristle brush, and brushing it through her crown, to soak up some oil and help add texture and loft.
I began some light back combing at her roots, up around her crown. I worked gently, so as not to piss her off. Nothing to tight or vigorous.
Once I felt satisfied in the amount of lift I had created at her roots, I smoothed all the hair back with my boar-bristle brush, just over the surface of the hair, keeping the back-coming in tact underneath.
I gathered the hair from the top half of her hair (with the exception of her side-bang section, which I left out for now) into a very low ponytail, held it against her head, and rotated it once at the base, towards one side.
This created a little ofset twist, which I pinned into place nice and snug with bobby pins. Then, I took the hair from below the top section, gathered it into a ponytail in my hand, and twisted it once against the head as well, in the same direction of the first twist, and pinned it snug to the head.
This created the scaffolding of the hairstyle…….Nice high, smooth top, and the rest secured to one side, where the free ends right where I wanted them……And it was time to start building the curls, the details which made the ‘do.
At this point, I started working a bit more free form, taking small strands of hair that hung from the 2 twists, rolling it into a pin-curl, and then pinning it into place, doing my best to hide the pins discreetly within the hairstyle.
To create a more polished look, before I rolled the pin-curl, I gave the section of hair a twist, creating a rope-like look for each curl. I varied the size of each curl to keep it organic.
I built the curls into the hairstyle, pinning them into each other, creating a messy grid of bobby pins under the curls, hidden away but crucial to the structure of the style.
At the end, I separated her side-bang section into a few pieces, and pin-curled them at the ends, and pinned them into the hairstyle alone the side.
What we ended with was a solid, soft yet classy hairstyle which decorated one side of her head in a gorgeous, delicate swath of green curls.
This post is being written as pr your requests about more information about toning your hair at home. Today we are going to talk about toners, what they are, why we use them and how they work, so that you can be fully informed and in the know.
In the Salon, it has come to my attention over and over again that most people who are coming in for color, especially those of you going lighter, don’t fully understand what toner is and why it is important. So here is your rundown:)
What is toner?
Toner is very low volume hair color that deposits pigment or ‘tone’ to hair without really changing the level of the hair. Put simply, it corrects the tone of the hair without lightening or darkening the hair at all.
Is it the same as hair dye?
It is the same concept, but because we don’t use it to ‘lift’ (lighten) or darken the hair, it has a very low peroxide/ammonia content which makes it more gentle and far less corrosive. Basically, it is the same as semi-permanent color but it has less pigment to it…….so it is more translucent when applied to the hair.
Can I use box dye to tone my hair?
I advise against it because your box dye is going to use a far higher developer (peroxide, which activates the dye) than what you need. When all you need is to correct the tone, permanent box dye will be too harsh, and most semi-permanent box dyes will add more pigment than you want, and won’t be toning as much as masking your color. Think of toner as more of a subtle thing, like a pink tinged clear polish coat on your fingernails instead of a solid pink.
Why do we love toner?
Because generally, hair that has been artificially lightened with bleach or a hi-lift color is left with some warm pigment exposed in the hair, which can range from red tones, orange tones, yellow, pale yellow brassy…….Colors that many of us don’t like to see too much of, colors that scream Bleached!
It is toners job to neutralize those tones, softening them into colors that could actually be considered real or natural looking.
Toner is also great for just boosting and reviving color that has faded, and adding shine and reflection to the hair.
So for all those icy blondes, cool gun-metal browns, soft pretty colors in just the right shade, toner is your bff.
When should we use a toner?
Many of you know the banes of having brassiness and faded hair color, especially after Summer rolls into Fall. A toner can work wonders for brightening up and refreshing dull, faded color.
The perfect time for toning is when your color looks dull, harsh, faded, or generally off. In between color appointments, or after a fresh bleaching job at home or in the salon.
If you rock bleached hair, you will want to have a toner on hand at home to keep your blonde hair from regularly defaulting back to that yellow baby chick look.
How do I know my shade?
Great question….This is where it gets more tricky. This is why hairdressers have to go to school to learn the fundamentals of the color wheel and the chemistry of the color that they use. Here is my quick answer. Check out the color wheel above. Now look at your hair. Identify the color on the wheel that you are seeing too much of in your hair. Is it sort of an orange-y yellow? Red? Weird Green/yellow?
Okay. Now identify the color that lays on the wheel exactly opposite the tone you first identified. For green/yellow, the answer is pink/purple
For red, the answer is blue/green. This is how the color wheel works. We correct and nuetralize unwanted tones in the hair by applying their opposites to them. So if you are trying to tone out red, you will want to find a toner with a blue/green base. Go ahead and google ‘hair toner with a blue/green base’ and see what pops up;)
Use this theory when choosing a toner to correct unwanted tones, like after your bleach your hair.
My favorite options for at-home toning……..You can use Wella Color Charm toners from Sally’s, they are generally a safe bet.
Color Conditioner- Make your own toner! Identify the tone you want to add to your hair to either correct it or brighten it. Find your color in Manic Panic (or mix a few shades to get it right) Add a teaspoon of your color to your conditioner and mix well. Use it in the shower as you would regular conditioner, adding tone every time to keep it fresh.
Revive color and toner with Madison Reed Color Reviving Gloss. Use this gentle deposit-only formula to add tone, gloss, and massive softness in between your color services. This lovely stuff can be used to correct unwanted tones, to revive dull color, and to fill the hair when going dark-to-light, andit is sent right to your door!
I hope this post helps your DIY toning endeavors and allows you to find and master your hair shade. If you are a regular at-home colorer, I recommend using DIY hair color by Madison Reed, which is Resorcinol-Free.
If you purchase a Madison Reed Radiant Color Kit, you will receive not only the colors of hair colors your choice, but also the necessary tools to apply it. The entire line is designed for the DIY hair colorer.
It has always felt very unfair to me that a person should be barraged by aisles of beautiful ladies on hair color boxes promising shiny and natural looking results, only to screw up their own hair so bad that they have to at worst cut it all off, and at best, live with shitty looking box-color.
There are some real intricacies to coloring your own hair at home. There is a reason why hair stylists must complete several years of schooling….The chemistry and color theory that must be understood to be able to achieve predictable color is very detailed, intensive, and different for every head of hair.
That said, it is NOT impossible to get great hair color at home….but there are some basic rules and points that your box-dye instructions won’t tell you, that I think you should know because I want your hair color to be beautiful, and I don’t want to have to fix it for you when you fall pray to the false promises of your un-informed box dye escapades. Before you dive in, here is what you should know.
The chemicals in this box are safe!
Unfortunately the chemicals in your box color are the same chemicals that other industries take very strict precautions to avoid having any contact with. Real talk. Not at all safe. Proven unsafe. Unfortunately, the hair color industry has not progressed very far from it’s original formulations.
The chemicals in box hair color are heavy chemicals, and they are being applied right onto your head. And rinsed down the drain, into your water system, and then into the ocean, contributing to the mass poisoning of our ecosystems and our bodies.
This may not stop you from using hair color. Strangely, It hasn’t stopped me. But it has made me think hard about the risks associated with it. And it has inspired me to seek out alternatives, like Bay Area based at-home hair color company Madison Reed, who are not using Recorcinol in their formulations, and are working hard to find new innovative and safe ways to formulate hair color for the public.
You can lighten your previously colored hair with box-dye!
Nope. Rule number one in color chemistry. You cannot lighten hair color with hair color, BB’s. That is what bleach is for. If you have ANY kind of artificial hair color in your hair, permanent, semi permanent, henna, etc, you CANNOT lighten it out with box dye in a lighter shade. What will happen is that your un-dyed roots will lighten up nicely, and the rest of your hair will get lot’s of unnecessary damage, and barely (if any) color change at all.
You won’t get brassy, we promise!
The nature of our hair is that when it is chemically altered, it will always want to be ‘brassy’. It will always tend-towards warm tones. No matter what cool, gun-metal brown hair dye we use to eliminate those gold and red tones. The brass will always come back. SO, the best thing to do is to be realistic and accept this reality. No magic will change this reality.
Instead, have a plan to control those brassy tones using a Color Reviving Gloss treatment or add some veggie-dye like Manic Panic to your conditioner and use it regularly. If your hair is looking orange, use a blue-violet. If your hair is looking yellow, use a purple, and if your hair is looking red, use a green. Consider it your DIY perfect tone secret. Shhh!;)
Color-safe shampoo is the best way to keep your color fresh and bright.
Nope. Sorry. The best way to keep your hair color fresh and bright is to not wash it. At all. Just rinse and condition. Just sayin;)
You can remove permanent color with products like Color Oops!
I can’t tell you how many people think that Color Oops will give them their natural color back after they have a hair-dye disaster. It is so hard to accept that your hair has been permanently altered after a dying mistake. Color Oops does remove hair color, but it will leave your hair is dire state of patchy uneven color and make future coloring very unpredictable. I always suggest using a less harsh approach to removing color, along with patience. Or, if you are desperate, call in a professional.
You bleached your hair, now you want it dark brown again. No biggie!
This is the most common way that people end up with green hair accidentally (myself included, age 11. Hair disaster story for another day.) When you are planning of going from very light hair to dark hair, you must first ‘fill’ the hair with an in-between shade that will restore the missing warm pigment to your lightened hair, giving it the base it needs for the dark color to be rich and deep instead of dish-watery and dull. My go-to filler? I love Madison Reed Color Reviving Gloss in Miele as a universal filler. After filling the hair, you can dye right over it with your desired shade.
When you touch up your roots with permanent hair color, just pull the color through the ends to refresh it!
Can you do this? yes. Should you do this? no. If your previously colored hair needs freshening, use a semi-permanent color or a gentle Color Gloss Treatment to brighten it up while your roots are processing. Continually coloring hair with permanent color will just lead to extreme dryness, dullness, and muddy-looking strands. Not to mention split ends!
Choose a gloss shade to match your root shade to minimize damage and maximize vibrant, fresh color…. Madison Reed makes it really easy by sending your root color and your gloss treatment to your door every month so you don’t even have to think about it.
I sincerely hope this little guide helps you understand a little bit more about at-home hair coloring. Here is to dispelling myths, clarifying details, and being informed. May your at-home hair color days be bright and predictable! For more detailed DIY hair color information, check out this guide, the Do’s and Don’ts of DIY Color.
As a DIY hair blogger who is committed to quality information and tips for better hair care, I am a proud affiliate of Madison Reed as well as many other companies who’s ethics and goods I personally use and believe in.