The hot new wave in cutting-edge hair color: color melting, where several hues are blended together seamlessly. Matrix artistic director Danielle Keasling gives us the backstage scoop.
FAB: How did this trend come about?
Danielle Keasling: The current feel of Matrix as a brand today is revolving itself around a lifestyle approach. We want not only hairstylists to be able to relate to our trends but also consumers. Our trends are authentic, approachable and obtainable and we are really looking beyond our salon walls into the world. When you color melt, you are fusing the line of demarcation between tones with fluid seamless blending. When we pull the different flavors together it creates a fluid transition and melts together. This is a great analogy to use when explaining to your clients how the colors can be joined together from the scalp, mid lengths and ends.
FAB: What are the tones we can work with?
D.K.: Absolutely anything but always remember what color you are getting when two tones are mixed together! You want to always remember your color wheel and make sure you are not counteracting tones to cancel one another. I like to use the color wheel as a visual in my consultations with my guests. This way they truly understand what colors work and what colors work against each other. In this collection, our color palette was a little softer, smokier and with a lot of pastels. It’s what we are seeing on social media and we always want to cater to what’s hot at the moment.
FAB: Why is this trend a big hit this summer?
D.K.: Color melting in general is still so hot right now. In the summer months, you see more pastels and blonde tones while in the winter months your saturation tends to be deeper and your melts really work together with darker tones such as an oil slick story. The blondes in this collection really play up a light soft story that’s on trend yet absolutely commercial friendly.
FAB: How do you apply the color?
D.K.: As a rule of thumb when I’m working on color melts, whenever possible it’s always best to apply the lightest tone first and work in order from lightest to darkest. This ensures you don’t cross-contaminate your colors and start depositing residual color from the darker shades into your lighter shades by brush transfer. I also always keep a couple of dry brushes by me when I am color melting to fuse tones together after they are applied on the strand. For a conversation starter I also have used kabuki brushes, makeup sponges, craft brushes and our Matrix blending brush. You always want to set up your brand to be the most innovative in your area of salon competition. As an owner of a salon, clients notice everything and they will ask when they see new tools being used. This supports your commitment to them to stay at the top of your industry. They love it and they will stay loyal to the leading salon in their area no matter what!
FAB: How do you chose the color for each client?
D.K.: Consultation is everything! You absolutely must have your guest “sign” a verbal contract with you on your plan of action. I take into account their lifestyle, their commitment to homecare, their commitment to the color process and revisits to keep it up. Most importantly, I explain the process and make them understand everything that goes into wearing these fashion forward colors. This not only sets you up for success but it instills trust in the client and also allows you to have a more creative platform because when they trust you, they listen. Honesty is always the best policy but always keep your honesty coming from a direction of education and facts. Use your color swatches and color wheel to discuss what tones work for their skin tone and make the consultation a priority.
FAB: How do you maintain your color after melting?
D.K.: You must use a recommended professional color safe shampoo and conditioner such as Biology R.A.W. Recover shampoo and conditioner. This will ensure you are keeping those dye molecules locked into place! It’s always a great practice to shampoo and condition with cooler water as well. This will allow less color from sneaking out during that process. Whenever you can, also use a thermal protectant for blow drying and thermal tools. Most guests don’t realize they can pull color out of their hair with heat. The more a client is educated, usually the happier the client is. Talk them through the do’s and don’ts when you have them in your chair and are working your magic.