Step one: preparing the base.
Imagine you have a piece of paper that’s half white and half dark brown. If you painted a line of blue watercolor over both sides, where would you see the color? It would only be noticeable on the white side of paper. Vivid colors behave the same way. Your hair has to be very light, almost as light as white paper. I like to joke that most of my clients are secret blondes, but I think I’m the only one who finds that amusing.
There are a few ways to achieve a light base. If you know you want all of your hair bright, I would recommend a full bleach service, which will lighten every hair on your head. If you want to keep your natural base and with most of the color on the ends, a full painting is the way to go. Your hair may require more than one full bleach or full painting, and this cannot be determined until after the first round of lightener.
If you want pastels, your hair has to absolutely free of any warm tones, in other words, white blonde. Generally these colors will not happen during the first session.
Step two: the colors!
My favorite part! There are so many different ways to paint vivids! The most simple vivid service is a vivid single. It's one color applied to all of the hair. A color melt is a step up. Typically a deeper tone is applied to the root and melted into a lighter color. Anything more complex is considered a vivid full painting, where the options are limitless!
Step three: the aftercare.
I can’t stress the importance of proper aftercare enough. It’s the difference between looking great for two weeks or two months. Would you buy a Ferrari and not get the oil changed regularly?
First, let’s talk about washing. As my friend Arielle says, "water is the enemy of hair color." She's right! So how can we minimize the effect of water on hair color? You will have to wash your hair with cold water. The colder, the better. You’ll also need to wash your hair less. If you wash your hair everyday or every other day, vivid color will not last on you. Dry shampoo is your friend!
What are you using to wash your hair? This is equally as important as water temperature and frequency of washing. You must use a gentle, sulfate free shampoo from a reputable brand that is specifically formulated for color treated hair. Non professional lines can advertise "sulfate free" yet separately list two ingredients that combine into a sulfate, which is why it's important to use a trust worthy brand. Did you know many shampoos (even "color safe" ones!) contain the same ingredient found in dish soap? Yikes. Evo's Preserve shampoo is actually sulfate free and is very gentle on hair color. Bonus, it comes in a sweet gold tube!
Are you using the best conditioner? Your drug store conditioner isn’t going to cut it anymore. Let’s face it, your hair has been lightened and is now a bright color... it's a little more high maintenance. You need a conditioner that will properly hydrate, repair, moisturize, and seal your hair cuticle. I always recommend purchasing a Fabulouso Pro conditioner. It's my favorite thing ever. It’s the only product your colorist can custom mix to precisely compliment your shade of awesome. Every time you use it, you’ll be refreshing your color and restoring your hair!
Let’s move on to heat styling. If you flat iron your hair at 450 degrees, the color will practically fly out of your hair. Keep styling tools around 300 degrees. The less heat, the better.