With styles constantly changing, there's a timeless trend that never seems to fade away: gradient color. This effortless, chic style gives the impression of natural, sun-kissed locks that have been gently transformed by the passage of time. To help colorists create this sought-after look, Product Club offers a range of innovative and reliable haircolor tools that will elevate your salon and client experience.
Achieve Low Maintenance Hair Color with Balayage and Root Melting
By Kristen Linares, Product Club Educator (@kristenlin.hair.es)
Consultation and Color Selection
Begin by having a thorough consultation with your client to understand their desired look, maintenance commitment, and lifestyle. Balayage is all about creating a low-maintenance style that beautifully blends with their natural hair color. Choose a shade that complements their skin tone and creates their desired level of contrast.
Sectioning and Application
It's important to separate the hair into clean, organized sections before you begin. Depending on the canvas, your sectioning will vary. Most often, my favorite go-to technique includes sectioning the six points of the head: the front, sides, fringe, crown, middle back, and nape. Secure each section with Product Club sectioning clips. This will keep you visually on track and organized as you move through the head shape. Leaving depth in the crown and middle back is key here!
Balayage is a great method for creating a soft, lived-in look. Using Product Club balayage film, isolate sub sections of hair that mirror the diameter of your client’s most used hot tool. This approach creates a customized look based on their styling ability. Use your favorite clay lightener with 30-volume on the mid-lengths and ends. Start with a subtle approach, gradually increasing the intensity as you move towards the bottom. If you apply lightener too heavily close to the root - don’t stress! Use the blending brush set to correct and continue on. The final result of balayage painting mimics the natural fading of the hair due to sun exposure, giving it a lived-in effect.
Color Placement Pro Tip
Concentrate on the areas where the hair would naturally lighten, such as around the face and the ends. Add a lowlights under the sections you highlight to make the lightened pieces pop!
The processing time will depend on the desired level of lift and the brand of color you are using. Always refer to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Keep in mind that balayage tends to be more subtle and natural, so it's best to err on the side of caution and avoid over-processing. Over processed hair not only feels unhealthy but also fades rapidly, resulting in higher maintenance for the client.
Seamless Blending/ Root Melting
To ensure a seamless blend between the natural and colored sections, use the Product Club color blending brush after applying a root melt formula. Apply your formula starting in the back, middle of the head working in vertical/ radial sections from the highest point of the head. Stop at the back of each ear then work on the sides in diagonal back sections leaving the hairline for last. You may use a root melt formula a level or two lighter for the hairline to give a bolder face frame appearance that has a soft gradient while giving bolder contrast. Gently comb through the transition areas to soften any harsh lines. Root melts vary from one to three inches down from the root area depending on your client’s desired result. I recommend using a demi permanent color one or one and a half levels deeper than their natural color on towel dried hair.
Aftercare and Maintenance
Advise your client on the proper aftercare and maintenance needed to preserve their beautiful hair color. Suggest using color-safe shampoos and conditioners that are sold in your salon, avoiding excessive heat styling, and scheduling regular touch-up appointments to keep their color looking fresh. The great thing about this method is the client does not need a full highlight each time. They can come back in 6-8 weeks for just a gloss or a face framing highlight and gloss. Since root melts are performed with demi permanent color, as the weeks go by, the color fades off the hair exposing the highlights underneath, giving the client almost the same look as their first salon visit!