Summer Hair Color, A Seminar
If you’re even a marginal follower of celebrity goings-on, you’ll have noticed a curious trend emerging among some of Hollywood’s most boldfaced names. That would be red hair. Drew Barrymore kicked things off a few weeks back, debuting bright copper strands at a book launch in L.A., and Mandy Moore and Malin Akerman promptly followed suit. The biggest ginger coup came on Tuesday night, when blondes-have-more-fun poster girl Blake Lively went a shade of golden auburn. On who can and should go red, Couture Colour celebrity colorist and creative color director Jonathan Gale says, “The tone normally is pale and freckly,” à la Nicole Kidman and Amy Adams. But as Lively has demonstrated, even the sun-worshippers of the world can pull off the auburn hue when it’s properly tailored to their complexion. “It’s all about education,” Gale adds. Here, the dean of dye jobs—who regularly coifs the likes of Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Monaghan—conducts a class on summer hair color.—Celia Ellenberg
How are you advising your clients as we transition from winter to spring—and rapidly to summer?
I’m educating people more about skin color and their “essence.” Your skin color is paler in the fall and in the summertime skin starts to golden and you can carry more color—more blond, for example. So I’m really starting to take people a lot lighter—even the brunettes. They have started to say to me, “I like my brown and I want to keep the color.” So I’ve been doing a lot of tipping—I call it “shipwrecked hair,” like if you were stuck on an island, your hair wouldn’t match up on the ends. Then, at the end of the summer you can just cut off the lighter pieces.
Interesting. So, what exactly is this “essence” of which you speak?
That’s your authentic self—that place where you start from. There are extreme cases, of course, like Gwen Stefani. She’s created that look and she can actually pull off that white hair. But typically, if you go too far away from the essence, people can’t recognize you.
Are there any color maintenance tips you can share as the sun gets stronger and water sports start factoring into the equation?
I advise my clients to use oil. Sleep in it at night! I always recommend the Dr. Hauschka Neem Oil and Couture Colour’s new Pequi Oil. After you’ve washed your hair, the comb just glides through the oil. I also advise putting oil on hair first if you’re going into a pool to protect the hair shaft. And you don’t always have to shower after you come out of the ocean, either. Rinse your hair with water that doesn’t have salt in it, and then wash with just conditioner.
What about looking for hair products with SPF in them to protect from fading? Is that really necessary?
If you’re using ammonium hair color, it will fade drastically during the summer because the elements will bleach it out faster. Non-ammonium hair color won’t do that. Our Couture Color is ammonia-free and I’ve seen low lights last as long as five months! It really gently opens the cuticle to let the color go into the hair.
Is there anything new and exciting happening in the world of hair color that we should be aware of?
Well, I’ve been maintaining Charlize Theron’s hair for about five years now, and we’ve just discovered this nanotechnology from Pureology—it’s their gold line. It’s superior. I’ve literally witnessed every one of my clients who want to grow their hair long, but it doesn’t want to be long, getting really long hair. Charlize now wants to grow her hair out! The other thing I really like right now is called C-Tonics. It’s a clay-based shampoo that meets Whole Foods’ natural standards. It’s not really for color-treated hair because a lot of time people experience a little bit of drying, but I really recommend it for sensitive scalps and for thinning hair.
What about the color breakthroughs—aside from red, obviously?
It’s like we’re desperate for something new. I’m actually in the middle of creating something fabulous. I do shimmer highlights—it’s for people who don’t want to end up with a big commitment. These just make the hair look a bit more interesting—like it did when you were 11 years old. Then I do a little bit of balliage over top of it, like a week later. It’s like painting! You prep your canvas and then you come back in with the big guns. It looks pretty whimsical.