Over in St. Louis, colorist Caitlin Ford (aka queen of rainbow bangs,) has just demonstrated a new take on the succulent hair trend with a mix of softer, smokier colors, and of course, we’re completely enthralled by it.
The idea sparked from other hairstylists’ Instagram photos. “I wanted to do my own variation that wasn’t as saturated or as in-your-face as bright-colored hair can sometimes be,” Ford tells Allure. “My co-worker Caitlin Tyczka specializes in what she calls ‘muted tones’, which are created by intentionally mixing opposite shades on the color wheel together to [get] a dusty quality.”
In a video that Ford posted on Monday — that has amassed more than 315,600 views since — you can see, step-by-step, just how the look was achieved. At first glance, the client’s hair (shown on a side view), looks like a rocker-style mohawk. But take a closer peek and you’ll see a clear, crescent-shaped plexiglass in the backdrop, holding the hair in place. This is a color board Ford created to show how the rules of elevation and direction apply to color placement. “I like this method because it allows me to better visualize where all of my colors are going to fall in the finished result. I also like that I can take bigger sections during the application, so I can move a little faster with it,” says she.
The concept of head sheets — charts used by hairstylists to plan the shape of a haircut — prompted Ford’s creation of the color board. “It also allows me to plan where I’d like specific parts of the color to fall in real time,” she says. “My favorite part about doing color this way is flipping the board over to peel the hair off. It seems kind of weird but it’s oddly satisfying to me.”
Ford used the Matrix Total Results Re-Bond System to protect the hair, then did a heavy full-foil to get the original blonde shade to a sandy beige. Next came the fun part: Using Matrix SoColor Cult hair color, she separated the hair into sections and pressed them onto the board while painting on blue, green, gold, and violet horizontal stripes, following the round shape of the head.
A tool that came in handy was the Josh Comeaux Color Map, a book of watercolor paper ranging from white to deep orange, resembling the undertones of hair. Upon swatching the desired color on the paper, you can get a sense of how the particular shade will turn out.
All we can say is, wow. Although you can get the look using a more traditional dyeing method, how much cooler is it to see all the colors fanned out? After applying color, the hair was removed from the board, washed, dried, and styled using Amika’s Le Marcel Professional 2-in-1 Swivel Curler.
Just as you would keep your plants alive by watering them on the regular, maintaining the vibrancy of succulent hair requires some TLC. “Hair should be washed in very cold water to keep the colors from bleeding together, and with a high-quality, color-safe shampoo,” advises Ford. (We like this one by Virtue.) “Keeping heat styling to a minimum will also ensure you get the most out of your color.”
With spring just around the corner, we’re sure this fresh (and a bit more understated) version of succulent hair will be sprouting up everywhere.
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