Service Scout: Balancing Ombré Haircolor and Dry-Cutting Saturday 13 October, 2012
I’m a high-contrast type of girl. I never just want something “soft” or “subtle.” In other words: Screw the 50 shades of grey; I want black and I want white. To wit: My hair has always been some extreme shade—never just blonde, but platinum with a hint of lavender; never just brunette, but sable with [...]
I’m a high-contrast type of girl. I never just want something “soft” or “subtle.” In other words: Screw the 50 shades of grey; I want black and I want white. To wit: My hair has always been some extreme shade—never just blonde, but platinum with a hint of lavender; never just brunette, but sable with a fade to apricot. But, sometimes, you may want to temper the extremes, and that’s where Joico colorist Cherry Petenbrink steps in. See, Cherry is no stranger to extreme haircolor; after all, she’s the one that’s behind that cotton-candy floss that Elizabeth Banks flaunts as “Effie” in the first Hunger Games movie. But Cherry also can do understated, and she developed two haircolor services that aim to create a little more balance and a whole lot of sublime flash.
(Transformed! After Cherry Petenbrink performed “Balancing Act” on my ombré and Mika Fowler dry-cut my hair, I looked pretty presentable!)
Technique No. 1, “Balancing Act,” richens existing haircolor, and is the prescription Cherry gives me when I visited her at Eiji Salon in NYC. One look at my hair and she feels that my ombré, with it’s not-so-subtle line of demarcation, should be softened up to make it look a wee bit more natural for the colder months. “We’re going to balance the tones in your hair via a gloss or glaze,” she says. “It’s subtle and seamless, using warmer, richer tones. For instance, this orange-y color you have at the ends we’ll balance to make a deeper bronze.” She explains that the service is a quick and painless one: Clocking in at under an hour, the service includes a demipermanent color (read: no ammonia!) that actually reconstructs hair as your color processes.
(Before the transformation, my hair was looking a little worse for wear…)
The second service, “Flash Effects,” in which Cherry strategically balayages hair to lighten internally and around the hairline, creates the effect of “a camera flash”—which does wonders for the complexion. “I find that people are too busy to get a full head of foils; there’s just too much upkeep,” she says, adding that this quick service is a great way to brighten hair without having to commit to regular salon visits. “You can grow them out and it’s not obvious,” Cherry says. “That’s the key these days: It’s got to be low maintenance.”
She adds that marrying these two services is a match made in heaven. “When mixed, these two services really work to brighten the face and make the hair and ends lustrous and shiny. They’re perfect for transitioning haircolor into fall,” she says.
(Mika dry-cuts my hair, and I’m astounded at how meticulous she is.)
Before I dash off, I’m introduced to Mika Fowler, hairstylist to Olivia Munn and champion of the dry-cut. I’m of the mindset these days that I want my hair long, long, long—and there’s not much changing how I feel on the subject. “It is your hair; you wear it, not me,” Mika laughs. “This is why I dry-cut. It allows you to see what I’m doing as I go.” This makes sense. Think about what happens when your hair is cut wet: Water causes the hair lengths to contract and shrink; you can’t really tell what’s happening in the mirror. With dry-cutting, you can see the texture and shape as it’s being sheared.
(Mika’s hair pin box, which is from Japan, features two magnetized rollers that pick up the pins so she can easily retrieve them. So. Freaking. Cool.)
As she meticulously trims my ends individually—I kid you not—we talk about the state of celebrity hair. “In LA (where she’s based at Gavert Atelier), actors can’t change their hair easily, but their hair has been so damaged by constant styling,” Mika says. “But if I go in and just snip away the dead ends, I help the overall hair become less stressed. And, the way I do it, you can’t tell I cut their hair; I didn’t change the look. I just changed the quality.” And no Hollywood studio can argue with better hair quality!
Have you ever tried dry-cutting before? What did you think?