Friday, 14 February 2014

Why is it so difficult to colour brunettes?

Louise Galvin, colourist extraordinaire, has a client list that reads like an edition of Who’s Who. 

Her passion about hair is evident from the moment she starts speaking. Louise is also creator of the carbon-neutral beauty company, Sacred Locks, which was born out of her frustration of finding good hair products on the market. Silicone is her bugbear, which she believes, coats the hair and weighs it down as well as making it look dull. Lacklustre hair certainly piles on the years.

I am a fan of her Nourishing Conditioner for Dry/Damaged Hair
(£7.95, which helped restore the over-processed hair which I had when I first went to the Daniel Galvin salon, owned by Louise’s father and where she is based.

After telling her how thrilled I was with it, we got on to the subject of why is it so hard to find a colourist who can do brunettes. (Covering greys will be dealt with in another post.) 

Here is what she told me.

Why is it so difficult to colour brunettes? So many colourists can do blondes, but when it comes to brunettes they seem to get it so wrong.

“Most problems start when hair starts to go grey, colourists often are too heavy-handed with colour. Colour can be too dark or too warm (too much red tone). When going grey it is not only the hair pigment that changes. Skin tone and eye tone are lightened in the ageing process and areas of high colour on cheeks and foreheads can appear. 

“Brunette hair naturally has a lot of red pigmentation, your colourist will need to neutralise these tones as most brunettes do not want to be too red.  

“The most common problem is that many colourists will try to take you back to your natural colour. However with ageing the hue needs to be softer and more flattering. Poorly dyed hair will drain colour from the eyes and skin. My father, Daniel Galvin, has a wonderful quote:  ‘The first thing you notice about good hair colour is the colour of your eyes, the first thing you notice about bad hair colour is the colour of your hair ‘!”

How do you achieve a good colour?
“I like to see colour and movement in hair. This is achieved by having multi-tonal lights through the hair with slightly lighter shades around the hairline to lift and brighten the face. It is essential to keep hair in top condition to ensure hair looks youthful and glossy.”

What questions should you ask your colourist to ensure you get perfect results?

“Be firm in telling them you DON’T want colour to look dark and heavy. All too often colourists take the colour throughout the hair when only the roots need to be done. The colour can be massaged through the whole head of hair just for the last five minutes of the process to intensify and refresh it. This will avoid heavy colour build up on the ends of hair.

"Make them aware that you have red tones [naturally in your hair] and do not want to intensify the pigment. What you want is to neutralise the red to give a true brunette. To look natural, they will need to match your colour to your skin tone to achieve the most flattering shade."

By Daralyn Danns