How good is that feeling of walking out of a salon with freshly coloured hair, sunshine falling on expertly coloured highlights, wind lifting up strands to reveal multi-dimensional tones while soft, healthy hair shines in the afternoon glow? It’s an incredible feeling yet for so many it’s often unreachable. This kind of hair perfection is something women dream about, yet struggle to reproduce in real life.How many times have I walked out of a salon just to realise my hair is now more brassy, I’m not happy with the overall colour of my roots and my highlights look stripy and unnatural? Too many, way too many times.
Knowing the lingo of hair colourists is, let’s face it, difficult; yet there I am every time saying: “I want foils but you know, not stripy foils, maybe balayage would be better, or how about hand painting some highlights?” And then, “I’d like my roots darker but not a lot darker and my tone cool. Just so it all looks natural but better than natural… you know what I mean right?” Meanwhile the colourist is scratching his or her head wondering which of these clues they should follow exactly.
As part of my series of experimentations with the exciting new world of Wella’s products and services, I was asked to try out the transformative, next generation Wella Colour Contouring service. Used in conjunction with Wella Professionals’ colour care products, this technique is heralding to enhance natural skin tone and eye colour via expert freehand and highlighting techniques, using a completely customised approach of utilising the artistic skill of the Wella colourist as a real life editing tool; playing with light and shade to sharpen and pull focus to your favourite features while softening and blending imperfections into shadow.
The way it works is that dark colours are used to shorten and narrow face shape and light colours help to add length and width, changing the appearance of a person by defining and contouring their features. The stylist takes into account your style, personality and complexion and then comes up with a completely unique result designed to play down imperfections and celebrate strengths. The wonderful Wella Professionals ANZ Colour Creative Director, Marie Uva, from UVA Salon in Melbourne, was responsible for my perfectly subtle and transformative change. She instantly saw my hair had too much warmth and suggested a further darkening to my roots to match my eyes and bring a few subtle higlights around my face to lift my skintone. The result? An incredibly delicate yet significant change that looks natural and works wonders for my features. Thank you Wella for a truly illuminating experience.
To experience the magic of Colour Contouring , log on on to www.wella.com and find your nearest Wella Salon.
How to keep your hair soft in the summer months - even if you are a beach bunny!
Living across the road from Bondi beach makes one appreciate the ocean, sun, salt and sand...and makes your hair a sworn enemy of all above - my highlights make my tan shine but can quickly go dull if not looked after. It ain't easy being a blonde in the summer - I mean, your hair either goes green from chlorine in pools or takes on the texture of straw from swimming at the beach. Even brunettes have to contend with their hair loosing some of it's moisture once December rolls around let alone those of us using peroxide .
If dryness is your headache summer too, listen up, 'cause I have some tips for you:
- Don't wash your hair every day. If you are swimming at the beach, your hair will not be dirty. Washing your hair will just strip the oils away and oil is your friend. Rinse your hair with water instead ,then apply conditioner. Even when you need to shampoo because the roots have lost their bounce (which should be every 3 days or so) shampoo the top of the head only - leave the ends alone .
- Always use a mask after shampooing. You know how usually in a product range there is a conditioner and a mask and you are supposed to use the mask like once a week? Well, my tip is - after shampooing always use the mask. Even if you don't have 20 minutes to spare, leaving the mask on for 4 minutes makes 80% of the goodness soak in. Don't want to have flat roots? Apply conditioner on the roots and a mask on the ends. Always a mask on the ends.
-Before going to the beach add coconut oil through mid lengths and ends. Braid. This will stop the hair from leeching moisture. Mixed with salt, this can give you a cool wavy summer look unbraided ( if the hair gods are on your side) - bonus!
-Before you blow dry, while the hair is still wet, add a few drops of 100% moroccan Argan oil through the mid lengths and ends. This is a cool trick. Not only will this add shine, but softness too. So much softness.
- If brassiness is your pet peeve, consider getting a blue tinged shampoo and conditioner into your routine. This will help keep the brassiness at bay between washes
Now, the drumroll! There were a lot of entrants to the Wella Freelights competition so I put all your names in a bowl and my daughter Coco picked out the winner... and it's Amanda Joy Callaghan ! Congratulations Amanda! You have won yourself a Wella Freelights experience (exactly like the one I had ) at one of Wella's leading salons. This will also include a take home care kit . Check your email for further details and thanks to everyone who entered!
So before we start, a little secret. I am not really a blonde. What?! Yep, it's true.I was born with chestnut brown hair that my mother said was such a perfect shade, I had to promise her I would never dye it. Ever. Well, that promise flew out the window when it became apparent that along with this perfect shade, I also inherited her prematurely greying genes. First one at 20- ay!
I went through some crazy colors throughout my modeling career; from a platinum blonde bob to auburn tresses and jet black pixie cut, but once I was done experimenting, I needed a color that would not need a crazy amount of upkeep - something that looked cool, natural and a little beachy. Enter the world of foils and the perfect balayage. There has been trial and error, streakiness, block colours that just didn't blend and a few crocodile tears.
So when Wella contacted me about trying out their new Freelights system, I was a little hesitant. I mean, I've got my hair done at so many great salons around the world, what could be different, better or improved? But with summer around the corner, I was intrigued and excited.
I'm glad I gave it a go, because, boy was I wrong. There are many ways to improve a balayage. My colorist, renowned Shari Reynolds (fun fact ; she was George Michael's colourist back in the day ) says the Wella Freelights is a very exciting, cutting edge innovation in highlighting. Why?- I ask, feeling quite doubtful. Shari explains this particular product is so special because it gives a technician maximum freedom of hand painting application without the use of foils, bleeding or shifting - holding in place because it is made out of a revolutionary new substance that blends clay and a special polymer liquid - in turn also leaving hair in incredible condition. Not only that, but because it is hand painted, you cannot tell where the edges are so unlike the foil technology , it is not necessary to go back to the salon every 6 weeks. It is such a natural , gradual effect that it is suitable for any hair color, and is a part of the Wella bespoke, luxury service. All I hear is luxury, incredible condition, natural, bespoke and I want in.
After the treatment is done I am amazed at the condition. Incredibly soft, without the brittleness that comes after bleaching, the color looks incredibly natural. Where my hair was quite dry and brassy after my European holiday and the salty sea, it looks slightly cooler now , with subtle highlights, shading and a silky texture. Wella Freelights, you win!
My Empirical Life has teemed up with Wella to provide one lucky reader with their own luxury Freelights salon experience. Email your full name, town and email address to email@example.com to go in the draw. Winner drawn next Tuesday 16th September 2014. Unfortunately the competition is only open to Australian residents this time!
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