Advanced Hair Coloring Techniques: A Cosmetologist’s Guide

Hairstylist performing hair color treatment on client

Color is among the most expressive things in life. It creates feelings and inspires. It conveys an atmosphere or mood. This is the same with hair color. Using color in cosmetology can be as much of an artistic statement as using it in the form of paint.

The difference being traditional art and cosmetology is if you make a mistake in art, the artist can fix it or even start over. With hair, the stakes are much higher. The mistakes aren’t always easy or quick to fix and the client has to walk around with those mistakes. Hair color requires a lot of advanced knowledge and dedication for the cosmetologist to do the job right.

Advanced Technique #1 – Ombre

Ombre is a hair color trend that refers to a blended transition from one distinct color to another. These transition techniques begin with the hair’s natural color at the roots and gradually transition that natural color into other shades and colors. This is done by using blending techniques and incrementally combining hair colors into the natural color.

Know the Colors

Knowing information about what colors are compatible with each other and the individual color shades from darker to lighter pigments is an important part of transitioning hair color. However, it is especially important for the ombre technique because the client doesn’t get to choose the natural color they begin with. Color and shade familiarity can be the difference between a clumsy or a smooth transition of color.

Perfect the Blending Techniques

Blending color so that the effect has a steady, consistent fade will keep the client’s ombre color from looking amateur and uneven. This means knowing how much of the hair to dye in each portion of the transition to use as well as being confident in one’s color application technique. Too much color concentrated in one area as well as an absence of color can both be issues when in color transitions. The cosmetologist will want to be confident in the way they apply the dyes.

Going from Natural to Supernatural

Ombre can mean going from a light or dark shade of natural hair color into the opposing shade of that original color. However, there is an ever-increasing trend of going from the natural color at the root and gradually moving into vibrant bright or pastel colors. Going from a natural color to a supernatural color requires a lot of finesse, focus and discipline. Where it might be easier to fix an error when fading from a natural color to a lighter or darker version of a similar color, bold color choices can be far less forgiving.

Advanced Technique #2 – Bold and Beautiful Statement Color

Large chunks of bold or bright color are a trendy look that is surprisingly tricky technique to execute. There are some clients that prefer an entire head of uniformly colored hair. Segmenting color sections and saturating full-color dye jobs takes finesse if the cosmetologist hopes to avoid a monochrome look that falls flat instead of standing out.

Treating Before Bleaching

Knowing how to assess hair before committing to color it is vital to a successful color job. It takes a lot of chemicals to successfully complete a bold hair overhaul. If the hair a cosmetologist is dying can’t sustain the damage done by the coloring process, it won’t matter how good the cosmetologist is at the actual coloration part. Knowing how to get hair ready for a big color change by assessing and addressing hair health is a big part of their success. Even if entrepreneurship is the cosmetologist’s end goal, damaged hair exiting the salon is terrible publicity. The cosmetologist will want to consider their client’s hair health before making big leaps in color.

Proper Pigment Proportions

People are unique. Clients don’t always want a conventional color that is easy to pull off or already mixed. Precision is key with large area color changes because it is easy to see when the cosmetologist has gotten the color wrong. Further, it is not easy to fix when the color is wrong. The cosmetologist will want to have a full understanding of the exact color the client want so that they can figure out how best to go about getting them that color and not an approximation of it. It is also crucial with big changes to fully saturate hair to avoid having holes in the color.

Get Back to the Roots

With any major chunk of hair color there is always the issue of the roots. Drastic, bold choices will need regular upkeep and maintenance when the hair begins to grow out. The cosmetologist won’t just be expected to get the dye and bleach right on the initial appointment, they will also need to regularly repeat the coloring technique for root color cover up.

Advanced Technique #3 – Adding Depth and Texture Using Color

There are ways to use hair color as a means of creating a desired effect. Whether it is adding dimension or creating a visual texture, color can be effective even in small doses. With most artistic mediums, color is used to draw the eye, distract it or trick it altogether. It is the same with hair color in the art of cosmetology.

Balayage Techniques

This is a very subtle technique with a beautiful effect. While there are a lot of color jobs that are all about precision, this is a more freehand, intuitive form of color that requires a keen eye and a steady hand. By sweeping color in a horizontal motion during the application it creates movement in the color. This can provide a lovely sun-kissed effect to hair color that may have otherwise been dull and lifeless.

Strategic Highlights

Highlighting and lowlighting are basic and standard in terms of hair color among clients. While this can be true, a professional knows how to use these techniques to make hair look fuller and more voluminous. These color methods can also be used to draw focus to the face. Cosmetologists know how to streak color in a way that uses contrast and can help mask certain hair challenges, such as thin hair.

Don’t Take Away the Gray

Going gray is not as bad a thing as it used to be. In fact, it has become quite the popular trend even among those outside the graying age bracket. Whether it is a client who wants to accentuate and celebrate their natural transition into gray or a younger client who just wants to embrace the trend that is both unique and distinguished, knowing your way around the gray areas of hair color is important.

Advanced Techniques in Entrepreneurship

Even if cosmetic entrepreneurship is the main focus of your training, it is still important to know what kinds of hair color trends are popular and what it takes to make those happen. Knowing how to operate a business is important but knowing how to provide a helpful and useful service is something else. The cosmetologist may be on their way to becoming a hairstylist, or perhaps even someone who employs hairstylists. Whatever the case, it is a good idea to know the skills and knowledge hairstylists will need if they want to be competitive and successful in a climate of changing trends.

Want to Learn More?

Did learning about advanced hair coloring techniques in cosmetology interest you? Need to get your undergraduate certificate in cosmetology first? At Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we are dedicated to helping our Cosmetology program students develop a solid foundation and a flair for style through hands-on training in basic and advanced industry techniques. You will learn how to cut, color and style hair, give manicures and pedicures, provide spa treatments and perform various skin care techniques from industry-experienced instructors in a professional salon setting. We keep our class sizes small to make sure you get the individualized instruction you need and attention you deserve. You will graduate with everything you need to be a versatile artist in an exciting industry, including a cosmetology diploma from a respected college.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a cosmetologist and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.