Hair color isn’t strictly a woman’s service. The number of men requesting hair color services—be it blending grays, soft highlights or even bold fashion colors—is quickly growing. We caught up with Redken Artist Sean Godard (@seangodard), Paul Mitchell Barber Megan Porter (@meganporterbarber) and Kadus Professional Design Team Member Kenny Collins
(@kenstagrams) for their takes on “man color.”
Q What are the main differences to take into consideration when coloring men’s hair versus women’s hair?
SG: Overall, men prefer more natural looks that don’t feel “colored”—especially if they’re trying to blend grays or add depth. But nowadays, there is also a new wave of men wanting to make a statement with platinum, vibrant or pastel hair.
MP: Men don’t come in as often for color as they do for cuts, so it’s
smart to give them something that looks natural as it grows out. If it’s
a short cut, I like to concentrate
color on the longer pieces on top, accentuating texture and achieving
a seamless grow out.
KC: I think the main difference is maintenance and softness. Male clients don’t want to color their hair that often. And, they tend to want a look that’s carefree. Soft highs and lows make for easy grow out. Subtlety is key—be it camouflaging grays, adding “guy lites” or a glossing service.
Q What makes today’s “man color” different from older versions?
SG: The results don’t look as drastic or solid as they did in the past. For example, Redken For Men Color Camo blends the gray away and leaves no strong regrowth. It looks just as natural after three weeks as it did on day one.
MP: If you look at the history of men’s color, businessmen were not afraid of covering up their gray hair with a darker natural color in the ’50s and ’60s. Now the “modern man” is more attracted to gray blending, or, if they are more fashion forward, incorporating a pop of color.
KC: Highlights are more sun-kissed. Some men are even letting gray hair pop in certain areas, using the grays to their advantage. And, newer comb applications are giving softer results than classic gray coverage application.
Q Is there a specific “man color” technique that you’d like to share?
SG: I like to start lighter and use medium ash and light ash mixed together. A hot tip is to look at your client’s eyebrow color—which usually still has pigment in it—to determine if he should be ash or natural. If there is any sign of warmer hair tones in the brows or beard, I would use natural instead of ash for the most natural-looking color service.
MP: The trick is to balayage color into men’s hair so there is no distinct line as the color grows out.
KC: “Manlayage” is my favorite. The difference between a balayage and a “manlayage” is the size
of the sections. I take smaller, thinner sections and
vary where I begin on the hair strand. I like to use Kadus Blonding Powder for the very fine highlights. Then tone with Kadus PP Intense Blue Mix Tone. And finish with an overglaze of Kadus Dem-Permanent Hair Color.
From the March issue, click here for the digital edition.