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Kim Vo on the go

When temperatures are colder, cool blonde shades sizzle.

Gorgeous shades of blonde usually bring to mind sun, sand and surf. But dipping temperatures give rise to a new and different type of blonde, and it's the hottest look in town.

 Kim Vo
Kim Vo

Just as we see seasonal changes in clothing color palettes, we see them in hair hues, too. Winter brings a new quest for contrast, and nothing provides a more dramatic polar opposite to most skin tones than the platinum blonde shade worn by Christina Aguilera and Gwen Stefani.

Giving clients this look starts with an old-fashioned double-process technique. The first step is to bleach the hair to lift the color. Ideally, you want it to resemble the inside of a lemon. (Don't worry, this shade is not the final color.) For step two, choose a toner that conditions and seals the hair while imparting intense shine. My favorite is a new offering from L'Oréal Professionnel called Luocolor Pastels. These low-ammonia toners have been created expressly for pre-lightened hair and serve as a fabulous neutralizer for double-process blondes. Luocolor Pastels are available in five shades, but I like P01 the best. After lifting the color, simply mix the toner with 25-volume developer, apply it at the sink, and leave it on for one to two minutes or until you reach the final, desired color. If you're feeling adventurous, you can add even paler highlights overall. The result is utterly spectacular.

Platinum hair, for all its dramatic impact, really offers a lot of versatility when it comes to styling. It works exceptionally well with vintage-inspired long, wavy hair. For shorter styles like the curly bob, the shade is equally stunning, just like it was when the style was worn by Marilyn Monroe. Brittany Snow wears her platinum locks in a casually elegant side ponytail with long, side-swept bangs, and another great look is a sleek pompadour teamed with a low bun. If your clients are feeling the midwinter blues, nothing shakes things up like a ravishing icy blonde. —E-mail Kim Vo at b2vsalon@sbcglobal.net.

Pro's Choice

Wella Professionals launched the new Koleston Perfect—nine new shades and six new total families—at The Studio in Manhattan by inviting some of the top colorists in New York City and Canada to demonstrate its transformative powers on a bevy of beauties. Colorists worked with Pure Naturals, Rich Naturals, Vibrant Reds, Deep Browns, Special Blondes and Special Mix. Here, Canadian stylist Anthony Crosfield and colorist Wendy Van Weert show off their model Maya's fantastic new cut and color. Van Weert used Special Mix, provocative and unique tones that expand tonal creativity, to foil in shades of forest green and navy blue. The result was so subtle that even your most conservative clients might be willing to give it a go. —M.D.

Canadian stylist Anthony Crosfield and colorist Wendy Van Weert with their model.
Canadian stylist Anthony Crosfield and colorist Wendy Van Weert with their model.

Color Boost

KEUNE Semi Color Activator, developed for use with the 44-shade Semi Color line, is now available in 120-milliliter single-application sizes. Perfect for introducing Semi Color to new users, the Semi Color Activator gel-cream formula provides longer-lasting, durable color and shine, has a pleasant fragrance, is easy to mix, and provides up to 70 percent of gray coverage with natural shades. keune.com
—N.P.



Let There Be Light

New for spring, Paul Mitchell is introducing two blonding tools: Lighten Up and Flash Finish, released to coincide with the company's new The Blonding System educational DVD, featuring Paul Mitchell Artistic Director Stephanie Kocielski. Lighten Up is a gentle blonding paste for on- and off-scalp lightening, while Flash Finish, available in five shades, is a new sheer rapid toner that creates an ideal tone in less than 10 minutes, neutralizing, enhancing, and warming up or cooling down lightened locks. paulmitchell.com —L.A.



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Kim Vo

Kim Vo