Beth Minardi: Going Toward the "Darker Side" & Performing the Perfect "Rewind"

It seems that so much attention is placed on how to lighten hair with confidence and with control. And, that's a very critical, important subject. Yet, transitioning hair from blonde to red or from blonde to brown—actually deepening light hair (natural light hair or hair that has been previously lightened), though equally important, is rarely discussed in detail. Let's take a look at both the technical and psychological aspects of this important coloring technique.

More than ever, the pre-color interview (consultation), takes center stage. While many women request darker hair, they don't really understand how they will look—or feel—with darker hair. Often, she sees a celebrity or a friend who looks great with deeper colored hair, but she doesn't consider how she might look. Also, she believes that if she doesn't like the deeper result, the colorist can just wave a magic wand and take the hair back to the exact shade she came in with ... WRONG!

After making the realities extremely clear to my clients who want to go darker, I generally prefer to deepen selected strands of hair rather than the entire head. My Beth Minardi Method focuses on the use of non-ammonia demi crème color mixed with 5-volume Developer. I simultaneously "fill" and "stain" woven and sliced strands deeper by intermixing a warm golden/orange mid- to deep-blonde with a light- or medium-brown balanced brown. This allows the hair to absorb the necessary building blocks (gold and orange) as it's exposed to a rich, user-friendly brunette. Lowlighting the hair with a good crème demi color creates very rich, long-lasting deep strands that add true dimension and shiny tone-on- tone personality to the current lighter color base. I place the lowlights very close together throughout the nape and lower sides of the hair, and space the selected strands further apart as I approach the top of the head and the face frame.  


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After wrapping the last foil, I process the entire head for 30 minutes, at room temperature. Then, I rinse, shampoo and condition the hair. Almost every single client is very happy with this. And, should she want to be deeper, you can simply wrap more of the hair in lowlights, or deepen 100 percent of the hair with an application of an acidic demi-permanent shade. Again, mixing a golden/orange blonde shade with a lightest- or light-brown balanced shade. You can apply this liquid demi formula to the entire head, cover with a plastic cap and process under heat for 20 minutes before rinsing, shampooing and conditioning.

The important point here is that when hair is blonde, we must first add missing gold and orange "building blocks" before layering in the desired red or brown target shade. And keep in mind that when deepening hair, the results can be deeper and cooler than you might expect ... so it's best to formulate one or two levels lighter than the target shade, and a bit warmer than you wish the final result to be. In this new millennium, there is no reason to use a permanent haircolor. Instead, focus on both crème and liquid demi shades. Remember, demi shades were developed to match or deepen hair. They contain no ammonia and have no ability to "lift." When deepening hair, we have absolutely no need to produce unwanted lift ... as this is an exercise in deposit.

I hope you will join me for a very VIP color class here in New York City on Monday, July 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For registration details, email me at [email protected].

About: Beth Minardi has dedicated her professional life to the elevation of  salon haircolor to an art form.  For almost thirty years, she has worked both behind the chair as a star colorist, and has been instrumental in the development of several of the top color brands in use today.  Beth began her colorful career at Clairol, where she became director of education.  At Redken, she traveled, training thousands of color professionals, and penned the monthly Shades EQnewsletter. As an integral part of her current work at Joico, Beth created her own exclusive brand of professional Color:  Beth Minardi Signature Shades, a collection of 77 intermixable conditioning colors. With industry legend, Sam Brocato, she opened STUDIO B Hair, a salon oasis located on Manhattan's luxurious Upper East Side.  She continues to lecture and teach extensively.  Beth resides in New York City with her Poodle 'person,’ Mango.