Guest Blog: Perfectly Pastel by Beth Minardi

Perfectly Pastel: Blonding technique when base shade is level five (lightest brown) and lighter

Time flies! Like many of you, I have been standing behind my salon chair for a very long time. Over the years, I have continued to ask myself,  How can I do this better? I make an effort to observe the colors I create—not only as the client leaves the salon on the day of the service, but also as the color "wears" in between retouches. 

Creating and maintaining any color result creates its own specific issues. Our mission as professional color artists is to find ways to continually refine our work and to maximize beauty, wear ability and the quality of the hair. Since the products used to create blonde results (lift) carry with them an average pH greater than 9.3, extreme care and respect for the power of the products we are using become important when we choose to both create beautiful blonde and to maintain the long-term integrity of the hair fiber.

The Beth Minardi Technique for creating blonde when hair is level 5 or lighter is to refrain from lightening the base shade. That's right! When the hair is this light, I create wonderful blonde results by wrapping about 65 percent of the hair in two or three various blonde-creating formulas. Many times, I create this result using my "double wrap" or "color crossing," which so many of you have seen me demonstrate over the years at my classes. Here's what I do:

In one bowl, I mix one of my favorite off-the-scalp lighteners. Right now, I like to use Joico Verolights Lightener mixed with 20-volume crème Developer. In the second bowl,  I mix equal parts of Beth Minardi Permanent Crème Color: 12ICE and 12BB, mixed with equal parts of 40-volume Developer. I begin wrapping hair at the nape of the neck (unless the hair is very short). At the nape, most of the foils are wrapped with the permanent crème color. As I work up the head, about half of the selected strands are wrapped in lightener, while the other half is wrapped with the permanent crème formula. At the crown and face frame, most of the foils contain lightener, with about 1/3 of the strands wrapped in permanent crème. After wrapping the last foil, I process the color at room temperature for 30 minutes, or for 15 minutes under a very warm rotating heat source. I check the foils every 10 minutes or so to observe the lift and deposit I am looking for. When processing is complete, I rinse, shampoo, condition and dry the hair.

When the hair is dry, I gently brush it into the styling lines the client prefers. Then observe. You will probably feel that the hair is not blonde enough, particularly through the top. You may now choose to increase the population of selected blonde strands through the top of the head. So, working on an angle on both sides of the part line, begin wrapping additional strands against the direction you used during the first application. Look at the hair. Attempt to pick up strands you did not select before.

Simply weave these off the scalp. Begin at the back of the head, and work toward the front of the head. What you are doing is increasing both the number of blonde strands and the varying directions of blonde placement. Again, process the hair until complete. Rinse, shampoo, condition and style. This gorgeous blonde on blonde result will set you apart as a color star.

Time consuming? Yes!  But, it needs retouching every eight to 10 weeks--no solid line of demarcation--and hair remains in great shape. By the way, this "color crossing" need not be done during every appointment--only about twice a year!

So, there you have it! Food for thought and a new way to create blonde results that are truly red-carpet ready.

P.S.: If you'd like to glaze this, why not use my favorite "universal" blonde toner formula: 1 ounce of Beth Minardi Liquid Demi Color Invisible plus  1/2 ounce of 10BB and 1/2 ounce of 10G with 2 ounces of 5-volume Developer. Apply from roots to ends on thoroughly towel-dried hair, and process at room temperature for 10 minutes. So, step into the light. Think of new and better ways to create gorgeous color. You are not alone. I am with you!

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Beth Minardi  

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.