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6 Tips for Successful Copper Red Hair Color In Fall


By: Jennifer Andrews

In the Autumn season, often clients want colors that resemble fall leaves, such as golds, reds, coppers, and warmer shades to balance out their fading tan from summer, and adding a subtle glow to their skin with rich colors. Here are a few tips on how to execute successful copper red hair colors this fall with fade reduction advice, and a few pointers on creating sensational red formulations.

1. First, and foremost, always consider the natural level of clients hair. Understanding that the remaining pigment contribution at each level of color will either enhance or challenge your formulation is vital to formulating a successful red copper hair color.

( For example: A client’s hair is a level 7 naturally, and the client wants to be a color similar to Nicole Kidman shade of level 8, red copper strawberry blonde. At level 8 the remaining pigment contribution is always a tone of yellow/orange. By lifting one level and working WITH the RPC, it will enhance the tonality of the result, and help by supporting the orange hue in the color. However, it is important to not turn your client orange. Consider how much copper they want to see, or if they would like a softer effect heading more towards blonde with some red/copper. Understanding that the RPC is crucial for properly balancing color formulas, it will create more success and balance in your color formulations.

2. Re-Pigmentizing From Summer Blondes to Copper Red Shades
Now, let’s imagine our blonde client now wants a complete change from their platinum hair color. She would like to be a level 6 “brunette” . Be careful with this name for color, it can be quite deceiving and cause miscommunication when formulating. Have your client point to colors in your swatch book that they feel are “brunette.” When re-pigmentizing, consider the RPC of the level you want to formulate the result to. Knowing the tone at that level will help with the re-pigmentizing level, and aid in keeping the red from fading and looking flat, dull and non-professional. Re-pigmentize to fill in the shades that are missing at that level of color desired, then hen rinse and formulate the color choice and apply.

3. Wet Stretch Test>- This is a tip for success in controlling the integrity of your clients hair. A true professional promotes healthy hair, as well as great technique. Why do this? The wet stretch test will tell you where the hair is unbalanced in protein/moisture, which greatly effects how the color will take, last and look a few weeks after their color appointment. Great color looks good the next day, the next week and following. How to do this? Wet 10 strands of hair, and gently stretch to check for elasticity and strength. Do this a few times down the same hair shaft to the ends. Hair integrity and stretch will be often be different from scalp to ends. Here is a video to guide you through The Wet Stretch Test, as it helps to guide you, as professional, to know what kind of preparatory treatments the hair may need prior to the chemical service, instead of guessing.

4. Pre-Treat hair- Pre-treating prior to coloring allows for painting color onto clean canvas, even saturation, and better coverage resulting in longevity . First, clarify hair to remove unwanted build-up and proceed with balancing the protein/moisture and porosity in hair with the appropriate products. To make red copper hair shades that stay true to color in the hair with minimal fading, it is very important to understand that protein and color are attracted to each other. Lacking protein in the hair results in weak looking color, that is extremely prone to fading. Always check the health of their hair first to make sure the integrity can handle the service. These steps help to ensure that your color will stay beautiful until their next service. Often red heads fade very quickly, yet they do not have to if pre-treated, formulated properly and maintained through proper home care like shampoos and conditioners formulated without sulfates and parabens.

5. Consider the Skin Tone, and Eye Color, when Formulating Red Hair Color. If the client’s skin is olive, lacking red undertones, they typically will look best in red-violet shades, rather than bright copper shades. Copper red shades tend to look amazing on skin tones that have pink, rosy undertones. Red is a passionate color and can be head turning, sending clients right into your chair begging to be made over. The flecks in the eyes can also be brought out with beautiful color. Look to see if your client has hints of gold in their eyes, what are the shades that are accentuated in their eye color? If they are cooler, consider cooler tones in your red formulas.

6. Here are 3 of my favorite copper red hair color formulas.
Organic Color Systems –
Formula 1.- Natural Level 6- 6RC 1 ½ oz. 7CR 1 oz. 6BC ½ oz orange concentrate ¼ oz red concentrate ¼ oz gold concentrate ¼ oz 30 volume crème developer
**layering in extra concentrates will “color stack” your formulas allowing for longer color pop. As the concentrates fade off with washings, the base color still looks beautiful.**

Formula 2- Natural Level 7- 5CR 2 oz 4MO 1 oz red concentrate ½ oz 20 volume crème developer
**add a small amount of 5CR and 10 volume crème developer to clients eyebrows so that they match. Easy to do with a disposable mascara wand and a pea size of color, avoiding the skin under brow**

Formula 3- Natural level 8- 8CR 2 oz, 8CA 2 oz, 8GD ½ oz, Xtrabright orange ½ oz 30 volume
**On this one I chose 30 volume to expose more of the underlying pigment and create more of a vibrancy to the color. **

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