Hair Color Tips and Tricks of the Trade

Even though we probably have at least another month of sheltering in place, we have Zoom calls, virtual cocktail hours, Skype celebrations and significant others who can see us on a daily basis–roots and all. 

Our hair helps define our style, makes us feel more confident and, let’s face it, no one wants to show premature greys when they step out into the light of day, even for a grocery run. 

The Courier asked an array of top talent in the beauty industry for tips and tricks on home coloring, cutting and care and what we shouldn’t attempt without a professional. Whatever your (natural) hair color may be, here is their best advice. 

“Home coloring is very challenging but due to the circumstances, I would only recommend it with assistance and guidance from a colorist and or with a tutorial on YouTube.” Frédéric Fekkai, founder of Fekkai Brands told the Courier.” It’s very important to select the right color tone.” 

Expert colorist and educator Marco Pelusi is celebrating 15 years on Robertson Boulevard where his salon specializes in anti-aging celebrity hair color for men and women. For Pelusi, it’s all about keeping the lines of communication open. “If you have a good relationship with your stylist, reach out and ask if they can provide color for you (even from the Internet), just this one time and have it shipped or pick-up in a safe place,” he said. 

“Whatever you have to apply the color– even if it’s a comb, the most crucial is the 

part area, bangs, temples and crown,” he said. “Take the comb and make little sections through the front part on your scalp, then repeat it in the back of your head by feel only not by sight. It is ok if you can’t get the back but try to at least get the nape of your neck. You can also train your significant other or someone you are not social distancing with to help you,” he said. 

While some of Tinseltown’s top colorists are not recommending home coloring kits, some are making this process easy. Kazumi Morton of Salon Kazumi in Beverly Hills is sending out custom coloring kits to clients with pre-mixed hair color that comes with a tutorial. “I have been Facetiming with my clients, they are so frightened that their hair will fall out, so I walk them through it,” she told the Courier. Morton is dead set against store-bought hair coloring product, which she said contains damaging metallics. 

Blonde specialist Holland Hager of Sally Hershberger in West Hollywood has a completely different approach for her fair-haired clients. “I’ve been telling them ‘when will you ever have this time again to give your hair a break?'” With that said, she recommends the following for her blonde clientele. “If your hair is dull and brassy use a purple shampoo on your hair.” L’Oreal professional Silver shampoo is her favorite. [ Joico Color Balance Purple Shampoo & Conditioner is also a top seller.] Try a Malibu treatment to lighten your hair which you can buy online. It will remove the hard water and chlorine plus kill dinginess,” said Hager. 

“If you leave your hair alone with no heat and use hydrating masks, your hair will be softer, healthier and fuller,” she added. 

If you must be seen on a Zoom call, try a spray hair powder. “It will help make your blonde look lighter and take off the edge of a dark root,” she said. 

Hager offers this tip if you insist on using one of the at-home coloring kits, “Put Vaseline around your hairline to avoid seams and don’t let the root grow out too long or it will make it harder to cover. When you shampoo, lift your ends up when you rinse if you have lighter hair, so the color isn’t going through all of your hair, just the roots.” 

eSalon put professional, affordable home hair color on the map over a decade ago and has just expanded its service model to support beauty professionals in the community. The Color Muse Pro Program partners with licensed colorists to help them continue to provide a level of service and personalization for their loyal clientele, while also earning supplemental income. The company has developed over 215,000 unique color combinations and its lead colorist and client education manager, Sarah Kowalick offers this advice: 

WORK SECTION BY SECTION: Divide hair into four neat sections to allow for a cleaner, easier application. 

TOOLS MATTER: Use the tail end of a tint brush to create thin slices of hair. 

RAISE THE ROOTS: Pull thin slices of hair up vertically off the head and work from top 

to bottom to make sure you fully cover roots. If touching up, be careful not to overlap the application onto previously-colored hair. 

CHECK YOUR WORK: Use a hand mirror to check your work, especially for the back of the head. 

If you’re still afraid to try home color, Beverly Hills-based holistic beauty expert Robin Emtage offers these suggestions using ingredients from your pantry: 

“Brunettes can apply molasses to their roots for up to two hours to darken roots and nourish the hair and scalp. Redheads or strawberry blondes can rinse hair after washing with a 50/50 solution of water and cranberry juice. This technique works especially well if you spend some time in the sun after applying the rinse. Hibiscus tea can be used as a cranberry juice alternative.” 

Should I Cut My Own Hair While at Home? 

According to celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons, “The temptation to cut some of those frayed ends off is probably at an ultimate high. Trust me when I say cutting your hair right now may end up looking worse than when you started. Chances are your tips are looking frayed because they’re dry and need an extra dose of love. Add in some TIGI Copyright Split End Repair Cream on the ends of your hair after a wash (dry or wet) for softer, manageable hair that can last until your next appointment.” 

Tina Dizon at The Private Room in Beverly Hills has been coaching a few clients on Zoom tutorials. “It’s harder for them to follow a step by step, even with guidance because they aren’t as use to holding scissors as we are. The biggest takeaway that I give them is always cut less than you think. Use your fingers as your guide and not your comb. And, it’s very important to not pull the hair tight as this will make the length shorter. Cut the hair below two fingers and not above. But I do believe that it’s better to grow out your hair during this time. Condition it or order treatment kits from your stylist to keep it healthy and just give your hair a break.” 

However, if you just can’t stand it anymore, Marco Pelusi has tips for men when they can’t get in for a cut. “The best way to look fresh is to clean up around the sideburns and ears, as best as possible. Don’t worry much about the back of the head. Most guys have access to an electric shaver. If not, a store like Target is still open, they sell them there. Get one and use it to clean up around your sideburns and ears. I wouldn’t recommend scissors as this could be disastrous! But the electric shavers are pretty easy to navigate. You can use the main shaver part but some of them have a piece on it that mimics a clipper, and you can easily and carefully use this. Try to shape and clean up around those facial areas, don’t dig in too much. Less is more. Then if you’ve been forced to purchase a shaver, you can start using it for your daily shaving. Dermatologists like electric shavers for men’s faces, because they don’t tend to cause skin irritations like regular razors do.” 


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