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Just colour. Summer fun

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mike vallanceJust colour. Summer fun

Over the past weeks I have seen a number of postings asking for help and advice about some of the soft pastel shades of colour that are currently fashionable those soft candy pinks, those pastel shades of mauve and purple.

Just colourI have been over the last few weeks exploring all the

Alter Ego Italy professional hair colour has to offer. I’m still only scratching the surface of this very extensive colour range.

Many of the posting I have seen in recent weeks have been enquires about creating certain shades, colours and tones, There have also been cries of help for stylists having tried to create certain colour or tone and its gone very wrong. In some case a stylist might post what they did, what resulted and then what they did to try and correct it!

Consultation offering solution: 

I’m always amazed as to why if  stylist has any doubts about the hair or the service being requested why jump strait in! Why not take some time to think about the process, after an in depth consultation do a strand test make some suggestions. Take the time to consider  what they are doing, what they want to create and how to get the best results.

A huge part of this is being technically savvy and skilled it is also about knowing your products, how they work, knowing you can trust them. Its also about having the ability to think the process through and assessing the client’s hair condition and past history is it possible????  Then ask your self do I have the skill to do this and deliver that the client wants. To often the price tag blinkers a decision.



A great way to learn and have faith in products is to play with them in your own time and not on a paying client. When  working in a salon if someone was having there hair cut off I would keep it and in my own time dye it an then try and correct it back to its natural this is a great way to learn colour correction.

With so many of the bright fashion shades be they bright or subtle pastel shades most of the time the hair has to be pre lightened a skill in its self to attain the right level of lift, to attain a workable shade, with out compromising the hairs condition or stripping away all the pigment.

Once a desired shade has been achieved then we have to create an even shade working with the pigment we have exposed and left in the hair, not always easy if you want a soft pink and put it on hair that is to Yellow you will get a more apricot tone, it you want a soft purple and the hair is to yellow you will get what? Honey or gold shade!


Technical thoughts:

As we all know the colour wheel is a great tool to rely on and trust and yet it is so often forgotten ignored. When any of us question lift and deposit, the laws of colour, some of us are of the mind rules are made for breaking and this  thinking allows for creative license. We should take a step back think about the process, consider what we want to achieve. “Some laws cannot be broken” try as we might!

IMG_8777If we look at a colour wheel and the placement of shades and tones we now that the closer we get to the centre of the wheel the lighter the tone. Opposites neutralise each other out thus creating a natural looking shade at that level. An example with out weft about would be if it was to below and we added pale pink we would end up with a mix of Y+ B+ R our three primary colours although very diluted they would still counter act each other and creating those “Burnt honey” or “Apricot shade”[ see 9/04 9/3 below] and not the soft pink that was our target.


Break the lift and deposit exercise down how much left do you need to be able to create the shade and tone you want? Do you want to utilise or neutralise the pigment you will expose in the lifting part of the process? Will that pigment enhance your target colour or hinder it by masking out the intended target tone ! Think about your target colour, think about your formulation, consult your colour wheel.




I like to play and experiment at home in my kitchen. I have used real hair wefts [See above] I lighten them gentle with an on scalp bleach and then condition them, then I’m ready, as I play in my kitchen I use plastic to protect all work surfaces a seen in my pic’s.


Having lifted the hair to a desired and workable level we can now create


My goal here is to create soft pink and soft purple/violett and a vibrant orange, and a natural blonde, all to be used in an up do for a wedding.

I will be working with “Just colour” by Alter Ego Italy  and will share with you what I have used. “Just colour” is an Oxidant free direct colour gel. Regarded as the next generation of Cationic colour pigments.

Features benefits: Alcohol free, Ph acid balance 3.5 Ready to use pure direct pigments, a chemical structure that allows them to penetrate within the cuticle making them



long lasting brilliant intense colour even after 10 shampoos offering incredible durability.






In all cases I did the following Steps.

I used “Just colour” Prepare Acidifying spray my swatches were damp, I sprayed them evenly then dried off with hair dryer, then wearing protective gloves. I poured the desired colour into the glass bowl provided weighing out the amount on my digital scale I worked the formulation into each weft and processed for 30 mins as I was not using heat. {With heat its a process time of  20 mins} rinse off treat with nourishing colour care this closes down the cuticle.



For the Bright orange I wanted to create I used the following

4grams of  Yellow Tale Just colour

2 grams of  Red Elvis Just colour




I mixed the two pigments together to create a very vibrant orange I did not want it just to appear red! The colour applies very smoothly and is a good consistency to work with.

To create the pink tone that I wanted I used the pepper pink it diluted it down to the desired shade with the clear way to take off some of the intensity, having the glass bowl is so useful as it allows you to see the shade you are mixing, whats in bowl is true to expected colour result on application, this colour goes along way on application




Remember my target is a soft Pink!

2 grams of Pepper Pink Just Colour

5 grams of Clear Just Colour

mixed will together as above again 30minutes process time no heat again  rinsed of  above conditioned.

My final weft was to be a soft a soft purple/violett shade I wanted it to compliment the pink so it has to be very diluted from its original intensity.


4grams     Rott Violett Just Colour

6grams     Clear way  Just colour

Again the visual in the bowl really helped, using a scale always allows one to repeat a formulation to re create the same formula over and over, or adjust as required for a weaker or more intense formulation. Eye balling and guess work is lazy colouring ! keeping good records is essential to all salon stylists and IMG_8895technicians.

My final formulation chosen to create a cool blonde weft just to tie the pastel colours together, the orange will be for a different look

I used the Be Blonde pure toner Platinum tower. mixing it as per directions and watched it until it gave me the desired tone,toning is so personal to the eye.

The out come or final results, I am very impressed with their product both its ease of mixing its texture in application and how easily it rinses out and how it feels to the touch.

Its a very fun and versatile product with endless application and possibilities and it delivers on shade and tone and works well to control the soft yellow pigment left in the hair to maintain the hairs integrity.

IMG_8896The three swatches on the left are the pink, the purple/violett and the blonde they all came out exactly to the shade I had wanted to create and as you can see for the pic below on the right they work together and compliment each other.IMG_8902


Finally the bright Orange this was the first colour i tried and I am very excited by it so vibrant and hot. See below


“Just Colour” Oxidant free Direct hair colour gel.


I very much look forward to using these swatches in the very near future. Always remember taking a little time to work and get to know any products will help you avoid errors and mistakes and help you to reach the goals you set yourself. Remember have fun! Challenge your self!

Alterego Image

For more information on the products or the Brand new Uk Academy here is the contact information:


Phil Clark or Tony Cripps 

Available now my first Book ‘The salon and the ‘S’ word Available Now Click here for details 


Mike B2MR 




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