How To: Pastel Pixie Color Blocking Technique


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Out with the old, in with the bold! Creative hair color is a fabulous form of self-expression and a fun way to really make a statement when it comes to your look. Below, @cassiyoungpaxton shows us her take on creating a fun, watercolor-inspired look using pastel shades on short hair.

When using Creatives, the first step is making sure the hair is pre-lightened to a clean level 9 or 10. In this case, the hair was lifted to a level 10 using Kenra’s Simply Blonde Beyond Bond Lightener with 20 Volume developer at a 1:2 ratio. Simply Blonde Beyond Bond Lightener is a wonderful option for on-scalp lightening because of the DualBond Technology incorporated to protect both the inner and outer bonds of the hair while lifting. When doing a global on-scalp lightening service, it is important to work quickly in very small subsections to make sure that the hair is evenly and fully saturated with product.

Then, after shampooing out the lightener, pre-tone the hair using Kenra Color Rapid Toners, which process in five minutes or less. This will ensure that there is no warmth left in the canvas and is especially important when using cool shades in the formulation. Kenra Color demi-permanent colors are mixed at a 1:2 ratio with 9 Volume Activator. In this example, SV Rapid Toner was used to prep the hair and remove warmth for the proper deposit and reflection of cool-colored Creatives. Shampoo, condition, and blow-dry for the Creative Color application.

The color palette chosen, as well as where to place the shades themselves is completely customizable depending on the desired result. Many factors can also come into play, including the head or face shape as well as the haircut and the style itself.

The formulas used for this look are:

Pastel Blue: 30g Kenra Color Creatives Clear + 10g Blue + 5g True Black Pastel Violet: 40g Kenra Color Creatives Clear + 15g Sandy Beige + 5g Magenta + 5g True Black + 5g Violet Pro Tip: Kenra Color Creatives Clear is actually white and is used to dilute shades and make them lighter. The True Black shade helps to add a smokiness to the overall result. These two should not be used on their own in an attempt to make the hair white or black.

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When utilizing Creatives to create your custom look, the benefit is that they do not need to be mixed with a developer to oxidize, so what it looks like in the bowl is basically what it will look like on the hair if it is lifted properly. Still, applying to a white paper towel can give a great visual of how colors will look next to each other. @cassiyoungpaxton sometimes even swatches custom creative formulations on paper from a legal pad to accommodate hair that may still have warmth in it.

For this pastel pixie, the blues and violets were applied predominantly at the base, with the intent being that during the rinsing process, violets and blues will be pulled down gently onto the mids and ends for a gradient pastel effect. The darker color (blue) is placed under the lighter color (violet) to allow for ideal contrast and light reflection, allowing all of the colors to show up in the best possible way.

Starting in the top of the head, create a large triangular section with a point facing the front hair line. Leave some hair out along the perimeter of the front hair line and create two additional triangular sections below the initial one, working back down to around the occipital bone. Everything that is left out on the sides and back will still be colored at the base but with only one color (blue) for consistency. Leaving the ends out will provide a soft and bright perimeter to the overall look.

Start the application by coloring the base of the perimeter section, using the darker shade of your choosing. Then, alternate formulas at the base of each triangular section with intention, taking the finished style into consideration. Continue to alternate formulas using a slight variance in how far down the color is applied for a true watercolor effect. Remember to not drag the color to the ends as it should softly deposit upon intentional rinsing.

Process for 20 minutes and rinse with cool water, allowing the dyes to briefly melt onto the pre-lightened, uncolored hair, to allow for a subtle, soft deposit if desired. Shampoo and condition with Kenra Platinum Color Charge Shampoo and Conditioner to extend the life of the Kenra Color Creatives and enjoy their amazing vibrancy and longevity!

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