Notes from the Pros
As Blonde Specialists…
At Elixir Hair Studio we take a lot of pride in our blondes, and it all starts from the consultation. We provide a very in-depth and thorough consultation in order to provide the best service and end result for our guests. We want to understand not only the basics such as your hair history and what tone you want, but more importantly what your long term hair goals are, what your lifestyle is like, and what the best service option is for you. Whether we do a more subtle and traditional paint that’s low maintenance, or something that will be more demanding of our time in the studio, we will discuss what will suit your hair needs and wants and make it happen. During the consultation we talk about what is attainable in the time we’ve reserved for you and what your coming appointments will look like, and we go over the proper at-home maintenance (take-home products) and in salon treatments to help you get closer to your end goal.
Speaking of maintenance and care, Olaplex is a must in all of our lightening services in order to maintain the hair’s strength and integrity. For this reason it is included with every lightening service no questions asked. How amazing is that?! We also stock the entire retail line so that you can take care of your hair properly at home and in turn, prolong your gorgeous colour. You can come in for just an Olaplex treatment if you want to and we’ll make sure your hair is definitely taken care of.
The countless hours of education not only from hands-on classes but also from online education is really apparent in our stylists’ skill levels. We are always cruisin’ the web and playing around on each other to try out new techniques and perfect upcoming trends and that’s one more reason why we consider ourselves Blonde Specialists. Our passion really comes through with the level of service and the experience you have at Elixir and that is definitely something that we pride ourselves on.
Balayage Vs. Highlights - What’s the difference?
With so many different techniques and education open for everyone to see on Instagram, it’s hard for people to know which one is best for them. But don’t worry because that’s what we, as Blonde Pro’s, are here for! Balayage, babylights, foilayage, teasylights, foils… so many options! Each one of these techniques are unique in their own way and all offer a different purpose in the lightening journey.
Lets talk Balayage first. The word Balayage is a French word meaning “to sweep” which makes sense since we carefully paint the lightener on your hair in a sweeping motion creating a very soft, subtle, and organic look. It’s a great option if you’re new to colour or want a very natural, tone-on-tone result.
Babylights are very fine sections of hair generally placed around the hairline for optimal brightness and lift. These are a fantastic option for brightening around the face for high impact results with a softer grow out. More often than not they are paired with foilayage or balayage. This is also an awesome maintenance option because it doesn’t take a long time to add these pieces into your hair when you come in for your gloss in-between your major colour appointments.
Foilayage, also known as teasylights, is a great option for brunettes because it will give enough lift to push through the unwanted red or brassy tones that may exist in darker hair colours. It’s also a great option for for achieving very light ribbons on existing blondes. It’s basically balayage but in a foil form as foil conducts heat, and lightener lifts more when it’s warm and protected from the air. This in turn, gives the lightest result of all the blonding services. The same goes for traditional foils except this technique is usually applied right at the root, and doesn’t have that natural “rooty” look like a balayage or foilayage would.
Tones… What is Ash Really?
Everyone (and their dog) wants ashy hair, but from our experience what they really want is to not see any warmth and there’s a very big difference between the two. It can be confusing, and something we hear often is, “I want to be super ashy but still really bright.” Unfortunately, it does not work this way. Warm tones reflect light, giving a brighter and lighter appearance, whereas cool tones absorb the light, making the end result darker and less shiny or bright. What most people really want is a beautiful, creamy beige. The beige family offers the removal of “warm or brassy” hues while still offering a bright and drool-worthy end result. At Elixir we’re always striving for the beige tones (they’re our fave) and who doesn’t want to look like they just came back from the beaches of Cali?
This is sooooo important and we cannot stress this enough! You spend all this time and money investing in your hair at the studio, why have it fall apart with your first wash at home because you used drugstore shampoo?! We carry only the best products here so that you can take care of your hair at home in between your visits to our studio. Not only does our Redken colour line and retail line complement each other, but our evo line is extremely interchangeable so that you can get exactly what you need for your hair. The Olaplex line also helps protect the structural integrity of your hair so it’s safe to say we have you covered from the inside of your hair strands to the outside! With a unanimous vote from our pro’s in the studio, the entire Olaplex family took the cake for favourite aftercare products. Recently they added a shampoo, conditioner, and leave in treatment to the line and we’re obsessed! Check out our blog on Olaplex for more info. After Olaplex was the Redken Color Extend Blondage shampoo because, well, it works wonders! Click here to learn more about the Blondage and why it’s one of our faves.
Words of Wisdom
What is your number-one piece of advice for guests wanting to go blonde?
“My number one piece of advice for clients going blonde is to know that it is a process! The lovely white blonde that is super ‘in’ right now cannot happen in one session. It could take multiple sessions and proper home products are necessary to keep the colour looking great and getting you to blonde!”
- Morgan S.
“Have realistic hair expectations. It’s okay to want a big change, but understand that it may take a couple of appointments and great home care to get there!”
“My biggest piece of advice for clients wanting to go blonde is to make sure that you are using the right products to maintain your hair’s integrity while getting the look you want, starting with your shampoo and conditioner! A protein-based shampoo and conditioner is crucial for your beautiful blonde locks!”
- Morgan A.
“Best advice to anyone going blonde would be to make sure they know how to take care of it at home. Products that can keep and make the hair look great until I see them again for a gloss every 4-6 weeks. Even if the client is only lifting a couple levels. Bleach dries the hair. No matter what. It’s super important that they know how to keep it looking healthy.”
What is something that you wish your guests understood a bit better?
“Something I wish guests would understand a bit better is that a gloss does not last forever- it is not a permanent colour and underlying pigments of your hair appear after 4-6 weeks. Purple shampoo helps but a gloss will keep your colour looking fabulous!”
- Morgan S.
“What an ‘ash tone’ really implies….the pictures that you see on Instagram can be filtered or staged for the photo. Most of the unnatural colours/tones don’t have the same longevity of those that mimic a natural tone. Think neutral and balanced rather than ‘ash’.”
“I would want my clients to understand and trust us when we say how important it is to have the best products for their hair type when they leave the salon. Keeping the hair healthy will help us achieve the service they’re looking to walk out with.”
“I don’t expect my guests to understand much of my side of the job… it is my duty to find out exactly what they’re looking for by digging deep and being thorough with our consultation. I think if anything, I’d like my guests to appreciate the work I put in to making them beautiful and know that this is an investment that is worth every penny!”