For many Asian clients looking to highlight their hair, keeping the brass at bay is a perennial struggle. “Balayage on Asian clients' hair can be tricky,” says L’Oréal Professionnel Global and US Ambassador Min Kim (@minkimcolorist). “It’s the battle of warmth vs. no warmth.” But a beautiful balayage with balanced warmth sans brass is completely achievable as seen on Min’s client here.
The secret lies in identifying the right amount of warmth, key placement and proper glossing. “My client wanted highlights that were warm, but not brassy, which is something I typically hear from my Asian clients,” says Min. “They usually ask for this because when they come into the salon, they have highlights that have turned orange.” The color they want and the color they end up coming in with are a clear sign that they were either given the wrong type of warmth or that they were not properly glossed.
Read on to learn how Min created this color so that you can deliver the perfect brass-free balayage for your Asian clients each and every time.
- Using L’Oréal Professionnel Blond Studio Multi-Techniques 8, start in Zone 2 and finish in Zone 3 at the back with a focus on the nape. Focus on the nape because women with longer hair tend to push their length forward so you want to see brightness underneath. By starting in Zone 2 or bottom Zone 1, you create natural depth at the bottom of the head for a more natural beach glow effect.
- Working towards the front, connect the side pieces with the back so that the highlights start higher being closest to Zone 1 around the face frame.
- Lift to a level 8.
- Gloss using DIA Light 9.01/9NB for 15 minutes to neutralize any warmth without cancelling it. This results in a balanced golden tone that my client was looking for.
With this type of placement, the result is natural and gives the client control over the maintenance process. “The conversation I have is about coming back every few weeks for glosses,” says Min. “When they come back, we can do a refresh at the face frame, the part line and make other tweaks. It’s usually a heavy refresh at the first return, and then depending on what she wants, it can be as low maintenance as she would like going forward and beyond.”
“I make sure to recommend L’Oréal Professionnel Blondifier or Silver to ensure she maintains the golden tone without turning brassy,” says Min. “I also like incorporating the L’Oréal Professionnel Metal Detox service as part of at-home maintenance to my Asian clients’ services. Typically, Asian clients' hair is more slippery and Metal Detox gives the hair a little bit of grit which is great for color to hold onto and stay on the hair.”
Source: Courtesy of Instagram.com/@minkimcolorist
Maureen is a veteran beauty and style editor having worked at AmericanSalon, Woman’s Day, People StyleWatch and Teen Vogue, and a contributor for CR Fashion Book, Well + Good, Elite Daily and Glam. You can find her reporting on the latest trends from backstage at New York Fashion Week, interviewing celebrities and beauty industry heavyweights, and fashion styling for editorial photo shoots. The self-professed product junkie, super foodie and wannabe hand model is obsessed with rose gold jewelry, the NYC Flower Market and planning her next big getaway.
What I Learned About Beauty From My Abuela