What’s Your Client’s Perfect Brown?

Selecting the ideal color for your client can be tricky, especially since differences in hair color can be so subtle! This is often especially true of darker hair colors, because differences in shade and tone can be harder to spot. But don’t you worry–Babe is here to help you out. Below, find some of our go-to methods for uncovering the perfect brown shade for your client.

Self-Description
One of the first things you should do when trying to match an extension color to your client’s hair is invite your client to describe their hair color in their own words. The reason for this is that actual color is not the only thing that varies from person to person–perception of color also differs, sometimes dramatically, so the first order of business should be getting on the same page.

 

Color Labeling
In describing their own hair color, the client likely used terms like warm, cool, bright, saturated, dull, light, dark, etc. Next, ask them to assign those adjectives to a selection of colors on your Color Ring. You can explain that you pre-selected this range of colors based off of your perception of the client’s hair color, and that you’d like for the client to narrow down the options based off of the terms that they used in their own description.

 

Color Swatch Test
After your client has labeled the relevant swatches and narrowed down the options, proceed to actually compare the selected strands to the client’s hair in different settings/lighting situations. Ask your client what they think of the contrast between their own hair and the swatch, and test additional strands when necessary. You could also talk about blending multiple shades for a custom result.

 

Undertone Test
Sometimes you’ll find yourself stuck between two (or even three) colors. When this happens, shift the focus from testing against the hair to testing against the skin. The most subtle differences between colors are often based on their relative warmth or coolness, or brightness/dullness. Fortunately, the warmth or coolness of a client’s hair typically aligns with the warmth or coolness of their skin. So select the color that looks best when draped over the client’s forearm.

 

With a little bit of practice, you’ll be deciphering your client’s darker shades in no time. Until then, make sure to keep up with all of our tutorial videos and educational content over on our YouTube channel!

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How To: Darkening Hair with Hair Extensions

Hair extensions aren’t only for adding long, lush length. Here at Babe, we have lots of techniques and methods that use extensions for volume, correcting inconsistencies in thickness or length, filling out thinning hair, covering bald spots, and more! Today, we’re going to focus on how you can use extensions to achieve color transformations–and, more specifically, how you can use them to recreate this season’s most popular shades!

Color Blending
The classic way to use hair extensions in color transformations is to incorporate multiple shades into a single installation. This can be in the form of highlights and lowlights (or extensions two steps lighter and two steps darker than the client’s own hair, respectively), or it can be a more subtle, overall mix that involves alternating between different color strands during placement. This tactic uses no color formulas or dyes–just the hair extensions themselves–and can be used to create any number of tones or shades that are not explicitly offered in our color collection. For example, if your client is looking for a dark, reddish-brown shade between #3R and Red Wine, apply strands of #3R, Red Wine, and #2 to create the desired color.

 

Color Formulas
If you want a more decisive departure from Babe’s established color options, you can use our color formulations. You can achieve anything: pastel, mermaid, ombre, and more. You can even achieve specific “natural” colors in this way. Just remember to abide by the following rules:
1. Use only semi- or demi-permanent colors, as they’re the gentlest on the hair and require no developer to process.
2. If you’re intending to color the client’s natural hair, too, do this on a different day than the installation. We recommend that you color the extensions first so that you can use them as a reference when coloring your client’s hair.
3. Try to stay within 2 shades of the extension’s original color (unless you’re coloring on #60 extensions), and only deposit–never lift color.
4. When coloring Tape-In extensions, remove the tape first. After the coloring process is complete, you’ll have to apply Replacement Tape instead.
5. Always perform a swatch test on an inconspicuous piece of the hair (or on a separate swatch of the same color) to see how the hair takes to the color.
6. Don’t try to return hair extensions that have been removed from their packaging, handled, and/or colored. We can only accept hair extension returns when the hair has not been removed from the box. Take every possible precaution before you apply the color so that you’ll arrive at your desired results. As long as you follow the directions above, your color job should turn out beautifully.

 

Gorgeous Combinations
Fall and winter are all about darker, more decadent hair colors, so help your clients get to auburn, chocolate brown, or even charcoal black by combining blending and coloring techniques. For example, take your middle-range brunette client to dark brown by coloring her hair to the appropriate shade, then installing uncolored strands of #1B and #2 for dimension. Alternatively, add just a touch of darkness by adding strands of #4 and #6 to a #8 base client, or by custom coloring extension strands to add natural-looking depth to a darker blonde. The possibilities are endless, so be creative!

 

Have you performed a color transformation using Babe extensions? Share the before and after with us on our social media pages! We may even feature your work on the site or in a future post.

 

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How to Pick the Best New Hair Color for Your Client

Color makeovers are a lot of fun, unless your client doesn’t end up with what they want. Make sure that you’re choosing the best color before you mix the formula, in order to avoid the potential mess and stress of a revision. How do you do that, exactly? We have a couple of tips…

Understand their preferences
Sure, the stylist knows best, but that won’t ever stop a client from having their own preferences and opinions. Ultimately, it’s the client’s opinion that counts when determining the success or failure of your services, so take the time to understand exactly what they want, and why they want it.

Know their allergies
While it’s not necessary (or appropriate) to request an entire medical history from each client, you should at least know if their scalp and hair are healthy enough to undergo the selected treatment, and if they have any allergies to the chemicals you may be using in your formulas or haircare products. It helps to have a product and ingredient list on hand to show them. Be ready to make some adjustments or replacements, if needed!

Match their undertones
As we’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, human hair and skin tends to share the same undertones. So someone with golden hair is more likely to have warm-toned skin, while someone with strawberry blonde hair is more likely to have cool-toned (pinkish) skin. Tailoring your search to the client’s skin tone can quickly reduce the overall number of options.

Complement their other features
Skin undertones aren’t the only thing relevant to your color selection. Your client’s other facial features—like eye color, face width, brow color (and, possibly, shape), etc.—should also be taken into account. You can draw attention to the golden flecks inside your client’s brown eyes by adding some golden highlights to their face-framing layers. You can make your client’s face appear narrower by darkening their hair color, or wider (and even younger) by lightening it. Be observant, and remember to ask your client which features of theirs they like best!

Use a try-on tool
If you find that you still have too many color options, consider using a try-on tool in your salon. This can be anything from a computer or online makeover program to a temporary color or Clip-In trial run. Babe Instant Hair is a great option in this sense, as it allows the client to wear the color (if even on just a section of their hair) for an extended period of time, and in different lighting conditions, providing them with the information they need to make a confident selection.

Once you and your client have settled on a color, the preparation phase is mostly over. Of course, there are a couple of other decisions to be made, and some color-related details to keep in mind…

Know best-practices
No matter what, it’s always important to know how to masterfully wield your tools, and sometimes that means knowing the manufacturer’s recommendations for usage. With Babe hair extensions, we advise stylists to select extensions of varying shades to produce a multi-dimensional, compelling look. That involves selecting a base color, a color up to two steps lighter than the base color, and a color up to two steps darker than the base color—all within the same color family, or tone. We also insist that you avoid lightening the extensions themselves, as bleaches and lightening agents can destroy the integrity of the hair.

Pre-color, if necessary
That being said, it is okay to color the extensions to a darker shade, so long as you are only using semi- or demi-permanent dyes. Extensions should be colored prior to the day of the installation appointment to give the hair enough time to fully dry. Similarly, if the client’s hair needs to be colored to achieve their ideal shade, this should be accomplished before the day of the installation. Color the client’s hair and the extensions separately—otherwise you risk uneven application and compromised bonds. Always make sure that you are not getting color on the hair extension bonds—and, if you do, be sure to clean it off quickly. We recommend that you remove the tape on Tape-In wefts prior to coloring, then apply Replacement Tape once the color has been processed.

Do you have a Babe before & after that you love? Share it with us on our Before & Afters page, and check out other stylists’ work while you’re at it! You just might find some inspiration for your next color job. 😉

 

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Redhead Color Inspiration

Have you gotten a chance yet to work with our newest red extension shades? If you’re still looking for an excuse to try them out, look no further than these beautiful redhead color inspirations. Just grab a willing client, a couple of packs of Babe’s red extensions (you can choose from Colette (#99J), Betsy (#3R), Vivian (Red Wine), Emmie (#5R), Ruby (#30/33), and GiGi (#38)), and some hair color (if necessary), then start re-creating these beauties in your salon today!

Burgundy or Plum

Extension shades
Colette (#99J)
Betsy (#3R)
Whitney (Dark Purple)

Mix the sultry, chocolate-y red shade of Colette (#99J) with Whitney (Dark Purple) for a beautiful burgundy/plum color, then temper it with Betsy (#3R) for a natural touch.

Red Velvet

Extension shades
Vivian (Red Wine)
Emmie (#5R)
Beverly (Burgundy)

Start with a base of Vivian (Red Wine) to establish the velvety color, then throw in some Emmie (#5R) for dimension. If you want extra red richness, mix in some Beverly (Burgundy) strands throughout the bottom layer of hair.

Carrot Red

Extension shades
Ruby (#30/33)
GiGi (#38)

Achieve this bright and earthy look by blending our medium-toned Ruby (#30/33) with her lighter-toned cousin, GiGi (#38).

Golden Red

Extension shades
GiGi (#38)
Cindy (#24)

Use a majority of GiGi (#38) to establish an underlying maple-y hue, then throw in some golden blonde strands of Cindy (#24) to lighten and brighten the look.

Ombre Red

Extension shades
Ruby (#30/33)
Kymberly (Ombre 4-613)
Nina (Ombre 2-27A)

Lay down a base of Ruby (#30/33), then alternate between Kymberly (Ombre 4-613) and Nina (Ombre 2-27A) as you move up the head. For bonus points, color the top section of the Ruby extensions to a #3R shade, and incorporate them into the top layers, too. (You can see how to dye hair extensions using an ombre technique in this Babe video!)

Ready to get started? Pick up our new red extension colors at your local distributor today! They’re available right now.

 

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Blending Tips for Red Hair

We’re loving our newest hair extension colors, and we’re loving the before and afters that you lovely Babes are making with them! Today, we’re compiling some of the best application tips we’ve seen for blending red hair extensions to perfection. Enjoy!

Take a cue from the skin color.
Pheomelanin, the pigment that determines the level of redness in a person’s skin and hair, is typically consistent between the skin and hair, meaning that a person with a ruddy complexion is more likely to have red-tinted hair, and vice versa. Hence the belief that the undertone of a person’s hair should complement the undertone of their skin, so as to produce the most natural-looking result. If you’re ever in doubt about which shade of red to use in a client’s hair (or which highlight and lowlight colors to apply), refer to their skin tone. Golden skin will match a copper hairdo well, whereas pink skin will look better with a more strawberry color.

Dimension is key.
Red hair spans a wide range of shades, from the lightest of strawberry blondes to the darkest of auburns. This variety makes red hair particularly suited to highly dimensional color jobs, so go all-in with the highlights and lowlights to produce a look that truly captures the light. Our rule of thumb is to select a color two steps lighter than the base color, a color two steps darker than the base color, and the base color itself—though you can absolutely incorporate more of the colors within those limits, too.

Throw in some brown or blonde.
If you look very closely, you’ll find that many natural redheads carry strands of brown or blonde within their hair alongside the more vivid red—especially around the face and near the ends of their hair. Feel free to incorporate some of these colors into your blending job, applying a couple of brown lowlights to darker reds and a smattering of blonde highlights to lighter reds. This will produce a beautifully natural-looking effect, while enabling you to modify the overall brightness or dullness of the client’s hair.

Don’t shy away from purple.
Sometimes red hair veers straight into the territory of so-called “fashion colors”, with a tuft of pink or a wave of fuschia buried within the otherwise natural-looking strands. Don’t be afraid to include some of these naturally occurring colors in your extension job! Though a lock of Dark Purple (Whitney) might seem like it would stick out like a sore thumb, when dispersed throughout the hair, it can actually blend right in, leaving only a gentle touch of color in its wake.

Have you met our newest red shades? Head over to your local distributor today to get acquainted, then send us your before and after photos via Instagram for a chance to be featured!

 

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How Many Different Hair Colors Are There?

Last week we announced our 3 new natural red shades—Colette (#99J), Vivian (Red Wine), and GiGi (#38)—available right now in all 4 professional hair extension methods. Together with our other red shades—Betsy (#3R), Emmie (#5R), and Ruby (#30/33)—that makes for 6 total natural red shades in our Babe collection! New extension colors means more exact matches for your clients, better extension blending opportunities, and safer color jobs (for when you choose to color the hair extensions to a different shade). That’s why we’re on a mission to provide you with the most extensive color range possible. But how many possible hair colors are there, you might wonder? Today, we’ll investigate that very question.

Human hair and skin color is determined by the relative amounts of two different, naturally occurring pigments—eumelanin and pheomelanin—which dictate the lightness or darkness and redness or yellow-ness of the color, respectively. Together, these pigments produce 4 easily recognizable hair color categories (not including grey or white): black hair (high eumelanin, low pheomelanin), brown hair (moderate eumelanin, low pheomelanin), blonde hair (low eumelanin, low pheomelanin), and red hair (varying eumelanin, high pheomelanin). Grey or white hair, which is typically a byproduct of the aging process, is caused by lack of melanin in some (grey) or most (white) hairs.

Within each of these color categories, though, you may find a vast and finely graduated range of possible hair colors, from light blondes to dark blondes, chestnut browns to mousey browns, warm to cool blacks, and beyond. It wouldn’t be possible—or practical—to count the number of total hair colors, especially when you consider that most hair includes various different shades, highlights, and lowlights within it. And that’s just the natural colors—when you include fashion colors in the mix, it’s basically a question of how many colors the human eye can see (about 8-10 million, in case you were wondering).

Obviously, Babe can’t offer millions of different extension color options (no matter how much we’d like to!). Instead, we offer what you might call “core colors”—distinct color steps that cover a reasonable range of the black, brown, blonde, red, and fashion color categories—paired with hair techniques like blending or coloring so you can produce the precise results you want. With our latest red hair additions, we’ve fleshed out the red color line to the point that you can easily accommodate basically any redhead client (aspiring or natural) with the right tools and some creativity. We look forward to seeing the new transformations you’ll create!

Visit your local distributor today to get your hands on our new colors, and click here to share your transformation photos!

 

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New Red Hair Extension Colors!

It’s time to launch the summer in style! Effective immediately, Babe is now offering 3 new natural red extension shades in all four of our professional methods! Say hello to Colette (#99J), Vivian (Red Wine), and GiGi (#38)—a collection of varied and vibrant ruddy hues. Together with our other red shades (Betsy (#3R), Emmie (#5R), and Ruby (#30/33)), they make for the most robust red collection Babe has ever offered! Let’s take a moment to get to know these girls better.

Colette (#99J)
Colette is a deep, rich, sultry red shade that borders on chocolate brown, but don’t think that means she’s subtle! Catch her in the light and you’ll see that she’s a true dark red.

Vivian (Red Wine)
Vivian is the color of red velvet cupcakes, with a beautiful depth and tone that lends dimension to this delectable shade. In terms of tone, Vivian sits snugly in the middle of Betsy (#3R) and Emmie (#5R), making her best for medium-dark clients.

GiGi (#38)
GiGi is a gorgeous, maple-y color that looks as fresh in fall as it does in spring. A medium-light shade, GiGi is now the lightest, brightest red shade we carry!

Visit your local distributor to see these shades in person. They’re available for purchase right now.

 

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What Do Babe’s Color Codes Mean?

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Have you ever found yourself wondering, “What exactly does color #1001 mean?” Babe definitely doesn’t offer 1001 hair extension colors, and there’s clearly a big jump from our next-highest extension code—613—and the color we like to call Yvonne. So what’s the deal?

Babe’s hair extension color codes are partially based on the International Color Chart (ICC)—an industry resource and standard defining 25 colors and 9 tones. The ICC is frequently used by dye producers, wig makers, hair extension manufacturers, and various other hair specialists to describe the color of their products in a widely understood way. This system features 2-3 numbers detailing the base color, primary tone, and sometimes secondary tone of a color (ex. 8.34 for a golden or copper-hued light blonde). At Babe, we often simplify this format considerably—for example, ICC 5.3 and 5.4 become 5B and 5R in the Babe system, the former being a more golden light brown and the latter being a more copper (or red) light brown. Other times, we keep our color code in near alignment with the ICC, as in the case of color #1001, which could be interpreted as base shade 10 (lightest blonde) with a slight coolness (.01) added to it.

But there are a number of differences between our system and the ICC. Firstly, in Babe’s color code system, we extend our base shade numbering beyond 10 values, maintaining the trend of higher numbers equaling lighter shades. To make sense of our hair extension numbers, remember that they fall into five basic categories.

Base Shade Number Range
Black & Brown – 1 to 10
Blonde – 12 to 27
Red – __R; 30/33
Gray & Platinum – 60 to 1001
Solid Colors – By Name

Secondly, we feature a number of blended colors that merge two distinct color codes together. For example, #27/613 means that blonde hair #27 has been blended with platinum hair #613 in the same strand or weft. The same principle applies to brown #6/10—the strand contains a certain percentage of colors #6 and #10.

Solid colors are another thing altogether. They are sometimes referred to as fashion colors and have no numbers assigned to them. So you’ll see names like Red Wine, Dark Purple, Green, Burgundy, Black Wine, and Pink. It’s not unusual to find that solid colors from different manufacturers vary in color, just as clothing dye lots can vary from company to company.

Given all the variation in color classification systems out there, it’s extremely important to have a physical reference in addition to a coherent code system when it comes time to select a color for your client. That’s why we always recommend that you keep your Babe Color Swatch nearby and at-the-ready—it’s the simplest, most effective way to understand and evaluate Babe’s range of extension colors, featured on actual swatches of 100% Human Remy hair. You can’t get that from color codes or pictures on the Internet.

Until the end of this month, we’re offering a special Babe Tag Color Swatch promotion—purchase 1 Color Swatch, get 3 special discount codes alongside it. Each discount code is printed on a tag that’s attached to the ring. Head over to your local distributor today to take advantage of the deal!

 

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Color Hacks for Babe Hair

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Coloring jobs can be intimidating, especially when they’re being performed on human hair extensions. Fortunately, Babe has many resources, tips, and tricks to conquer any coloring exploit with Babe hair. Here, we’ve featured some of our best color hacks for your next color transformation.

Blending existing color shades
One way to update a client’s hair color involves the use of hair extensions alone—no color and no developer, nothing other than pure and simple Babe hair. Select shades from our available collection, then use the hair extensions to simulate the desired look. For example, though Babe may not offer the exact shade of red your client is looking for, you can mix strands of 30/33 (Ruby) and 27/613 (Bridget) to produce the same effect as a single, multi-dimensional red color. This is our traditional extension color method, and it’s a favorite among clients seeking highlights, lowlights, balayages, and even ombres without any color processing.

Coloring extensions to desired level
Custom color can be used to explore the terrain outside of Babe’s existing color collection, making any and every color available to clients. Whether you’re mixing for pastel hair, mermaid-esque locks, an icy silver ‘do, or even the perfect match to your client’s natural hair color, the possibilities of color are basically limitless. The only rules to keep in mind are:
– Use professional, semi or demi-permanent colors, only
– Do not lighten or bleach the hair—only darken
– Perform a strand test first
– Pre-wash extensions with sulfate-free shampoo before coloring them
– Color extensions before installing them
– Stay within two shades of the extension base color (unless you’re working with #60 (Patsy) hair)
– Always flip extensions to color both sides
– Go with the direction of the hair’s cuticle when coloring extensions
– Remove all tape from Tape-In extensions before coloring them
– Use only color-safe, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner on color-treated hair

Warm-to-warm, cool-to-cool
One tip that we’ve found particularly helpful in the coloring process (though it’s not a hard-and-fast rule, per se) is to stick with the same tone of hair. That means that, if your desired end color is a warm blond, select a warm-colored extension in a lighter shade. Similarly, if your desired end color is a cool medium brown, select a cool light brown to color, so as to preserve the tone of the hair extension. This will produce particularly vivid results.

#60 (Patsy) as an ideal base
When performing more drastic (or imaginative) color transformations, it might be necessary to start with a blank canvas. For Babe, that means choosing our #60 (Patsy) extensions. This shade is one of our lightest and most neutral, making it versatile enough to use in just about any color transformation. It will not have the same staying power as color jobs performed on shades within 2 steps of the end color, but it will have magnificently saturated results! This quality lends itself especially well to pastel, emerald, and fantasy-color jobs.

When in doubt, Color Swatch
If ever you feel uncertain about a color selection, or about the interaction between a color formula and an extension hue, refer to the Babe Color Swatch. It’s a great reference for extension colors, and can be used in a multitude of different ways to facilitate your color job. This March-April, we’re featuring a special Babe Tag promotion with our Color Swatch: get 3 colorful discounts and a free Quick Pick Hair Parter with your purchase of the Color Swatch. Discounts include: a free marketing kit, a free intro DvD, and 10% off your next order. Visit your local distributor to take advantage of the deal!

Did you try any of these tips in your salon? How did it go? Share pictures of your color transformations with us on Babe’s Instagram!

 

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Time for All the Spring Things!

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It’s officially spring! That means it’s time to transition your salon from the variously cozy and crisp styles of winter to the romantic, breezy looks of spring. If that prospect sounds overwhelming to you, or you’re just not sure where to start, don’t worry—Babe is here with some tips to help you through the project!

Lighter, warmer hair colors
Many clients will be coming in for a seasonal update in the next few months, usually to lift their hair to a warmer or lighter hair color. Prepare by stocking up on golden and fawn-like hues and inundating yourself with plenty of inspiration. Our Pinterest boards are a great place to browse popular colors and styles.

Pastel looks
Pastel hair colors are particularly popular at the moment, and besides being refreshing and eye-catching, they’re also seasonally appropriate. Fill your cabinets with #60 (Patsy) Babe hair to custom color Easter-y soft pinks, blues, greens, and purples.

Bridal ‘dos
Spring is basically marriage season, so brush up on some of your favorite bridal looks to ready yourself for any wedding-related appointments. Once you’ve mastered your Kate Middleton-esque ‘dos, you can whip them out for everything from weddings to school dances—they’re actually incredibly versatile!

Salon spring cleaning
Spring cleaning isn’t only for your home—it’s also vital for your salon. Revisit all of your supplies, donating unused items, replacing damaged ones, and upgrading to new equipment when necessary. Deep-clean your tools, chairs, and surfaces for a brand-new feel in your salon. Finally, get acquainted with good upkeep practices to get you through the year until your next spring cleaning.

Inventory update
While you’re cleaning out your salon, take some time to update your Babe hair extension inventory. We regularly add new extension colors, textures, methods, and tools to our collection, so you’re almost guaranteed to have new Babe items on your shopping list each year. You can also attempt to reorganize your extension closet to accommodate the new items.

New sales and promos
Have new Babe items to buy but feeling short on cash? Take advantage of our various Babe promotions! These sales and discounts update every two months, and feature everything from hair extensions to tools to lash extensions, and even education! You can check out our current promotion—the Babe Color Swatch tag discount set plus free Quick Pick Hair Parter—on our Promotions page.

 

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