If you get your hair colored at the salon, you know there are two commonly used techniques that pros use to apply color: balayage (where the color is painted on with a brush) and foils (when the hair is covered with color and then wrapped in foil), but now there's a new technique to hit the scene called hand-pressed coloring.
Redken colorist Chiala Marvici, the genius behind the color application, says she came up with the idea in her sleep. "I have a painting in my apartment that a friend did for me a while ago that has a lot of colors on it, and I fell asleep one night and dreamt of all these layers of paint living together on one surface," she says. "When I woke up, I thought about how beautiful that would be on the hair and how I would translate that vision onto the hair." And hence her technique was born.
So, how does it work? Marvici says her technique is more like screen printing. "You create a design creating different patterns like circles, diagonals, and swirls onto a 6-inch-wide sheet of the hardest version of plexiglass—other thicknesses are too flimsy—with different shades of color, and then you place the section of hair flat onto the glass, which transfers the design from the plexiglass onto the underside of your hair," she explains. "Then, you use a 6-inch-long putty knife and then press the hair into the pattern to saturate the top side of the hair as the color seeps through your strands." Don't worry, as you press the putty knife into the hair, everything blends, so you'll never be able to see a circle on your hair or a squiggle.
From there, she slides the glass from underneath the section, reapplies her pattern of color to the glass, and moves onto the next piece of hair. Once the last section is saturated, depending on the color brand she uses, she begins the processing time, which takes anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. Compared to balayage and foil highlights, which can take 45 minutes to an hour to apply, this application takes anywhere from five minutes to 30 because there isn't that much blending involved after color application, since you blend it as you press the hair into the design.
Here's Marvici working her magic:
And here is what one of Marvici's platinum clients looked like after she applied blue and gold tones to her hair after it processed for 15 minutes:
For now, you won't find this technique at your local salon, but Marvici has been traveling all over the country to educate other colorists on the process. "I've been working on this technique for a long time and trying to make it simple to be able to teach it to other colorists," she says. Finally, something to look forward to in hair color!
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