Colour Music & All That Jazz
What is colour?
Many accept it unquestioningly – a few, I believe, are almost unconscious of its presence – for others it constitutes an aesthetic pleasure or an interesting scientific phenomenon – the result of light vibrations acting upon their optic nerves. But there are many for whom colour means far more than this – to them it brings the conscious realisation of the deepest underlying principles of nature, and in it they find deep and lasting happiness – for those people it constitutes the very song of life and is, as it were, the spiritual speech of every living thing.”
— Roy de Maistre (Australian Moderns Artist)
Australian artists during the period ‘Sydney Moderns’ experimented with the links of music and painting, and saw analogies between colours of the spectrum and notes of the musical scale. I visited the Art Gallery of NSW to see the ‘Australian Moderns’ exhibition a few years ago and was blown away by the concept that colour groupings behave in a similar way to musical scales. Ever since that visit to the gallery I have been obsessed with exploring the links in musical chords to create harmonious tones in hair colour. This is a game changer for Hair Colour Theorists to gain a deeper understanding of success formulations for multi-tone colour techniques that can be replicated for Blondes, Brunettes or Redheads.
In the past I have struggled with understanding how to “mix it up” and know-how to create (and recreate time and time again) textured colours for every client. I trained at Sydney salon Blondes Brunettes and Redheads, with renowned Vidal Sassoon NYC Colour Director Alyson Schoer. Together we explored creative colour concepts and shared a love for education and teaching. She encouraged my creativity and put me on stage at Hair Expo whilst I was still an apprentice hairdresser. Two decades later I continue to strive for the highest with educating our industry and am so excited to help fellow colour lovers unravel the mystery of “Colour Music”.
12 years ago I studied Textile Design and Printing at Sydney’s exclusive National Art School which also changed my perception of colour theory. Ever since I have injected colour mixing and theory from a different perspective to the hairdressing norm, presented in my ‘pure’ education approach.
So what exactly is “Colour Music” and how does it relate to Hair Colour? I was taught to paint (noticeable) texture into hair colour by selecting colours 2 or more levels apart because that will work best for noticeable contrast. For example creating a gorgeous multi-tone Medium Blonde could be created with a 7 level tint alternating with a 9 level tint and a bleach lifted to pale blonde (level 11). However if a client wanted a “natural” blonde a Colourist can still create texture that is “less obvious” with painting tints on the same level or just one level difference. For example a classic Bespoke Blonde could be a 9 level Ash and a 10 level Gold with a few bleach in the rotation for a Foil or Freestyle client. My experimentations have included recreating these colour harmonies for Brunettes & Redheads… and you may be surprised to know that I have discovered this works for more than just our blonde clients!
What colours do you relate with music when you are listening to your favourite tunes? Foil highlights have links with classical music perfection. Hip Hop remixes many different genres and remixes it into unique blends that keep attracting younger listeners. Could foils be linked to classical music and symphonies? And hip hop be linked to the younger social media savvy Balayage Freestyle Painters?
I am currently working on projects for 2020 to deliver these concepts to hairdressers in easy access education platforms, including podcasting and an online course. I will be sharing my love of Visual Art plus my expertise for Colour Theory during Hair Colour demonstrations, along with discussions on the universal principles of Colour Music Theory. I will develop your techniques and business practices to become a highly sought after Hair Colour Artist.
Please sign up for my mailing list on the Home page to be amongst the very first to know when my podcast launches.
Let’s stay in touch x k
Would you like to learn how to formulate the perfect (and natural looking) red for every client? My free ebook guide is the ultimate checklist to ensure you have the right strategy, theory, confidence and knowledge.
The Dresscode Project is a global alliance of salons and barbershops committed to providing positive, gender-affirming services for LGBTQ+ clients.
Find out more about how your shop or salon can become a safer place for LGBTQ+ people.