Episode 48

Hair Colour Formulas are NOT the same as Recipes

this is the first episode of season 2


What I'll be talking about

Wondering if haircolour formulas are the secrets for success as a colourist ? In this episode of the Colour Kristina Talks Podcast for Hairdressers, we answer that question.

Hair colour formulas are your intellectual property as a Hairdresser. Recipes with mixing ratios are important to record for every client at every visit to ensure we can maintain or change colours as needed. Formulas are not just recipes though! There’s a lot more things to factor into a formula than a simple recipe. For example, we need to calculate the hair texture, existing colour, natural colour, hair density, and there’s other variables such as temperature or whether a heat source is applied. Some colours are applied on wet hair and others on dry or damp hair. This is why I am wanting to share why I don’t give clients formulas. And I rarely post my formulas on social media (but when I do you will notice I also include every step and technique to qualify my reason for choosing my formulas).

Show notes for episode 48

 it's time to feel more confident when formulating for your clients

Haircolour formulas are NOT the same as recipes

  • A recipe is something that you could use to bake a cake. Not paint hair!
  • I have used the same recipe on many different people and rarely had the same result.
  • I am wary to paint someones hair without analysing it first. This means create a formula or the process of formulation for every client every time.

Beware of reading formulas on instagram and copying them without understanding the why

  • Always pay attention to the why. Paint and know why. If you are not sure of what level you are starting at it is nearly impossible to create a formula.
  • There is no 5ish or level 6 ish. There are different levels and there can be different zones. Example could be a hairline 2 inches off the face is a level 7 with 50% grey  and the rest of the clients hair is Level 6 with 10% grey hair. This is a more thorough analysis that will support decision making and formula creation. 
  • If you see a formula that you love on instagram – I want to challenge you to engage with that hairdresser. It’s called social media after all! It takes a lot of time to construct carefully thought out captions, especially with formulas. This is your chance to ask the right questions to lead to get more information to help you in your salon. If someone shares a Light Copper formula with a splash of violet in it but it looks yellow gold to you, then ask them to dive deeper. Exchange ideas. Understand the paint and know why.

 I often get DM’s from people asking me what colour is that and would it suit me 

  • This is an interesting one. These come from hairdressers and consumers. I cannot generate random formulas. It takes time and consideration and I need to see the hair.
  • Something that I have started offering clients that DM this type of request is a zoom video consultation that is charged as a service. I think it’s a great concept for small business owners and hairdressers to consider. Charge for your time. That person might think its a recipe and take it somewhere else, and thats ok because your time was paid for. But they might also come see you and it’s their first experience with you over social media. Or you might never hear from that person again and that’s fine too.

A recipe for success is to always weigh and measure colours 

  • A haircolour recipe is very similar to a formula, but a formula is taking more into consideration
  • I weigh my colours on digital scales because it prevents me from wasting colour or mixing too little at the clients next visit
  • Recipes record measurements. They can be used for tracking product spend to check that your pricing is aligned with your product usage. But creativity comes with formulations. A true artist approaches every hair like an artist painting a canvas.


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