Colour specialist Charlotte O’Flanagan, founder of Charlotte Paints Hair in Solihull, shares her mistakes to avoid when painting with pink
With Pantone having named Viva Magenta the colour of the year for 2023, it has certainly found its way into salons already, inspiring colourists to play around with the tonal spectrum from deep crimson shades all the way to baby pink hues.
But like many brighter hair hues, one shade doesn’t work on all clients. If anyone knows how to master the pink palette, it is Charlotte O’Flanagan of Charlotte Paints Hair. Armed with her expertise in colouring hair pink, Charlotte shares the common mistakes to avoid when painting hair pink.
Know your client
“Every client is different, so knowing what service best suits their lifestyle is extremely important. Whether your client is looking for a temporary festival look or something long-lasting to showcase their personality, you must make the right suggestion to meet their needs.
For a temporary pink look, using Davines Alchemic Pink Creative Conditioner is a good option as it typically lasts two to three washes. Plus, a much lighter pastel look can easily wash out in one wash. Alternatively, using a semi-permanent hair dye will give the colour a longer life of around two to six weeks, depending on the intensity of the formula.”
Know your canvas
“Lifting your client’s hair to the right level is a fundamental part of achieving the right pink. Therefore, it is vital to express to your client what shade is achievable for their hair’s depth before committing to a particular tone. This will help manage realistic expectations of creating their desired look.
If your client is looking for a pastel or baby pink, the hair must be lifted to a level 10 pale yellow, as this helps you achieve a more subtle, muted hue. Whereas, if your client’s hair will only safely lift to a level seven or eight, you should opt for a more vibrant shade, resulting in a deeper magenta colour, yet still achieving their pink hair goals.”
Know your tones
“The colour pink itself has a broad and diverse range of shades, with a spectrum of both cool and warm tones. Therefore, as their stylist, you need to know which palette will best compliment your client’s skin tone. Some clients will suit warmer hues such as coral, peach and strawberry while cooler tones such as lavender, blush or pearl will be better for others.
Choosing the wrong colour for your client’s skin tone may wash them out and put them off ever going pink again. To avoid this, be confident with your recommendations and trust your knowledge, it’s our job to make these important decisions and make their pink hair dreams come true.”
Know your aftercare
“Correct aftercare is crucial to keeping your clients happy with their new look, maintaining it themselves, and coming back for more. The more vivid the look the longer it should last, as each wash will make the shade paler and more pastel. So, avoid recommending cheap and sulphated shampoos, as these will strip the colour within a few washes – even the most vivid of colours won’t endure the six weeks your client is hoping for. I always offer my clients a home colour conditioner to preserve the pink for as long as possible.”
Charlotte’s Top Tip
“When creating a multi-pink look, I find the best results occur when you use both vivids and pastels combined. This gives a multi-tonal, dimensional finish. The contrast of the light to dark throughout will emphasise the wow-factor, leaving your client feeling amazing and you get the perfect picture that will stand out on socials.”