California based colourist Megan Martinez – known as Hair by Megaria on Instagram – shares all about her smoked marshmallow masterpieces and how to customise the colour to suit each client
“When we work so hard as an artist and chemist to create beautiful blonde shades, it’s heart-breaking to see clients cover it with a solid colour without knowing their options. Maybe some clients don’t want the maintenance of regular appointments every 4-6 weeks, but still want to feel blonde without using bleach all over. With this in mind, there are many reasons why I offer ‘smoked marshmallow’ to blondes or anyone with serious root regrowth, known as the ‘black hole’.
I feel the technique works really well for all clients, as it’s all about the ‘flavour’ you put on after. For anyone looking for blue all over instead of blonde, use Nightfall, Nirvana and Velvet from the Pulp Riot OGs, then let that blue fade and have fun with it. Alternatively, add a soft pastel lavender using Nirvana and Candy – it’s important to decide what’s best for whomever is sitting in your chair, and then get creative and customise.
For the technique I use a lot of foils, and for each section I start with a horizontal and pivot off of that. You can be playful with the slices and the sections of hair you choose to pull out, making each result unique for each client – everybody is different after all! When it comes to the hair line – AKA the ‘money pieces’ – I like to be a little bit heavier and tighter with the foiling. The ultimate goal is to give them a blend that uses their natural roots and matches it with the blonde ends. If you can’t match it to the ends, work with what you’ve got and be playful with your formulas. Remember, not everyone pulls a perfect blonde the first time and it’s important to educate clients on this.
Making sure my clients leave with strong healthy hair is always the priority, so when using a lot of foils, I like to start low with my developers and then gradually get higher. Start off with a 10 volume, then mix a 10 or 20 together, then a 20 vol and so on and so forth.
As for formulas, there are many I love to use, and I’ve been using the Pulp Riot Faction 8 line since it came out because the colour results, consistency and chemical factors are all wins for me. I love creating a smudge root after a heavy foil to soften the starting point, using 6-1, 6-0 with a little -22. For all over, I love using 8-1, 10-1 with some -11 and little -22. Even adding 7-3 to any of these formulas will give you a creamier blonde instead of a strong ash. All using double amounts of 6 vol to turn the formula into a demi! Anything higher like 10, 20, etc will become a permanent colour.
Finally, for clients to maintain the colour at home, I recommend lots of protein and moisture as well as a healing oil treatment. The Redken One United leave in spray is also worth noting, as well as the Barcelona purple shampoo by Pulp Riot to keep the colour looking fresh.
Keep an eye out for the launch of Pulp Riot in the UK in April. For more of Megan’s work, head to @hairbymegaria on Instagram.