If you're anything like us, then you've probably fallen down an Instagram rabbit hole, or two, gushing over some of the gorgeous long hair that graced NYFW last week. And, if you're also like us, you're favorite shade is the one that's proven to be the most eye-catching of all this season: Red. While long red hair is a sight to behold, few can actually pull it off. And, no, we're not talking about the person hoping to rock the hue. Instead, we're referring to the colorists who try to mimic the natural beauty of born-with-it reds, the colorists who tend to get it close, but never quite right.
Chelsey Pickthorn, mastermind behind her ultra-trendy namesake salon in Bushwick, as always, stands apart. As New York City's Master Colorist, creator of medical grade custom extensions and all around hair superhero, we knew that she'd be the one colorist we could absolutely put our faith in to learn once and for all how to nail the seasonal look. We asked, she answered; everything you could hope to know is just a scroll below.
As a hair painter, why do you process roots, mid-lengths and ends, separately?
Every hair has a unique story, but the same remains true that due to scalp heat your roots process differently than your ends. This happens because your ends have lived longer and experienced the elements of the world longer. And, with natural hair, that difference in life makes a difference in color. So, whether your hair is naturally brown, red, blonde or any shade in between, the roots are always cool and slightly deeper then the brighter/warmer ends, which is why the require different processes.
How does a series of toners help create the perfect Autumn red?
Layering color into the hair creates a unique depth that reflects light and adds dimension. This also helps to ensure the colors longevity!
How long should you expect a hand painted hair color to take if you're transitioning a few shades?
This is based off of previous coloring and your hair's current state. Everyone's hair has a different past so it's best to consult! My average color process takes 3-5 hours, and in correction cases much longer.
How often should you re-tone your color-treated hair?
To maintain your fresh new color tone I recommended visiting in between your scheduled single process -- every eight weeks or so.
Now, it's not just about red, but length too. You know a thing or two about that. Why do you prefer medical grade tape-in extensions to beads or clip-ins? Are all tape-in extensions medical grade?
Most extension methods do not use medical grade tape. I prefer medical grade tape-ins because they're the most gentle on your hair. So long as you take care of them properly at home, you'll see no damage when it's time to take them out.
How do you create the extensions?
After having a consultation to determine what look is right for you; we design, measure placement, and custom color the hair to build your extensions piece by piece. To build them, the hair extensions are topped off with strips of medical grade tape at the root and is then situated between a client's hair. For a visual, imagine that the extension is sandwiched between thin layers of your own hair. This placement allows for your extensions to go practically unnoticed. Then, depending on you typically wear your hair -- down, up, in ponytails or buns, your extensions are taped in. Long story short, every little detail is customized for you!
What is the hardest part about matching extensions to natural hair? Is it texture or color?
Both! First we want to match the texture, then we custom color to match the client's hair color. It's important that these match up or extensions will be noticeable. Though it's not good for advertising I want my clients to be able to walk down the street and not have anyone notice they have extensions.
How far in advance do people usually have to book for your services?
At Pickthorn, we have you come in for an immediate consultation, and book necessary services from there. Depending on the project and desired look, clients usually end up booking an average of 3-4 weeks out.
Follow us on Instagram @MakingManhattanOfficial