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The Return Of The Reds

Updated: Oct 19, 2022

Autumn is an exciting time in the salon; it is a time of renewal. A time of focusing on new energy, a new sense of self. Autumn brings more attention to detail in dressing, style, and trends. For me, September is the month of repair from the toll that summer has taken on the hair. This is the month that we put “color” back into the tresses. This season that color trend is red! However, is this right for everyone? Or can we design this trend for all?

I have long fought the notion that every trend is for every one. We are individuals. We are created equal in the eyes of God but not in our stature, natural skin and eye coloring, face shape, lifestyle, etc. We do our guests a disservice when we only consider “trends.” Our job is to inform, question, examine, and truly look at the person in our chair each and every time as if it's the first time. The art of the consult and its necessity benefits both the client and technician. For us to do our job excellently, this conversation must be honest and analyzing. My team, The Capozzi Team, is taught over and over again the importance of this time spent with our guests. One can not properly formulate a color without this conversation. One can not “map out” our strategy of color placement without really looking at the entire being in front of us.

I learned the hard lesson of only considering trends when approaching my work back in 1987. I had just come back from a Redken seminar and I was pumped up with excitement and new knowledge and I wanted, I needed, to utilize these newfound executions. This weekend-long event was packed with information and motivation. I left there convinced that I must apply all I had learned…my only problem…was I wanted to utilize “ALL” I had learned on EVERYONE in my chair. Upon my return to work, my first client was also the first victim of my new enthusiasm. Michelle was a stunning, stylish woman who owned a cosmetics boutique, was successful, drove a DeLorean and she would be the first to enjoy my new knowledge and skills.

In a thirst for what’s hot and new, understandably, the industry educators and big-name manufacturers of hair products would “push” the couture, push the extreme and very often give us the forecast of what is to be. Like runway clothing, runway hair is often extreme and equivalently in the clothing industry, looks need to be “watered-down” for the salon consumer.

Hair fashion was at a crossroads in 1987. We were pumping out one bi-level haircut after another. Our blowouts of diffusing our permed and curly hair girls to the point of maximum expansion and maximum height was really tiring. The trend was now shifting. That year, American Salon Magazine touted a smoother, more beautiful “flip” which morphed into the straighter, smoother styles of the 90’s and the tousled freer movement of the “Rachel.” Our industry presentations were pushing "head hugging" styles, not the voluminous mass of hair hysteria we were asked to achieve on a daily basis.

The problem that existed was that the non-urban consumer, in those days, was much less sophisticated and was resistant to what was going on on the runways, on city streets, and in Europe where so much of hair fashion is born. The commercial work was just that…commercial. No longer exciting was wrapping a girls long hair with 100,000 perm rods. Nasty smelling perm solution drizzling down her scalp and then baking under a hooded dryer. The rinsing and the blotting for what seemed like forever to then lead to a finish of an upside down diffuse-dry.

The piece de resistance was the ton of Sebastian Shaper Plus applied prior to allowing the client to flip their head back. I was so happy to give this all up for something new, something that required me to learn new skills. Education provided me with new tools and a new way of doing hair.

Michelle was now going to receive all this “newness.” Michelle, with her naturally curly hair, was going to achieve a new level of my talent, my greatness, my knowing of what's in! I was so freaking impressed with myself that I wanted to kiss my own hands. I was now equipped with this current information and skill set, and how fortunate was she to be privileged to have the very latest in trend, by MY impressive self.

After my precision cut, my very careful, gentle blowout, and the placement of those exquisite coils with the head hugging new look, Michelle was presented with two mirrors to get the full impact of my greatness and talent. I had achieved the look I was first told by industry mentors was “the look” and then taught how to execute without flaw…

BOMB DROP. She hated it.

"How could this be? I did everything right. I even chose this great looking woman with so much style…where could I have gone wrong?," I thought to myself. Please don’t forget, I was awesome. However, my awesomeness was not so apparent…, especially to her. THAT AWESOMENESS was in my own head. The only current comparison would be…I gave her Rihanna’s short loose waves and coils, but SHE interpreted the look as a 1950’s TV housewife...What just happened? I was devastated, and of course, I re-wet her hair and started the styling process once again. Volume is what she wanted, and that’s what she got.

What an amazing lesson I learned.

Utilize the new information, the new inspiration, the new skills, and then CUSTOMIZE for the individual. I needed to suggest, then most importantly, listen, look, and read between the lines what I am seeing and hearing. I learned in that moment to take what I learn from an industry event and use it as inspiration.

SO NOW WE HAVE the return of the “Reds.” Red-making is always an exciting time for us in the hair color industry. There is a special creativity and foundational knowledge required for achieving incredible vibrant long lasting results.

For the first time in five years, these vibrant tones are piquing interest, and there is no better time than autumn to introduce these hues. Deep, rich ruby reds, magentas, and coppers are hot! I love this! However, taking this trend and then applying it without consideration for the person in front of us, and not really seeing the aforementioned features, not examining them, and not utilizing this information to create this “red-ing” , is a disservice and most likely, the service and the look, will not be successful. Simply…not right for this particular guest.

Fortunately, Reds in hair-color have a very wide range…from strawberry, peach, and sun kissed golden to darkest aubergine there is a tonality for most heads and dare I say…every head. The color, the placement, the amount weaved, sliced, painted and brushed on are all decided by that initial conversation. The consultation, the exchange of desires and ideas. That is my responsibility and my team’s responsibility. Our task…to get you to speak and for us to listen.

Happy Autumn Renewal!

- R.Anthony Capozzi

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