Upcoming hair trends ‘to-dye-for’, the science behind colours, and home maintenance tips – Crystal Rose heads to Frontlinestyle to meet master colourist Alexa

Colour. It’s a powerful thing. It has the capacity to instantaneously change your mood, and life sure would be dull without it.

As I sit down with master colour expert Alexa at hair and beauty salon Frontlinestyle to talk all things colour, she explains to me the endless amount of fun you can have with colour in the hair industry. From balayage and highlights to block colour and ombré, hair and the versatility of colouring is exciting.

Alexa has a clear passion for colour. Having joined Frontlinestyle six months ago, and having previously worked at the Regis Salon in Jolly’s for five years, Alexa delves into her master colourist past and reveals a few top tips for maintaining your colour.

Firstly, home maintenance is key. You can invest in a quality salon transformation but, if you’re not using the right products at home, it can all, literally, go down the drain in just a few short days. It’s essential to find the hair care that is tailored to you, your hair type and your colouring. The Wellaplex, for instance, is great for keeping the bonds in your barnet strong. The stronger the bond, the more the colour locks in more permanently. For blondes, for example Alexa recommends the System Professional silver shampoo – perfect for removing those brassy and yellow tones and enhancing cool, ashy ones.

Studying for her Wella Master Colour Expert degree at the London studio nine years ago, Alexa began the internationally recognised, intensive 18-month course after studying at London College of Fashion. She then trained in South Kensington and worked in Canary Wharf before leaving the big smoke to go to Cheltenham, Bristol and then finally Bath.

“It takes you out of your comfort zone and completely strips you back,” Alexa explains about the course. Becoming a MC educator, you’re taught to look at hair and colour differently. Learning along the way about the science of hues, perception of colour and the legal side of it all. The importance of the patch test, a hot topic in the beauty industry right now, is to safeguard you. It’s all about ensuring your safety and that 48-hour patch test is absolutely essential. Concluding with two assessments – a theory and a practical examination – Alexa doesn’t give too much away about the final test. Maybe it’s a closed-lip agreement by all master colourists? Now available online and at studios in London and Manchester, the Wella Master Colour programme is one of the highest accolades in the industry. And, it’s a great way of establishing contacts that may stay with you forever, says Alexa as she reminisces about her experiences.

As Alexa delves into her favourite hair transformations, she enthuses about her enjoyment for the ‘clean slate challenge’. A possible indiction of the final assessment in the Wella qualification, completely transforming a client’s hair gives Alexa a great sense of achievement – not to mention the results looking so darn good.

A hot new trend hitting the hair world is the new Opal-Essence range by Illumina Color. A gorgeous collection of five opalescent shades, this latest breakthrough from Wella Professionals is one not to miss. Having fallen in love with the Titanium Rose shade, I couldn’t get enough of this metallic milky family that provides a sheen of warm and cool light reflections. Copper Peach and Chrome Olive are also beautiful. A favourite colour range of Alexa’s is Colour Fresh by Wella. A fun, primary colour-filled crowd, Colour Fresh is the perfect way to create a vibrant look and have a total hair refresh.

There’s so much more to colour than I originally thought, and endless ways to perceive it. There’s the movement in the hair, the skin tone of each individual and the preferred style of hair,­ that all need to be considered. If you’re looking for a complete hair transformation or a simple but effective change, there’s a master colourist on Monmouth Street that we think might be your perfect match.

Master Stylist hair treatments with Alexa are available from Frontlinestyle; 4–5 Monmouth Street, BA1 2AJ; frontlinestyle.co.uk;
01225 478478