American Board of Certified Haircolorists Newsletter 

July 2011

In This Issue
Haircolor Forum
Ty Isobe, ABCH and Redken Platform Artist
Energizing Summit East?
UN-natural Instincts
Tie-Dyed: The Modern Hipster
Purple Peroxide?
Smelly Hair Syndrome
Lowlights from the Editor

2011 Examination dates: 

   Boston on August 14

   Austin, TX on September 11

   Washington D.C. on October 9

   Atlanta on November 6 


   Register online or take the practice exam



This cartoon appeared in a report written by me in 1993. At that time government reported there were an excess of one million cosmetologists with 200,000 being enrolled annually. Estimates have those numbers tripled today.



How would you like to be a high school graduate with your heart set on becoming a cosmetologist? You plunk down $18,00 to enroll in a reputable beauty school. They promise you job placement when you graduate. You purchase a kit with all of the tools you need to succeed in your chosen profession. You don't have the money required to pay the tuition so the counselor at the beauty school helps you procure a loan. You borrow $5,000 from your dad and with the money you saved working part time as a hostess at a restaurant you have enough for your tuition and kit.


You can pay the loan back over the next 5 years. The course takes 10 months and you learn all there is to know to succeed. You continue working part time at the restaurant so you can pay you dad back sooner. You graduate and and pass the examination the first time. You now have a license and you can go to work, except there are no jobs. You talk to your classmates and they were not able to find any jobs either. I went back to my school to see if they could help me find a job. They said things were slow right now and no one was hiring. I wish the school had told me that before I enrolled


This is a story told over and over. Strapping a graduate with a large debt with no hope of finding a job is one of the cruelest things you can do to a person starting out in life. California alone licensed 30,000 new graduates for the last three years. That is 16 billion dollars in debt cosmetologists have to pay back. What a great way to get started in life. Meanwhile school owners a dancing all the way to the bank, buying shopping centers and mansions for themselves.


My advice to a person wanting to become a cosmetologist is get a commitment for a job first. If you can't find a job don't go to school. There are apprenticeship programs where you earn while you learn. These jobs are rare and you have to find a job to enroll. It takes a certain type of person to be a successful apprentice. You have to absorb everything that is going on in the salon. In my estimation it is the way to enter an occupation. You have to be patient it takes a couple of months to receive your apprentice license and not all states have an apprenticeship program. If your state does, take advantage of it. Call your State Board of Cosmetology and get the information you need to get started.


   Haircolor Forum - A Chance to Speak Up


The Haircolorist Forum is one of the most popular segments of the Energizing Summit.  Pictured here is Leo Lapierre advising the audience to watch their costs.  Good advice coming from a beauty supply distributor.  Tom Porter (left) of Malibu and Rob Reed (right) listen patiently waiting for their opportunity to contribute. The extended time and dual business/artistic panels proved successful. 

Former ABCH Evaluator Hits The Spotlight as Redken Guest Artist

Ty today as an up and coming guest artist for the Redken Company. Ty now works in New York at the Redken Exchange Training Center

Ty Isobe in 2006 training to become an evaluator. Deborah McCann already an evaluator took Ty under her wing to guide him.

Ty Isobe became an American Board Certified Haircolorist and immedately applied to become an evaluator.  Wanting to learn as much as possible about haircolor he felt becoming an evaluator would allow him to observe many individuals applying color and foils, giving him the training he needed to become a guest artist and educator. 

Ty was selected as a new up and coming Redken guest artist and he performed at the latest Redken Symposium in Las Vegas. He can look forward to many productive years as a Redken. Artist. We are proud of the success of this board certified haircolorist.  Ty Isobe is an extremely talented individual who has met his goal.     

Energizing Summit East?
This topic came up again at the closing of the Summit--create another Energizing Summit somewhere on the east coast Maybe...but WHERE? Pennsylvania? Vermont? Florida? Maine?
We will research locations and let you know!

UN-natural Instincts 


 In late March 2011, Proctor & Gamble voluntarily recalled 10 shades of Clairol Natural Instincts haircolor. Calls to the hotline alerted P&G to the problem and they discovered that although the haircolor in the home coloring box was the correct shade, the ColorFresh! Revitalizer, a refresher that is applied two weeks after the initial color to enhance the hair's tone, was mismatched in 10 Natural Instincts hair color kits.


Unfortunately, women who color their hair at home will not be deterred by this potential threat. As Lisa Kelly explained in her opening remarks at the Summit, the #1 complaint about haircolor is fadage from both salon and home haircolor services, so clients are more often choosing to save money and color at home. Now the manufacturers are up-selling them to kits with added color refresher to be used as it begins to fade.


What are you doing for your clients, to compete against the draw of the home box color/refresher? Book your client for the refresher service 3-4 weeks after her original appointment. Create your own menu item name, like Clairol did with ColorFresh! and market it as preparation for date night - a deep conditioner, gloss or toner, and blowout or style. 

The Modern Hipster

Lauren Conrad is an actress, a fashion designer with her own clothing line, and now a hair fashionista. After quizzing her followers about her next change in hairstyle, she posted pictures of the new haircolor to her blog. Lauren's tie-dyed tresses are a trendy mix of the popular ombre effect and the neon colors from last season. Her colorist alternated soft shades of turquoise, purple, fuchsia, and teal green that snake through the ends of her almost waist-length pale-blonde hair.

The colors were applied to pre-lightened hair (and extensions?). The debut article on noted that this is a creative fun look with "colors that will wash out pretty quickly, so why not?"

ABCH curriculum explains that grade 4 & 5 porosity will grab cool colors like those used on Lauren. The intensity will fade but it probably will not fade completely back to blonde. Creative and fun can be great but with realistic expectations - after tie-dye, there is no going back to pale blond, while keeping this length and grade 5 Porosity is inevitable.

Purple Peroxide?


John Frieda's Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray claims to be a citrus, chamomile and Lightening Complex blend that lightens hair after 3-5 uses and if used with heat tools, the color can lighten further. This new and improved product is "better" than the old Sun-In from the '70's since it also contains a violet dye to control brassiness. Since this product lightens without ammonia or PPD dyes, basically, this product like a purple peroxide.

Peroxide alone will lighten, and dry-out, natural haircolors. (S) category haircolors can use this type of product with the most success. S-2 and S-3 have no gold undertones but S-1 and the darker (W) categories have enough gold undertones that may be too strong to balance with the violet toner supposedly built-in to Frieda's spray.

When sprayed on the ends, the colors produced are multi-toned but I am most concerned with clients spraying this product on their roots and going brassy. A better method of client maintenance between salon services might be a product from Oprah's personal stylist, Andre Walker's Hair Makeup. One client remarked that this product's "golden shade completely concealed my jet black roots." Just like makeup, Andre's hair makeup must be reapplied after washing. The formula takes only three minutes to dry, and comes with a sponge tip applicator for deep coverage, or a mascara-like comb for a softer highlight effect. It may be more expensive and labor intensive but at $12 per tube, clients would save the cost of possible corrective color services to correct a brassy mess.

Smelly Hair Syndrome


Hairstylists know about dirty hair smells. We recognize telltale scents - fry cook, cigarette smoke or the stale sweetness of pancake syrup. Some smells, though, are simply not natural. Smelly, stinky, rank, or malodorous. No matter what you call it or how you describe it comes close to the truth, since the smell varies greatly from case to case.

Smelly Hair Syndrome sufferers describe their own bad smell as: sweaty, muggy, sour milk, wet diaper, molding hay, potatoes, wet dog, old shoes, dirty socks, oily, or most exotically as a rotting BBQ/cinnamon/cheese stench.

The odor sometimes is accompanied by an increase in oily hair and scalp. Some people notice the smell immediately after showering. For others, their hair smells one way after shampooing and changes to a funky odor 12 hours later. Chemist Perry Romanowski, of, wonders if seborrheic dermatitis is the potential cause since it causes an increase in oil production and a flakey scalp residue. He notes, however, that scalp odors are not typical for seborrheic dermatitis.

Dermatologists, overall, are stumped and have no established treatment. Over the counter options that have reportedly worked: 1.) anti-bacterial washes like Dial body wash or Listerine or even hand sanitizer; or 2.) sulfur based shampoos like T/Gel, Selsun Blue, or Denorex. Tea tree oil also had little long-term effect. Romanowski notes that these treatments make sense scientifically if the cause is bacterial or fungal. Antibacterial products would prevent bacterial growth and sulfur shampoos reduce oiliness on which the bacteria/fungi feed.

Treatment for Smelly Hair Syndrome would wreak havoc on haircolor services, potentially causing discoloration or extreme fadage. The flaky scalp residue may be stained by haircolor creating problems whether removed (irritated scalp) or left alone (yuck!) The bottom line is to always recommend clients with any suspicious scalp issues to a dermatologist.

Lowlights from the Editor


I read a funny beauty comment the other day: Bangs are better than Botox

I also like: Highlights are as addicting as heroin but they won't kill you!!

I am looking for Your ABCH story. Tell me - Are you the only American Board Certified colorist in your city?  Do you teach at the Energiizing Summit?  Do you mentor exam candidates? 

How about photos? Any great shots from the Energizing Summit this year?

Write to me...I wanna hear about it!                           

Certifiably yours, Mary