American Board of Certified Haircolorists Newsletter 

August 2011

In This Issue
LA Exam - Record Results
Taking the Pureology Challenge
Andre #8 BE! Top 40 Haircolorists
Vidal Sassoon Diagnosed with Leukemia
The Colourdragon
Turning a Blind Eye
We Still Love Lucy! Happy 100th B-day
Kate Bosworth: OMBRE or OMG?
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





 Frank Pingault-Varney         Allison Carroll

Frank received the highest score in the written exam with a score of 225, and the highest combined score of 382.

Allison received the highest scores in both the performance exam with a score of 126, as well as the highest score in the interactive assessment with a 48.

Not pictured is Charlene Coffing 



     The Los Angeles exam produced 15 new American Board of Certified Haircolorists. A 73% pass rate, the highest recorded passing rate ever!  This can be attributed to having the practice examinations available online as a means of studying for the exam. The ability to observe the types of questions asked on the written exam allows the candidate to be more confident when testing at the site.  The performance examination scores were also very high.  Many candidates attended the Energizing Summit and took hands- on classes teaching the process of the performance examination.   

      We are in the process of producing a DVD showing candidates taking the performance examination as well as the Evaluators checking their work.  The DVD will give you a better idea of what the Evaluators are looking for and take some of the fear out of taking the examination.   

     The DVD will feature one of the candidates who took the exam and allowed our camera crew to follow her through the examination process.  You will witness the   deductions and  see her actual score sheets. The DVD will  be released in October.


Angela and Gina Rodiguez, the first mother daughter team to take the examination. As one might predict, the mother's experience edged out the daughter's score. They both passed and were very happy. They are looking forward to going back to the salon and raising their prices.


   Taking The Pureology Challenge  

Pureology shampoo promises longer lasting haircolors.  This is a promise initiated by the founder of the company, Jim Markam.  His claim to fame is the promise he has made to hairdressers across the country.  Of course, after L'Oreal purchased Pureology they have maintained the promise.  We  received requests from many of our Board Certified Haircolorists as well as individuals who viewed our last shampoo test to include Pureology.  We will repeat the test and add shampoos that were not included in the last testing along with others requested by our viewers.  If there is a shampoo you want included, just send us a small bottle.  Make certain the shampoo is one specifically formulated to maintain color treated hair. 


Andre Retains #8 Standing For Best Haircolorists in The Nation


     The new BE! survey is out and Andre retains his #8 position for America's best haircolorists, according to BE! magazine.  His reputation for teaching is what propeled him to this top position.  Andre is one of very few haircolorists that is not sponsored by a manufacturer.  Andre insists on not being sponsored by a manufacturer because according to him, "you have to sell your soul to them"; even though it would no doubt mean more revenue to him if he was sponsored by a manufacturer of haircolor.

     As president of the American Board of Certified Haircolorists, Andre was instrumental in the development of many aids for teaching haircolorists the finer points of haircoloring.  He was the first to offer hands-on foiling classes. He produces the Energizing Summit where several hands-on classes are taught by various haircolor educators.  

     According to Andre, "There are many Board Certified Haircolorists who deserve to be on this list.  Hairdressers who work behind the chair and create beautiful haircolors every day."  

Vidal Sassoon Diagnosed With Leukemia
Vidal Sassoon in 2006


Our fearless leader is receiving treatment for leukemia.  He is reported to be very weak and depressed according to Tony Beckerman, who contacts Vidal on a weekly basis in an effort to lift his spirits.  According to Tony the chemotherapy treatments are taking its toll and, of course, Vidal is becoming increasingly frustrated because he can not carry out his usual routine, which includes a swim in his pool. Vidal is a fighter and he will defeat this illness.  Those who have read his book and seen the movie know him to be an extremely determined individual.

           Vidal has been a leader in the hairdressing profession and according to him has lived a charmed life.  He is looked up to by everyone in the hairdressing world.  No one has even come close to reaching his status.  His charm, wit and talent has been a template for other to follow.  Vidal, our prayers are with you to get well soon.  

ABCH Mentoring with The Colourdragon


The following is an email that I received from Toni Mondragon, The Colourdragon, the

quintessential mentor for the American Board of Certified Haircolorists. 


Hi Mary,


I am one of two women that run the ABCH Educational booth along with Joann. My name is Toni Mondragon. We have met several times at the Summit. I have been doing this wonderful and very rewarding job for as long as the Energizing Summit has been in existence. 


Through this experience, and many more when working the booth at other venues, I have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing hair stylists. Many of these people have heard about us, The ABCH, attended Andres' classes, seen us in retail hair magazines and even purchased The Study Portfolio many years earlier but have never taken the exam. 


When I enquire why, most of these fine professionals say they are afraid they will fail the test! 

This prompted me to think how I could help them to understand the test process and make them feel comfortable with the criteria. 


BINGO! Why not mentor! But that only takes care of the people in my surrounding area. BINGO, BONGO!! There is this thing out there called "Social Media" why not try this too. 


I created a study guide to compliment the Study Portfolio, conducted classes that included self-study and hands-on exercises, approximately 32 hrs. (Some candidates added 12 optional hours), and had great success...a 100% pass rate!!! This included my candidate, Jenelle Orlando, who scored a 129 of a possible 129 in the Performance Exam! That is a perfect score...for a person who did not weave before coming to my class. My social media candidate, Janet McCoy, who lives in Minnesota, scored a 120-not bad, huh? With hard work and commitment from the candidate and mentor, we can have greater success for the certification, which I so strongly believe in. 


I am currently mentoring four more candidates, all out of state and all on a different educational field. I customize their mentoring to give them the needed resources to succeed in passing the exam! I will keep you posted on their success. If you have anyone interested in being mentored, please forward my name. I would love to help them succeed too!


Toni Mondragon 


Turning a Blind Eye: Bleaching/Tinting Eyebrows


Blonde eyebrows, which appeared in 2009, are perhaps here to stay. They are all over the fashion runways and becoming increasingly popular in this season. The bleached/nude eyebrows trend gradually started to take the place of dark, accentuate eyebrows, which were also highly fashionable in the last few years. How does this translate into services in the salon? Are clients really wearing this look? If so, how are the chemicals applied when contrary to manufacturer's directions?

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration at states:

"Never dye your eyebrows or eyelashes. This can hurt your eyes. You might even go blind. FDA does not allow using hair dyes on eyelashes and eyebrows. " (same is true for bleach.)

How do you deal with this issue in your salon? Write to me and I promise anonymity when sharing your responses.


We Still Love Lucy! Happy 100th B-day!
Born: August 6, 1911  Jamestown, New York       Died: April 26, 1989     Los Angeles, California


Lucille Ball was renowned for her henna red hair, but she began her acting career as a bleach blonde. A natural brunette, she bleached her hair to match the current trend. She modeled under the name of Diane Belmont and was quite successful in this career field. in 1933 she became the Chesterfield Cigarette Girl. Later, Lucy changed her haircolor to her signature red to stand out in the sea of blonde actresses.

Irma Kusely, Lucille Ball's hairdresser later in her career, claims Lucy's hair dye was kept under lock and key. "Her hair color? I call it apricot but a lot of people think of it as red.  It's not red at all.  It's a golden apricot color. We used regular hair dye when I did her own hair. We then used as a balance, a henna rinse, which she was famous for. She had a safe of it  in my garage ...  She loved to gamble and when we did a show in Las Vegas, she met a very wealthy sheik and he heard about her problem about the henna and he said he would send her the henna. And he did.  She moved a box of henna which was in my garage but in the safe. There was a lot of it left when she left this world, but I had to give it to the estate. I don't know what little Lucie did with it, maybe sold it for a million dollars. Just for a spoonful, can you imagine what I could've made with that?"

Wisely, Lucy lightened the shade of her trademark red to compliment her skin tone as it paled with age. No matter what shade of haircolor, we love Lucy!

Kate Bosworth: OMBRE or OMG?!

Kate Bosworth is a popular blonde actress, who recently appeared at a Global Green event wearing her signature blonde tresses kind of oily. This month Kate debuted her version of a different type of green, with this blue-green ombre tone. Just like Lauren Conrad's tie-dyed style in last month's newsletter, Kate's highly lightened hair and fine texture indicate that her ends are probably a grade 4 porosity and will retain the cool tones even though they will fade. The cool-toned stain extends quite far up her hair strand. Is there a short haircut in Kate's future?

Lowlights from the Editor


For your education and entertainment:

Black Hair Dye recipe from the early 19th century

1 lb. bruised gall nuts; boil in olive oil until soft; dry and reduce to a fine powder. Mix with equal parts willow charcoal and common salt. Add small quantity of lemon and orange peel-dried and reduced to powder. Boil in 12 pounds of water until the sediment is the consistency of black salve.

(Toilette, 1832)                                                                                                 oak gall nuts

 Thank you to those certified haircolorists who have sent me their stories. 

Watch for future articles about both their success and challenges. 

I am looking for Your ABCH story. Show me your great photos! Is your framed ABCH certificate posted in your salon? Snap any great shots at the Energizing Summit this year? Write to me...I wanna see them!     

Certifiably yours, Mary