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How to be a color queen blog header

What exactly is a “Color Queen” you ask? “To me, a Color Queen is someone that defies all limits. A Color Queen doesn't play by the rules or follow the law of color she was taught. She thinks outside the box and creates with her whole heart.”

Kayla Valerio, one of our 2019 Faces of Sola, is slaying it day-to-day in her Sola, Studio V, as well as on social media, @hairbykaylavee. From content to color mixing and everything you need to know in between, check out tips and advice from Kayla to help you go from colorist to “Color Queen.”

Color Queen Priority #1: Education

If continuing your education and learning new techniques is not a priority commitment of yours, then it’s going to be exceptionally hard to reach anything above average. Commit to being a “forever student” and attend, watch, learn as much education as humanly possible. This is absolutely non-negotiable.

“Education is totally key. I love going to classes and I live for education,” shares Kayla. “There are so many talented people out there and I just love soaking it all up. Whether that’s watching short tutorial videos on Instagram or traveling to a different state to learn color techniques from the best in the business. I’m even buying my plane ticket this weekend to attend Sola Sessions in San Diego! I’m so excited to be with all the Faces of Sola again and meet other people in this industry.”

Priority #2: Master the Tools

To really master hair color, you have to master how to work with hair color. This means having a solid understanding and expert knowledge of the tubes of color and developer you’re working with. Sure, you learned the science behind formulation in beauty school. But let’s face it, not all color tubes and developer are created equal. They all have their pros and cons and subtle quirks and peculiarities.

“I worked at a salon that used a specific brand so I started using their color,” Kayla shares. “I went to a lot of classes and did a lot of training on the color and formulation and that really helped me with having a better understanding.”

You can do this by following manufacturers’ websites, social media accounts, reading blog posts, signing up to receive email newsletters, and reaching out to your local sales rep/distributor to obtain more info about your go-to brands. 

Priority #3: Stick with Social

A Color Queen doesn’t just post when she feels like it. She posts with a purpose. Whether it’s showcasing a new technique, service, or end result, your social media is a celebration of the craft and the level of expertise associated with your brand. And not to sound like a broken record here, but if you’re not active on social media then consider it missed opportunities.

“I really wanted to grow my Instagram audience so I made the decision to post all my vivids,” adds Kayla. “I stayed consistent with posting, with tagging the right people and using proper hashtags. I have over 5K followers and it has gotten me a lot of clients in my chair and a lot of industry recognition. I’m really happy with how it has grown.”

But what if social media scares you to death? Don’t fret. You’ll only get better with practice. Rule of thumb—separate your personal social media life from your professional. Sure you can post a selfie of you on vacation here or there on your professional page, but make sure that caption says something along the lines of, “I’ll be back next week and my book is filling up. Book your appointment online and I’ll see you real soon!” Keep. It. Professional.

Kayla also has some great advice for those of you who are having a rough time with hashtags. “I write them all in my notes and just put the appropriate ones for the picture I am posting. If you are posting a blonde you don't want to #brunette. They need to correspond to your picture. Also, any brands and pages you want to recognize you should be hashtagging! If you don't know the best ones to use you can always search online.”

Priority #4: Carve Out Creative Playtime

Inspiration is everywhere, right? But…if you don’t do anything with it, is it really inspiring? What we’re trying to get at is incorporating creative play into your routine is essential in evolving your craft. “For my vivid colors, I play with them,” Kayla shares. “I have a book I put all my formulations in. It's so fun to create all different colors and be able to look at them painted on a piece of paper.”

Priority #5: Setting Goals

To take your color skills to the next level, you have to set yourself some realistic short-term and long-term goals. It will help you prioritize and organize your time. Once you create those goals, you can go back through and develop a plan for each one. You may be surprised to find that some of your short-term goals feed your long-term goals and vice-versa.

When goal-setting, make sure your goals are:

  • Measurable, so you can see progress
  • Controllable, so you remain in control and not allow outside influences take over
  • Consider the risks involved
  • Give yourself time to achieve them and remain realistic

Priority #6: Educating Your Clients

We all want our clients to return, and getting them to pre-book is essential, but they’re not going to return if they're not satisfied with the service they receive and the end result, right? RIGHT! A Color Queen equips her clients with the proper after-care products and information before they walk out the door. A Color Queen instills the belief that color-safe product is an insurance policy for the color investment that was just created.

“I make certain my clients know how important it is to take care of their color, especially their vivid hair color,” says Kayla. “I always tell them to wash their hair with cold water (or as cool as you can because the winter can be rough for that), don't wash your hair as often and use dry shampoo to keep the longevity of the color, and to always, ALWAYS use sulfate and paraben-free shampoo. I also recommend for them to use color depositing conditioners so they can touch up their color in-between appointments on their own!”

There you have it! Six tidbits of advice from Color Queen Kayla that are chockfull of tips and reminders that will help take you from colorist to Color Queen (or King for all you fellas out there wondering why you’re not being included).

So go on Queen, SLAY THAT COLOR!

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