I entered the Patricia Field shop and headed downstairs to the Hello Beautiful salon – just as vibrant as the shop itself. Flame, much like his name: hot, colorful, and a ball of fiery fun; is sitting in front of the mirror readying himself for our Q/A and hair sesh.
To my left, another client is getting her red hair washed…
For the past few months I’ve been debating whether or not to make the drastic decision to go blonde. Now I’ve done every single hairstyle and cut imagineable, but never had I made the commitment to go permanently a color unnatural to my heritage – especially after witnessing so many Asian fails with going blonde.
My friend Jess bbm’d me a few pics of when she had her hair dyed pink with hints of blonde and I absolutely loved the dye job!!! As fate would have it, my other friend, Emma, sent me a craigslist link that lead me to Flame – sooo meant to be.
Flame, originally from Ecuador now living in Queens (1 block away from my fav Filipino restaurant by the way), has been doing hair since he was 11. As many of us were learning how to cut folded pieces of paper into unfolded hearts, Flame was busy mending bad haircuts himself. Now 28, Flame is working at one of the most acclaimed salons in NYC, Hello Beautiful, known for its edgy, funky cuts and colors – not to mention working under the vivacious Patricia Field name.
He was tired of all the horrible cuts he received as a kid, so he decided the best way to get the perfect mohawk (at 11) was to do it his damn self, “I was born fashionable!” As so, I would agree!
Hair coloring? He started dying Barbies’ hair with food coloring (yea, I was still fascinated with the fact i could pull off Barbie’s head). He started cutting and coloring his friends’ hairs too, but it wasn’t until he graduated high school that he decided to follow his calling to do hair professionally.”Why so long?” I asked, he said he didn’t want to fit the gay stereotype doing hair. I asked if it was difficult, he said, “My mom is my biggest fan,” his family and friends also now shamelessly ask for him to do their do – ha!
He then went on to work on countless fashion shoots while in beauty school, such as Prada and Dior (oh my!). Soon after, he was a sought after hair educator/consultant for L’oreal…
So now, I’m sitting in the chair as he applies the first batch of bleach to my hair, as the good stylist he is, he warns me that we may not be able to achieve the full platinum effect because I had recently dyed my hair. These parts would probably turn a bronzy tint. I was ok with it, it was my own fault for trying to hide my grays. Below is the first batch of bleach application, he only applied it to the main head of hair that had some of the dye left in.
As I sit and ask as many questions as possible, the red haired woman is now seated to my right. Patricia Fields herself chimes in to give me a rundown on her hair experience with the bleaching/coloring process.
Single-process vs Double-process interlude:
Single-process, Pat explains, in her thick ny accent as she lights up a cigarette, that basically its what you achieve when using, say, a do at home dye. It basically creates a new base color for your hair, typically used to cover shades of gray or go darker… Which is, Pat says, what she’s been using for her red hair =)
Double-process is typically used when lightening hair by more than two shades. First the hair is bleached to remove natural or colored hair pigments, so yea, a bit more complicated so I would leave this process to the pros… like Flame!
Flame and I chat more about random shit while he applies the rest of the bleach all around my head. After, I’m taken to “the chair” to get some overall heat action. Let me tell you, do NOT wear tights when you’re under the dryer – you’ll end up sweating your ass off, literally!
After a few minutes under the dryer, and after my pores feel all oil-free, he washes my hair out and dries. Although we’ve reached a tone much better than we both expected (not orange) it still held a bit of bronze tint. In order to avoid damaging the rest of my hair and to help decrease the bronzy look, Flame brings out the foil to give me some platinum highlights. He uses the foil in order to protect the rest of my hair and scalp.
More time under the dryer, by this time we’re heading into hour 2, but time flies by quickly when Flame is there providing tips and great conversation – oh and my galpal Suz passes by to help snap some photos too.
Bleached Hair 411 Interlude:
When bleaching your hair, you’ll notice two shades used to lift your natural color: purple or blue. Use violet toner to achieve a more white color, use blue to achieve more yellow/blonde.
How to Choose the Right Color when dying at home?
Flame explained, that if you’re trying to go for a lighter brown and your hair is naturally darker brown with red tone, you may want to use a Light ASH brown color. Ash colors contain the blue/violet tones that will help avoid the orange/bronze look that many some of us have experienced when picking up that Dark Blonde box in hopes of it looking like the examples provided… gah!
What kinds of Hair Product to use?
This is the question of all questions for me when it comes to hair. But really, it all depends on your hair type. For instance, if you’re going for a wet spikey look:
- Dry hair: use wax
- Oily hair: use putty
And for those of you with oily (or Asian) hair like mine, I was just told dry shampoo does wonders! Yes, it MAY freak you out that you don’t really wash your hair, but essentially it does EXACTLY what shampoo does: absorbs the oils from your hair! So go for it!
Finally, after almost 3.5 hours, its time to wash the bleach out of my hair and view the finished product!
*He explains that I may have to set dry it for the first few times I wash my hair to avoid any heat damage from blow drying too much. Once my hair is damp, I can then blow dry.
I’m now totally blonde (although I’ll have to come in for one more session to lift up more of the orange tint left behind from the dye) and I can now explore the age old question: “Do blondes really have more fun?!” — hehe I’ll definitely keep you posted, although I have to share that I received a “God Bless You,” from a man on Bowery – yea so what if he was a bum! Still counts right?!
Flame, thank you SO much for taking time out of your schedule to not only work on my hair, but also to answer all my questions. Patricia Field, it was a joy meeting you and I was more than giddy when you actually gave me some helpful tips in hair maintenance.
Folks, if ever you’re in the NYC area, you NEED to visit Flame at Hello Beautiful, he not only did my hair up, but he also gave me a rad cut – all within a great price range. He’s on the up and up and we should all expect more great works from Flame…
Hello Beautiful at Patricia Field
302 Bower New York NY 10012
Check Flame’s MYSPACE for more before/after photos!
Let’s help!!! You guys can donate money, food, clothing, time, etc. Any type of help will go a long way! Check here for more info..
To Make Donations:
Fatlace will be donating $5 for every $30 spent on our online store for the next week.
what the hell is this damned thing called?! cowl? snood?!
whatever it is, i want and need for fall/winter. i am taking free donations. thanks.
available TODAY, september 28th, you can head over to opening ceremony to get your hands on either the very literal costume for halloween perhaps, or the Where the Wild Things Are inspired collection…
the collection features faux-fur jackets for men and women, along with silver and brass jewelry designed by Pamela Love. hmmmm what do you guys think? the only thing i’m really lovin is that fur vest thing… that’s about it… although, i’m thinking them full body suits are going to be SUPER comfy for the winter nights – esp if halloween here in nyc is gonna be cold – oooooh yesssss….. LMAO.
with the new do =)
sushi and squirt were feeling quite photogenic this morning…
outfit deets: blazer/jacket, h&m | highwaisted pants, silence + noise | button up, h&m (bought from wendy’s “shop“) | wedges, jeffrey campbell’s 99 zip
we shall see.
THANK YOU FLAME (patricia fields/hello beautiful) AND SUZ!!!! i need one more sesh before i can reach the true platinum color, but off to a great start!!!
oh yea, don’t mind all the pics, i was trying to get my sexy pose on BAHAHAHAAAH.
interview/review with FLAME to come – as well as a few tips from PATRICIA FIELDS herself! (she was at the salon getting her hair did too hehe)