Based in Chicago, Boss Hair Group owner John Blue has made a name for himself as the go-to guy for all things color. His meticulous hair color applications, profound eye for detail, and vast knowledge of color placement have allowed him to master highlights, dimensional bases, double process blondes, and a wide range of color corrections. He’s even been dubbed the “brunette whisperer” because of his realistic, natural-looking and sun-drenched highlights.
Our editors were fortunate enough to sit down with this highly sought-after color specialist where John forecasted color trends into the new year and beyond.
FOH: What color trends do you see for the new
Blue:2019 will bring back a resurgence of dramatic color blocking. I see more variety of varying shades and tones, resulting in three-dimensional contrasting effects.
For blondes, I see subtle shifts of varying blonde tones; with a striking mix of both cool and warm shades. The shadow root will still hold strong for the beginning of the new year but expect to see bright bolder pieces on top in the summer.
A diverse mix of true reds will be intertwined with light copper. Strawberry blondes will have contrasting deeper violet tones, reflecting in multi-dimensional sheets of cascading reds.
Tone on tone subtle dimension will be apparent in all brunettes in 2019. Long gone are the days of solid brunettes rocking a tired caramel ombré. It’s all about the subtlety of a shade or two difference with brunettes. Auburn babylights will peek through chestnut browns, while deep beige strands will surface in your mocha brunettes.
For fashion color, look for heavy block coloring with total contrasting undertones. Women will be rocking thicker chunky pieces underneath a veil of natural deeper shades.
FOH: How will color placement evolve in 2019?
Blue: Feathered, soft and natural diffused balayage will take a backseat to the return (dare I say it) of chunky, heavily saturated highlights. Thickly sliced back-to-back foils will make a comeback. The only difference will be that you won’t see it on top. It will all be throughout the interior.
FOH: What will be popular color-wise for your mainstream clients?
Blue: Varying shades of tone on tone hair color. Coppers, reds, and violets intermixing, while subtle toffee and milk chocolate shine throughout rich cocoa base colors.
FOH: What about your more daring clients?
Blue: Smokey brown and slate base colors with high definition steel and dusty denim tones. High contrast ash tones are rarely seen, but when done well, they can look brilliantly stunning on the right person. To pull this off, cohesiveness with the hair cut, color, and style is imperative.
FOH: How will fashion color combinations transition from the cooler months into spring and summer?
Blue: I envision variation. You will see more tone on tone shades in the winter, with bolder contrasts in the warmer months.
FOH: What are your general recommendations/tips to clients for color care?
Blue: Color-safe shampoo and depositing color masks! These keep the hair looking fresh in between visits if you can't commit to coming into the salon every few weeks for a gloss.
FOH: How does color care change for clients who have gone platinum?
Blue: It's less about color-safe shampoos and more about focusing on the condition and integrity of the hair. Repairing shampoos and bonding treatments work wonders for overworked and over processed hair. Using a blue or violet shampoo once a week to maintain a bright blonde is also essential, but be careful not to overdo it, as too much can dull-out a brilliant blonde.
FOH: What do you wish clients understood better about color before they sit in your chair?
Blue: To have realistic expectations. You can't bring in a filtered Instagram pic of the back of someone's head and expect to get the same result. You have no idea what their hair journey has been or how many hours of time and money that went into that finished product. Patience is key and to have a real understanding of how to get to your result. Trust the process of the professional.
FOH: Who do your clients reference for color that they want for themselves?
Blue: It’s not even about the celebrities anymore. It’s random Instagram hair models and social media influencers. The desire to stand out and take a risk is more appealing than playing it safe. Plus, with so many celebrities and influencers rocking a variety of wigs, it’s a total free for all!
About the Artist
John Blue's award-winning work has been featured on the pages of Elle, Urb, and Modern Salon magazines as well as on MTV, TLC, and WGN. Chicago magazine also honored him with the Best Colorist title for his natural balayage technique; spawning a vast, loyal following. As an international hair color educator for Aveda, his experience has led him to work and educate in top nationally-awarded salons in Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Chicago.