“Who are you?”
This simple question, asked at the beginning of my hair appointment with David Stanko, the Michelangelo of haircolorists at Cutler Salon, threw me for a loop. Who was I? Depending on the day, I’m many things. Some days, I’m the adventurous girl who gave up a career in corporate America to pursue her dreams of being a writer (this coincides with my occasional desire to cut off all my hair and get a cute, Gwyneth-style lob or long bob.) Some days, I’m the anxious girl who stresses about her future and potential for success (and who clings to her long hair like a security blanket.) I can’t remember exactly what I ended up saying to Stanko’s question. But thanks to Stanko and Redken Chromatics, I know that the one thing I’m not is the girl with ombre, overprocessed, straw-dry hair.
The color world has been buzzing about the newest tool in the colorist’s bag of tricks: Redken Chromatics, a new line that fortifies, strengthens, and delivers bright, shiny color. I headed to Cutler Salon to try it formyself. After talking with me and taking a look at my hair, Stanko disavowed me of a misguided notion for ombre hair and decided that “who I was” was a girl with a glossy sheen of sable, cappuccino, and latte tones, whose hair would have “an artful movement and beautifully catch the light, whether it be in bars or outdoors.”
I’m still not sure how Stanko knew I spent a lot of time in bars, but I’ll take it. As Stanko got to work custom-mixing brunette tones, I learned about why the Chromatics line has been such a well-touted success. First, it’s an ammonia-free line, with zero odor, that uses an oil delivery method to distribute high impact, shiny, multidimensional color and strengthen hair. The no ammonia thing is a big deal — in as few as 10-20 years ago, ammonia was a mainstay in dye formulas, and used to open hair shaft cells to usher in hair dye molecules. Thankfully for hair health, delicate scalps and noses, the invention of this hair color system that has made believers of skeptics, who were dubious as to whether a non-ammonia dye could impart thorough hair color results.
Stanko’s work is a further testament to doubters, creating a light-catching tableau of warm brown shades, that will transition me from a sun-kissed summer into a cooler fall. The effect is vibrant and luminous, with whisper-thin highlights interjected with my naturally dark-brown so that my entire head looks like a seamless wave of smooth color. You can find a salon that carries Redken Chromatics here.