A few weeks ago, I talked about the inside secrets from some of the colorists for Riverdale stars, but I also had the immense pleasure of sitting down with more of L’Oreal Profesionnel’s Color Squad – Portfolio Artists Karl Brown and Alex Campeotto. They share their opinions, tips, and secrets about what it’s like to own a celebrity hair salon (AXIS and Boccoli Salons, respectively, which you definitely want to check out if you’re in Vancouver) and this year’s hottest trends.

L’Oreal Pro has adopted the stance that “haircolor is the new makeup… and colorists are the new makeup artists,� and their new products and initiatives definitely reflect this. One such initiative is their Color Squad, which features some of the best colorists in Canada who create a creative and exciting atmosphere for everyone involved.



How has social media changed the hairstyle business – in general and for you in particular?

Karl – I find it’s made trends and things like that a lot more global. When I first started hairdressing, I wasn’t that present on social media, so when I moved to England like two years into my career, it was like everything was very, very different than what we were doing in North America. Whereas now, I feel like you see the same trends in different places and they’re more connected to each other and learning from each other, which is pretty fun and interesting.

Alex – A long time ago, most of the colour companies would set trends, and they were more in charge of what we were seeing coming out, but now we have a larger social media platform – if you have something that takes off, you could be that trendsetter, right? So, it’s kind of giving everybody almost a chance to create something that could go really big in the world.


What’s the difference between doing hair for celebrities and for influencers?

Karl – I mean, I guess, in Vancouver because we have a big film industry and stuff like that, a lot of times if we are doing celebrities from films and television, they don’t really want to be publicized, whereas influencers, social media influencers, that’s the whole point, is getting it out there.

Alex – [It’s about] keeping it quieter when you’re doing a celebrity’s hair. When you are doing an influencer’s hair, your job is to both use each other’s platforms to kind of promote each other, and also the influencers can be more open to having something different, while celebrities are more stuck on what the show is wanting them to have.

Karl – Yeah, [the celebrities need something] maybe a little bit more commercial.



Do you think fun hair colours are getting more or less popular at the moment?

Karl – I kind of feel like less.

Alex – I feel like you are seeing it less, but you are still seeing it quite a bit.


Karl – It’s almost like the fun colours are becoming not quite so crazy anymore because they’ve become so common. And I think what I see a lot more is the crazy colours, but muted, softer version of [them]. So, like rose gold instead of pink, like softer versions.

Alex – Or you see little pops of it in the hair, so it still looks natural, and you’re having like a little pop of pink come through or something.


What are the most popular hair colour trends of the year?

Alex – I do a lot of blondes, everybody wants to be blonde. For a while there, you were seeing a lot of rooted blondes, now you’re seeing blondes more to the root but with more dimension at the roots. You’re still seeing somewhat of a natural root mixed with a lot blonde, but you’re not seeing such a contrast of really dark and really light anymore.

Karl – I totally agree, I feel like it’s not a lot of really deep, dark roots anymore. Like if we are shadow rooting, it’s more soft and subtle, and you still see a lot of blonde at the root. But, we’re going back to foiling a lot more rather than painting. We’re wanting these nice clean, bright blondes and lots of it.

Alex – The ombré is nice. Not as popular as it used to be, for sure. So, you’re definitely seeing more to-the-root colours. Blonde is one of the typical ones. Another thing I find is really popular is a dimensional brown. Before, it was like you slapped on one solid colour of brown. Now girls want a lighter brown with a darker brown and a medium brown. And they want to see all these nice tones of brown in their hair, and that’s actually really nice. It’s nice to see there’s something a brunette can have that doesn’t have to be just one flat colour.


What hair colour trends do you hope fade away fast?

Karl – I mean, I feel like it’s already almost gone, but the silver hair thing was a little bit stressful because it’s not the kind of colour that’s easily achievable on most people, and it’s a very high maintenance, a difficult colour.

Alex – It’s a colour that doesn’t last, right? And you have to push the hair past white blonde to get it to a silver and people don’t understand the maintenance that goes into it.

Karl – And I think it’s kind of fading away almost because I feel like people are wanting healthier hair, hair that lasts longer, that isn’t compromised. When silver hair was so big, it was like being this color is more important than the health of my hair. Whereas now it’s the other way, where people’s top priority is the health of the hair.

Alex – [Also] super ashy tones. They’re still popular, but I think you’re starting to see more warmth come back into the spectrum.

Karl – We’re doing a lot of like beiges and neutrals and taupes and stuff like that. And we’re actually doing a lot of coppers and stuff like that. People are coming away from the super light [colours].


What are the factors that go into making a decision about a flattering hair colour for a client?

Karl – Eye colour, skin colour, their jewellery – like if they’re wearing tons of gold jewellery or tons of silver jewellery.

Alex – Just their lifestyle in general, like how they dress, what accessories they’re putting on.

Karl – Like are you going to choose a high maintenance colour for somebody that’s not a high maintenance person? Probably not.

Alex – Someone who wants tons of pinks and purples in their hair, but they don’t want to be in the salon all the time retouching those tones, [it’s] not going to happen. Mainly, choosing a colour or a tone for somebody, we look at what looks nice [with] their skin or eye colour, because we don’t want to have them walk out feeling like something’s off.


And what influences do the cut and style have on the colour choices?

Alex – [With something textured and shaggy,] you’re going to want to see a lot of dimension in their hair to give them that look. So, you’re not going to give them like a solid blonde on their ends. You’re going to give them some tones to go through that cut. With longer hair, I’d say it’s nicer to see it fade (having a really nice lightness, but having it fade gradually down to the very bottom of it).

Karl – I think the haircut really affects the placement and the technique that you’re going to use. If you’re going to do a one-line haircut on somebody, you’re probably not going to spend tons of time only doing lightness on the underneath, because it just is not going to be visible. Definitely the two work together, you want to showcase whatever’s happening in the cut [with the colour], and vice versa.


What do different hair colours say about people’s personalities?

Alex – It’s funny, I don’t know… sometimes you can tell, [but] sometimes you have somebody who’s really quiet and they want something crazy. I don’t know if maybe that’s the way for them to show a little bit more of their personality. You can tell when somebody is like business-oriented, they want something that’s pretty natural or sophisticated looking. Somebody who’s like, more easy going is like do whatever you want – cut it short, cut it long, bleach it blonde. You can kind of go off of what their personality is like, what they’d be comfortable or willing to do.

Karl – I think people’s personality and your first impression of them and talking to them and all that kind of stuff, all gives you cues of what sort of things to recommend. Sometimes people will surprise you. You’ll think they’ll want to go one way but then they want unicorn hair!


What’s your opinion on job discrimination based on unnatural hair colours?

Alex – It’s your hair, you should be able to do what you want, and I don’t think it shows you being unprofessional if you have a fun hair colour. I think that just shows how close-minded some people can be. We’re seeing it being taken less and less as such a serious thing. It definitely can still happen but I do not think that it’s fair.

Karl – I think too, that businesses used to be worried about being viewed the wrong way by their clientele, but now I feel like socially, we’re shifting in a different direction where now the general public, if they hear about something like that, they’re going to be more displeased that the company’s doing that and will be less inclined to work there. So, I hope it’s on the way out and won’t be around much longer.


Are there any experimental or new haircolouring techniques that you’re hoping to try out or hope get more popular?

Alex – L’Oreal Pro’s just launched these Instant Highlights. It’s a way of getting highlights done in under 45 minutes. Applying a lightener to a special foil in the hair, you don’t do too many foils, but you run, it’s almost like a flatiron, but it’s a specific tool that’s made to go over the foil a few times and your hair can go from brown to blonde in like 30 seconds, six levels, which is a lot! [It’s perfect] for people who don’t have a lot of time and do want to see some lightness around their face. It’s something we’re experimenting with still and getting to know, but I think it’s a fun tool to play with.

Karl – Definitely, I’m excited about the Instant Highlights. I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of half foiling lately, and what we were talking about earlier, with painting around the face and stuff like that, and sort of like highlighting underneath and exposing the styling.

Alex – It’s almost like you have two different hair colours. You’re creating a colour underneath the hair, and when you style it a certain way, you can really see that colour pop, but if you want your hair more subtle, you still have the depth on top, where it’s smoother and you won’t see as much colour popping [through].

Karl – And actually the Instant Highlights are kind of nice for that too, especially because it’s targeting and minimal, so you can kind of place them in a very specific way that can give you those effects.

Alex – And now L’Oreal Pro is also launching… an all-natural hair colour [line], at a professional salon [level], which before hasn’t really been offered. So now as colourists, we have this new colour that we can all play with and offer a natural outcome. And then we also know what the quality of the product is and how we can take it out if we need to, because that’s a big issue with using henna colours in the past – it’s impossible to take them out after putting them in.

Karl – And that’s another trend – along with people wanting healthier hair, wanting more natural [products] and stuff like that. So yeah, I’m curious about that one too.


(After this interview was done, L’Oreal Pro has also announced its newest haircare system for blondes: Serie Expert Blondifier, which is designed to revive multidimensional blondes and keep hair shiny, nourished, and radiant. This haircare system has every product you need to keep your blonde hair healthy: a shampoo, a conditioner, a gloss, and a mask, in addition to its in-salon-only treatments. Using Brazilian Açai Polyphenol derived from the popular dark purple berries, it’s filled with antioxidants to give your hair the boost it needs).


Get more info and check out some of these great new products: https://www.lorealprofessionnel.ca/ca-en