Say what you will about the Kardashians–and I know you will–but those sisters have some great hair. So when Matrix offered me the chance to get my hair colored by their celebrity stylist George Papanikolas, the same man responsible for many of Kim and Khloé Kardashian‘s best hair looks, I jumped at the chance. The last time I dyed my hair was almost a decade ago, in college, so I was still a bit apprehensive. A quick scan of George’s gorgeous Instagram feed put me at ease, though. If you want to go blonder, I quickly learned, George is the guy to go to. He’s taken everyone from Miranda Kerr to Nicole Richie lighter.
My virgin-hair before shot.
When I sat down in his chair at the Rita Hazan Salon in New York City, I told him I was interested in the balayage technique he’s known for, in which he hand paints highlights throughout the hair instead of using foils. I then showed him a Sofia Vergara pic I had spotted earlier. “That’s really light,” he said. Hrm, I didn’t realize it was, but OK, he would know. “That kind of change is something you need to work up to,” he continued. To get many of his clients to the level of blond they want, George says it oftentimes takes six months or more. He never wants his clients to feel uncomfortable with such a big change. Plus, it can fry the hair (been there!). After showing George a few more photos that weren’t quite so blond, he said the kind of change I wanted probably couldn’t be achieved with balayage. He recommended ombré hair coloring instead. “But isn’t ombré so over?” I whined? “I hate it when people say that, he said.”There are different kinds of ombré.” To keep my color modern, he said he was going to do a subtle ombré not dip-dyed ombré.
Some inspiration photos from George’s Instagram.
Then he got to work. He put exactly 11 highlights in my hair, teasing the hell out of each one before coloring it and wrapping it in foil. The teasing, he said, helps to evenly distribute the color for a more natural-looking effect. (P.S. Yes, it hurts when they have to be untangled.)
You’d think I’d know better than to put a photo like this on the internet.
A quick 20 minutes later, I was being shampooed. George recommended a little bit of toner to remove some of the brassiness.
After blowing it dry, he put a small amount of Biolage Blow-in Control Shape Memory Cream to help give me the signature Kardashian waves.
Texture! Waves! Yay!
I was in heaven! (Btw, how cute is George?!) And when people say ombré is low maintenance, they aren’t kidding. I haven’t colored my hair in two months, and it looks virtually the same as it did when I left George’s chair.
The end result!