Community Spotlight | Colour Lab
This week we had the chance to speak with Raphael Ness Azran about his hair color salon, Colour Lab. Its express services and team of expert colorists makes it the perfect spot for fast, quality treatments, but also a place for customers to engage in some major color theory talk. In our interview we demystify the major myths of coloring, and how to find the perfect treatment for you.
VL: What was the inspiration behind Colour Lab?
RAPHAEL: Both of my parents are hairdressers so after studying at The Vidal Sassoon Academy at Santa Monica, California, I decided to go into the salon business. But after a few years I felt it was time for a change. The current hair salon model offers a variety of hair cutting and coloring services and is very “ladies who lunch,” and targets people who have the time and money to spend 3-4 hours at one place.
We’re more of a hair color express service. We still do highlights and all over color, but instead of spending hours on the color process, we can get you in and out of here in under an hour. We all work as a team so instead of being treated by one colorist, you’re able to get different opinions from many members of our team. So instead of getting one hair color advisor, you have a whole team of experts giving you advice.
VL: Love the website and the periodic table inspired designs. It definitely lets your readers know that you are experts at creating the right treatment for every customer!
RAPHAEL: Thank you! Hairdressing is normally associated with a lot of personality, a lot of ego, but Color Lab isn’t about me; it’s about educating our customers. Every consultation is very scientific. I explain why we’re using a permanent or semi-permanent color, I get very involved. It’s about more than just suggesting a treatment because a celebrity has done it; it’s about what will look good on that particular individual.
VL: A lot of commercial products contain SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) which can severely damage healthy hair. Your line features products that are completely SLS free. Can you tell our readers why it’s so important to invest in SLS free products? And what other harmful ingredients they should stay away from?
Being in the industry a while we’ve seen all kinds of shampoo and conditioners that makes all sort of promises, but don’t necessarily live up to the hype. So we decided to come up with our own shampoo and conditioners. They all give you shine, they’re all sulfate-free and paraben-free so it doubles the longevity of your hair color.
We’ve all been trained to think that if we use something that foams up and creates lather, it’ll make our hair “cleaner,” but really it’s just a chemical reaction that strips your natural hair oil and color. It’s very harsh and definitely not ideal for color treated hair.
Ammonia is another major ingredient people should stay away from. We carry a line by Goldwell that’s ammonia-free. What they’ve done is they’ve simplified ammonia. Ammonia is a make up of 75 different chemicals, but they’ve broke it down to the simply two called monoethanolamine (MEA) which still gives you great coverage, but doesn’t strip the hair at all. And these products also have amino acids, a natural fatty acid, which gives the hair shine and makes the hair healthier.
VL: You have such a wide range of services. There’s the Virgin Tint for those battling with grey hairs, Sun Kissed for those looking for highlights. What’s your most popular treatment?
RAPHAEL: I’d say our most popular treatment would either be the Sun Kissed ($55) or the Virgin Tint ($65). Sun Kissed is a minimal face framing treatment that makes you look like as if you’ve just come back from vacation and got some natural highlights. Virgin Tint [which covers most grey hairs] is definitely a close second.
VL: What can customers expect from a visit at Colour Lab?
RAPHAEL: They can expect to learn about the products that are being used on their hair. They can expect to learn how to pick the right colors to enhance their hair cut skin tone. And they can expect us to dispel all the major hair coloring myths. You know, there are so many taboos that go into hair coloring. Don’t wash your hair for 3-4 days, for a week after, it’s harmful for your hair, but really there is such minimal to zero damage when we color your hair.
Also, it’s a very comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. We’re very team-oriented here, as a customer you might find yourself interacting with all 4-5 stylists working here at a time, and we’ve also outfitted each station with an iPad so people can log on and check their email, or Facebook, and even read their favourite magazines online.
VL: Do you plan on expanding your color line or adding in any additional services we can look forward to?
RAPHAEL: We exclusively use Goldwell products. We have a great relationship with them and play a big part in their Goldwell Academy, teaching classes, and stuff like that, so that will never change.
We also have a blow dry station for those who want to get pampered before they go out, but we find that by specializing in hair coloring we can concentrate on more color theory talk!