The Inner Colorist

Filed in Gather Books Essential by on September 12, 2007 0 Comments

 I have been so honored to work with the crème de la crème in my ï¬?eld. I have been stimulated and exposed to so much talent over the years, which has inspired me to invent original techniques and formulas. I want to give back to both aspiring and dedicated at-home hair colorists by revealing some of what I have been privileged to learn over twenty-one-plus years of salon work.


The talented actresses and actors that I have worked with have also stretched my abilities. Through the years I have had the privilege to work on many �lms, coloring the hair of many amazing men and women, including Reese Witherspoon, Heidi Klum, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Raquel Welch, Brad Pitt, and Johnny Depp. Along the way, lucky stylists encounter that rare client who helps them ascend to the next level of creating great color. For me, Drew Barry-more is that client-she has always pushed me to a higher plane of visual perfection!


Nowadays, my clients ï¬?y in from New York City, London, and all over the world to see me, and I get to do long-distance house calls. I’ve gone from Beverly Hills to Africa. I have sent recipes all over the world as well, including Madonna’s homes in New York and London. It still utterly amazes me that hair coloring has enabled me to travel all over the world. I used to guard my color formulas as if they were twenty-four-karat gold. I would take them home every night from the salon. As I FedExed recipes to clients across the globe, more frequently, I began thinking about my policy of keeping my recipes a secret. I remembered that when I was in my teens, I wanted to emulate the models and actresses in magazines. I didn’t exactly have the budget to do so, but I did have the creativity, desire, and drive. I think there are many people like that. They want to do it themselves.


I want to share my favorite recipes and techniques because, at heart, I am just like you. I have the same spirit of invention and optimism that all home colorists share. Even though I’m based in Hollywood and work with many celebrities, movie stars, and ï¬?lm-industry executives, I think of myself as the ultimate at-home colorist. I love to experiment, try new things, and have fun. I still get excited when I discover a new technique or when the result of a new recipe is extra special.


Hair coloring, after all, is much like cooking, painting, or any other creative endeavor. First you learn the rules, and then you learn how to break them and ï¬?nd your own style. Actually, I think my very earliest artistic endeavors were a sign of things to come. I started painting when I was three or four years old. My wonderful stepfather, Jon, was an architect, and he and my mother, Connie, had a keen interest in art and creativity. After school, they would give me three dollops of primary color paint to fool around with. Both of them painted and he sculpted, so I felt intimately involved in the artistic process from a very early age. Without Jon and my mother’s encouragement, I would not be who I am today.


It wasn’t long before I put down my ï¬?nger paints and turned my attention to hair color. Early experiments included adding Sun-In, the classic spray-on lightener, to my hair and styling my mother’s and sister’s hair and doing their makeup. However, hair color did-n’t become a true passion of mine until I was on summer break while studying as a nursing student and special education major at Centralia Community College in Washington State.


My aunt Peggy Olsen owned a salon called the Curling Iron in Upland, California. In fact, she won many “beehive trophies” for the elaborate hairstyles she constructed! During this particular summer break, I went to Upland and worked as a receptionist in the salon. As I quietly kept the books and scheduled clients, I would look around and think, Wow, a salon allows you to have fun, be creative, make money, and meet interesting people! Redken representatives came in to the Curling Iron and would conduct detailed color classes. I started sitting in on them. Redken was a major hair company (now owned by L’Oréal), and its approach to hair coloring was very scientiï¬?c and clinical. Their seminars opened my eyes even further about the possibilities for hair-color work. I think it was at that point that I thought to myself, Okay, that’s it, I’m going to hair school.


I didn’t want to spend years studying in a classroom, so I found a job and enrolled in night school. After graduating from Citrus Community College in Glendora, California, I found my ï¬?rst professional employment through an ad in the Los Angeles Times that read, “European Salon seeks assistant.” That sounded pretty glamorous to me, so I applied. Well, it turned out to be a tiny mom-and-pop beauty parlor. The only European thing about it was the stunning Russian-Jewish women who worked there and the owner’s wife, who was from England and was a great manicurist. Nevertheless, that’s where, over the next two years, I began to hone my hair-coloring skills.


I commuted from LaVerne to Los Angeles for an entire year-a one-hour trip each way. But I didn’t care: I wanted to learn the trade I had come to love. When I ï¬?nally moved to Beverly Hills with a girlfriend, it was easier for me to go out in the evenings and socialize, and that changed my life. Tramp was a fabulous 1980s members only club where lots of rockers, such as Prince, the members of Mötley Crüe, and Rod Stewart, went. I met Laurent Dufourg and his wife, Fabienne (now of Privé fame), in the club’s dining section. They had partnered with master hair stylist José Eber and were opening a new salon. Laurent suggested that I try out for a spot.


That was an exciting moment, so I called the salon and made appointments to bring models and do hair color that would show my work. For some time after those initial meetings, nothing happened except that I kept running into Laurent and Fabienne at many different events. Finally, after a year, I found out that José was ready to open the salon. José’s secretary called me and asked me to come in for an interview. After that call, I thought it was a done deal. Then, I walked into the salon three days later and found a line of 150 people waiting to compete for the twenty available spots! In the end, I was hired despite the competition. My trademark was to pamper clients with luxury in hopes of building up a clientele. If you treat people well, they usually come back.


At that job I also learned much about corrective color, which I had never done before. I was with José Eber for two and a half years, where I was inspired by the amazing Corey Powell, and then relocated to Christophe in Beverly Hills, where I began working with stylist extraordinaire Olivier Leroy (this was right before the famous Clinton haircut). I was there for eight and a half years. Afterward I moved to Jonathan Hair Salon, where I met and began to work with überstylists Sally Hershberger and Cervando Maldonado, then to John Frieda, and now I am at Neil George Salon in Beverly Hills. I feel privileged and thankful that my clients have stayed true to me.


There’s another reason that I want to share my hair-color knowledge. Some people may think working with hair is pretty trivial because it isn’t brain surgery or calculus. However, I know that if people feel good about themselves, they just may change the world. Having the power to improve oneself or the way one looks is just the beginning of a journey toward conï¬?dence and well-being. Besides, all of us know how conï¬?dent we feel when our hair looks and feels great!


I believe everyone should have access to beautiful hair, no matter what a person’s ï¬?nancial or residential limitations are-whether they simply can’t afford the high price of “couture color” or don’t live near a city or town that offers highly trained colorists. That’s what the recipes and salon secrets in this book do. You can do it-I believe in you. All you need is the information in this book, a few local stores, and/or Internet access. I hope on another level that this book inspires you to go after your own dreams. If you are sitting in a small town somewhere, like I was, wishing you could run a hair salon, work on a movie set, ï¬?y into space, become a doctor, teach agriculture, be a great mom, or whatever, I want you to know you really can do it if you put your mind to it. My story is just one example that proves that. So let’s start playing, mixing, and having fun. You can do it! But like mastering cooking or knitting, it takes practice. So step-by-step, we’ll do it together!

I look forward to seeing and hearing about your amazing results!


Take care and be well,

Lorri Goddard-Clark


Excerpt from the Introduction of The Hair Color Mix Book. Republished with permission.

Find more of my writing and learn about The Hair Color Mix Book here >

Join Bright Ideas by Bestselling Authors >

Invite your friends to Bright Ideas >


About the Author ()

I am a people person who enjoys and revels in my private time. When I make up my mind to do something I put my heart and soul into it. I am horrible at telling jokes but like to laugh at good ones. I live life to the fullest; of course that sometimes mean

Leave a Reply