Snakeskin Color

The snakeskin look was beautifully done on the runways of fashion week and you can carry over this trend to hair color. Snakeskin is certainly a trend that reflects sophistication and style, making it a great technique to master.

krissorbieI created a snakeskin colored hair piece for this model on a past shoot. I’ve included the step by step directions on how you can do the same. Since this is such a unique look, creating the color pattern on a hair piece allows your client the flexibility of wearing this style with just the right wardrobe.

Snakeskin Color Technique

This effect was created on a Level 10, 100% natural hairpiece which was then added to the model’s own Natural Level 8 hair.

Prepare the hair piece with Redken Pre Art and Redken Hair Cleansing Cream as we would any hair before a color service, dry to a smooth, straight finish with a blowdryer. I find it helpful to lay it flat onto a smooth surface such as glass or stainless steel; tape down the top, stitched edge with masking tape so it is firm and won’t move when combed.

Use four distinctly different formulas in separate bowls:

Formulas: Redken CHROMATICS, prismatic, permanent, oil in cream color with zero ammonia.

  1. ½ oz 4N + ½ oz 20 vol Chromatics oil and cream developer
  2. ½ oz 6Vr + ½ oz 20 vol Chromatics oil and cream developer
  3. ½ oz 7C + ½ oz 20 vol Chromatics oil and cream developer
  4. ½ oz 9Gi + ½ oz 20 vol Chromatics oil and cream developer

Use a short bristle, color brush with each of the formulas and only a small amount of product.

Start with the first color formula, dip the tip of the brush into the formula.

Hold the brush at 90° to the hair and create a wavy, ‘S’ shaped line of color ‘snaking’ down the hairpiece.

Randomly work the shapes and, the four different formulas over the entire hairpiece, to resemble snake skin, overlapping some is good.

When done leave to develop for 35 minutes

Rinse, shampoo using Redken Cleansing Cream and condition with Redken Color Extend Conditioner

Blowdry smooth using Redken Iron Shape 11 and set with a 2″ barrel iron to achieve a soft, wave effect.

The hairpiece was then added to the model’s own, shoulder length hair using hair bonding tape at the scalp.

Have fun!!!


How to Do A Fast Ombre on Mid Length Hair

Ombre for FacebookThis effect of color placement can be achieved using any desired shade.  In the image, the model is a platinum blonde with shades of blue and green. However, this would look equally great on a level 6 using shades of warm red, cool red and chocolate brown.

1-    Using nylon elastic bands, create pony tails down the center of head from front to nape (it will look like a Mohawk of pony tails)

2-    Take each pony tail, starting in the nape area, back comb the hair to create a firm cushion at the base (How much color you want at the ends will determine the amount of back combing at the base of the pony tail–the more back combing, the less color at the ends, less back combing, more color at the ends)

3-    Once all pony tails are back combed, apply your color to the ends. You can alternate 3 different shades if you want more of a dimensional look or alternate with two or just use one color

4-    Once color is applied, allow to develop

5-    Rinse and shampoo thoroughly before removing the bands

6-    Shampoo again after bands have been removed

7-    Condition and comb through

8-    Style as client would like

Do You Raise Your Prices?

Do you struggle with the idea of raising prices? Are you nervous of telling clients about your price increase? You are not alone.  Hairdressers and salon owners often face an internal struggle with implementing a price increase.  Most often it’s because we worry about upsetting and possibly losing a client.

Implementing a price increase is a good idea for many reasons:
It’s easy to forget what makes hairdressers unique.  Often we’re caught up in what’s happening in our chair and we neglect the person behind the chair- the one that is making the magic happen.

Hairdressers have an instinctive ‘eye’ for beauty; our natural sense of artistry allows us to see beauty where others may not. That same sense of artistry enables us to not only see beauty, but to create it!

People pay to sit in our chairs; have their hair cut, colored and styled, the reason is because they trust us, they believe we know how to create beauty and are willing to pay for that…  And guess what?  They’re right!

If everyone were able to create beauty the way we can, then everyone would make a successful living as a hairdresser.  Our education, knowledge, experience, creativity and ‘eye’ for beauty has value, that value is reflected in our service prices.  Over time it may be necessary to raise the prices to reflect the advancement of our education, knowledge, experience and, in turn, creativity.

When to Implement A Price Increase
As long as our price increase has merit and is reasonable, clients won’t object.  After a specialty training, continuing education or expertise is attained in a particular area of service, a price increase may be warranted…  give your clients ‘the why’!

How Often Should We Raise Our Prices
I don’t recommend raising prices more than once a year.  We want to remember to assure clients that our price increase represents more value to them as our client.
Be sure to give clients AMPLE notice that there will be a price increase on a designated date. Although we are not obligated to explain a price increase, if our increase coincides with additional education and training, we should express that.

The worst way to implement a price increase is to do so at the register when a client comes to pay. Clients value our services as much as they value honesty, integrity and consistency… they don’t want to be surprised or embarrassed when they get to the register.

What is your formula for raising prices? Let’s continue the conversation.  You can find me on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.



Download the TouchPro app for educational videos, tips and how-tos.

Snakeskin Color Technique

snakeskin color

For more of my color techniques, download the TouchPro App by clicking here.

As its name implies, this freehand technique makes the hair look like snakeskin.  To get the look featured here, follow the steps below:



  • ½ oz Redken Chromatics (each shade) +
  • ½ oz
  • 20 vol Redken Oil in Cream Developer
  • 10.12 (ash violet)
  • 7.4 (copper)
  • 4.26 (violet red)
  • 4.03 (natural warm)



Dab the individual shades onto the hair in a snakeskin pattern using the brush vertically, then taking a clean and dry brush and stroke the hairs’ surface to softly merge the shades together. Allow 45 minutes for development, rinse and shampoo with Redken Color Extend.

Have you tried the snakeskin technique before?  Tweet me your pictures, post them on my Facebook wall or upload them to Pinterest with the hashtag #krissorbie

New York Fashion Week Gets Kinky – Here’s How You Can Too

badgley mischka fashion weekNew York Fashion Week showed off designer clothes, shoes and accessories, as well as some pretty amazing hairstyles.  NYFW hair textures ranged from natural, to kinky curly, to just a bit frizzy, glossy, and wavy.

My eye was drawn to the Badgley Mischka show.  Models graced the runway with hair that integrated contrasting textures of sleek and frizzy in a way that truly demonstrated the artistic capabilities of hair.

It was noted that BM hairstylist Peter Gray drew inspiration from the German film ‘Metropolis’ to create the dramatic look for the models.  He accomplished the look by setting hair in tight curls, brushing it out and backcombing the smooth sections.

To show off your diversity and creativity, perhaps try recreating the Badgley Mischka look on your own for your look-book.  Although this may not be a style clients would request, it would certainly show off your capabilities and imagination.

Here’s how you can mirror the Badgley Mischka look in your salon:

You will need:  A ½” Marcel curling iron.

  • Begin in the nape, take 1″ partings across the back, split into 1″ sections.
  • Take each section and with the iron do a spiral wind around the barrel until you reach the ends. (Download the TOUCHPRO2.0 App to watch the TARA DRAPE video to see the ‘How To’ for this technique)
  • Continue taking 1″ partings across the back, spiral wind the hair in the same way and work your way to the top of the head.
  • Now do the same at the sides however, take the partings diagonally forward to keep the hair away from the face, continue to finish the sides until they are complete.
  • Set the top in the same way until you are left with a section about 3″ wide across the front.
  • Take the entire front across the forehead and wind it together around the iron and away from the face to produce the modern Marcel Wave effect.
  • Gently brush each section at a time beginning in the nape; arrange and spray with Redken Control Addict 28 to hold in place.

I’d LOVE to see your Badgley Mischka looks! Please share them on my Facebook page or upload them to Pinterest with the hashtag #KrisSorbie.

Let’s exchange more tips and share ideas together.  Join me on Twitter, Facebook and Linked In to keep the conversation going.

Jasmine Gibbs In Her Own Words: From Beauty School Grad to NAHA Winner

jasminegibbsnaha3You can achieve ANY goal if you are willing to work for it. Jasmine Gibbs is the perfect example. Jasmine won the 2012 NAHA Award for Texture only two short years after graduating beauty school. Here her inspiring story, how she ALMOST one NAHA in 2011 and what kept her working towards her dreams. Below is Jasmine’s story in her own words.

“My first experience with doing hair was at a very young age—around 7 or 8. I learned how to braid and I would braid other people’s hair. I became so good at it that by the time I was 9, my mother started booking me ‘appointments’ to braid hair for her friends and mine. I could do corn rows, extensions, all different types of cultural styles. I was making money doing hair and I liked the feeling.

Even at that young age the thought of continuing to do hair for money seemed like what I wanted to do when I grew up.


My mom was very free spirited. She encouraged my dreams of continuing to do hair. She wanted me to do whatever made me happy and always reminded me to be the BEST at whatever I chose to do. My dad—on the other hand—wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyer and make lots of money. Growing up, I felt very torn trying to make them both happy.

Entering high school, I wanted to go to a school in Brooklyn that had a cosmetology program where I could earn my license by the time I was 16. My dad wouldn’t let me go. He made me go to a school more geared towards science. Needless to say, I was heart broken. I knew I wanted to be a hairdresser but he did not fully support that.

In college I went through several different majors trying to find out what I wanted to be. I ended up picking nursing. I remember sitting in class and thinking, ‘I really want to be a hairdresser.’ So I decided to write myself a 5 year plan. I would finish nursing school in 2007, go to cosmetology school in 2008…etc. That helped make me happy and kept me on track with my dreams and it also gave me hope.

In college I made money doing hair again. I set up a little ‘salon’ in my dorm room and I would invite people to come for fashion shows. If there was a big party on campus, girls and guys would want to come and have their hair done by me.

When I got to nursing school I continued to do hair for friends. Someone even approached me to do their hair for their wedding. I was doing hair, nails, anything I could to keep myself busy doing what I loved. I succeeded because I was able to mirror looks. If I saw a certain style of hair or makeup, I could copy it.


jasminegibbsnaha2A year after nursing school I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. My life changed drastically. At that time, figuring out what to do with my career was very hard. Being a mother was a great responsibility. One day, I was listening to a radio show, the topic for the day was “Living Your Dream” the announcer said “if you have a dream on the shelf you need to pick it up, dust it off, and go after what you want”. It felt like he was talking directly to me I just sat down and I cried. I wanted to go to beauty school but how could I find the time and balance motherhood, financial obligations, and being a nurse?

One day I was in the mall and I saw a sign that said, ‘Paul Mitchell school coming soon’. This was no coincidence. I was meant to see that sign! It opened in 2009 and I started school that same year.

During beauty school I pushed myself to excel and explore beyond what I was learning in the classroom. I read about people like Kris and Trevor Sorbie and I knew if I wanted to achieve similar success I HAD to use every opportunity.

I signed up for Vivienne Mackinder’s photo shoot workshop after just 3 weeks into beauty school. It really opened my eyes. She taught me how to do many different styles that I never knew existed. It was overwhelming but I learned a lot. After the course ended I started assisting her for at the InterCoiffure Fashion Show and did my first photo shoot in December of that year. I learned a lot about fashion and hair, and how the two are intertwined.

I believe that there is a reason or bigger plan behind everyone you meet. After learning so much from Vivienne, she then told me about Mary Brunetti and her DVDs about how to do a photo shoot and win NAHA. I was only 26 years old and still in beauty school but I felt very driven to win NAHA after watching her DVD.

I did enter NAHA during beauty school, in the student category, but I didn’t’ place. But I learned from it and I had a lot of great photos from it so it wasn’t an opportunity missed. I did a few more local contests that I did not win, but I placed in some of them. Each was an experience that helped me grow. I never got dismayed, not even after losing.


Everyone in the industry says to reach out to the people you admire. Reach out to someone you would want to mentor you. Well, I was in luck, because Kris Sorbie, someone who I greatly admire and look up to, was coming to our beauty school. As luck would have it, my son was sick and I could not be there the day Kris came. But I took the advice of everyone else and I reached out to her anyway. She responded and offered to take me to lunch while she was in town!

Kris encouraged me to enter Redken’s Road to NAHA contest. I was hesitant, but I was so motivated by her enthusiasm and confidence that I couldn’t disagree. I won that contest and my prize was the opportunity to be mentored by Kris Sorbie and sponsorship of the photo shoot by Redken. As a result, I became a finalist in two categories of NAHA 2012. Throughout the mentorship, we brainstormed together, created storyboards of ideas, had weekly meetings and guidance sessions. I’ll never forget the moment when I heard my name announced as a winner at NAHA. I was shocked. Kris instilled confidence in me, but still, I didn’t think I would win.


Much has changed since winning NAHA. People now recognize my work and people have even told me that I inspire THEM. There are more job opportunities coming my way and I enjoyed press in industry publications. Still, I always remember what Kris told me; ‘to never stop learning and always push to be better.’

I did not let winning NAHA go to my head. Instead, my goal is to be a multi-award nominee like Kris was. And of course, I still have my 5 year plan. It has changed a little since nursing school though. In 5 years I hope to be doing hair full time. I’ll have to work up the courage to tell my dad of course .


If someone were to ask me my advice about entering the beauty industry, I would say, Study. Whatever you do—study. Study the people who did it before you. Contact them. They are not unapproachable. It just takes a simple leap of faith. Reach out to them and pick their brain. Mentors can help you get from point A to point B much faster. Learn from their mistakes.

I didn’t have to wait for 10 years to win an award. I won within 2 years of graduating beauty school because of people like Kris Sorbie and Vivienne Mackinder.

Learning doesn’t stop when you graduate school. You have to always recharge.”


Are You Tech Savvy? Here Are 5 Ways To Use Technology To Boost Your Career

Like it or not, the world is changing, and it is relying more and more on digital technology.  Smart phones, mobile apps, iPads®, websites, Facebook, Twitter…the list goes on and on.  You may think that understanding and utilizing technology is not related to the beauty industry, but I hope that after reading this short post you change your mind.

InstaFame is a free app that allows you to easily display before and after photos in professional formats.

InstaFrame is a free app that allows you to easily display before and after photos in professional formats.

The beauty industry is ever changing, and deep rooted in competition.  It seems as though there are an endless number of new salons opening every day.  How can you distinguish yourself? How can you keep getting your name and photos of your work out there for people to see? How can you ensure that your clients will stay loyal to you? Technology can help in many ways.

Here are five ways you can use technology to boost your career:

  1. Keep a digital look book on-hand that displays your best before/after photos of clients and new hairstyles/color patterns that you have created.  This can be done using an iPad, your iPhone®, Android or any other tablet.
  2. Use mobile apps to create professional looking before and after photos for use in your digital look book and on social networking sites.  There are dozens of free apps that let you upload pictures side by side to demonstrate a before and after effect. Apps like InstaFrame or Pic Stitch are just two out of the hundreds available. After your create your photo, it’s easy to share on Facebook, Twitter or other networks.
  3. Speaking of Facebook, be sure to upload photos of your work to Facebook and encourage people to ‘like’ their favorite styles.  The average Facebook user has approximately 150 friends.  When one of your friends ‘likes’ a photo of yours, a small percentage of their friends, who are not even connected to you, will see that photo too. It’s an opportunity to gain widespread visibility of your work on one of the most popular social networking sites.  With a smart phone, you can simply take a photo and click ‘share on Facebook’ to accomplish this.
  4. The Kris Sorbie TouchPro app offers videos, tips and tutorials for color, upstyling, consultations and much more.

    The Kris Sorbie TouchPro app offers videos, tips and tutorials for color, upstyling, consultations and much more.

    Download educational apps right to your phone so you can always continue your pursuit of education.  With the Kris Sorbie TouchPro app, how to videos, photos, ideas, consultation tools and tips are right in the palm of your hand.  You can use the app on the fly for a quick color or styling tutorial or watch how to videos on your free time to further your knowledge.

  5. Record all of your client’s birthdays into the calendar feature on your smart phone along with a reminder on that day.  Send a text or give them a call to wish them a happy birthday.  When a hairdresser develops a personal relationship with their client, that client is less likely to try a new salon or stylist.  It’s the little things that can have the biggest impact on our business.

There are so many other ways we can use technology to further our career.  These are just a few that came to the top of my mind.  How do you use technology in your professional life?  Let’s exchange more tips and share ideas together.  Join me on Twitter, Facebook and Linked In to keep the conversation going.



Total Upgrade Team

The Redken Symposium 2013 Total Upgrade Team at the end of a very successful weekend. Hugo Urias, Ellen Lawlor, Kris Sorbie & Chris Moody.


Redken Symposium 2013

Kris, model Lucy and assistant Kalisa Baxa