Hair Coloring Base and Highlights

At times when highlighting hair at the salon, I like to highlight parts of the hair  on a person’s head. The reason why is I might want my client to look as though she’s been overexposed with overhead sunlight which is the most way hair get’s highlighted by nature. On Michel I covered her base with a level seven ash. Most blondes have an ash base to begin with by birth. Michel came into the salon and with mostly gray hair.

Coloring her hair with an ash base will help help her color graduate from the deeper base to the natural shades of a lighter blonde.  With fewer golden tones and more shades of winter wheat we can ad some sterling  light highlights.   With a base of 7.0, Michel at the hair salon will notice a backdrop to her beautiful rosy skin .

Coloring Michel’s base will help break it a few shades so that she doesn’t have too dark a base that stands out next to her gorgeous new highlights.  Both taking away from each other.

So remember, when you’re in the hair salon and your hair is in need of some good coloring,  but you don’t know what. Coloring your base and highlights can brighten up your look immediately and make you feel like a million bucks! Try it and see.

MJ Hair Designs Salon
14252 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks CA
(818) 783-0084

Hair Coloring




keratin treatment and color correction

Recently I got a call from a young lady in a panic that a hair colorist had botched up her color. I asked her to come in and let me look at it. Well, she was right. She must have had about 5 different colors running through her hair. I recommended a change in color with the plan to end with a  keratin treatment.

The first plan of action was to get her back to a base color we could start from and not to do more until we see how her hair washed out in the coming weeks.

That entailed not using more permanent color, but a superficial color system that would not subject her to any more of the same chemicals that fryed her hair to begin with. I used Redken Shades EQ,  a demipermanent color system that would normalize all the awkward shades running through her hair and create a new beautiful base with few shades that confuse.

Of course to make sure her hair was in the best condition afterwards, I used the Uberliss formaldehyde free Keratin Treatment. The treatment reinforced  the new base color by locking the color in and smoothing the hair down to a silly finish.

A Smooth and Silky formaldehyde free keratin treatment is a real treat for those with dry brittle colored hair.

Once all was said and done, her color correction and keratin treatment was a true success. Take a look at the the new color with the keratin treatment finish of Uberliss.

MJ Hair Designs
14252 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks
(818) 783-0084

Keratin Before and Afters






Sulfate Free Shampoo

Sulfate free shampoos and shampoos with sulfates both serve a purpose. They’re both just as good as each other.  Below I’ll explain why.


Most days at the hair salon, I hear why are sulfate free shampoos better for you? Sulfate free shampoos are known for being mild, yet they may not perform as well as their sulfate counterparts. Typically, sulfate-free shampoos do not lather as well as shampoos with sulfates. Sulfate-free shampoos may leave a build-up in the hair and on the scalp. The good thing is, if your hair is color treated, sulfate-free shampoos can help preserve the color.

The sulfates in shampoos have a tendency to pull color from color treated hair. Hair coloring is usually much more vulnerable to being stripped than normal hair.  Especially hair that’s color treated with semi or demi-color treated hair.

Also, another important factor before choosing a shampoo at the hair salon is where the SLS Sodium Laurel Sulfate falls in the list of ingredients. Some shampoos have just the right amount of SLS to help clean the hair well enough and still keep it conditioned.

An example when to use, sulfate-free shampoos is when you just had a keratin treatment at the hair salon. Keratin treatments are risk while using an SLS shampoo. The sulfates in shampoo can easily strip the keratin you just had pressed into your new beautiful smooth and straight hair. I always recommend a sulfate-free shampoo for hair that’s keratin treated.


Shampoo with sulfates are great for people who have oily hair. If your hair has a tendency to get a little on the oily side, the SLS surfactants in shampoo are effective in cleaning and removing it. Thick hair may need the sulfates to help lather up enough to attach itself to the dirt and oil to when a milder shampoo won’t cut it.

Sulfates can sometimes help hair that’s thinning and can help remove the free radicals or the DHT build-up on the scalp that’s suffocating the follicle.  A clean scalp can help reduce the inflamed follicle these byproducts might produce. The follicle will breathe better and grow thicker and nicer hair.

Whenever I see someone with fine oily hair at the hair salon, I always use a SLS.

I myself like my hair stripped of the oil so that my fine strands look a little thicker. final result looks like you have more.

So the next time someone suggests a sulfate-free shampoo, take into consider what you heard at the hair salon here at MJ Hair Designs. Sulfate and sulfate-free shampoos have their plusses and minuses depending on your hair and it’s personal needs.

MJ Hair Designs
14252 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks
(818) 783-0084


Keratin Treatments

Hair Color


The Salon






Organic Color Oway

As a certified organic hair colorist and educator, with confidence, I say go organic! Don’t be fooled into thinking you won’t get the right hair color.

As a colorist, I found a company I truly believe in. OWAY.

Not only do I enjoy the amazing cool color palette, but but the warm and rich reds tones light up a room. The blondes are forever and the browns are deep and glossy.

So many of us are unnecessarily putting our health to the test with harsh chemicals. The PPD’s, Resorcinol and Ammonia in hair coloring that color companies just love to use to meet their bottom lines are poisoning us. These companies are willing to do the most creative marketing to distract and never let their dirty secret out.

Companies are subjecting you to these carcinogenic poisons daily. As a certified organic hair colorist, I learned years ago that paying a little more, pays off for you and me.  I didn’t need to be subjected to those toxins either.

Organic Salon Products

Organic Way (Oway) is the world’s first professional organic hair color. It’s also a care and styling line with biodynamic, organic and fair trade ingredients.

Their green chemists hand select the highest quality formulations to achieve professional results without the use of common salon toxins.

Oway lets me immerse my clients in a multi-sensorial, non-toxic salon experience with active botanicals and pure essential oils.

From Farm to Chair

Oway’s organic salon products take root their family’s biodynamic farms in Bologna, Italy – where Italian quality meets nature.

Oway insiders call it OrtOfficina.

They grow, pick and distill pure organic extracts, essential oils and hydrolates with zero chemicals, in accordance with biodynamic farming standards.

So the next time you color your hair, think twice about whether of not your colorist is certified in organic color. Think again about what they’re subjecting you to.
In a world where regulations have been lifted, an a free market dictates what you use, educate yourself and use OWAY.
MJ Hair Designs
14252 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks
(818) 783-0084


à la mode hair color

Do you consider yourself a hipster trending the latest in fashion but just can’t find the right hairstylist for some à la mode hair coloring? Is your color a bit dull and  just needs the right touch of coloring to compliment your individual style?

Well, when visiting the salon for the fist time, make sure you dress the part. Dressing the part will send the clear message of what your hair colorist or stylist needs to cue off.

Here’s a perfect example of some à la modeI hair coloring.  Using the balayage technique, I threw some shimmering lights into Clark Kent’s hair to create the Superman à la mode look in hair coloring.

À LA MODE HAIR can change the way you see yourself or, at the least, bring out the hipster in you once again.

MJ Hair Designs
14252 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks CA

(818) 783-0084

Hair Color

Ammonia Free





thick curly hair with an undercut

Do you have really coarse thick curly hair you just don’t know what to do with? Have you ever wondered what to do with your big bushy sides. What about a short trendy undercut? What is an undercut?

From cutting the under parts of the sides of your thick hair and the underside of the back of your hair, leaving the hair in the crown long to hang over.

Recently a client asked what she could wear to achieve a look that might give her a trendier edge with all her thick hair. So, I explained that an undercut leaving the top floppy to hangover and letting go of her thick sides would give her many different looks and less grief with her thick unruly hair. She agreed, and so we moved forward.

First I started by changing her base color a few shades lighter than her natural  before highlighting so the two shades would blend.

Next we cut all of that thick unmanageable hair underneath. We then decided to leave her with the wet look with a BodyWealth Frap for a more sleek edge.

NO MORE THICK UNSATISFYING HAIR! Next we’ll do a keratin treatment to loosen up that curl and bring smooth hair back into her life.


Needless to say, Nadia’s thick unmanageable hair looked absolutely beautiful when we were through. I can’t wait to hear about all the other looks she’ll be able to sport with this new short haircut.

Check it out!

MJ Hair Designs
14252 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks
(818) 783-0084

More Blondes






Salons in Sherman Oaks does a blonde on blond

Recently a very kind but sheepish lady called me in a panic about her mousy gray hair. Looking for a hair colorist in Sherman Oaks, she happened to come across me on the web.

Very anxious, Heather needed someone to comfort her through her big hair move and have me explain to her what color and style would compliment her age, skin and hair.  She began by saying “This was for her only daughters wedding in Malibu and was very nervous.” I loved it when the stakes are high!

I began by talking to Heather about the options for the color and style. Based on her skin tone and what her hair color was like in her youth, she and I agreed that she needed a base that wasn’t too dark. Heather was a towhead as a child, and that’s always a good indication what the base color we start with should be.

I felt, she also needed to break up her new base with some shimmering highlights. A Blonde on on lighter base shade of blonde.

Heather and I  were very pleased with the final result of her hair.

I just wanted to say thank you Heather, for googling hair color salon in Sherman Oaks and coming across me.

After many years of coloring and styling hair, it still brings me joy to make the ladies feel young and sexy all over again.

Very grateful!


MJ Hair Designs
14252 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks CA

(818) 783-0084

Hair Color Expert

Red Colorist

Color Correction



red hair color

Red hair color is the trickiest of all color, but I LOVE IT!

In the 70’s and 80’s red dyes became the BIG SCARE.  The red dye industry scrambled very quickly to find out how to reorganize their compounds since the rumor red dye might be causing cancer.

Remember when they pulled out the red m&ms, or the red cool aide? Well, the same went for red hair dyes.

Since then, reds have never been the same. Red hair color has  improved considerably in the last 10 years. Red heads and blondes are my most favorite to work with in the salon. Reds and blondes have so many nuances colors, their are hundreds of shades in the spectrum. Red Hair coloring is my most lovable challenge,  next to blonde hair which can vary widely as well.

Red hair color can be a blue base, and orange base or even a pink base and in density levels.

I like matching red hair next  to a persons skin undertone, color of eyes and even what their racial heritage may be.

Check out this redhead client who started out with about 70% gray hair and 30% of her mousy brown.

MJ Hair Designs
14252 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks CA
(818) 783-0084




What’s first, keratin or color?

Some might say the keratin locks in the color, so the color should come first.

I always individualize the treatments based on the persons personal needs and hair. Most times, the order doesn’t really matter.  I usually like my clients to have their color done about two weeks after their keratin treatment. The reason,  because often the keratin treatment might lighten the hair color a few shades. Sometimes, If the client wants to lock in the color, the keratin treatment will do just that.

So what’s first, the keratin or the color?

I will also try and get my clients to wait at least a week before getting the color done after the keratin treatment. The keratin will sometime serve as a barrier to the color. If you’re trying to cover your gray, It might be more difficult. It always helps when the keratin has washed off the hair a few weeks for better coverage.

MJ Hair Designs
14252 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks

(818) 783-0084

Before and Afters

Keratin and Formaldehyde



Hair coloring that's ammonia free, cruelty free, resorcinol free and organic

Last year I jumped on board with a hair color company I fell in love with. Among other things, I found that Oway was cruelty free.  The coloring system that’s not only cruelty free hair color, but PPD free, resorcinol free,  and ammonia free. What more can a hair colorist ask for?

At first I was was skeptical about OWAY and  how effective it was, but now I’m sold.

Cruelty free hair color? Who would have thought that there was such a thing. Well, the truth is this luxury line is not only cruelty free, but a step above organic. Oway is considered green in the fact it believes in rigorous safety testing and is cruelty free hair color as well as ethical purchasing and sustainable.

This cruelty free hair color is also ethical in the sense it partners with 800+ verified  Fair Trade networks. Oway chooses 100% infinitely recyclable materials, minimum design, and eco-friendly manufacturing methods for all their products.

CØR the permanent color system, follows the  cruelty free hair color tradition.

All Oway’s products are 100% cruelty-free, as certified by PETA. 80% of Oway’s line is vegan-friendly.