Developer 101

I spend most of my time either at the beach or in the city which leads to a life of commuting by bike or public transit.

I very rarely drive myself anywhere anymore. I was reminded of this recently when I got behind the wheel of my friend’s fancy new car. I went to back out of the driveway, lightly pressed on the gas and we catapulted mere centimeters from a foreboding tree. Apparently, Dr. Dave’s car has more pick up than my childhood Volkswagen.

This reminded me of the perfect analogy I use to explain what hair color developers are…

Developers are the gasoline to your hair color’s engine. They are varying strengths of peroxide used to oxidize hair color and give it the lifting ability desired. When choosing which developer to use you simply ask yourself “how much gas do I want to give this color?”



10 Volume

This is used for staying at the same lightness but changing tone.  I also love using 10 Volume for very gentle, slow highlight work.


20 Volume

20 Volume is the workhorse of the developers. It is the most reached for because it is ideal for gray coverage. It gives you just enough lifting ability while depositing the perfect amount of pigment.


30 Volume

This always reminds me of when I pack 28SPF on vacation. You think to yourself “when will I really want this super specific amount of sun protection?” but 30 Volume is useful!  I love using it when I want a stronger lift on red heads or blondes and for a balayage lightener that produces natural results.


40 Volume

This is the rocket fuel (or should we say Aston Martin?) of the developers. This gives you maximum lifting capabilities with the least amount of tonal deposit. 40 Volume is great for high lift hair color, balayage and fast lifting highlights.


Once you understand how peroxide strengths are used effectively for hair color you can really put them to use. For example, if I have to pack hair color to go and have limited bag space, I will include a 40 Volume and a 10 Volume. Having these two is all you need since you can intermix them to create any strength in between. (Equal parts of 10 Volume and 40 Volume will give you a 25 Volume strength developer.)

So harness the power of peroxide and put your hair color pedal to the metal!



When to Use High Lift Hair Color

There seems to be a bit of confusion over what exactly high lift hair color is.

Think of high lifts as the rocket engine in your hair color arsenal. They are the strongest colors in your palette. Meaning they will give you maximum amount of lightening plus tonal deposit. High lifts are not bleach, bleach will lighten hair the most but has no tonal refining capabilities.

AGEbeautiful has two high lift categories that are essential to your dispensary.

AGEbeautiful High Lifts, which have three shades: Neutral, Gold and brass banishing Ash, delivering up to 5 levels of lift with pigment packed tonal deposit.

Want to fight brass as you lighten? Ash is your go-to.

Thinking of enhancing the warmth in your hair as you go brighter? Gold will get you there.

And brand new to the AGEbeautiful family… the Ultra Bond Hyper Lift shades. These heavy hitters not only give exceptional color but fill your hair with bond building technology.

Here’s how I’m loving using these shades!



Beachy Balayage

For the ultimate sun kissed, super natural highlight work, I love using high lift colors.

Just recently I was working on Lila.

Lila is a natural level 6 (light brown) head of gorgeous hair, which we wanted to add natural, sun-kissed brightness to.

I simply mixed together AGEbeautiful High Lift Neutral with 40 Volume and free hand painted onto selected strands. The results were gorgeous and natural!


Hyper Lightener

Now this is what I call “the luxury lightener” because it gives you ample amount of lift.

A touch of tonal control and a decadently delicious consistency.

Simply mix your usual formula of high lift and sprinkle a touch of your favorite powder or crème lightener into it.


Here’s the luxe formula:

2oz. of AGEbeautiful Ultra Bond Hyper Lift Clear and 1/8oz. AGEbeautiful Crème Lightener with 4oz. of 40 Volume


Color Cleanse

Want a quick way to remove unwanted color build up?

Using a high lift as an express all over wash will remove the unwanted tones gently and effectively.

I mix together AGEbeautiful Ultra Bond Hyper Lift Clear with double 20 Volume for 10 minutes on the areas of the hair I want to softly lighten.

The beauty of this is that you are not only cleansing the hair but loading it up with all of

that advanced bond-building action from the Ultra Bond Hyper Lift family.



Blushed Rose

Have a blonde, platinum or silver base color that would like a kiss of rose?

Mix AGEbeautiful High Lift Ash with a drop of AGEbeautiful Permanent 5RV.



Believable Blonde

I love to use a high lift and then an ash from a level 7 or 8 when I want to lighten a lot but still have tonal control.



2oz. AGEbeautiful High Lift Neutral & 1/8oz. AGEbeautiful 8A Permanent with 4oz. 40 Volume

This is ideal for level 6 or higher base colors.



Brass Free Brunette

Softening a darker shade into a lighter brunette without a lot of brass is a snap

using a high lift shade and a classic shade together


Love this formula:

2o.z. AGEbeautiful High Lift Ash & 1/4oz AGEbeautiful 6A Permanent with 4oz. 30 Volume

This formula looks fantastic on levels 4-5 that want to be softly lightened with minimal red/orange tones.


These shades are sure to boost your palette’s coloring potential. I know you are going to have lots of illuminating success and cannot wait to see how they work for you!



Coloring Curly Hair Like a Pro


Whenever I tell people what I do for work, most are asking for my card and trying to book an appointment for the next day. However there are two people in the world who do not respond so favorably to my hair coloring abilities. Curly haired girls and my Mom.  My Mom just wants her gray covered and fast.  Faster than the last time and the time before that… but that’s a whole other blog. Curly girls are another story, they have literally been “burned” before and don’t want to roll that dice again. Whether you’re a curly hair type 2b or 4c, every ‘curly’ knows their textured hair plays by a separate set of rules including how to color it with care. Follow my tips and tricks below and you will be able to not only color curls but keep their gorgeous texture intact.



Coloring curly requires attention to the unique porosity issues along the hair strand.  Typically curly haired clients will have healthy roots, normal mid lengths and super dry porous ends.  When you color curls you need to account for the differences in each zone.  The basic trick is to always lighten and warm your formula as you progress down the hair shaft.



Having a head of tousled curls is beautiful and stands out.  When placing color make sure to create bolder pieces that won’t get lost in the rest of the hair.  In foil work place three to four back to back foils with heavy weaves or slices for traffic stopping results.



The beauty of curly hair is how much depth is in it, play this up with root shadows.  When I color this type of hair I make sure to glaze the first inch or two off the scalp a level or two darker than the rest of the hair.   Try using a demi-permanent color for super gentle results.




One of my favorite techniques for coloring curly hair is place a super moisturizing conditioner on the non-colored hair.  If I’m doing a base color I will apply a masque (I love All About Curls Divine Treatment) to the mid lengths and ends of the hair while the roots process.  Simply put the treatment in another bowl and paint on the in-between hair as you color.  Your clients will love that you’re nourishing their hair as you color.



Over processing this special hair type leads to frizzled ends.  Bond rebuilders are the latest development in the color arsenal which allow you to color even further than we could before with minimal invasion.  When lightening reach for a bond building bleach like AGEbeautiful’s brand new Ultra Bond.  You will be able to lighten hair even further than before while rebuilding the hair bonds as you go.



A lot of times curly hair can become coarse, unmanageable and dull and dry as it ages.  Previous methods of coloring it only exacerbated this.  Today’s technology allows us to not only color the hair but improve the texture as we process it.  AGEbeautiful’s color line is fortified with keratin-peptides which smooth unwanted frizz and silky amino acids help to add tons of shine.



A great way to achieve more dramatic results gently is to break up the appointments.  If someone sits in my chair with dark brown inky curly hair and wants to be blonde, I will space out the lightening to two or three sessions.  Do one round of dense highlights, treat hair for a week or so with bond rebuilders and fortifying masques, then do another round in about 10 days.  This process allows you to slowly achieve your goal with minimal abuse to the hair texture.




One of the biggest complaints I get from curly haired clients is that highlights don’t float near the root enough. The seemingly random wave pattern can make placing even pieces tricky, but by smoothing the hair out before coloring you can achieve precise results.  I love to flat iron all over, and then take a super tiny flat iron to get right down to the root for the hairs along the face hairline.



By following these tricks of the trade you will be able to embrace curls of all shapes and sizes. So the next time you’re at a party with a circle of potential clients, you can be confident handing your card to that curly haired girl too!

How the Color Wheel Relates to Haircolor

The color wheel is the most important tool in the hair color arsenal.


Something I may have chosen not to remember this weekend as I colored my Mom’s hair.


Anyone who knows my Mom understands that she has only two concerns with her color… Cover the gray and do it even quicker than you did last time.


I blame this artistically draining, bar-lowering list of requirements on my reaching for a blue-tinged-toner for her brassy yellow hair. As I was applying the toner and began seeing the mossy, greenish blonde develop before my eyes I thought of that most basic thing we all learned about in elementary school.


The color wheel.

Blue over yellow creates green.


Maybe I should have dug a little deeper into my color cabinet for a violet based toner. The color wheel is instrumental in guiding us through how colors react to one another. Understanding how to use is vital to hair color success stories.


Need to fix a brassy blonde? Got a red that has hot roots? A brunette that won’t lighten without tons of unwanted warmth? All of your answers can be found in the color wheel.


The color wheel has three primary colors, yellow, red and blue. Combining these colors with their neighboring tone will create the three secondary colors.


Now look at what happens when you mix opposite colors… red and green, blue and orange, violet and yellow all negate one another and create a neutral brownish / tan shade.



This very basic breakdown is your best friend in executing perfect hair color results.

I am going to walk you through some of the most common color struggles.

Lucky for us AGEbeautiful has a comprehensive palette of products to deliver perfect results every time.

Keeping it simple is key as we don’t want to reinvent the wheel!




Every colorist has dealt with blondes that have turned that unfortunate yellow tinge. Let’s put that wheel to work and we can see that if we want to negate yellow, we simply reach across to the opposing color and get violet.

By using AGEbeautiful’s TopCoat Toner in beige we add a kiss of soft rosy violet to a yellow hued blonde.



Brown hair is constantly pulling unwanted reddish tones.  The trick is to understand which warmth you’re dealing with.  If it’s orange, you’re going to need blue.  If it’s red, you’re going to have more luck using a green based color.

Using AGEbeautiful 4B Demi Permanent with Clear Shine will give you the perfect blue to negate an intense orange copper.



So often we see darker shades of hair that have been lightened and are left with garish unwanted warmth. First determine which tone needs to be managed.  A lightened dark brunette / black will have red that will benefit from using green as you lighten.  A medium brunette will require blue to control the orange tones that will appear as you lighten.

Lightening this medium brunette using a blue based permanent color like AGEbeautiful 5A will give you refined, sable brunette results.



Once you’ve mastered the basics of color theory you can start tweaking which products you reach for and begin customizing one of kind formulations.


Some of my favorite formulas I have been marrying together this season are…



2oz AGEbeautiful Ultra Bond Hyper Lift Violet Blonde & drop of AGEbeautiful 4V Permanent Color with 40Volume

This is perfect for a level 7 blonde that wants a pearlescent, violet nuanced blonde.



1oz AGEbeautiful 8WB Permanent Color & 1/2oz AGEbeautiful 9RC Permanent Color with 20Volume

A sophisticated bronde that has tons of reflective warmth, shine and sizzle.



2oz AGEbeautiful HighLift Ash Permanent Color & 1/4oz AGEbeautiful 6A Permanent Color with 20Volume

This is the formula for a medium to dark brown that wants ZERO red in their hair.  The blue-green base of the HighLift Ash will ensure crisp, cool, not-a-trace-of-red results.



1 1/2oz AGEbeautiful 3B Demi Permanent Color & 1/2oz AGEbeautiful Clear Shine Demi Permanent Color with Demi Developer

This blue based formula is effective when applied to roots that have developed too vibrant and warm.


The color wheel provides limitless options for every type of hair coloring service.

Being fluent in this will become the fundamental foundation of all successful techniques, formulations and executions.  I know you’re going to love exploring the wonderful world of AGEbeautiful and its professional line of products and can’t wait to see your results!

Unbreakable Blonde

Remember when blonding hair meant breakage?


There are endless reasons to reach for the bleach…  Whether it’s that blondoholic who is never blonde enough, removing a vivid tone or lifting someone’s base color, bleach and high lift color are your most powerful weapons in the color arsenal.


It seems like just yesterday that all that power meant compromised, damaged hair. Those days are long gone thanks to the major leaps and bounds from the labs of Zotos Professional.


Brand new from AGEbeautiful… Ultra Bond!

Now we can lighten hair with full confidence and no fear of aging, breakage or damage, all with built-in bonding benefits.


This cutting edge series has both a powder and crème lightener, three high lift / hyper lift shades, dedicated developers and an at home maintenance line that is the best I have ever worked with.


One of my favorite clients has proudly dubbed herself a “blondoholic”.  As long as she was as bright and white as I could possibly get her, she would suffer through the inevitable breakage side effects.  15 plus years of blonding just jumped into the new era…


Ever since we have switched her over to using AGEbeautiful’s Ultra Bond Series the results speak for themselves:


Jamie Before Ultra Bond Blonding:

Notice how we could only take her blond so far and all that bleaching took its toll on her hair.


Jamie After Ultra Bond Bonding:

I’m not only able to get Jamie lighter and brighter but she is now an unbreakable blond!


Jamie Formula:

Dense foil wrap of babylights using AGEbeautiful Ultra Bond Powder Lightner and 40Volume

In between foil wrap free hand paint mid-lengths and ends with AGEbeautiful Crème Lightener and 40Volume

ProTip:  I love adding a drop of AGEbeautiful Ultra Bond Synergy Deep Treatment to my bleach mixtures for the ultimate in luxury consistency.


Lighten her natural level 7 base color using AGEbeautiful HLA and 40Volume

(There’s a reason they call this HyperLift, I’m convinced there is rocket fuel in there!)

Process for 45 minutes


ProTipTo create a crisp, cool blond try adding a drop of AGEbeautiful 8A into your HyperLift formula.


The piece de resistance to these products is that they have built-in bonding.

There is no messy adding in of ingredients to your bleach, these miracle workers are infused with bond-building arginine, silk amino acids and keratin.


Now for the best part… the Bond Synergy Hair Care:

This at home regime maintains the bonding benefits after all your brilliant blonding.

Doubling the strength and health in the hair.


AGEbeautiful Ultra Bond Hair Care In The Wild!

Jamie is excited to add the Bond Series Hair Care to her complete, nutritious hair regime.


ProTip:  These shampoos and conditioners are super versatile and a lot of my finer haired clients who are looking, not just for volume, but also density-fiber-building-protein are loving the way this line bulks and fortifies their limp locks.


Now that you can lighten with complete confidence go out and there and create unbreakable blondes…


I dare you to find breakage!

AGEbeautiful NEW Blushed Hues

I don’t blush.

Maybe it’s my tough-to-impress / heard-it-all-before NY upbringing or maybe it’s my pink skin…

I’m going with the tough guy macho part.

Speaking of tough… this winter on the east coast has been frigid and snow filled.

After the last storm I was two hours into digging my car out of its new, more aesthetically pleasing spot, which required 4x the amount of digging, when a sound from the heavens hit.

A crisp clack of a snow shovel helping me out from my hot new neighbor.

“Hello Michael! I would’ve helped earlier but I was having such a great time watching you work up a sweat.”

Maybe I do blush.

Which brings me to my new favorite shades from AGEbeautiful anti aging hair color (in my opinion the BEST hair color) … the Blush series!

Just in time for the most romantic   time  of the year… These creamy, beigey colors are perfect for all skin complexions and add sophistication and elegance.

Our model, Yulia has grown out highlights that have dulled and need a kick of balanced warmth.

Apply 2oz AGEbeautiful 8WB Permanent Color and 2oz AGEbeautiful 20Volume at the root area.

Add 1 oz 9WB and 1 oz 40Volume to applicator bottle or bowl and remix.

Apply this formula to the mid-lengths and ends of the hair.

Allow to process for 30 minutes, rinse, shampoo and condition.

By lightening your formula as you progress down the hair you replicate natural, sun-kissed,  balanced results.

These fun, flirty new shades will add smoldering spice to your bland brunettes, blondes and deep browns. I can’t wait to see all your new color flings with the new Blushed Hues!

AGEbeautiful anti aging hair color can be found at Sally Beauty Supply stores.

Fall into a Brighter Brunette with AGEbeautiful

I love this time of year.
That first turn of summer into fall season when the days are bright and bold.
And the nights are crisp and cold.
That contrast between shadows + light, warm vs cool.
There’s a certain sexy to this time of year that only a brunette understands…

Iris has been a proud brunette for her whole life and wasn’t interested in becoming a blonde but would benefit from some brighter bits.

I always hated that old adage that at a certain point in your life, you have to basically give up and “act your age”.

Iris’ hair was perfect for this look and I was determined to prove not only that but the other anti-aging benefits of taking this next step.

Iris had been covering those pesky grays using my favorite rich sable brunette formula:
1oz AGEbeautiful 6N Permanent + 3/4oz 6G Permanent + 1/4oz 7A Permanent with 2oz 20Volume

Once Iris’ grays were knocked out we got to the real action…

We free hand painted highlights using AGEbeautiful Crème Lightener and 40Volume

I mixed them together to a whipped crème like consistency and started in the back of Iris’ head.  Starting right above the occipital bone we painted V-shaped 2” pieces in a brick-lay pattern.  At the front of her face we began to place pieces on a diagonal-back.

Using your eye place the brighter pieces where the sun would naturally lighten the most.

We processed until the highlights were pale yellow.

Now for my favorite fall gloss formula:
Equal parts of AGEbeautiful TintShine Gold + TintShine Bronze with Demi Developer

We applied all over Iris’ hair for 10 minutes

Not only did Iris have stunning results but was delighted to know that these new highlights would help buffer the blow of the incoming grays in a few weeks.

Iris proves that you can keep your hair youthful at any age and was last seen with a basket full of TintShine at Sally Beauty.

Summer Bronde How-To

Taking a deep brunette into the blondes may seem like a daunting challenge, but a challenge is one thing Mike Petrizzi, AGEbeautiful Artistic Director, never shies away from.  “The trick to blonding a very dark base color is to emulate the way the sun would naturally brighten the hair.  Focus on really sun-soaked, super saturated splashes of lightness on the ends that gradually deepen towards the base.  Keeping the richness at the root, grounds the color and makes it look like the hair just came back from months being bleached in the Costa Rican sun!”

Mike Petrizzi employs a few variations of popular free-hand balayage techniques to achieve his goal.  “This is sort of a everything-but-the-kitchen sink approach to balayage.  We use a lot of back-combing in the nape and back of the head, to diffuse the lightness at the root, and lessen this as we approach the face and top.  I also alternated putting the ends of each lightened section in foil, this gives you some super pale bits varying with more golden pieces.”



1.Begin in the back of the head and take small triangle sections, teasing the hair up to the root. Focus on back-coming more hair in the areas where you want more deepness at the root.

2. Apply the lightener in V patterns up towards the root, concentrating on saturating the ends.

3. Alternate every other section with foil-wrapping the ends to retain heat and provide even more lift.

4. Work your hair towards the face-frame and top of the head, easing up on the backcombing and bringing more of your lightener towards the root area, just as the sun would naturally brighten.

5. Process until the hair is pale yellow, rinse, shampoo and deep condition.


About AGEbeautiful Artistic Director, Mike Petrizzi:

  • Lives: Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY


  • Works: Livian Salon, Chelsea, NYC


  • Favorite thing to do: Biking around NYC!


  • Why do you Heart AGEbeautiful? I love AGEbeautiful because it is the best hair color for gray coverage out there. I trust it on all of my incredibly discerning clients, knowing that it reliably delivers 100% maximum gray coverage, restores manageability and softness, and transforms wiry grays.

Mike’s Top 10 Haircolor Tips:

First grays got you down?  Grab AGEbeautiful Demi Permanent Color to softly blend away grays and leave your hair with super sexy shine.

Try using a neutral AGEbeautiful Demi Permanent shade on your roots and a vibrant tonality on your mid-lengths and ends for perfect, balanced results, every time!

Got roots that are screaming for attention?  For a quick fix use AGEbeautiful Root Touch-Up Spray in a shade lighter than needed and apply a couple of coats to achieve deeper results.

Want to banish brass from your hair?  Try AGEbeautiful 3B to destroy unwanted warmth on brunettes.

Red need a refresh? AGEbeautiful Tint Shine Sheer Red to the rescue for an instant red reinvigoration!

Blonde beginning to go bland?  Use AGEbeautiful Clear Shine and 9N to restore brilliance to your blonde and make it come back to life!

Want a brunette that is anything but boring?  Spice it up using AGEbeautiful’s Ultimate Coverage Collection for a rich, chocolate brown with super sexy shine.

Ready for a bold, vibrant infusion of powerful plum tones?  Try AGEbeautiful Shades of Intrigue Collection for the perfect plum hair.

Add sexy volume to your hair using AGEbeautiful Root Touch-Up Spray. It delicately covers thinning patches so hair looks naturally full and beautiful.

AGEbeautiful Tint Shine is a quick way to add a soft veil of sheer color and brilliant shine to previously colored hair.  Best part?  It only takes 10 minutes!

Check out more of Mike’s expert tips and techniques on:

  • Instagram: @petrizzipro
  • Facebook: Zotos Professional
  • Twitter: @zotosprofesh