After training at Bumble and bumble for four years as well as with master colorist Brad Johns for two years, Miguel Angarita, colorist at New York City’s mizu salon, has established himself as one of the city’s most talented colorists. He has solid color background with a specialty in multi-dimensional color. As a mizu salon educator he specializes in hair painting/balyage and the ombre technique.
He is inspired by fashion, summer, nature and “Hollywood Glam”, and a true believer that “hair is the ultimate accessory and it always has to look great.” Miguel regularly works with Elite Models and his work has been seen in television campaigns for Suave Professionals. In addition, he has been featured in Time Out New York, Stylelist.com, TypeF.com, Stylecaster and The Daily Obsession.
How did you get started as a colorist?
Back in beauty school I was inspired by reading about the big colorists at the time like Louis Licari, Brad Johns, Beth Mindardi and Victoria Hunter. I decided that I wanted to be part of this very technical and precise aspect or branch of cosmetology. During my early years I was able to train with Brad Johns and then I moved over to Bumble and bumble where I completed my master training. Being the best requires focus in one specific area and being a master colorist gives me satisfaction by getting instant gratification when my work is recognized and respected.
How would you describe your style when it comes to color?
My style when it comes to color is natural looking, healthy feeling hair with shine, contrast, and lots of dimension. I also make sure my color is long lasting – I should not have to see my clients once a month! I take a very modern approach to color incorporating hair painting, which is more natural looking and will last longer. I really love the Hollywood Glam look and I believe that your hair is the ultimate accessory and it always has to look fresh and glam! When you are in my chair your hair color is the number one priority and focus; it’s got to be the best! I pride myself in my work and being one of the best colorist in New York is a dream come true.
What is hair painting and what sparked your interest in this technique?
Hair painting (also known as balayage) is the free form of applying lightener or bleach onto strands of hair, sometimes using plastic or cotton in between the hair instead of the traditional foil. When separating the hair you back-comb (tease) the hair and then free paint the separated strands. The less structured separation gives your hair the most natural looking highlights. With traditional foils you weave through the hair with the end of the comb and apply the color directly at the root.
My interest in this technique started during my master training at Bumble and bumble, which is where it was developed and crafted. It gives me the freedom of duplicating how nature intended hair color to look. When applying color I always think of where the sun naturally hits your hair and that is where I paint. The days of streaky, fake looking highlights are over! Hair painting is fast, natural, fashionable, long lasting and very practical.
What’s the difference between traditional foils versus painting?
Foils have been around for decades; they are very structured and have a pattern that must be followed. The results are beautiful and fresh however the up-keep is major and you have to touch up much more often than painting. You have to spend more time and money when it comes to foils. Whereas painting is more natural and organic in it’s application making that sun-kissed highlight easily achievable. They both have a place in the salon as not everyone is into just painting or just foils. Sometimes I have to do both techniques on one client!
Traditional foils differ from hair painting (aka balayage) because the techniques in foils have always focused on getting the re-growth or root lighter. This means that the foils help the colorist get as closed to the root as possible creating the effect of highlights growing out of the clients scalp. As a foil client you have to visit the colorist every 4 to 6 weeks to avoid that harsh re-growth line. My painting clients see me every 3-4 months!
The Ombre trend has been popular among celebrities this past year, what exactly is Ombre?
Ombre simply means the transition of color from darkest possible to lightest possible in the same tonal family – darkest at the root and lightest on the ends of the hair. The actual definition of ombre is “graduation in color.” It originally started out as a popular fashion trend and then branched out to the color world. It’s a fantastic, natural, fashionable and long lasting look. The outcome is bright, yet soft at the same time. A lot of celebs have been getting the ombre and you have seen it on Drew Barrymore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lily Aldrige and Guiliana Rancic (to name a few).
Simply put, an ombre is heavy roots fading into light ends. It’s so funny because for decades women were crazy about coming in to get their roots covered avoiding that harsh root line with traditional highlights. Now you have ombre which essentially is heavy roots. However, the way we paint the color it grows out so naturally and really blends in. While you have a “rooty” look it doesn’t look like you are just overdue for a touchup. Being able to use the ombre technique has given me the tools to really recreate perfect color time and time again. The key is to talk to your colorist and make sure that they choose the proper color combination to emphasize your natural tones and features.
When it comes to color what celebrities do you love right now?
Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Miranda Kerr and Drew Barrymore. You have Lady Gaga and Rihanna who don’t have very “traditional” color but its so much fun! Selena, Miranda and Drew really embody my color style. I especially loved Drew’s ombre that she was sporting for most of last summer. It was a heavier ombre but it really fit her and blended so well!