Edit ModuleShow Tags

7 Questions with Aveda Hair-Color Expert Ian Michael Black


Published:

Ian Michael Black

Courtesy Aveda

I first fell in love with the idea of dyed-grey hair in October 2013 at Aveda Congress—the world’s premier beauty educators conference held annually in Minneapolis. A hair-color segment from local Aveda salon Juut Salonspa featured the perfect, neutral-grey hair color within its palette of blues, reds, and pinks.

Last spring, I finally decided to take the plunge, going from my platinum, bleach-and-tone blonde to a darker blue-grey. It was my first time I dyed my hair something unusual. Since then, I’ve enjoyed the response it gets me from everyone from strangers on the street to my friends. (And my grey-haired grandmother, aunts, and uncles get a kick out of asking me whether I decided to steal their “look.”) I’ve also appreciated the way the color changed as is gradually faded to a silver, and was pleasantly surprised at how it flattered my pale complexion and blue-grey eyes.

And I’m not alone—not-found-in-natural shades such as dusty pinks, lavenders, blues, and greys are now becoming the de rigeur choice for those looking to stand out from the crowd. Aveda, which has its corporate headquarters in Minnesota, has led the charge in helping to set color trends. Aveda’s global artistic director of hair color, Ian Michael Black, recently launched his Aveda-branded spring/summer 2015 personal hair color collection, Fractal Hues, a spectrum of vibrant colors including—yep—grey. The London-born color expert has been color director on Aveda’s North American Artistic Team since 2010, and he travels the world to educate Aveda colorists, collaborates on Aveda trend collections and campaigns, and takes clients at Aveda’s New York Lifestyle Salon in SoHo. This Saturday, he comes to town for a summer trend event at the Aveda Experience Center at the Mall of America, highlighting Aveda’s spring/summer 2015 beauty collection, Rare Bloom.

Ian Michael Black's 2015 Fractal Hues Collection for Aveda

Courtesy Aveda

I spoke to Black over the phone about hair color trends, tips for those looking to make a significant hair-color change, and what to expect at this weekend’s event. 

Q: Can you tell me more about your role with Aveda?

A: I have worked for Aveda for 15 years, and now I primarily oversee hair color. I do shows and photo shoots each season, and work with chemists and product developers to come up with new hair colors.

Q: What drew you to hair color as a profession?

A: When I first started in the hair industry, I didn’t enjoy cutting hair that much, but then I realized I could just do color. I like working out how to place the color in the hair, how that will affect a haircut, and that element of having to wait to see the finished results. I like the whole process of what happens when mixing colors in the hair.

Q: Let’s talk trend—what’s the biggest trend in hair color right now?

A: The biggest trend in general right now is grey hair. It’s sort of an anti-hair color because it’s a color found naturally that hasn’t always been considered appealing. The great thing about grey is that you can work in different tones—violety greys, pinky greys, blue greys.

Q: Aveda’s spring/summer 2015 beauty collection, Rare Bloom, is all about blondes, from icey to golden. Why was that chosen as the focus?

A: For summer, blonde is always popular. Everybody wants to be blonde. At the beginning of the year, we launched some new blonde toners, and really wanted to showcase those. People get stuck in one shade of blonde and don’t really know what to do beyond that. [Rare Bloom] is about about showing how to refine those tones.

Q: What tips do you have for someone who wants to make a significant color change?

A: I would say just go for it! I think the thing about changing your hair color is do it for the right reasons, not just because everyone else is doing it. Really take the time to think about not only what you want with the hair color to be, but about the upkeep and whether you are prepared to keep getting it done. Be realistic about what’s going to suit you—sometimes we can get very swayed with fashion and with what everybody else is doing, but the main thing is thinking about what’s going to look great on you and what you’re going to be comfortable with. Whatever the trend is, it’s important to work out the version that’s going to suit you best. Grey hair, for instance, is traditionally thought about as very light, but if you want that trend and light hair isn’t going to look right on you, you should try a darker version. It think it’s about what’s going to work with you personally.

Q: What are you looking forward to for fall?

A: I think we’re going to see more reds and coppers. Blonde is going to swap to some darker colors, and I think you’re going to see people who have grey or pastel hair over the summer go darker.

Q: What can people expect at this Friday’s event at the Aveda Experience Center at the Mall of America?

A: I think what’s really nice it’s great for the public to see a different side of Aveda, and also for me it’s great to get out there and meet the people who shop in the stores. People can make an appointment to come in for a hair-color consult to get some fresh ideas or some perspective on what they’re doing for their hair. People go to the same hairdressers, and sometimes it’s good to go to someone else and get a different opinion.

Ian Michael Black will be taking one-on-one consultations with guests who are quick enough to pre-book an appointment for the rare opportunity. The reservation fee is $35, which is redeemable in product. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat., Aveda Experience Center, Mall of America, West Market, mallofamerica.com. Call 952-854-0595 to book a reservation.

BONUS: We're giving away an Aveda Rare Bloom Limited Edition Makeup Collection (pictured below, approximate retail value: $150)! Comment on our Facebook post for your chance to win.

Ian Michael Black's 2015 Fractal Hues Collection for Aveda

Courtesy Aveda

Ian Michael Black's 2015 Fractal Hues Collection for Aveda

Courtesy Aveda

Ian Michael Black's 2015 Fractal Hues Collection for Aveda

Courtesy Aveda

Ian Michael Black's 2015 Fractal Hues Collection for Aveda

Courtesy Aveda

Aveda's Rare Bloom collection

Courtesy Aveda

Aveda's Rare Bloom collection

Courtesy Aveda

Aveda's Rare Bloom collection

Courtesy Aveda

Aveda's Rare Bloom collection

Courtesy Aveda

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Men's E-commerce Brand Bonobos to Open Showroom in North Loop

The e-commerce menswear brand is expected to open its first Minnesota "Guideshop" before the end of the year

Review: I AM Inspired Showcases the Vision Behind Local Boutiques

The annual fashion show reveals the inspiration behind a collection of local boutiques

Nicollet Mall Not on List of Macy's Stores Receiving Upgrades

The department store's struggling downtown Minneapolis location may be among the 100 stores Macy's plans to close in 2017
Edit ModuleShow Tags

About The TC Style Blog

From boutiques to salons to your own closet, TC Style will bring you expertly curated tips and tricks from the local shopping, fashion, beauty, wellness, and design scene. Odds are if you put it on, take it off, hang it up, or cut it out, we’ll tell you how to get it. Most importantly, we know that when you look good and feel good, you do good—the beautiful life is about much more than the material world. (But that won’t stop us from loving it.)

Learn about the contributing writers.

Have a style-related question? 
Email Online_Editor@greenspring.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Recent TC Style Posts

Men's E-commerce Brand Bonobos to Open Showroom in North Loop

The e-commerce menswear brand is expected to open its first Minnesota "Guideshop" before the end of the year

Review: I AM Inspired Showcases the Vision Behind Local Boutiques

The annual fashion show reveals the inspiration behind a collection of local boutiques

Nicollet Mall Not on List of Macy's Stores Receiving Upgrades

The department store's struggling downtown Minneapolis location may be among the 100 stores Macy's plans to close in 2017

Shopping Guide: September 19-25

Sales, style and shopping events at Twin Cities retailers

2017 Miss America Recap

Recounting the journey of Miss Minnesota, Madeline Van Ert, as she competes in the 2017 Miss America competition.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags