The Salon Solved It! A bespoke colour match

Layered’s editor Amanda Nottage wanted the mother-of-pearl colour found on a bottle in her bathroom. Could Percy & Reed East’s Billy Fry and L’Orèal Professionnel make it happen?

It’s been two years. Two years of telling the colourists I meet in salons up and down the UK that my dream hair colour is to match a bottle of Bumble and bumble’s Pret a Powder. It’s a little bit peachy, it’s a little bit pinky, it’s a whole lotta shiny. Oh, hair heaven, will you answer my prayers and bestow upon your loyal servant the holographic tones I so desire?

It was at the backwash at Percy & Reed East in London’s Spitalfields that I told my tale to stylist Billy Fry and his colleague, Ellenora Dean. “We could do that,” said Ellenora blithely, “now that we have new #COLORFULHAIR from L’Orèal Professionnel…”


A-ha! Yes, the new vibrant colour range from L’Orèal Professionnel has been setting the beauty blogging world alight, and the array of services and ideas has been just as bright. Candy hair? Mermaid hair? Peekaboo hair? I was all a-quiver. But what I thought might work was Pastelage – a play on balayage, the freehand painting method, but using unicorn colours.

So then Billy Fry – do you think you can Pastelage-up my lengths and get my hair shimmering like a jewel?

First up, the basics. It had been eight loooooong weeks since I’d had my roots done, so I needed my regrowth lifted up and the lengths cleaned out to give us the perfect base to work with. First I sat under the bleach, which had hair protector Smartbond from L’Orèal Professionnel added – you don’t get to have long hair this bleached without a colour additive fighting the damage! During this, Billy tested out three #COLORFULHAIR shades on blonde wefts – Sunset Coral (the main colour), Pink Sorbet and Electric Purple, all with lots of clear gloss to create sparkly pastels. The pink and the purple (well, a lilac tone) were added in alternating thin slices so that they’ll merge along with the peach, with no harsh lines.

Once the bleach was shampooed off and the last Smartbond step added, the #COLORFULHAIR tones were painted on and developed in about 15 minutes. Then back to the basin to rinse off (no need for shampoo). All the while, I had various members of the Percy & Reed East team trot over to see just what Master Billy was up to. Made me feel quite special!

But, enough ­of the pleasantries – could #COLORFULHAIR and Billy Make. This. Happen? Well, judge for yourself…

HELL TO THE YES! It was incredible – the shine! The peachy-keenness! The perfect match! I was utterly gobsmacked. AND the following day on the school run, I was stopped by two mothers to tell me I had the most beautiful hair colour they had ever seen. That’s a win right there my friends.

So, there you have it – just what can be achieved in the salon when you ask for a bespoke colour. There’s no way this could have been done at home with a box. Granted, what you have in mind might not be so, ahem, unique, but it goes to show the expertise a salon colourist – nay, ARTIST – has in their fancy fingers. Bravo, Billy, bravo.

Want an appointment with Billy, or another super stylist at Percy & Reed East?
Click here for details on how to book.
Fancy trying #COLORFULHAIR from L’Orèal Professionnel? Find your local salon here.