Attempting a Pink Fade Upgrade on a Retro Lamb trim

18 Sep




This client’s mom LOVES color and gets something new at every groom. With Halloween coming, I gave her the link to Starwood Center, the Grooming Academy in Thailand (link is on the right) and told her to pick something to try. I’m excited to have this kind of client, it makes grooming fun.

Now, for this particular appointment I had my work cut out for me. She had some matting (home bathing) that could be brushed out, but her ears were SOLID. I knew i’d have to shave them, and not knowing what i’d find under them, I couldn’t promise i’d be able to color them.

The Style:
For the haircut we decided on a Retro Lamb, which is sort of like a Town and Country (think BIG, unblended and rounded shoulders and hips that rise above the shorter body by a few inches). The Retro Lamb has fuller, more defined legs and hips than the more popular modern Lamb, but no where near as dramatic as the T&C. Because of the desired Color technique, I broke my steadfast rule and roughed in the pattern before the bath so I could get a better visual.

The Color:
For color, my goal was to create a fading effect, with the tops of the legs being white, then gradually turning pink, with the darkest pink being her feet. I’ve never attempted this, but I’ve been dying to for years. The problem was I had no idea of the technique used, so I made up my own. I’m detailing it here so I can remember next time, as this technique needs LOTS of work.

(Note: I no longer bathe before applying Hot Hot Pink, as it nearly ALWAYS turns purple-pink on clean hair. On dirty hair that gets bathed during the rinse, the results are truly hot pink. This also saves me a TON of time, since I’m not bathing/drying twice.)

The Fading Technique: Diluting, Layering and Combing Method

* Brushed some Dawn on her back between her hips and shoulders and around each leg, as a barrier against accidental smudges. Color will not take where there is Dawn, especially on a dirty coat.

* Generously applied pure Hot Hot Pink to her feet and massaged it in using my gloved fingers. Purposely over-saturated the area, then used a  comb against the grain to distribute this dark layer further up the leg. I hoped this would help blend between color layers and create the fading effect.

* Mixed some Cotton Candy pink with the Hot Hot Pink, about 50/50 combo. Applied this above the HHP feet, where the combed up dye was. massaged it in and combed up again.

* Added an Isle of Dogs conditioner sample to the mixed dyes to dilute it further and applied this at the top. Combed up toward the top of the leg, making sure not to go all the way down to the roots the higher up the leg I went.

Then I wrapped her in foil and shaved her ears. Big mistake… she immediately began flapping her head once the weight of her ear mats disappeared.

Ear Hematomas:

Sigh. When a floppy-eared dog begins shaking her head, her ears slap under her chin and on top of her head. When these ears have been tightly matted, the blood flow can be restricted. Once the matting is removed, blood immediately begins flowing through the veins. I imagine it feels like when your foot falls asleep.

The combination of a tingly sensation and the suddenly reduced weight of their ears causes some dogs to begin shaking their heads obsessively. The shaking causes the ears to flap around and the blood to start concentrating towards the tips of the ears. If allowed to continue shaking, the ears will swell and bruises will form. The ear tips can even crack or split due to the excess blood.

Yep, this puppy’s ears formed hematomas when she continued to flap her head, and I took photos immediately. Her ear tips went from pink to red to purple, and yes, started to bleed a little. A coworker wisely suggested putting a Happy Hoodie over her head to hold her ears still so she wouldn’t damage them further, and this was a stroke of genius.

Her ears weren’t dyed that day, and the fading technique didn’t work. It looked awesome until I scissored it, then I realized I should have over-compensated and applied the dye deeper since I was gonna scissor away half an inch of hair.

These photos are a few days later, when she came back and I just used temporary sprays and blow pens.


One Response to “Attempting a Pink Fade Upgrade on a Retro Lamb trim”

  1. Brandi Ward September 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    I once attended a pet first aid class where it was suggested run COLD water over the ears for several minutes to help constrict the blood vessels (and slow the forming hematoma), and to then pin the ears up on top of the head with vet wrap to further reduce the rush of blood to the tips of the ears (this was before Happy Hoodies). I actually had the opportunity to do this once, and it worked like a charm!

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