Trade Secrets of a Haircolor Expert
In the early 1990s, I made this decision to switch to Wella Hair exclusively for the Bumble and bumble salon. As we had been using a mixture of 4/5 hair color brands, this was an extremely difficult transition. At that time, we had nine colorists and we were one of the busiest salons in New York. The first week of transition was extremely difficult with everyone completely confused and the results were varied.
It was at this point that I first met David Velasco. He had just finished a long stint as the art director and head colorist for Wella USA. I hired him specifically to try and help us make sense of this new color methodology that we were going to be using. With David’s help, things changed and improved almost immediately. Apart from his quiet leadership and charismatic way, he was simply never ruffled.
Further, he has a very deep understanding of the basic concepts of hair color as well as the complex tasks that some clients choose to do. He managed very quickly to make sure that all nine colorists were confident in the new haircolor and made sure they continued to broaden the skills and knowledge that they were missing and strengthen their techniques. His overall personality and experience were huge boosts to a salon that had over 120 employees.
After five years, David decided to return to his own salon. However, he had made an indelible mark on the quality of work that our hair color department was able to produce. I would say that every salon in America should have his books. It is a must read, must know, must study series.
Michael A. Gordon
Bumble and bumble
Few in our profession take the time to share their knowledge.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your books on haircolor and haircoloring.
Although your curriculum does not mirror the American Board of Certified Haircolorists curriculum completely, there are no glaring differences. The important thing for both of us is that we continue teaching haircolor as it should be taught, with truth and conviction. Only then can this fabulous profession flourish.
You are a great educator!
President, American Board of Certified Haircolorists
When you told me that you were writing a book I knew that it would be good, but what you wrote is the encyclopedia of haircolor!
Secretary of Intercoiffure-America
I was reading your book again tonight. I must say, you have some INCREDIBLE CONTENT! You have a FABULOUS OPPORTUNITY to set a higher tone for haircolor education.
I think this book could set a new standard for
“Non-manufacturer” education you have done an EXQUISITE job writing a truly definitive work. Again, your content is PHENOMENAL!
Wishing you all the very best! Stay in touch, — you are on to something very
special. This shows what a wonderful teacher you are.
I waited until the entire week passed after your visit to take a poll of the colorists at our salon, so here is the down and dirty blog version of what we all thought….
Marisa, one of our top colorist said “hands down the best color class she has ever been a part of”Ariel just stepped in my office after a intense 12-hour day (which included helping me on a fashion week show this morning 20 models, etc for the designer Nima) and said “the buzz of the entire week over all else that we have on our plate was your class!”
Certified master colorist and globe trotting educator, Wendy Bond who calls our salon home, was amazed at the clarity and control you displayed in delivering your info. For Wendy to spend the entire 5 hours in the class with her crazy schedule alone speaks for itself.
I could go on (and I have in a separate letter) suffice it to say we have one question…
Will you please come work with us????
For me personally (after the Saints game of course) you were the lead story of the week and regardless of what our esteemed staff had to say, I was compelled to create my own 68-shade swatch book this week…and I don’t do color in my salon!
To my friends and colleagues in beauty, I have known and worked with David Velasco for many , many years. Whenever it comes to color, he is the one I call, Whenever I have a beauty professional who questions color I have them contact the industry leader, David. He makes learning color fun and easy. He has the full package of: practical experience , behind the chair knowledge and knowhow, he is a great teacher. His material that you can purchase on line has been a favorite of mine. Over the years anyone I have suggested purchasing to, has called or written and thanked me. David Velasco is outstanding representation or our industry. He is the color KING and deserves that title.
Querido David, tu inspiras ser un Angel enviado de Dios para compartir tu conocimiento con muchos de nosotros que trabajamos en la rama de la Belleza. Cada una de tus sugerencias las he puesto en practica y no hay una que me falle. Me siento muy segura de trabajar al lado de un gran maestro en peluqueria como lo eres tu. Gracias de corazon.
You inspire to be an angel sent by God to share your knowledge with so many of us working in the field of Beauty. Each of your suggestions I have put into practice I never fail. I feel very safe to work alongside a great master hairdresser as you are.
I wanted to let you know that I purchased your course
at IHE. I thank you from the bottom of my color tube.
After 23 years in the industry I now have a ‘Manual’
that is readable and practical. I have put into
practice many of your secrets’ and have had great
So simple really.
Thank you so much for loving the art of haircoloring
and being willing to share your knowledge and
experience with the rest of us to make us all better.
I have been telling ALL my hairdresser peers about
your series and encouraging them to contact you so
that they may have these amazing tools in their
Once again David, thank you!!
samson & delilah Salon
I have just finished the first four chapters of your book and I must tell you that it is one of the best haircolor books I have ever seen.
One of the easiest to follow, great comments on the ‘trade secrets’, non commercial, and it is very obvious that you have a lot of knowledge and experience on haircolor from being behind the chair.
I look forward to reading the rest of the book and to seeing you in September
Treasurer-International Haircolor Exchange
Trade Secrets is a collection of factual information and a hair colorist best tool. The series addresses just about every color situation you can encounter and is a reliable guide to the best end result.
I have revisited techniques I haven’t used for years and have been inspired to do better color in my salon. Thank you, David, for a straightforward easy read.
And thank you for taking the time to write them and share them with the industry!
Premiere National Educator
Dear David ~
I am a former education director for a major manufacturer and after almost 22 years, I’m still hungry for knowledge! And, after all these years, I’m still fascinated and frustrated by many of my fellow colorist’s lack of knowledge and lack of interest in searching out or even making themselves available to information, tools and techniques. Just recently, I was fortunate enough to receive an email that contained your newsletter with all of it’s categorized ‘tips’. My reputation as a ‘color geek’ is long and well known, and I find myself the recipient of articles on the subject quite regularly. Not until today have I received something that made me stop in my tracks and realize that the ultimate comprehensive materials are readily available in your books.
Your ability to explain the realities of color/chemistry and the behavior of the hair’s anatomy in relationship is outstanding. Your language is concise and to the point, leaving no doubt of what you are trying to convey. Each category has compelling information which simply relies on the ‘core’ of color theory to support any decision and/or formulation that is required for a successful and beautiful color result! Bravo!
I had given much thought over the years to writing such a book, but just didn’t know how or where to begin; not so much for personal gain, but for the sake of the stylist AND client. Our young (and not so young) stylists rely too heavily on what they learned in beauty school – (and unfortunately some of that information has been deemed inaccurate or obsolete) – or they feel that they’ve complete their learning journey and are too proud to admit or confront that learning is ongoing and everlasting … and exciting! THANK YOU for taking the time in writing such a much needed and well thought out ‘encyclopedia’ of hair color information. I smiled throughout the entire read and nodded my head in agreement, completely thrilled that there is a reference/learning tool out there that will once and for all cover all things imperative and important in approaching hair color with professionalism, confidence and integrity!
I am urging our salon to utilize your book as an educational implement to fine tune our colorist’s approach to color, to create envious results through formulation and technique and to establish a code of integrity in dealing with challenging hair types! Your book is my bible and one that I can use to support the salons
goal of excellence in service and performance.
My appreciation and best wishes to you!
You could not have a better customer than me. I really have enjoyed the book so much and have had many aha moments and questions that I’ve wondered about, answered.
God gave you a beautiful gift of understanding and putting into words, what you are passionate about with regards to color.
Thank you for taking the time to put pen to paper for all of us out here so that we too, can also try to understand color better.
I wish you a huge success with this new venture and thank you again so much,
I just received your course in the mail last night and
I have read the whole set already! I found the course
to be very concise and informative. As a
colorist/stylist in (hoping to someday be a colorist
only!) in the Boston area it is very hard to come by
good education that is not product based or gimmicky.
I have a lot of experience and have taken a lot of
time to educate myself about color, so most of ideas
in your books aren’t necessarily new to me. Some of
the situations you address are things that I have run
into many times and I have taught myself how to
compensate for by learning the hard way! You’re books
have firmed up what I already know and I feel I have
gained much organized approach to my thinking. Even if
you already know something through trial and error,
having it explained once and for all makes a big
The underlying pigment chart with the texture bars is
genius! This is going to probably be the most helpful
tool that I have gained from your series. I have
learned to compensate for texture with blonde formulas
over time, but with brunette and red formulas it’s a
lot more tricky.
Counting up through the stages of lift makes so much
more sense then just counting up through the
difference in levels! Why don’t the color companies
use this chart in their swatch books? Would really
rather have us fail over and over just to preserve the
notion that their color is magic? 🙂
I originally trained as an assistant for someone who I
would definitely consider a master colorist. This was
over 10 years ago now, and I still remember a lot of
the questions I would ask her surrounded these topics.
Many times the answer would be “Because.”
It’s not that she didn’t know, It’s was because nobody
ever gave her the language and the reference tools
that she needed to explain it! My assistants and
junior stylists who I’m working now with will have the
advantage of me being able to train them with direct
reference points rather than assuming it’s a matter of
Thank you for writing this set!
“I got my books today!!!”
I just read the first one “how haircolor really works”. Everything I already knew EXCEPT the fact that different hair textures begat different underlying pigment (ULP) but that little fact cleared up a lot of mysteries I’ve had when “it didn’t come out the way the manufacturer said it would”. It also made the whole course worth the purchase price. You were right that he makes things easy to understand, even the stuff I knew made more sense!.
I’ve read 2 books (How color works & covering grey) so far and this week-end I hope to finish the course. I have to tell you that even with only two books under my belt, I’m already using your theories in response-posts to questions posed in the forum. I think they are a great series and am happy I bought them.
I also have been to your forum and will check back regularly. It’s a great idea and a useful tool.
Rick Spina a/k/a MadArtist
What you have done for our industry is nothing short of amazing.
Your books are are so well written that a beginner, or long time stylist, can gain skills and confidence in their coloring abilities.
Your graphs are simple, yet highly effective, and your instructions are a must for every color department.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge. And, thank you for always being available to answer questions!
Denise Genova, Owner
Beauty on Robertson
Thank you so much for your quick response to the mix up with the book. I love the way they are arranged and the holder they came in. I have them on my color bar and my assistant and I are using them frequently. I would love to meet you when you come down to Tampa so feel free to drop in to the salon or call. Again thank you very much.
Thank you and have a great hair day.
The staff at Ron Raynor Salon.
Wanted you to know I love the books…I keep looking up one thing after another…it’s a big help….
I DO like the books thanks for your reply…they are helping greatly…one cannot know everything and every situation is different but I feel more confident every day….I read a bit all the time…..now you know I have been in the business a long time, but truthfully I do not know everything….thanks for condensing all the info.
I just wanted to say thank you. this is the third book I have boughten. they are a tremendous help. i am a student right now and it has made such a difference!!!! I have told my fellow students about you and your books.
once again thanks for what you do. It is so nice to be able to get these books. they dont teach you this wonderful information in school.
I am so excited about your Haircolor Trade Secrets E-Books! I am always hungry for all education related to our industry, especially in the haircoloring department.
Mary Ann Castaneda
David, thank you so much for all this information. I printed your
instructions and had them laminated along with all the charts that you sent me. These are all part of the color station.
I highly recommend David’s books, they are the BIBLE OF HAIRCOLORING and you’ll learn more with these books than with anything out there, they are great.
– Mags Kavanaugh
I have them all and they are fab……
To anyone interested in professionally coloring hair, David’s books are well worth the investment. They are very affordable if purchased one at a time but, if you get one, you will want them all. I have often read that his books are “the Bible of haircoloring”, but quite honestly, they are much easier to understand!
If you have David’s books, you’ll see how easy it is to understand haircolor. Its been explained so basic and easy that everybody from experienced or beginners can understand it very well.
I have learned so much with these books! They are great! Thank you David you are AWSOME!!
David., I’m very happy with the great information that you kindly are given to all of us lucky to be in touch with you ., you answered my desire to know why dark color in men tends to be with red marks when it started to clear up .
my eternal gratitude for your kindness & GOD bless you .
David, thank you for giving us all this valuable great information, your suggestion of demi-color also works great for gray-reduction.
Thank you for posting this to my email. I went to all your classes in Orlando but have not bought the books yet. Soon I will hopefully be able to purchase them. Nice to open an email and get good educational information like this. Its a pleasure.
I have all of your books when i went to your class at Anaheim last year, but , every piece you pick out of the book still helpful. It’s like the renew for my mine. thank so much,Cam.
David! thank you so much!!
David, your are awesome! Thank you for sharing this wealth of information.
Thank you so much David
It just shows you the “little” things can make a “BIG” difference–whether it is negative or positive.
Thanks for this website David.
Thank you , Thank you , Thank you! Hats off to you!
All the above are so true ,but thanks Dave for taking your time 🙂
Thank you very much you are so nice for share all your information
When ever i have a question about color, your always able to answer it. Thank you for always keeping it real.
I’m so excited for you! God has blessed you with the ability to teach, which will support you for a life time.
You speak for all of us! Those of us who have paid money to go to shows just to get CE hours but came home with nothing but a good hang-over. When are you gonna be at St Louis??? God Bless You! And what a light you turn on in our industry!!!! Good luck!!! Congrats!!!! What a privilege to be asked by the state of FL Can you send this to the State of IL too.
David….Congratulations on your pursuit of excellence, and in teaching the fundamentals of what it takes to also become excellent ourselves, in what we do. Learning and understanding the laws of color theory, levels and hair textures, as well as the color lines we represent, is everything. Without this kind of knowledge and practice of it….we can never become confident or successful in this extremely competitive industry. Thank you so much for bringing us back to the basics and showing us new ways of looking at color! Your books are terrific and I’m proud to own them.
David… kudo’s to you and your methods. I love your teachings and I love how it has helped me even more than I can say :). And how it has helped the girls in my salon. Your books have been a blessing to our stylists who haven’t really understood color or been taught color before.
David, We are all so grateful that you did not get lost on some creative ego wave and went back to the basics. While others were busy telling us that green highlights are the latest fad. You were busy with the beginning. The begining that needs our attention as an industry so desperately. Thanks for keeping it simple!
I am such a thankful colorist for the gigantic strides David has made to present haircolor concepts by going far aned above the norm. I do have his books and DVD and treasure what he has put into words. Way to go David!!!
I attended your class on Amazing Redheads. I have been a hairdresser for 25 years and have never had a class that was full of info. throughout the entire class. Job well done. That class was worth the trip alone. Thank you . I will see you next year.
Thanks so much for giving me your secrets o tips for color process, I’m so happy, thank you very much again.
You have good tips and this information is really useful to know.
Thank you so much your tips are very helpful and good to know! Thanks
Thank you David for being really honest about who is the best cannadate for the single process blondes.
Just one word… *Wow*
That is great information.
It is a nice review for me.
Thanks for being there for us David
Thanks for the best haircoloring tips ever David. I appreciate it so much!
David, Can’t wait to see you at the Premiere Show Orlando. People on my site LOVE your books!!!
Thanks for all you do in the industry.
I just love the way David explains color. Why of course using a darker level of color instead of an ash tone when you’re trying to gain real control over the natural underlying pigment in the lifting process. If there’s no real need to make the hair much lighter, why then would you even consider disturbing the underlying warm pigments??? Way to go David!
Excellent lesson about neutralizing warm tones this really helps specially how to work on Asian hair at the time of prelightning.
David you are the BEST!!! I have in the last few years started adding a couple ribbon inches of levels 5 or 6 to all of my blondes for depth. Through trial and error found that it worked for me. Now I know why it worked.
I am a life long learner, thank you for being one of my teachers! BTW I am having a lot of fun with breaking the base on my blonde clients, so wonderful to have your web site.
I am so happy I found your website. I am currently a student at North Florida Academy in Jacksonville, Florida. You books are helping me so much in hair color. I haven’t finished them all yet, but they are definitely increase my knowledge.
Thank you so much,
We recently added a new member to our salon. She expressed a sincere desire to learn more about hair color and although we had not familiarized her with the line of color we use, I told her if she was truly interested in knowing all about hair color there was no place better to start than the beginning. I handed her a copy of your book, “Haircolor 101”, told her it was basic principals written in a way that textbooks aren’t. She took it home and couldn’t put it down. Her son asked if she was studying for a test. She texted me saying, “I can’t thank you enough for introducing me to the David Velasco hair color books – I am addicted to them now!” Karen is going to be a great haircolorist.
Epi Color Hair Studio, Inc.