Wella Professionals Ambassadors Briana Cisneros and Daniel Mora Ayala Share Their Best Tips for Using Koleston Xpress


Ask any stylist and they’ll likely tell you that finding ways to save time behind the chair is top of mind for them. These days clients are busier than ever and often don’t have the time to sit through lengthy appointments, which is why express services—especially ones geared towards color—are growing in popularity.

If you’re a stylist that’s been looking for the perfect product to help you embrace this trend, without compromising on results, Wella’s Koleston Xpress needs to be on your radar. This revolutionary permanent hair color provides 100 percent gray coverage in just 10 minutes, allowing stylists to speed up their appointment times and see more clients throughout the day. Not to mention, it’s formulated with Control-X technology to prevent overprocessing and is available in 13 beautiful non-progressive shades in three color families (neutral, warm, and cool). Whether you are trying to conceal a few pesky grays or a significant amount of silver strands, Koleston Xpress has totally got you and your clients covered.

While there are a lot of 10-minute gray coverage options currently on the market, according to Wella Professionals Ambassador Briana Cisneros, Koleston Xpress stands apart from the rest. 

“The reason I think that Koleston Xpress is a game-changer is because the quality of the product hasn’t really been matched with a 10-minute service before,” she says. “So a 10-minute gray coverage product has been done, but it hasn’t been done like this or this well. It hasn’t been this reliable before. I feel like we finally have something that isn’t going to go too dark. It’s actually going to have shine and warmth. And it’s really a beautiful color. In many cases, products like this will cover a few grays or like 10 percent of grays and then you’re left wondering about the rest of the hair. Koleston Xpress takes care of all the hair, and it does so very beautifully.”

She adds, “I think that Koleston Xpress is really awesome when paired with a quick touch-up that you can do on your lunch break; you could just hit the T-zone. Say your client only has two to three weeks of roots. It’s not enough to really be a lot of roots, but when you have gray hair and you see those sparkles at two weeks, it feels so obnoxious. So it’s perfect for those in-between services. It’s also perfect for when you’re doing blonding or a ton of highlights and teasylights, or even balayage—and it’s a really extensive process.

Along with providing incredible results for their clients, Koleston Xpress also offers stylists an opportunity to make more money for their salon.

“All of us work behind the chair. So as business owners, we’ve got to find ways to bring more revenue to the salon. How do we make more money without compromising the experience of the client? We don’t want them to feel rushed or like we’re a fast service salon. I feel like with Koleston Xpress, you can really give your client that experience of getting 10-minute full gray coverage, while still ensuring they get that pampering feeling throughout the whole appointment,” says Wella Professionals Ambassador Daniel Mora Ayala. “Koleston Xpress has definitely upped my game on how many people I can do in a day and how much money we’re making at the salon. And we’re not charging less just because it’s a 10-minute service—it’s still the same experience. We still greet you with your coffee and everything. So we’re charging the same amount of money and then just doing more clients.”

Back in March, I had the opportunity to attend Wella’s Creative Nights event at the Wella Studio in Los Angeles. While I was in attendance, I was lucky enough to witness both Cisneros and Ayala give a live demonstration how they use Koleston Xpress during express services, as well as chat with them beforehand about their best tips and tricks for working with the time-saving hair color. Keep scrolling for their incredible insights.

Wait to Mix Your Color Until Right Before Application

If you typically mix your color ahead of your service, you might want to hold off on doing so until right before application, when working with Koleston Xpress. “Usually I like to mix my color and have it sitting on the tray,” says Cisneros. “I don’t do that with Koleston Xpress. Because it’s a 10-minute service, I usually wait to mix the color until right before I use it. I make sure that I just put it in the bowl and put it where I need it to be. Then, right before I go to grab the brush, I just mix it up really quick and then apply.”

Ayala shares that when it comes to mixing the color, his preference isn’t to do it all at once. “I mix it ounce per ounce instead of having it all mixed in and it becoming kind of old,” he explains. “I just get new batches every single time and I have them there without mixing. I pre-pour on the bowls and then when I need it, I mix it and then apply it.”

Make Sure You Have the Right Formulation

According to Ayala, using the right formulation during application is so critical when it comes to achieving the best results for your client . “I feel like a lot of times when a product doesn’t work, it has to do with that,” he says. “If you don’t formulate correctly, whether you’re using Koleston Xpress or anything else, you’re not going to get the results that you want. You want to formulate accordingly and then match it to the client’s actual tone.”

Ayala adds, “With formulation, a lot of the time, it’s either going to be the undertone or the level that you choose. If it’s hollow, that means that it’s either lacking depth or warmth. So you’re going to have to be very mindful of what you’re formulating. Thankfully with Koleston Xpress, we cover from neutral shades to warm shades and then ash. So you can always grab what your client’s hair needs and then just mix and match for whatever your client is.” As a pro tip, he recommends mixing your neutral with your stroke ones—your ash—to balance out the tone a lot.

Start Your Application in the Back

Once you are ready to begin your application, Ayala recommends always starting at the back of the head because the gray hairs there tend to be most resistant. “I know that usually the gray  kind of comes out where you don’t want it, which is in the front, but you want to start in the back then end at the hairline,” he says.

Saturation is Key

During the application, you want to make sure that you are really saturating all of the gray hairs, especially the really stubborn ones. Cisneros shared that not saturating the hair enough is one of the biggest mistakes that stylists make when it comes to covering gray hairs.

“I think a lot of people are just throwing the color on, but you really have to get a good amount of product on those hairs. That’s what’s going to do the magic,” she says. “Sometimes we brush too much and don’t dip into the bowl enough. I know it seems really simple, but it’s a problem. We’re just going, and going, and going, and there’s not enough product on the brush to actually do the work. So if you dip your brush in your bowl every single time you apply the color, you’re applying enough product.”

To make sure that you are saturating every single gray hair, Ayala also recommends that stylists work with really thin and fine subsections of hair. He adds that because the texture of Koleston Xpress is a little bit more runny than what you might be used to, you are better able to saturate the hair and apply the color much faster.

Timers Are Your Friend

Ayala stresses that consistency is key for this kind of color and recommends having timers on hand to ensure the most precise processing time. “You just have to be fast with your application. If you have an assistant, it actually works really well. We’ll often split the hair half and half with us both starting in the back. We’ll end up at the hairline and it’s super quick,” he says. “And we have timers everywhere. Our salon is full of timers and you will hear them go off constantly.”

He adds that timing is huge. “You want to make sure that you rinse the front when it’s at the 10 minute mark and then do the same for the back if it’s at 10 minutes as well. We actually use a different timer for the front section that’s set for that specific placement.”

If you are interested in purchasing Koleston Xpress, it is available for purchase on the Wella Store website or at Cosmo Prof. And for more tips on using Koleston Xpress, be sure to follow @wellahairusa on Instagram.

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Camille Nzengung

Camille Nzengung is a Features Editor at The Tease, where she covers all things hair. You can find her writing about the best hair products, the coolest hair trends, and all the exciting new hair launches. Send her a pitch: cnzengung@thetease.com.

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