Balayage vs Highlighting, Ombre vs Color Melt

Theres so many new terms being thrown around with hair color these days that it can be confusing trying to decide what technique you should have your stylist use. Ombre? Balayage? Foils?

Here’s what you need to know.

Balayage, means ‘to sweep’, and is a technique for adding dimension- highlights or lowlights. The color is painted on freehand, which allows for a softer amount of color at the roots, and more saturated ends which gives minimized regrowth (read: low maintenance!) When done properly, balayage looks like your hair did after being in the sun for a summer as a child.

aff277af02876c89a731976d2d4d7495 8f4682e5a4a076983e5560b806a29dc2

Highlighting, is  dimension done with aluminum foil, and creates a strong piece of color from the scalp to the ends. Depending on the direction and amount of color applied, foils can look either subtle, or severe.

8a455654ef8756f4a05e14991750472b c0f52809df07b273025b43ac8f84282b e70c9cf8dae44f60a949f091a8351116Ombre, is a look that can be created using many different techniques, whether with foils, balayaging.  The definition of ombre is “having tones of color that shade into each other, graduating from light to dark”. Drew Barrymore’s extreme ombre helped launch the trend. With ombre, the whole head shifts from solid dark, to solid medium, to solid lightness, with very minimal dimension, if any at all.

0686a9ce9c59f65948d7a456e8173e05 81529b4e2c19dfcd4011366fb25c2506


Color melting is similar to ombre, except instead of the entire head shifting from dark to light, only some of the hair shifts- making it like a blend between highlights, and ombre.

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 12.51.05 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 12.51.54 PM



Keep in mind, all of these techniques and looks can transcend the color palette, meaning anyone can try them out as long as they use the proper color family!





Whether you call them bangs, fringe, or the icing on the cake, one things for sure; bangs are one of the strongest changes you can make with your hairstyle without coloring your hair. After adding a solid fringe on a gorgeous client the other day, I was inspired to do a little rundown of the options that lay before you all, lovely clients.

Baby Bangs

Short, sharp, and a statement piece.


Asymmetrical Bangs

Edgy, bold, and versatile- when outgrown they morph easily into side swept bangs.



Rockabilly Bangs

Retro-rama, mama.



Side Swept

Effortless, and can disappear into layers when no longer wanted.

fce54b24e39c1dba47fdb26bef85f2d6 201d146240f25bb6e6030e169caf45f5


Bardot Bangs

Inspired by the french actress, these ride the eyebrows to the hollows of the cheekbone.





Not exactly side swept, not entirely classic, they cover the forehead but swoosh ever so slightly to the side. Great for the indecisive.




Classic Bangs

Brow grazing, and either entirely horizontal, or softly arcing across the tops of the cheekbones, the classic fringe is adaptable and always in style.

4039bdd00ac6bf6ff011a0ece21117f2 836b42d6ce90d19514c911a2d6c120a2 90c07ba2a48498f5c1de178309dec01d f982cf1dfe2b32cc2b989902605ae5f6



Fall Inspiration

It’s official, Fall 2014 is all about bobs, and red hair.

12f1a24b7f2178c9bb7709091cb2aaef c5aba5d5cb22fb7b574176be19929efa 3415f9401d6412232ffe3d088ed482f2 27227cc6eb0bcc673b203ca7bb00f773 1a44afe20262e63d7c7f39b3d82d049b fbb833334e925c34cab1530d5c9dffe0


Wavy Curls and Coily Curls Models Needed



It’s that time again, and we need tons of curly guys and girls who are looking to experience our dry haircutting methods for their curls! Because there’s so much to teach about curls, waves, and kinks, we have each day of training broken down to specific textures. To help determine which type of curl you have, click HERE and take the quiz, or see which hair type you most identify with. If you’d like to be a model, email us at with Curly Model in the subject line of your email. Enclose a recent headshot of yourself with your hair either air-dried or diffused (no curling iron enhancement please!), and which day/time slot(s) you’re available for. *Models must be at least 16 years of age or older*

Dates Needed:

Monday, September 22nd, Kinky/Tightly Coiled Curls

(type 4A through 4C)

Models to be cut by stylists in training:

Fee: 0$

Time: 12pm, 2pm, 4pm

Examples of kinky-coily hair:



Monday October 13th, Wavy Hair (type 2A and 2B)

Models to be cut by stylists in training

Fee: 0$

Times: All Full

Examples of wavy hair:



If you have any questions, please contact the salon at


“Organic Color”, Ammonia Free Color, Henna Color and FAQ’s

First and foremost, there is NO such thing as “organic” color. Here is the definition of organic, as given in Websters’ dictionary (hover and click link). Traditional Hair color is a compound of artificial pigment, ammonia, and hydrogen peroxide. When you mix ammonia and hydrogen peroxide it creates a process of oxidation that aggressively swells open the hair’s cuticle, bleaches out the internal pigment, and replaces it with a synthetic pigment. Et Viola! New hair color. The downside is that ammonia is a volatile gas and the reaction produces a noxious fume that causes respiratory distress, allergic reactions, and damage to the hair.

Ammonia free hair color replaces ammonia with MEA- monoethanoliamine. MEA is an odorless liquid, and in hair color applications, it’s mixed with oils to help gently soften the hair cuticle to allow it to slip into the hair. The removal of internal pigment is solely powered by peroxide (some brands use higher concentrations than others, and can be harsh or drying) before depositing those same artificial pigments into the hair shaft- the trade off is that MEA based haircolor can’t give the high lifting power that ammonia can, but it yields far more predictable results because it’s not causing excessive damage or overly exposing the underlying hair pigment (brassiness) in the process.

Henna is an herb that gets mixed with other herbal compounds such as willow bark and indigo to produce variations on its reddish hue. Due to henna often getting contaminated with metallic salts and other compounds it can react horribly with MEA, ammonia, and peroxide which is why stylists caution against it’s use. Heres the most comprehensive guide to henna and it’s limitations that I’ve found. Henna is the only plant derived hair color on the market.

One of the things we’re keen on at The Hive is keeping chemical exposure to a minimum, even when using artificial hair color.

All hair color (with the exception of herbal tints) have three major chemicals involved; peroxide, an alkaline (MEA or ammonia) and artificial pigments. None of these are plant based, and cannot be considered ‘organic’. There are a few color lines out there that are green washing consumers with claims of ‘certifiably organic color’ or “100% Eco-friendly’ and even “all natural” on their labels, but they all fail to acknowledge that they still have to use those same three chemical compounds, just like everyone else. Most color will contain PPD’s (Paraphenylenediamine) and Resorcinol- these are the two most common allergens in hair color, and are responsible for pigmentation and grey coverage. Our color doesn’t have true PPD’s on the label, but it has similar pigments and resorcinol, making a patch test necessary for anyone who’s encountered an allergic reaction to hair color in the past.

Hair Color FAQ’s:

Q. Do you use Organic Color Systems?
A. No. Organic Color Systems didn’t meet our expectations for performance, and has a propylene glycol base and artificial fragrances- which we avoid

Q. Do you still use Simply Organic Haircolor?
A. No, unfortunately the high alcohol content made the color extremely drying, and it didn’t offer the color palette that our clients were looking for.

Q. What brand of haircolor do you use?
A. Email us at and we’ll send you the info- because we’re always on the hunt for a cleaner, better product, and technologies always changing, we may use one brand today but a new brand 6 months from now.

Q. Can you bleach hair?
A. Yes, we use a potassium persulphate based bleach instead of ammonium persulphate- it’s odorless, and can still give the same lifting power as traditional bleach.

Q. Do you use organic color?
A. There is no such thing as ‘organic’ hair color, Only herbal tints that do not lighten hair, or oxidative hair color. Oxidative hair color is always chemically driven, even when it contains plant extracts. The term organic refers to growing food without the use of herbicides and pesticides.

Q. Does your color contain Ammonia?
A. No, our color has MEA which is an odorless, gentle alkaline instead of ammonia. It provides the same capabilities of ammonia with minimal limitations without imparting the same degree of damage to the hair.

Q. Does your color contain Henna?
A. No.

Q. Do you offer Henna?
A. No- at this time we haven’t found an herbal hair color that doesn’t contain questionable heavy metal contaminates.

Q. Does your color contain heavy metals?
A. No. Heavy metals, like mercury or lead, react severely with hydrogen peroxide, and are generally found in herbal or henna based tints.

Q. Can I use your color if i’m allergic to PPD/Rescorcinol?
A. Unfortunately not; PPD and Rescorcinol are the chemicals responsible for our colors grey coverage and longevity. We currently cannot source a quality hair color line thats free of those two chemicals without trading them for other offensive ingredients.

Q. I think i’m allergic to hair color, how can I know if I can use yours?
A. We’ll set you up for a color consult, and we’ll perform a patch test to see if you have a reaction. If you pass the test, we’ll book you a color.

Q. Is your color safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?
A. Only you and your doctor or midwife should make these decisions based on the information presented.

Q. My doctor said it’s OK to color my hair while I’m pregnant, but I’ve read that my hair could react funny. It this true?
A. Sort of- the hormonal cocktail in your body causes the hair growing from your scalp to be stronger, shinier, and thicker- in most cases. But for some, pregnancy can have little to no affect on their hair. If your hair has been stubborn to color in the past, it’s likely going to be harder to color now; all of the extra vitamins and proteins you’re consuming is causing the new growth at the root area to be even more resilient, meaning extra stubborn greys, and a harder to lift cuticle. In rare instances, your hair can get extra brassy at the roots. To avoid issues, either consider foil low-lights to blend dark roots, or try Balayage or Ombre styles of hair coloring. The ends of your hair won’t be affected by your pregnancy because it grew before you conceived.


Meet Your New Stylist- Eric Ticknor!

Eric just recently moved to the US from Canada and is one of the most easy going stylists you’ll ever have the pleasure of working with. Don’t tell him we told you, but it is fun hearing him say “out” and “about”. ;)

1. What got you into hair?

I’ve been cutting my own hair since I was a kid. The decision to go to school for some “formal” training came after butchering a girlfriends bob in the kitchen.

2. Who are your hair idols?

Vidal Sassoon from yesteryear, Nick Arrojo from yesterday. Anyone who can look good straight out of bed.

3. Favorite services/styles?

Big changes! I love chopping someones hair all off. Soft and Sassy textured haircuts are my favourite.

4. One thing that you wish clients did more often?

Bringing in photos to help explain what they’re looking for; just not so many that we can’t get through them all!

5. Favorite Internet time-suck?

Youtube party!!

6. Zooey Deschanel, or Mila Kunis?

Yes please.

7. Favorite Meal Ever

Steak and a beet from my bachelor days.

8. Super Secret Talent

I can fold a fitted sheet like Martha Stewart.

9. Favorite bar, venu, or store

Being new to Minnesota, I’m still exploring. Any suggestions?

10. Favorite local beer

Anything from Fulton

11. Worst hairstyle you’ve ever had

17 year old Eric had a wicked undercut. The top was shoulder length, the sides and back were shaved down to the wood.

12. Do you have a blog, tumblr, or instagram that you’d like to share?

Perhaps in the near future. Stay tuned folks…..


Apple Cider Vinegar- DIY Hair Wonder Potion!

Apple Cider Vinegar is an amazing treatment for hair, and chances are it’s just hanging out in your pantry, waiting to be discovered. The vinegar is a gentle acid that can help regulate the PH of your scalp, temporarily tighten your cuticle, lock in hair color, reduce excess oil, and calm scalp issues like dermatitis, dandruff, and psoriasis.

At The Hive we love to follow color services with a dilution of apple cider vinegar and water to help close the cuticle back down, and as an alternative to shampoo; it’s great for when you want to remove product or oil and refresh your hair, but a shampoo could be too drying. It’s great for curly clients who are trying to wean off of, or reduce shampooing!

To give yourself an apple cider vinegar treatment, simply mix 1 part vinegar (and brand works, raw or not!) to 2 parts water in a spray bottle. To use, rinse your hair thoroughly under warm water, spritz liberally with your vinegar solution, let soak for 10 minutes, massage, rinse, and condition- no shampoo necessary!

You can even tint a small batch to enhance your hair color’s shine! – keep refrigerated and use within a week

Redheads- 1 c strong brewed Rooibos tea + 1/4 c vinegar

Golden Blondes- 1 c strong brewed Chamomile tea + 1/4 c vinegar

Deep Burgundy Redheads- 1/4 fresh beet juice* + 3/4 c Rooibos Tea + 1/4 c vinegar *this can stain light hair, clothing, towels, etc so please be careful!

Brunettes, 1 c brewed black tea + 1/4 c vinegar

Dark, cool Brunettes 1c strong brewed coffee or espresso + 1/4 c vinegar

The only kitchen remedy we don’t recommend is Baking Soda washes- Baking soda is an alkaline and a mild abrasive, meaning that it will raise the cuticle and remove hair color, and will aggravate sensitive scalps. We only use it when we need something harsh to help pull chlorine build-up from hair, or remove over deposited hair color. Not a good idea when you want to preserve your color and shine!

Tags: , , , ,


Oils vs “Oils”

It seems everywhere you look, from your high-end salon down to Target, every hair product brand makes an exotic sounding ‘smoothing oil’ that promises to leave your hair light and silky without buildup. If you’ve been in the salon, you’ll know firsthand that we adore plant-sourced oils for hair, but we’re the first to eschew those other ‘oils’ that you see lining the shelves in the beauty aisle. So, what exactly are these oils, and why is there a difference?

A true oil, although some what water resistant due to it’s viscosity and melting point, is still water soluble, and is processed from a plant, whether it’s jojoba, coconut, argan etc- true oils have a plant source of origin. “Mineral Oil” isn’t extracted from minerals, but is actually a by-product of petroleum and isn’t ‘natural’ in the least bit. Most other ‘oils’ are a blend of silicones- water proofing agents made from plastic- with a small percentage of actual oil in them. The difference? Silicones prevent water from entering the hair. In the beginning, they make your hair shiny and smooth, but considering silicones also provide the slip in conditioners, the texture in hairsprays, and the viscosity and humidity protection in just about every other conventional product, build up happens. When you coat your hair in water proofers at every turn, you prevent real moisture from getting into your hair which causes dryness, splits, color fadage, and breakage. Hair is just dead protein and needs constant rehydration- especially if it has any type of curl.

Here is the ingredient listing found on the back of one of the biggest argan ‘oils’ on the market:

cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, cyclomethicone, butylphenyl methylpropional, argania spinoza kernel oil, linseed extract, fragrance supplement, D&C Yellow-11, D&C Red-17, coumarin, benzyl benzoate and alpha-isomethyl ionone.


Here is the ingredient listing of our 100% raw organic Argan Oil

Argania Spinosa (argan) Oil* *Certified Organic


The first ‘oil’ is actually made up of mostly different forms of silicone, with artificial fragrance, and colors filling out what little oil is actually in the bottle.

True plant oils when used in the appropriate amounts will not make your hair greasy because your hair will be able to absorb all of the moisture. In return, your cuticle softens and can start to lay down, color retains better, and split ends become preventable. The hydration provided will prevent your hair from shrinking and swelling in the summer humidity, and prevent static and snapping in the winter. Even fine hair can use appropriate oils in the right amount, like pure argan. The best part about using 100% plant based oils? They don’t weight hair down like a silicone can because the cuticle isn’t shellacked down- leaving the hair bouncy, shiny, and soft.

Tags: , ,


The Hive is Hiring!

We’re excited to announce that we’re looking for another stylist to start in our salon this summer!

The Hive Salon is seeking a licensed hair stylist with minimum 3 years experience to start immediately. Candidates must possess the ability to work as a team as well as being self motivated, punctual, and professional. We are an intimate and relaxed 5-chair eco-boutique salon dedicated to giving our clients stellar service while using the best in plant-based, organic, and natural haircare. We are a clean-air environment; we do not offer perms, ammoniated hair color, keratin treatments, or other services that put fumes into the air; because of this, candidates must love working with all types and textures of hair. We provide in-salon training including in depth education and hands-on experience working with dry haircutting for curly and highly textured hair types, mineral makeup, and ammonia-free hair coloring.
We use Schwartzkopf Essensity Hair Color, styling products from Intelligent Nutrients, Yarok, Max Green Alchemy, John Masters’ Organics, Hair Fix Dry Shampoo, and Alima Pure Mineral Makeup. To apply, send us your resume with cover letter or drop it off in person during regular business hours

The Hive Salon
400 Lowry Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN

Street parking available


New Conditioning Oil Treatments- Just in time for Winter!

We have two new services with Jen and Becca-Hair and Scalp Treatment and Feed Your Youth oil treatments! Each contains certified organic oils, and coupled with a luxe length scalp massage and a trip under a hot dryer will infuse your hair and scalp with shine-enhancing essential fatty acids and moisture!

Feed Your Youth is spiked with avocado and yarrow oils and is perfect for hair that has been treated with keratin, or is becoming brittle with age.

Hair and Scalp Treatment Oil is full of Intellimune and Jojoba oil and seals color, clarifies the scalp, and calms dehydrated curls.