Be a ‘Crib Colorist’ … Do Your Own Color the Right Way for Under $60

Damn!  Seems like every time I turn around It’s time to get my hair colored. I’m not the only one. This is a major expense for many women throughout the developed world. Well, maybe there was some pun intended.

God knows there’ve been disasters – when you have to hunt for someone else to fix what was already done. Many’s the time I’ve wished I knew a hill of beans about it all so I could just do it myself.  

Thanks to the information superhighway, I really hit pay dirt a few days ago when I stumbled upon a blog at  I couldn’t believe my eyes!

This is the only blog on the internet written by a board certified hair stylist/colorist with a cosmetic chemistry background. That’s her claim and I believe it. I looked around pretty hard and I am a tireless researcher.

KC Ellis trained at the prestigious Vidal Sassoon Academy and spent an extra year dedicated only to color, working with then head of the color department. She operates out of Malibu and has now colored over 10,000 heads, many of which are featured in the films and television shows we all know and love. Her love of the art and science of color is obvious in the words of her blog.

Her site is extensive on color – the basics of color, how to apply color, how to choose the right colors… She lays it all out in simple terms. I’m super excited about the prospect of taking my own hair into my own hands, which I have done – literally - four times today. I began the process of removing the old product and color from my hair by scrubbing it washboard-style between my hands. This is the beginning of a fresh new start.

As KC points out, you don’t have to learn about everyone’s hair, like a stylist does – only your own. She’s written all kinds of posts to help you do just that.

Killerstrands also has an online store where you can order all the products needed to get and keep your hair in killer shape.  KC’s picky about the products. Some of the items are also available in brick and mortar stores (but her prices are better). Others are exclusive to Killer Strands. If she doesn’t find a product that meets her standards, she invents one to do the job. No sodium laurel sulfate in her shampoos or conditioners.  Quality in all of her colors. Recently, she let go of a brand she’s been promoting for years because it got bought up by a behemoth corporation and the quality of the product has been compromised.

The story of KC and Killerstrands is an inspiration. KC never had any intention of coming out of the salon. A rare and terminal bone disease made it impossible for her to stand up so long. As she lost the ability to go into the salon as much as she used to, she used the time to glean even deeper knowledge about cosmetic chemistry. The more she learned, the more she became determined to give this vast knowledge back to as many people as possible, empowering people to become “crib colorists” in their own home.   

The site provides graphs, color wheels and charts that help home colorists to absorb the concepts of color. KC doesn’t believe that ordinary people are incapable of understanding these concepts. I’ve been working on it for about a couple of weeks now. I sure know a lot more about it than I did before.

My first color will run under $60. That includes the 9-piece color kit for $12.80 with all the basics for coloring hair – a onetime cost - AND a Ph balancing and replenishing treatment for $24.80 that would cost way more in any salon.  This color treatment locks in the color, adds shine, and most importantly, restores the Ph balance to the hair. It’s a must after any lightening, coloring or toning. I’ll let you know how it goes!

A lot of tireless research has gone into what KC calls the “10,000 Heads Protocol,” which includes eating right, yoga (blood to the head – the best for the hair) and twelve other common sense steps to achieving strong, healthy, shiny hair. If I adhere to the 10,000 Heads Protocol, it’s pretty clear, I’ll not only be improving my hair, I’ll be improving my life. That, my friends, is quite a deal.



From here, you can access the Killerstrands store.

(Jennifer Caldwell is a an actress and an active member of SAG-AFTRA, serving on several committees. She is a published author of short stories and news articles and is a featured contributor to CityWatch. Her column at is dishing up good deals, recipes and food for thought. Jennifer can be reached at Facebook: - Twitter: @CheckingTheGate)

Vol 10 Issue 75
Pub: Sept 18, 2012