Ian Michael Black, Aveda

Ian Michael Black talks next gen colour

In Uncategorized by Nicky

Ahead of launch date in February 2022, Ian Michael Black, Aveda’s Global Artistic Director for Hair Colour, told Tribu-te about the excitement for this ‘next gen colour’.  Aveda’s Full Spectrum Permanent™ vegan treatment hair colour is a combination of new technology and fully-customisable, radiant colour results that build on Aveda’s reputation for innovation and maintain the brand’s mission to uphold environmental sustainability in beauty. After a global reveal headed up by Barbara De Laere, Global Brand President, we joined Ian in person for more detail:

Ian Michael Black 

Thanks for talking with us! So in a nutshell, what is so exciting about the new Full Spectrum Permanent™?
“Hello! Nice to be with you. So, this professional hair colour features a new exclusive alkalizer technology, an expanded palette of customisable colour, a specially developed pure-fume™ aroma and a new 100% recycled aluminium tube.” 

Why is it remarkable?
“For people who are conscious about the environment, here is a 96% naturally-derived and vegan product. We are a vegan company and everything along our supply chain is vegan. And when we manufacture it’s either with our own solar power or wind power.
“Then from a salon owner’s perspective, Full Spectrum Permanent™ has about half the amount of  products you’d have in a traditional colour line, so less stock sitting unused.
“And consumers will be pleased to find a more natural alternative for hair colour, and from a hair colourists point of view, it’s taking your artistry to the next level.”

Aveda Full Spectrum

New Aveda Full Spectrum™ Demi+

How does the range help artistry if there are fewer colours?
“We use a system of levels and tones – so what it’s doing is pushing the colourist to create their own palette. They are not being dictated to with a set colour choice – it’s very freeing as a colourist.”

Do you need to be more accomplished as a colourist to cope with this system?
“No – we have a shade chart the same as anyone else and we do share formulations but once you’ve got that, it’s as if the training wheels come off! You can push yourself as a colourist. It encourages you to grow and do that in a very safe space.” [Scroll to see more information]

What about performance – what’s the new technology?


Aveda’s New Full Spectrum™

“Our scientists are at the forefront in pushing the boundaries, and they have shown that greener products perform as well if not better than synthetics.”

And so there’s no compromising on quality?
“I think that the most interesting thing that Aveda has done is in pushing the boundaries. Our scientists – who are used to working with natural products for year now – have proved that you can have greener products that perform as well if not better than synthetics. When bond-repair products came out, these proved to be industry changers. Aveda spent six years developing our Botanical Repair™ Colour Treatment. Our scientists found how to re-attach broken bonds and also multiply them to give you new bonds as well! Plus, there are certain ingredients that have always been made from synthetics and we’ve worked with suppliers to develop natural versions that are now available to everyone else. We are opening the doors to other companies to be greener, too.”

As a colourist, how closely do you work with your scientists?

Darcy Prater

Aveda’s Darcy Prater works closely with Ian

“I’ve worked for 20 years alongside Darcy Prater, our Director of Formulations for Professional Hair Care. I’m not a chemist but there is always this conversation about developing new products. We bounce ideas around then start to work. Hairdressers are involved in the whole process. It might start with me, then we’ll fly in a bunch of people from all over the world. We give them stuff to play with – we don’t tell them too much – we let them use a product an see what they actually like, watching their reactions.”

As a colourist, are you expected these days to understand more about how products work?
“Products perform better so arguably there is a safety net and you don’t need to know how they work. But if you want to know, companies are much more open and sharing; if you want to know, you can.”

How has the colour market changed in over the past decades do you think?
“In 1986 hair colouring was like ‘the second thing’. In the 90s hair colour came to the forefront –it’s profitable. Hair colouring to where hair cutting was!”

Aveda Full Spectrum

Global reveal for February launch

What next for Aveda colour?
“Our technology is ahead of everyone else. The rest of the world is trying to Greenwash – saying products are natural. As a company we are pushing for an international standard [see below]. And we are creating colour that is not just less damaging, but it’s new technology that makes it so.”

Do you see different speeds of change in different territories?
“From a hair colour formulation standpoint the laws are different around the world. What many companies do is to have different formulations for different countries. We don’t. Also, there may be a variation of emphasis geographically. American hairdressers are more about the business, the Brits more about the art! Americans are really into the formulation of something – asking what’s in the bowl? Whereas Europeans are more what’s it going to look like?”

What’s Aveda’s point of view?
“From an R&D standpoint and a claims standpoint we work at supporting all hair types. We want to understand all types of hair, and we have the ability to test on all hair types. We undergo extensive claims testing and inclusion is key on this. What makes something feel modern is not excluding anyone in any way. We are conscious of this. From the start we’ve been very much talking about every hair type.

NB: Ref solar power: A 900kW solar array at Aveda’s primary manufacturing facility generates up to 50% of the annual demand for energy. The remainder is covered by wind power through renewable energy and carbon offsets.

Aveda’s Full Spectrum Permanent™ Vegan Treatment colour range

New Natural Cool Series: featuring 60% more cool dyes (ii) that neutralise hair’s underlying warmth while staying true to level. Available in 9 levels – 1NC, 3-10NC.
• New Natural Natural Series: Added opacity and coolness for 100% grey coverage in 30 minutes.Available in 7 levels – 2NN, 4-9NN.
Improved Natural Series: Same tonal quality as previous Full Spectrum™ permanent hair colour with exceptional colour deposition and longevity. Available in 8 levels – 3N-10N.
• New and Expanded Tones: Same full range of light, dark and pure tones in bold new packaging plus four new tones for simplified brunette and blonde formulations and a pink pure pigment.

(ii) compared to Full Spectrum Permanent vegan treatment hair colour natural series

Aveda has developed a ‘proprietary alkalizer technology that powers Full Spectrum. Here’s what it can do:
Enhances colour penetration for exceptional deposition; processes faster for 100% grey coverage in just 30 minutes; delivers radiant shine and longevity even on difficult-to-maintain reds; gives incredible results with precisely calibrated shades; and creates infinite shades with an expanded range


Aveda Full Spectrum Permanent vegan treatment hair is 96% naturally-derived and like all Aveda products, is cruelty-free, vegan and manufactured using 100% renewable energy through solar and wind power.4 This treatment colour now comes in a 100% recycled aluminum tube, with FSC certified 100% recycled fibre cartons that are 100% recyclable.



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