Simply Hair (Part 2) with Kazumi Morton
Kazumi Morton is the Isaac Newton of Hollywood hair color. The renowned “hair chemist” has transformed the locks of some of the biggest stars in Tinseltown, from Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, to Christina Applegate and Shannon Dougherty. Kazumi has perfected the fine art of hair color, specifically natural, sun kissed highlights. Her philosophy is pure and simple – less is more.
Praised as the “Best Brunette Specialist” in 2011 by LA Weekly, I was thrilled when I was able to secure an appointment with Kazumi Morton. As someone who has had bad experiences with hair color in the past, I was hesitant to make any dramatic changes. After viewing some of Kazumi’s work on her Tumblr page, I was reassured but still anxious. I sent her photos prior to our appointment, part of her regular consultation process with new clients. For Kazumi, the consultation is the most important factor to achieve great results. She truly listens to her clients, understanding what their ultimate goals are. Do they want a subtle change or a total transformation? After chatting with Kazumi for ten minutes about the ghosts of my hair color’s past, I’m comforted by her intuitive nature and honest feedback. This is perhaps what makes her the go-to colorist for finicky Angelenos. Kazumi may have a gentle demeanor, but she’s not afraid to tell her clients the truth, or even turn them away if she doesn’t agree with what they want to do to their hair. Her passion for hair color is evident when she says, “My hands and my heart won’t let me give my clients a look that is unflattering.”
With over 16 years of experience in the industry, Kazumi is like an encyclopedia of hair color knowledge. From pH levels and the damaging effects of bleaching to the intricate details of the color wheel, Kazumi has been educating her clients, colleagues and students across the globe since 1998. She immediately says that she will not be bleaching my hair and that this is not a good option, especially for my naturally dark, ethnic hair. Rather, her plan is to give me highlights with just Hair Color, a gentler, more controlled approach. No bleach? No lifting of my base hair color before applying the highlights? I’m intrigued and curious – why has no other colorist ever recommended this technique to me before? While it may not be a new discovery, applying highlights with Hair Color is a more refined method, one that is safer and less stressful on your hair. And the perfect option for those who are new to the world of hair color.
After a couple hours in Kazumi’s chair, it was finally time to remove the foils and reveal my new highlights. When my blowout is complete, I turn around to see soft, warm, glowing hints of caramel within my dark brown tresses. I sense that Kazumi is disappointed that the color is not as pronounced as she would have liked. “It seems your hair is a bit resistant to color,” she says to me with a laugh. Perhaps after years of Sun-In, boxed hair dye, and botched color treatments, my hair has learned to be cautious. Or maybe, Kazumi’s method was the answer to my hair color prayers. Although she invites me back to the salon to add more color in the coming weeks, I decide to enjoy my understated highlights as they are. With time, the highlights have naturally lightened up, as if I had spent the winter months on a tropical island. They are delicate, radiant, and simply beautiful.
Highlights with Kazumi Morton, $300 & Up. JONATHAN and GEORGE Salon, 9320 Civic Center Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Salon Hours are Mon-Tue 9am-5pm, Wed-Sat 8am-6pm, Sunday Closed. (310) 275-2808