Thank you YouTube.com for the DIY videos (Do It Yourself) I feel as if the first generation of the 21st century will be looked upon as the Appreciation Generation. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not naïve. It can also be referred to as the era that became the foundation for globalization, the era during which the Black Lives Matter movement was reignited, the Netflix era, the era when we went into a depression due to the housing bubble exploding in our face, the Facebook era, the era when terror got real, and the DIY era with too many life hacks to count. I say the appreciation era. The appreciation era because we are so thankful about everything. Just look at any social page for more than a couple of posts and you’ll see it. They read like an acceptance speech for an award. “15 years ago, God blessed me with, a baby/husband/daughter/dog, and I am so thankful, BLAH BLAH BLAH … I’m sure you get the picture. I’m not trying to be cynical, I too am thankful for all of my blessings. In my case It’s baby/wife/daughter/dog/ plus, plus, plus. I have much to be thankful for. We are currently midway through this first generation and it may still be too soon to define it. Considering that most of the past generations were defined some years after they had past. And mostly defined by the occurrences of their climax, which typically happened near the end of the generation themselves. Yet mostly for kicks and my simple observation, I am thankful for Youtube.com and the many DIY videos. Mainly those having to do with DO It Yourself hair color. YEAH!!! …J I still remember with much clarity my first big “Hair Project”. March 2000.Her name was Tonya. Tonya was a pretty lady with long blonde hair. My formula for her at the time was; color her new growth with a level 10N 30 vol followed by high lights. I was already a stylist for 10 years or so. Up until then I ran on good looks and little talent. Don’t get me wrong, by many standards, I was a great hair dresser. I was the owner of my second salon, I took and gave many classes and was a Michael Cole Salon Success graduate a few times over. I was already an Educator for Paul Mitchel, Sabastian and Nioxin, but quite honestly, I was not going any deeper than haircuts, color, high lights, some relaxers and still a hand full of perms. One day Tonya came in for what I thought was her regular appointment but not today. Today this 32 year old beautiful and vibrant girl came in and told me she had cancer. “Shit” I exclaimed. After a few minutes of consoling each other, we proceeded with what to do with her hair. She explained to me that she was undergoing a mild chemo and that her hair may or may not fall out. But that she didn’t want to take the chance. She went on to say that she wanted to have complete control of what happens to outside of her body even as she understood, she had no control of her insides. So as for her hair; “I want it all gone.” Myself, I was sporting, at the time, a Ricky Martin haircut. Clippers #2 on the sides and back. Short on top with the front kind of spiky. She said; “I want your cut.” “Okay,” I told her. Then asked; “What about the color?” To that she replied; “I want it red”. “Okay, red like what?” “Red like that.” She replied, as she pointed at a Redken poster that was hung in the salon. It was a high fashion editorial piece intended more to evoke conversation at the time, than to replicate. Today that color, a level 7 Intense Red is kind of considered boring and yesterday’s color. But remember it was the year 2000 and my salon was in a very conservative part of central Florida (Apopka, a small town north of Orlando with a population of about 35,000 at the time). I got excited and said; “Okay let’s do it!” The execution of this part was easy. Thanks again to Redken. At the time they were awesome, their education WAS SUPERB. They had Shades and I used Shades. They printed formula sheets with the exact how to, for every look that they advertised. So perfect, add the color, process and Shampoo, out, done. Of course I cut her hair first and it was again awesome. In her words “Liberating!” I was excited. Her hair looked pretty amazing. Okay, time for the unveiling. I sat her down, facing away from the mirror, combed her new cut. “Are you ready?” I turned her around and. ……… Silence, she did not react or say a word. She sat there for what felt like forever before she uttered; “I HATE IT.” Oh My GOD. What have we done. Oh my God Oh My God Oh MY GOD. And she continued. Mind you. This was a typical Tuesday in the salon. Full of Stylists and Clients and walk-ins and phone ringing and I’m running out of time and my next client is do in for her appointment in a few minutes. On the surface I was as cool as a cucumber and all the while keeping my own composure. I am reassuring her with, don’t worry statements. “Don’t worry, that’s the cool thing about color. We can do anything with it. Don’t worry, we can fix it. Don’t worry, it will be okay. In my head I was; “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!” That is the moment when that day turned into the never ending day for me. The best thing that Giuliana Crider, one of my coworkers, said, as she walked by; “Wow buddy, you’re screwed. But look at it this way. You will learn more today, than in the last 10 years you have behind the chair, as a colorist. Today Alfredo, you will become a Color Specialist. Color correction is vital to your existence as a Stylists” Giuliana was right. I did learn a lot that day and Tonya did walk out some 4 hours later with beautiful blond hair. You may be wondering why I so vividly remember that day. It wasn’t because of anything I’ve told you yet. It was because there was so much bleach flying around that day that, in support, of what she was going through, I myself decided to go blonde. OOOOF, Not the best choice for me. But I did meet my wife the following weekend. For the record, she hated my hair. That experience elevated me as a colorist. It seemed as if I began to attract color correction projects. Between 2000 and 2007 I was doing color correction at a rate of about 1 every other month. Which I felt was a lot. In 2007 there was a shift. The economic crises in America resulted in a need for DIY hair. Youtube videos for it started popping up daily. Today there is a how to video for everything. For that I thank you, Youtube. Many times over I use those videos to do some home project or reprograming of a technical device, say some smart doohickey. As well, Do It Yourself hair tutorial can also be quite helpful. If for instance you need styling help. Or if you need advice on how to get healthier hair. But when the line between the do it yourself videos leans into the Professional space, it can become downright dangerous. Yes I mean to be that dramatic. Most laymen do not know the difference between the chemical compound of H2O2 and the chemical compound with the formula HSCH2CO2NH4. Which is simply Hydrogen Peroxide and Ammonium thioglycolate, also known as perm salt. And why you would never ever , ever never, ever, use them together. Nevertheless, I thank youtube for all the DIY chemical hair coloring videos because due to its rise in popularity, the rate shift has soared from 1 every other month to 1 a month between 2007 through 2014 and with a current average of about 2 and 3 per month. I feel as if the rate will continue to rise until the only thing we are doing is fixing hair. Which is fine by me. If you look at this blog as a sort of State of the Union Address, for hair Stylists then understand this. I believe that Licensed Cosmetologists are rare and in high demand. There will continue to be a rise in “Level 1 Stylists” – They can achieve most hair services. Followed by the Super talented “Natural Stylists”- They can make hair look amazing. the Natural Stylist was born wit the ability to do hair. I am truly envious of their talent. Finally the Master Stylist. – The type of Stylist that I am honored to stand beside. These very special Stylists have so many Super Powers. Lol … No but really. They have: Years of experience. They have developed their Professional Eye, which my friend Vaughn Leon describes as using what you see with your eyes and defining it by your Professional Knowledge. We have made mistakes that we have learned from. Lastly, we are talented, passionate and in love with this industry and our clients. So Thank you, Youtube.com for the DIY hair videos.