Disclosed are apparatus and methods for efficiently and effectively manipulating spreadable materials. Such apparatus and methods may be incorporated for uses such as applying spreadable materials such as hair color, relaxers, and the like to a surface such as the surface of strands of hair for the purpose of highlighting or otherwise processing hair. A variety of applicators including varying edges, surfaces, tapers, and dimensions are disclosed, wherein each applicator configuration creates a different effect when used for hair processing. Furthermore, a hair stylist may select one or more of the disclosed applicators based upon ease of use for the particular hair stylist, personal preference, and/or the type of hair to be processed. The applicators disclosed herein retain their rigidity during use, are fast-drying, create less waste, and are easy to clean. In one embodiment, a user may tailor the applicator's head design to meet his or her personal needs.