We have all attempted to satisfy a brunette client who wants to be blonde, by doing what
we think will work well, which is: First, lightening the natural base shade to blonde and
then following this with a highlighting service. In my opinion, in very few cases, that
step one: Lightening the natural base shade creates a hair color ERROR. Let me explain:
There is only ONE WAY to GUARANTEE 100% that the base shade you create will not
be brassy, orange, or an unattractive, brassy yellow-gold. And, that one way is to use
BLEACH which is the only product that can remove phaeomelanin.. (the unwanted warm
golden/orange pigment) from the hair. Bleaching hair takes experience, time, patience,
and requires your following the pre-bleaching via application of a targeted toner shade to the root area of the hair. This is time-consuming and your client must understand that your
fee for creating this must be sizable.. as the client requires lots of your hands-on attention,
and time during which you will not be able to correctly see other clients.
My Opinion: You will "avoid regret" and be MOST SUCCESSFUL if you refrain from lightening that "root" area. Instead. Highlight the hair heavily.. particularly at the crown and
at the face- framing areas. THEN: After processing, shampooing, conditioning and drying
the hair.. RE-HIGHLIGHT the hair thorough the top... attempting to skip the strands you have
previously lightened. Doing so, increases the population of blonde strands quite effectively
and beautifully... I call this COLOR CROSSING and show it at my IMMERSION EVENTS.
This technique yields a gorgeous, very modern blonde which needs retouching every six to
ten weeks.. rather than every four weeks. The ticket for the service is significant, BUT the
clients will look GREAT as the hair grows out... AND she will not be "a slave" to the color.
When a regular retouch schedule is maintained, you will need to "COLOR CROSS" only
about twice a year. ...
AND: Here's another tip. IF YOU STILL DECIDE to lighten the "root" area of the hair. Try
lightening it with CONTROL. and with a buffering agent which is designed to counter-balance that dreaded "brassy" look. NEW product I recommend for this is WELLA BASE
BREAKER. It is available in a "cool" and in an "ultra cool" formulation. It is mixed with equal
parts of twenty volume developer, and applied/processed for ten minutes only. it lightens
regrowth about one level AND effectively "cools" the result.
REMEMBER: The further you lighten natural hair away from its starting point (level) the less
control you have over the final TONE of the resulting shade. This statement is a color FACT.
We have all seen the client who has an unattractive "hot" root, which is super brassy and an
orange-yellow.. sporting a heavy highlighting intended to "cover up" that unattractive "root"
I know this seems like pre-historic information, but there must be a reason that even today,
Jennifer Aniston's hair color is noted as being the "I gotta have it" shade of blonde.....
So, consider the Wella Base Breaker. You might remember Joico's Base Breaker, Clairol's
Luminize, and the short-lived Redken "Shades Above"... All these are non-ammonia soft
"lifters" of natural or synthetic color. Trying to "break the base" using permanent hair color
CAN work effectively.. but doing this is more difficult and less predictable.
I hope to see YOU in class this year. Next week: Dallas, Boston, March 28th and Austin,
April 25th. And, in planning stages for Cleveland, Chicago and Vero Beach! I'm searching
for host salons throughout the USA. Let me know if you are interested! B