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Correcting Unattractive Hair Color - The Starting Point

RARELY (if ever) can a color correction "happen" via application of only "one thing", achieving success in only one "easy" step. When hair is longer than two inches,

we are addressing a minimum of two different hair conditions. Porosity, chemical history and,

often, a variety of staining by pigments in the cuticle and cortex are distinct possibilities.

I've found that the best way to decide first steps is to ask yourself: " What is the biggest,

most visible problem here?". Is the root (regrowth) area the biggest mess, or is it the

hair lengths? In MANY cases the hair lengths create the biggest undesired situation.

This week, one of our members faced a situation where the hair's regrowth area was not

attractive, but this was overshadowed by the "blacker than black" hair lengths, which had

begun to grow a bit more than 1 1/2 inches away from the scalp area. Seeing this situation

can be really daunting.. particularly when extremely dark hair is far from the client's most attractive option.. or desire.


As you know, clients think that your ability to easily remove the very dark black shade

to a soft brown "with no red" should be an easy task. IT IS NOT! Before embarking on this

difficult situation, it is important that you inform the client that correcting this situation is complicated and far from 100 percent achievable during one, single appointment. It is

best to under-promise and to over-deliver. Preserving the hair's healthy condition is very important.

In the past, color manufacturers would recommend that you apply a DYE SOLVANT to the

dark portions of the hair. These highly alkaline color removers act to dissolve the dark dye

molecules.. HOWEVER: In my opinion, while, after applying them, a busy colorist could set a

timer and walk away to work with another client.... The ability to "lift" out the dark shade was

almost NEVER "pretty" or even. The hair was often left with areas closer to the scalp developing to a lighter tone than those located near or at the hair ends... So the discoloration was uneven. AND, I have not seen hair left in good condition after exposure to this. Again, this application is the least labor extensive, and minimizes "hands on"-- more time

for the colorist to be engaged elsewhere. NOT MY CHOSEN METHOD.

While my approach is much more time consuming, I believe the results are more attractive AND that the hair is left in better condition. Here, I'm saying my FIRST STEP:

I start slowly by observing what a chelating treatment will achieve here. Malibu CPR treatment as well as MALIBU UNDO GOO shampoo, AND L'Oreal's new "METAL DETOX SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONERS are wonderful choices here. Some colorists use Joico Shades Above or Wella Base Breaker. Whatever your choice, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

Apply and process to perfection before rinsing FOREVER, shampooing, conditioning and

drying the hair. In most cases, you will be happily surprised with the slight.. yet visible change in depth. You can perform this treatment one additional time if you wish. I've seen

the suds in the sink turn brown, bluish or purple when performing this treatment. Before you comment, understand that I know this is time-consuming, yet well-worth the effort.

If you are caught by surprise, and have no chelating product at your salon, you can create an

alkaline (chelating) shampoo which works (almost) as well. Here's what to do:

You need three things:

Very warm (not hot) water

Shampoo. (not a heavy "conditioning" type)

Baking soda

Pour equal parts 3 TBSP of each, (double the amounts of this if the hair is long) into an applicator bottle or other container. MIX VERY, VERY Well. You have now created a cheater. Gently pour this onto the client's DRY HAIR as she relaxes into the sink, and massage through as well as you can. Now, moisten the hair just enough to create a lather,

, and very evenly "massage" this mixture throughout the scalp and hair. You may

add more water - until you create a lather.. you may need to add a BIT more

water or shampoo. Work into a sudsy foam Cover the client's hair with a plastic

cap. Allow her to relax for 15 minutes (room temperature, please). Then, rinse thoroughly,

shampoo and condition the hair. Dry the hair. Observe. At least a PERCENTAGE OF

THE DULL, TOO DARK, STAINED HAIR will be transitioned to a lighter shade.

Now we are

ready to begin gently lightening selected strands of hair to a level which will accept an

acidic glaze: creating a much more beautiful shade... And THAT is the subject of our next

lesson here on www. Are YOU interested in learning more? And would you like to comment or to add your opinion? If so, please comment here, or reach out on our Facebook Group Page:

Conversations with Top Color

Professionals by Beth Minardi. B

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I am learning so much from these post! Thank you Beth for sharing your knowledge! I wish I had found you many years ago! I’m not a confident colorist but I want to be.


Hi Beth, your hair articles are always very educational, everyday I look into my mail box to read whatever new article you post. Coming from you girl.. you are la creme de la crème!

I went to Cosmetology school @ 36 and I’m now 54 yrs old. semi retired. I’m an independent stylist and I can now choose that right guest I’d like to sit in my chair. It didn’t come easy but with persistent and everyday Education such as yours, and from various platforms that exist on SM

I’ve been able to continuing learning and succeeding in this field. From the bottom of my heart ❤️ Thank you Beth, You are the best! Delilah,

From Vancouver, British Columbia


Beth Minardi
Beth Minardi
Jul 07, 2022
Replying to

Bill! Your participation in class and passion for beauty make teaching a joy! Thx for being a here! B

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