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Identifying How Dark Hair Transitions to Light

Today's lighteners no longer share the traditional "STAGES" of bleaching hair goes through when being lightened from black to blonde. These changes are now defined as "levels of

lift". For very basic understanding, it's important to think about what NATURAL HAIR looks

like as it lightens. So, traditional thought describes what happens to black hair as it gradually gives up its pigment and lightens to blonde.

When lightener is applied to natural black hair, here's what scientists observe when checking

development every five to ten minutes: The loss of pigment is gradual, over time:

Black first lightens to

Brown, then to. a warm brown, then to

Red, then to a red-orange, then to

Orange, then to, and orange-gold, then to

Gold, then to

Yellow, then to

Pale Yellow

So! A LOT of transition takes place, gradually, as natural melanin leaves the hair. Of course

there are, at times, natural variations, as some hair lightens more rapidly than other hair types.

Most lighteners continue to remove natural pigment from the hair for up to two hours..( at room temperature, always), (when in contact with the scalp. The majority of lifting action

takes place during the first 75 minutes of application.

At times, famous colorists have learned that when very dark hair does NOT lighten to a pale blonde shade on day one, it is best to effectively and thoroughly rinse the client's hair. Shampoo with a blue, or violet shampoo, condition the hair well, and ask the client to return in 48 hours for the second round of lightening. When this has happened to me, that second

round was done "off the scalp", with powder lightener, wrapped in foil. This allowed numerous and very close together strands to be lightened, in foil, to Pale Yellow.. NEVER to

White. When the hair is lifted to white.. the cuticle layer on the hair has been dissolved.

Some colorist have been told that very critical pre-lightening of the hair to a pale yellow stage

is NOT necessary.. and that a platinum, white, or pastel blue or ash toner will create a platinum result. .. Sorry. This is NOT TRUE. To create white or platinum shades, the hair

must first be lightened to pale yellow.. which is the color of a banana.. not the banana skin..

the banana FRUIT. A beige-yellow, super pale shade. Hair lightened to pale yellow is

very fragile. It can break easily and MUST be pampered via application of shampoos and

conditioners designed for use on highly lightened hair. I've always loved several brands:

Kerastase Vita Ciment and Force Intense, Milbon Restorative shampoo and Conditioner,

Vieso shampoo, conditioner and masque for highly "damaged" hair, the Wella Plex Line, and others which identify as being highly conditioning and reparative for use on pastel shades of hair.

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