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Managing a Failed Attempt at Single Process Blonding

High-lift shades of blonde permanent hair color can be beautifully effective... but they DO have their limits. When a client's hair contains phaeomelanin (golden/orange underlying pigment), attempts at single process blonding usually fail.. as the hair will transition only to an unattractive orange-gold shade. Many of us have attempted to "fix" this situation by following this procedure via wrapping bleached highlights into the hair. Doing this creates a lighter look, but that brassy base shade still rears its ugly head.

Permanent hair color CANNOT diffuse phaeomelanin! Professional hair lighteners are required when we wish to create an attractive blonde result. After bleaching the hair to a pale yellow (almost white) state, we shampoo, condition, and dry the hair about 75% before toning the hair. I highly recommend using a no-lift demi liquid or demi-creme shade (no lift) to deposit a creamy, beautiful blonde shade.

Here's what we need to know: When a client's hair reveals an orange tone, plus a new "root" or regrowth, bleaching the hair is required, and takes time, patience, talent.. AND HOURS OF WORK. Some of the finest pastel blonding experts from the past would share that, at times, two or three appointments, a minimum of three days apart, might be required to "perfect" a previous "failed" attempt at blonding. This might include "spot bleaching" areas of the hair lengths that refuse to lighten past a warm golden stage. We can suggest toning to a deeper sandy blonde (usually not what they want), cutting off the offending "gold" or "beat up" hair (again not what they want)... and also being sure to tone the hair close to the scalp a BIT deeper than pale.. so the color result does not look like an "error". Our model shown here was what we achieved on "day two". Her future retouches (needed every 3 or 4 weeks) to effectively create a pale blonde without "gold bands", will be relatively easy. Getting the hair to this stage was labor intensive. Our professional associate, Nicole, was a trooper, and labored with us during an intense day of correcting this.

Be good to yourself and to your client. Underpromise and Overdeliver during that first appointment. At times, removing the offending "orange" will be easy... In most cases, it will not be. And, remember: Blonde doesn't count if the hair is no longer attached to the head! Lightening with care and precision makes all the difference. .. But you already know that!

See you in class!


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