Adventures in Coloring 11 comments

A lady came in today with some seriously lightened hair. She had about an inch of regrowth, and her hair was about a natural 6 (on a 1-10 scale). Her lightened hair was this color:


Off the charts, and yellow tinged. She wanted lowlights to ease the transition while she grows her hair out (as she’s not going to continue to lighten her regrowth). I started from ear level and weaved horizontal highlights all the way up her head, right up to the top, and it looked great when it was done – but boy oh boy was I off in my original color formula!

Of course, the instructors look over your formulas on paper before you do anything, so it worked out in the end. Here’s what I thought would be best:

1/2 8N (8 natural, in our color line) + 1/2 8.01 (8 Soft Ash in our

line) & 10 volume developer.

The instructors saw that and said that it would turn her hair green! I thought ash was what you use to counteract yellow, but apparently it’s more for reddish colours. I need to learn my color wheel better.

So what the instructors decided on was:

3/4 5N (5 natural) + 1/4 5.3 (5 Gold) & 10 volume.

Which is totally not what I would have thought of. Especially since the client didn’t like how yellow her hair was, I would have thought putting any kind of gold color in would be aweful! And a 5? Surely they’re mad!

But of course I kept my mouth shut and trusted they knew what they were doing. (And I do trust them, they’re quite good)

So after all the weaving, which took forever because I am so slow, we went to wash out the foils and I started freaking out a bit. (On the inside! The outside is always all smiles and “Hmm, everything is exactly how I expected. No surprises here! La-dee-da”)

It looked like halloween colours! Dark streaks of level 5 brown, light yellow streaks of her original hair! Oh no! Where my weaves too chunky? Where the instructors wrong about the color formula?

I hoped it just looked halloween-y because it was wet and brought her back to my station, and started drying her hair. As it dried the worries faded, because it looked surprisingly good. The lowlights weren’t actually big thick streaks, they were fairly natural looking, mild lowlights. It turned out ok! I was so surprised by the result, I would not have put a level 5 on her, or used anything yellow-based. But if I had put a level 8 on her it would have been invisible, judging by how light the level 5 looked. Just goes to show that the porosity and condition of the hair plays a huge role in coloring it.

It took a really long time (All afternoon…), but she left me a $10 tip. ๐Ÿ˜€

Leave a Reply

11 thoughts on “Adventures in Coloring

  • mikeb2mr

    hello Skwij.
    Thanks for joining if you are looking to pre fill in the bowl and you have a level 9 yellow straw your wanting a level 6 why would you add more G or yellow when your lacking more of an orange pigment your method like many will work but when teaching it should be pure not quick short cuts.
    As for10 volume you are still suggesting lift hair that is over processed and porous, as you stated if hair is really porous it will absorb even a Demi formulation and yes over time it will fade but after a few application a colour mantle will start to form or the colour will hold.
    In a formulation Using 3/4 5N adding 1/4 5G will have little effect on the formulation the darker 5N will mask the effects of the 5G.
    The difference with choosing a Demi application is the amount or volume of peroxide in this application is just high enough to react with or oxidize the partial oxidized colour molecule. your method with 10 Volume offers lift in a situation that does not need or require it.
    As a colour educator i do not think short cuts should be taught and if you are going to use them explain the process correctly. Your offered explanation is not incorrect and i’m sure many stylist use it. but for me doing anything that is corrective should be done correctly!
    and not just because it quicker or easier,
    When doing corrective work we get paid very well so it follows the job the service we offer the skill the knowledge should all be to a high standard.
    thank you for sharing we will agree to disagree MikeB2MR

  • skwij

    Just to let you know, putting a 5 on that L9 or 10 hair will give a soft 6 or even a 7 result. The G added to the formula was “filling in the bowl” rather than doing a 2-stage process of fill and remove, then tint.

    You’re also correct on using 10v for your line. If your line has a demi, that would also work too, as on overly porous hair “Permanent can become Demi, and Demi can become Permanent”.

    Most people will use Demi or 10v for tintbacks.

  • mikeb2mr

    cool look forward to an email at some point thanks for sharing my blog i have people telling me how helpful it is have followers in the States, Canada, New Zeaand,
    I also post on word press, salon success, Colour forums
    Mike B2MR

  • mikeb2mr

    i teach fully qualified stylist anything from basic colour to correction when i ask in a class which the the stronger 40 or 10 vol 85% will say 40 vol
    10 vol 10 mins lift 20 mins deposit
    20 Vol 15mins lift 20 mins deposit
    30 Vol 20 mins lift 20 mins deposit
    40 vol 30 mins life 20 mins deposit This is why when using high lift blonde the process time is so long but really important after the lift you need the deposit time for the pigment in the colour you have chosen to neutralise the pigement you have exposed,
    Ie if yellow/ orange =Ash
    if yellow =Violet.
    Good luck nice sharing with you if you ever have questions ask via my blog happy to advise!
    Mike B2MR

  • mikeb2mr

    Thank you for your note 10 vol is 10 mins lift 20mins deposit so will lift hair under five vol is no lift unless constantly repeated!
    the strength of the peroxide is not the issues 10 vol is no stronger than 40vol it’s just one stay’s active longer than the other!
    Think of it like a dissolving tablet drop one in a glass will dissolve for said amount of time
    drop four in it will last four times as long hence difference. colour balancing re pigmentation or zero lift Demi application and formulation is sufficient! ie less than 5 volt his will activate colour molecules with out lift
    i case your wondering my background is colour education fro an international company.
    Mike B2MR

  • mikeb2mr

    This is tuff to do it’s working towards colour correction but 10 vol on hair that is over processed is wrong why lift it more ? any time you have a yellow issue if you add ash [blue ]you will get green Violet will tone down yellow.
    In this instance you are lacking pigment so need to re introduce it a demi formulation would have been enough you are depositing pigment with out lift !
    Colour issues are complicated but correction is all about re balance a harmony of red blue yellow to some degree at the desired level.
    I write a blog all about hair colouring feel free to look post questions,in this instance i would not use 10 vol to lift hair that is already to light.
    They should be training you how tore build a pigment base with the lowest chemistry possible. good luck Mike B2MR

    • Picklemonkey

      We used 10 volume because we were taught that when you’re only depositing color (not lifting the hair) use the lowest volume developer you can use. With our permanent color line, we can use 10, 20, 30, and 40 volume – so 10 volume is the lowest of the options, and isn’t capable of lifting when combined with our color, unless a lightener is added. Is it different with other color lines?
      We have 6 and 3 volume, but it’s only used with demi’s.

      I am aware of the need to fill hair like that, but my instructor gave me my formula to use. I think they don’t want us doing anything complicated, or multiple-step, because our speed and skills aren’t up yet.

      Regarding the yellow, I’m still not entirely sure why adding a natural + gold tone gave it the right shade of brown. I don’t think our school will give us a comprehensive education on hair color, as we’ve already been through the cycle that taught color. I will have to take additional courses once I’ve graduated. ๐Ÿ™

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Mike!