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After a detailed consultation, our client decides to completely transition their existing hair color.  Where do we start first? What do we do? What are our options?  First don’t panic. Decolorizing hair and transitioning to a new hair color can be as easy as 1, 2, 3.  So, take a deep breath!  

Whether highlighting or performing an all over, decolorization/corrective color is a process that some fear. How do we get from such a dark level to much lighter colored locks? You will need to highlight or decolorize with a bleaching system. 

Decolorization is a process

An all over decolorization is a process and we must remember not to be too hard on ourselves. Whether fixing someone else’s mistake or just designing a new look for a client, you must realize that this is truly corrective color and may not be a quick fix. This must be discussed with the client ahead of time in the initial consultation so there are no miscommunications. Some corrective color services can take more than one visit to fully achieve the tone and level desired.  Highlighting or balayage services, on the other hand, are ways to introduce some lighter pieces throughout the hair without such a lengthy process. Highlighting can blend or add dimension to a monochromatic color.

hair-swatches

Natural melanin (eumelanin) in the hair is an equal blend of all three primary colors: blue, red, and yellow. It is responsible for creating brown and black hair. The more eumelanin a person has will determine how brown or black the hair will be. A medium amount of eumelanin the hair will be brown. Someone with a lot of eumelanin will appear black but someone with a minimal amount of eumelanin has blonde hair.

Natural red hair has more pheomelanin (red pigment) and minimal eumelanin (brown or black pigment). Did you ever have that one client who just always seem to appear red no matter what you do or how you formulate? This client has more pheomelanin present in their hair.  The less pheomelanin a person has, the less red is visible in their hair color.

When hair is lightened in any way, the warmer tones red and yellow are always exposed.

Blue pigment is the first to leave the hair. To fully understand the lightening process, we must first understand the stages the hair must go through on its journey to becoming the ultimate blonde.  When creating the ultimate blonde, we are first removing the primary colors of blue and red, and depending on what level of blonde we are trying to achieve we might also be removing some of the yellow as well.

There are specific tones you will recognize on your journey. Starting at a level 1, our remaining color is blue. Level 2 we see blue/violet; level 3 we see violet; 4 red/violet. Level 5 us red and seems to be where a lot of us have most of our difficulties. Level 6 red/orange; Level 7 is orange like the outside of an orange. Level 8 is yellow orange like the shade of an apricot. Level 9 is yellow like the outside of a banana, and finally level 10 is pale yellow/white like the inside of a banana.

To successfully decolorize the hair, it is always best to go one level lighter than the level you are lifting to in order to achieve the proper foundation for the desired level.

natural-levels-of-hair

Example: If my desired level is a level 8 and I am starting from a level 6, I know that when I decolorize the hair, I must expose the remaining color to yellow (like the outside of a banana).  Creating a visual of fruit or other Items is just a way to help you recognize when you have lifted to the level you desired.

Application is key.

Application is also key to a successful decolorization. Analyze the strand before beginning. Is there color on the ends? Is there a virgin new growth? What is the porosity of the hair? We know that virgin hair will lift quickly but hair with artificial pigment will require much more timing.

When dealing with different situations on the same head we must treat them differently.

  • Beginning at the midshaft before applying to the virgin hair will ensure an even decolorization process.
  • Don’t be afraid of using different volumes on the same head. When highlighting, use a lower volume in the back and as you work your way to the front try remix with a higher volume so that both areas finish lightening at the same time.
  • If you have not achieved an even shade of remaining pigment, it might be necessary to reapply the bleach.
  • Always pay attention to the porosity and overall condition of the hair before reapplying bleach. If you have an even bleaching result then your final color will be even. Sometimes additional bleaching is not doable because the hair is compromised. Use your professional judgment but this time realize you may not achieve the desired level in this visit.  Corrective hair color is a process so do not be too tough on yourself.

Once hair is decolorized  to the proper remaining color, you will have to choose whether you would like to enhance your final color or if you would like to refine the remaining color.

Toning

Choosing a tone opposite on the color wheel will help you refine unwanted warmth. To enhance the tone remaining after lightening, choose a tonal shade on the same side of the color wheel.

oway-color-wheel

After a decolorizing service (highlighting or corrective work), you will want to thoroughly wash out the bleach with Oway Hbalance Shampoo and follow with Oway Hmilk No Stress to equalize the porosity before toning.

Toning with the chosen shade plus Oway Htone can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. Always be cognitive of the porosity in the hair when choosing a toner.

Hmilk can also be used to equalize your porosity before toning. When toning at the shampoo bowl, you will want to remember to thoroughly towel dry the hair before applying the toner. Excess water can dilute your toner and can cause an uneven result.

So see, it is as easy as 1,2,3 and always remember the education department is here to offer additional support.

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