Natural red heads wanting to go Blonde, The issues

17 Feb


Regular postings of fresh new topic’s


I don’t quite remember when the penny really dropped about understanding hair colour. I don’t just mean the application of it . I refer to understanding. Lift. Deposit. Pigment achieving that desired perfect colour and shade.

A challenge in it self but some natural colours are harder to cope with than others. Depending on what the desired shade is.

So lets take a look at our warm shades Reds, Coppers, Rich brunette.

Lets use a scenario of wanting to go lighter. By that  i suggest a Blonde shade. Most people who want blonde do not want to see. Orange or Yellow.

This create many issues for our natural reds and coppers heads, so lets take a look at what may arise and some option of how to address them.


In so many cases the main thing to consider are? How light  to go? What shade of blonde is achievable? The consultation process is key here before making any application of colour, bleach/decolouriser.

With Red pigment being the hardest to lift and control a realistic vision and a game plan are the key to success.

With a natural bright copper colour [sometimes know as ginger]. A bright copper natural base shade would normally be around a level 7 on any shade chart. So quite light and yet full of those pigment tones red and red orange, yellow. To get to any shade of Blonde we have to lift up to and beyond level 9 and infact 10 and beyond and be able to control pigment exposed.

The issue being. As you manage to lift the red and orange pigment out you then hit the yellow pigment bar. Because of the strong pigment in this hair the yellow pigment will be really intense so mistakes can be made when controlling it with a toner.

I have seen so many natural Bright copper heads with attempts at highlights that can look. Green, dull metallic, drab.

The main reason is choice of toner. In many cases we reach as stylists for a toner with an ash base, but lets think about this ash is blue base toner,  blue and yellow make? Green hence the dull drab tone

Consider using a violet base.Why? Well we have lifted the hair removing all the red pigment. There was hardly any blue to start with. So to find a balance of shade we have to replace the missing pigment red and blue, this equals Violet in some cases maybe a blue violet base could be required.

Its all about considering the pigment you have exposed and what your target is. Its also worth mentioning that one needs to consider skin tone and eye colour when taking a natural copper level into blonde shades will it look good!

The same consideration should be applied to rich brunettes although a little blue pigment on the surface you with be lifting from around a natural level 5 into reds then copper orange, my suggested goal here would be a caramel shade not to blonde it will look dull yellow slightly dirty!

Lift to a pale orange yellow shade. Then tone with a blue violet toner. This will re balance the pigment exposed leaving a really rich caramel highlight.

Again when lifting the hair consider skin tone eye colour. A natural brunette will normally have brown or hazel eye colour so to light will wash out the skin and the eyes will not pop!


The main considerations as stated are. Natural hair level, skin tone, eye colour. A realistic vision of lifted goal level. Will the desired look be flattering? It’s not our goal to dictate but is is to advise,honestly in the consultation process.

Consider the pigment you will be encountering make sure you have thought through what you are doing and what look you want. It’s all about pigment control. Understanding the colour wheel trusting the colour wheel. Yes trusting the laws of colour. Do this and you will not have unwanted tone.


Know your products that is the colours you use know how they work what you can expect from them.




If you are lifting hair that has been previously coloured I would suggest consultation strand test. I would suggest working from the ends into the roots when lifting?

the laws of colour

Many more issues can arise from this topic but i hope this creates thoughts and raises some questions maybe even comments.


Mike B2MR


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