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A hair colour disaster and fix.

12 Mar

Back2myroots: A place to share thoughts and grow idea’s. B2MR

Here we are looking at a colour correction scenario:

*What is the best way to share with you? To look at real issues!

*How do we put all of this new found information into practice. By solving issues.

*How do we apply this knowledge in a practical sense? Does it really work. By thinking through the issue panning!

By sharing some real life salon colour stories with you.

We can cover many of the issues that you can expect and do come across daily with your clients. [ please note names of clients and stylists changed events situation are based on real events] Permission to publish and relay these cases have been sought and given.

In all my years as an educator I have been fortunate and have had the pleasure to be invited into many salons. These are some cases that arose whilst spending time in any given salon or in my own career as a stylist none are made up. In most cases of salon colour mistakes the error are caused buy the stylist making poor choice for applications.

Lets get on our colour case:

Alison came into the salon. She had long hair mid way down her back. Her goal going lighter maybe some nice caramel toffee low lights. She had solid colour built up with a number of applications over number of visits.

Sounds easy Right?

Firstly Alison needed to have a consultation with Paul her stylist. Discuss her goal and optimum colour target. Both need to be honest about past colour history. Her natural level would be around level 5. The colour that had been used for previous colours was a rich dark brown around level 4. In this instance Demi colour formulation for tone on tone deposit only! Long term build up would be a issues. This came out in the consultation process.

Lots of pigment would have built up over time and application this needs to be lifted and  underlying pigment exposed. With the build up of darker shade in the mid lengths and ends  the lifting process would take some time. Staring from the ends and working towards the scalp. It was discussed that the root will lift Blonde very quickly. So the approach would be to use a bleach formulation with be applied to the ends and mid section first. The roots would be left until a desired level was attained as they would lift very quickly. The Prolonged use of the dark brown colour over a long term would cause build up of colour mid length’s and ends.

Alison should have been given a strand test. She did ask for strand test Paul her stylist said’  That will not be required [first mistake and short cut] . Is this that hard?  Remove a small amount of hair from the nape area and have it coloured or lifted prior to full head application. It’s lazy .It’s un professional it’s taking short cuts!

This would have required especially as. Bleaching out old pigment and applying the formulation from the ends up through mid length and finally to the root would create colour bars of pigment also taking into consideration the weave of the highlights.Once lifted evenly to a desired workable tone. Apply toner to even out to desired shade and tone.

Why so work end sot roots you may ask? The ends will lift the slowest and will dictate the end result the mid lengths although coloured less still holding lots pigment. This pigment exposed in the lifting process will tend to be very warm copper or orange. This will need toning to neutralise the unwanted warmth.

After her consultation with Paul. Alison is ready to get her new caramel low lights done

                    pre having low lights done coloured level 4

Above: Is picture of the hair prior to the colouring.

As stated this colour was always done as deposit only. No lift when going tone on tone or darker unless you want to add or increase warmth you do not need lifting levels of hydrogen peroxide. Any build up of colour is just layers of dark pigment. As stated a rich dark brown it matches her skin colour and hazel eyes. Many salons over book they don’t allow the time or put in the effort to do a job correctly.When things go wrong they may make excuses about the product, may pretend it looks great. It’s how it was supposed to look. But it’s the client who has to be excited love this new look get what she wants and requested.

They have trusted us.Sat in the chair patiently.They asked all the right questions. They gave us time to decide on the best course of action to take. Having supposedly considered all options.

                                     After low lights

Why does this happen? What went wrong? what do you see? what do you think? Why do you think it went wrong! Paul had done the consultation asked all the right questions. But took short cuts starting with refusing the need for a strand test. By not thinking the process through working in from the ends to the mid length finally to the roots. He rushed and failed. He did not allow enough time for the different levels of lift to be addressed.

Remember the request was for low lights. Caramel toffee. Remember suggested strand test. Consultation .Remember if he had lifted the hair from ends in. Allowing for the fact that the mid lengths may throw orange and roots would lift really quickly. All would have been well, time consuming but it’s never race!

Lets review. Firstly I was shocked. Sad. Appalled by this poor quality job. Caused by taking short cuts with very little thought given to the process or out come! A rush job. Firstly the the blonde on the roots to eye level really does not work for her. It sucks the colour from her skin and is just a nothing dull boring shade of blonde.

The mid lengths did not lift as much as required or expected they formed a colour bar. A very bright copper orange as the dark pigment lifted out. Finally the mid lengths into the ends lifted such a little that they still look solid and dark very little lift. There is no way by just applying toner this can or could be fixed.  It was doomed to fail. This was caused by some one being lazy, applying bleach de-colouriser roots to ends and just hoping that it may all lift evenly or at least enough to colour balance it! Hoping that whatever pigments exposed could be evened out with a toner. In doing this the tones made the blonde dull had little effect on the orange and well the ends ! Hum Hoping is not good enough!! use the tools we have consult charts .work within the rules.

The strand test should have been carried out in advance of the appointment. The strand test shown and discussed with client then the process carried out correctly with a great out come. Why oh why do we allow this to happen? Why do we let our selves down . Is it lack of time?  Is it Easy money? well hardly if now you have to fix and re do! Lack caring. Paul let his client down. He let the salon down. He let himself down! Oh how does this look to the staff what message does it send Paul is the owner!!

Can this be fixed: Yes or course it can. As stylist’s when things go wrong we have to drop any attitude and put right a wrong.even more so when it in no way the fault of the client,who now has to return find more time and we have to regain that trust! drop the ego! 

To review:  The attempt at lifting evenly from roots to ends was a failure. Leaving over lightened roots mid lengths with a real orange hue and very little lift on the ends. The desired effect was for toffee caramel low lights.

                               poor colour job before shot

The picture was provided client Alison. But as you can see it really was a poor job. When seeing this many thing came to mind apart from the poor job. First though was how the blonde just did not work with either skin tone or eye colour.

My suggestion would be get rid of it ASAP! Go back to being a rich dark healthy chocolate brown.

How would you do this, well it certainly would not require any more lift just a re build of the pigment base in the over lightened section then colour balance. My suggestion would be to fill the over lightened section with a Demi formulation of either 7G or 7GC predominantly gold but with enough copper to balance with with warmth of the mid section. only apply to overly lifted area. leave for around 10 Minutes or[ follow your product directions ] remember you only need deposit formulation. Once pre filled apply target shade over the top apply liberally leave to process.

Alison waited a week to get back into see Paul. This is not acceptable it should have been corrected on the day. In some cases this may not be possible in this instance it would have been. As mentioned with the issues created a pre-fill to replace the pigment removed would give the hair depth of tone and solves any issues of fading.

Alison asked if it might be a good idea to put some pigment back in the overly blonde roots. { How did she know to ask for this? yes i advised her.} Sadly Paul still in a hurry still taking short cuts indicated this would not be required one application would be enough. Well one would be enough and look fine as she left but long term in the days and weeks ahead? It will fade.Paul applied the 4N Demi formulation directly over the top and the colour was restored to a rich solid all over Chocolate Brown.

However Paul has taken short cuts. This colour will fade he may well lose a client through what lack of service! The colour did start to fade within a week. Sheila went to a different salon Carl lost a good client.

Here is my thinking on the Fix:

In this instance if our goal is  to achieve a rich chocolate Brown. I have re introduced the missing pigment to the root area, to prevent fading and give depth of tone. However i will also need to control that warmth to get the correct depth of colour.

              look for location of orange section blue green section.

Lets look at the chemistry of a formulation.

4N has a Blue green base.

Check your colour wheel on your product ! green is made up of Blue+Yellow.

So given that we put on 7G the gold + Yellow + Red+yellow= orange

The 4N Blue + yellow +Blue= green

The out come of this formulation is the Base of the 4N will control or neutralise the warmth creating a wonderful rich chocolate brown.

As you can see from the colour wheel Orange sits across from Blue Green of the colour wheel so a perfect rich shade is possible.

Finally the after shot again provided by Alison I did not carry out this colour fix but did advise her at various stages throughout the process in return she allowed me to share the experience.

Out come

The chosen formulation controlled all warmth and left her with a rich dark brown filling in all those unwanted shades and the nasty root lift. Again this was all done with a Demi formulation for all those interested the process time is only 20 minutes so once applied  it’s a very easy way to repair poor colour issues. As a formulation it is none progressive so will not over deposit. it will last and stay rich and deep and healthy looking. Alison now has a new Stylist and is happy to be a rich dark brunette shade again. Sadly the experience has put her off trying again for a new multi tonal look.lets hope over time her new stylist gains her trust.


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