Red to Blonde in one sitting is not an easy task, and 9 times out of 10 it’s unachievable in one sitting, however I have developed my own method that has allows me to achieve this and let other colour corrections reach further than they ever would generally when a red undertone is at play. The most important part in any colouring application especially when lifting is the integrity of the hair at all times. The amount of lift is determined by the strength of the hair to begin with and how well your hair has been looked after at home. It does not determine the quality of a hairdresser if they are unable to achieve your desired result in one sitting, always ensure your stylist takes a strand test for any colour correction/change and they explain fully what work is involved. The history of your hair plays a huge part in the outcome and strength of your hair. Always be honest as lying about the colour history will not help the process and can make it worse.
On this occasion my lady has been a client of mine for around 4 years and all the colours are my salon professional colours, Blonde mainly – which we used verolight & 20 root area only, toned with our desired toner for that visit. For the festival season Pascale decided to go red all over and we used Joico intensity red, and we did this 9th June 2015.
Going red was the easy part. We discussed at length the process of going back blonde and that it would take time, the more red that is applied the harder it would be to remove and the more work involved in the removal process, meaning would take longer and be multiple sittings. I explained that when Pascale was thinking of returning blonde she would need to allow the red to fade as much as possible and pop in for a strand test to see what stage we could achieve in round one.
In August 2015 Pascale had a new job that required a more natural hair colour and contacted me in order to remove the red and return to blonde. I asked how long ago the red had been applied – 1 week prior – and when she needed to be blonde – the following week. She popped in so I could strand test and see where we could get too and we booked for the following weekend. Pascale was prepared to go brown even though she really did not want too, based on how quick the turn around needed to be.
During my tests I just could not get it to pass pink not even a pale pink either, vibrant almost luminous pink. ‘what are your thoughts on pink?’ pink was not an option as it needed to be a natural tone to which I advised we could not get blonde at all, just can’t seem to pass pink. So it will have to be brown then.
Not being one to give up: where there’s a will there is a way right?
I had a brain wave the night before Pascale was in the studio for her colour change. Either way we would have to remove as much red as possible so that next time we could maybe achieve blonde. In theory my brain wave worked but I had no further hair to test, when Pascale arrived I explained that if it worked we may be blonde or a step closer, if not, we would be no further away than traditional methods. So we decided to just try and see what happened. In her words “Do it, I trust you”. So we did. I applied my new theory and put it in to practice.
Stage 1: Without even touching bleach I had managed to remove all red from the mid-lengths and ends and the roots were now a red/pink.
Stage 2: Low level cleanse to remove as much of the red/pink as possible, only applied to area needed. Managed to reach a lighter pink but still quite strong in colour.
Stage 3: Low level cleanse to remove pink further. Reached pale pink.
Stage 4: Ombrè. Hair can only take so much stress in one sitting and I was more than happy with our results so far, not wanting to compromise the hairs integrity we worked with the colour we had achieved so far and I applied a natural light brown at root area stretching down into a slightly pink based toner for the blonde.
We were both ecstatic with the level of lift and colour change we managed to achieve which allowed Pascale to stay blonde. By her next visit the pink should have faded and the final transition can be made in her journey back to blonde!
I love colour corrections, I also love a challenge – like most colour correction artists do – and if, as a stylist you’re honest, like me, we both love red to blonde and hate red to blonde colour transformations in the same breath because everyone expects this process to be easy when it is not at all and there are so many factors that come into play. Gladly my idea saved the day which was to use a new colour that had come out that week but not as it was intended, my lady did not have to go brown after all.
Until next time : Happy hair day ❤️