When you have that client who has been coloring their hair black and wants to be blonde, let me freak out a little with you. Black and red are the hardest colors to remove due to their depth and pigment that normally takes multiple appointments to make any difference, especially if they do it themselves or use box color. When you try to remove these pigments with bleach you end up with a super scary orange shade that can only take the lightening process so much. Then comes the damage and you begin to compromise the integrity and structure of your clients hair. Because that black will stay wedged like a little kid who doesn't want to go to the dentist. So we ask ourselves, is there a better way?
Let me give you a quick answer, YESSSSSS!!! I am forever thankful for finding the magical product from Pravana called the Color Extractor. This product goes into the hair and removes artificial color without damage and doesn't effect virgin uncolored hair. You can use this up to 5 times in one day, and each time it will remove more and more artificial color from the hair. Here is the linked PDF file that explains exactly how this product and process works. I did this twice on Amanda's hair to ensure all the black was removed, and I could move forward for a gorgeous brown color. When you have removed the artificial color you're going to see the left behind underlying pigment in the hair. For example; if they were black their underlying pigment is red, if they were brunette their underlying pigment is orange, if they were blonde their underlying pigment is yellow. So now its your job to go in and neutralize that to what your clients end result goal is. Because her hair was a reddish tone, we neutralized that with equal parts of Redken Shades EQ 8GN and 6T.
Many times a clients comes in the salon with expectations of what their hair will look like when they leave. This is where a stylist needs to go in and break down what will really happen in the appointment. People who don't do hair don't realize that we are working with chemistry and its not as simple as bleaching it out. There could be years of layered hair color that takes a while to break though. Its our job to educate them and give them a real goal and how we can best achieve a color, and if they can even get what they are asking for. Its always best to be honest with clients so they know what to expect and trust your judgement and knowledge. I always tell me clients that I will never push their hair past what I believe is ok for their hair, I want them to leave with healthy happy hair. I won't compromise my skill and work for someone who is wanting unrealistic color that could really destroy their hair. After all, its my name on their hair as they walk out the door. So after talking with Amanda I told her that we could get pretty close to what she was wanting, but that it might take 2 or 3 times before its perfect.
See the steps I took in taking Amanda from her black hair color to this beautiful natural sombre color. Notice something else too, her hair is still healthy! Thanks to my DS Labs Continuum (same process as Olaplex) I was able to connect her broken bonds back together while lightening her hair. It turned out so beautiful and I can't wait till she is back in the salon for her next appointment!
Products Used on Amanda's Hair:
-Pravana Color Extractor (done twice)
-Redken Shades EQ 8GN + 6T
-Schwarzkopf Blonde Me x20volume with Continuum
-toned with Shades EQ 8N + 9B on the roots to mid shaft, 9T + 9V + 9N on the mid shaft to ends