Color Correction & Dimensional Color FAQs

How can I correct uneven hair color results?

If color results in the past have been uneven (too light at the roots and too dark on the ends), consider a deep conditioning treatment just before coloring. The conditioner will act as a filler to even out the porous areas and color will take more evenly.

Where can I go for QUICK hair color advice and info?

For relaxed and textured hair questions, speed dial our special helpline: 1-800-877-9520. For general questions, call our professional experts at 1-800-221-4900. Or surf for techniques, product info, hair color theory and problem-and-solutions.

Why doesn't all the gray hair look covered? I used a 20-volume developer and left it on for 45 minutes.

Make sure you are formulating a deep enough color to cover the gray completely. Your best gray coverage formulas will be Level 8-Light Blonde and deeper, and should have a neutral base.

I'm using a red color on my client who has a large amount of gray. She picks up orange. Why?

Remember, gray hair will take on the exact Level and Tone of the color applied, so the more gray hair and the brighter the color, the brighter the result. You must balance the formula by adding at least 1/2 to 1 oz. of a color with a neutral base to the formula at the same or similar Level.

How can I keep brunette hair from turning brassy?

If you are using a permanent color, always use a blue or blue-violet base to counterbalance the warmth, and formulate the color no lighter than 2 Levels from the natural color. Use semi-permanent in an ash base to refresh the ends.

How do you highlight very curly hair?

Using foils to highlight ultra-curly hair is difficult to do. Foiling techniques require weaving out thin strands of hair, which is difficult to do on very curly hair. Instead of foils, try a freeform highlighting technique, such as painting-on or combing-on color or lightener.

How do you correct stripes or spots after highlighting?

If zebra-like stripes or spots appear after foil highlighting, product leaked out of the foils, or some foils slipped away from the client's scalp area during processing. Formulate and apply a permanent color that matches the natural Level, mixed with 10-volume developer. Process until desired result is achieved. Next time, during a foil application, apply the product 1/4- to 1/8-inch away from edge. While foils are processing, check for "bleeding." Wipe any excess lightener away and dab conditioner to affected area.

How can you do “simple” highlights?

Use the quick and easy one-step lightener, Kaleidocolors Tonal Powder Lightener. It lightens, brightens and softly tones in one process. You can foil in, comb on, scrunch in, or create your own free-form technique. Choose from Kaleidocolors shades: Neutral, Blue, Violet and Gold. Each processes in 4 to 10 minutes under the dryer. It's simple, quick and inexpensive.

How do you get golden highlights without pre-lightening?

Your client has very porous Level 3-Medium Brown hair, but wants vibrant light-golden warm highlights. She doesn't have the time for a double-process.

Highlight with Kaleidocolors Gold Tonal Powder Lightener, for maximum lightening in a minimum amount of time. It lightens and tones in only one step, and guarantees a beautiful gold end result!

  • Mix 1 oz. of Kaleidocolors Gold with 2 oz. of any Clairol Professional 20-volume developer.
  • Apply in your choice of application: foils, cap, comb-on, brush-on.
  • Process 10 minutes without heat. Strand test after 4 minutes.
  • Rinse, lightly shampoo and condition.

How do you fix very light blonde hair with discoloration?

A light-blonde client with very porous hair asked for an ash-based toner shade. Result shows green, blue or purplish discoloration. Because the client's over-porous hair did not have enough contributing pigment to support the toner, results are off-tone and appear discolored. When this occurs, do not dry the hair, as this "sets" off-color tones and makes it more difficult to remove. Instead, rinse color from hair and immediately perform a color removal procedure.

How do you fix white hair that shows green/purple off-tones?

A white-haired client tinted light blonde sees green/purple off-tones in the hair. The color selected was too ash/cool for the percentage of white in the hair.

Remix the formula, adding up to 1 oz. of a gold or neutral-based color in the same Level. The overall formula should be at least a Level 8-Light Blonde. Reapply the new formula. Check frequently. Less processing time may be required.

Next time, add 1/2 to 1 oz. of a warm, gold, or neutral tone to original formula, or select a different shade. Strand test to determine correct color selection and development time.

How do you fix overly lightened hair?

Do a tint-back. When creating a darker color on hair that has been lightened, it is necessary to rebuild missing color pigments to act as a foundation for the final color result. Here's how:

  • Choose a Second Nature shade in the client's desired Level and Tone.
  • Add 1/2 oz. 155R-Red to the formula and mix with equal parts of 20-volume developer.
  • Apply formula to hair and process 15 – 30 minutes.
  • Strand test frequently.
  • Rinse, shampoo and condition.

How do you correct highlights that are too light?

Client's highlighted hair looks too white, making it appear gray.

Deposit tone onto the highlights without lightening the natural hair color. To do this, try Second Nature, the no-ammonia, no-lift color. Here's how to use it:

  • Choose Second Nature shade 158G Light Golden Blonde (Level 8-Light Blonde) or 142G Medium Golden Blonde (Level 7-Medium Blonde).

Using a bowl and brush, or a plastic applicator bottle, mix:

  • 2 oz. Second Nature
  • 2 oz. 10-volume Clairol Professional crème developer
  • Apply to damp hair in a quick roots-to-ends method of application over the entire head.
  • Strand test every 5 minutes to determine accurate color results on the highlighted strands. Process up to 15 minutes.
  • When desired color results have been achieved, rinse, shampoo and condition.

How do you correct hair color that developed too light?

Blonde color did not appear to cover gray and pigmented hair is too "warm." The client's hair is dark medium brown with 50% gray.

The Level of hair color selected for this client was too light. When using permanent color, the lighter your formula, the more warmth you will create on the pigmented hair and the less gray coverage you will achieve. Reformulate a shade within 2 Levels of natural hair color and apply. Check frequently. Less processing time may be required for this second application.

How do you fix hair color that has developed “hot roots”?

You just created a beautiful redhead. However, the client's warm scalp processed the color brighter at the scalp. The root area is bright or has "hot roots."

  • Cool down the color.
  • Use a Neutral (for slight toning) or Ash (for greater toning) in the same Level or slightly deeper than the formula used.
  • Mix 2 oz. of color with 2 oz. of 10-volume developer and apply to root area.
  • Check frequently until desired results are achieved. Next time, use a lower volume of developer at the scalp area.
  • Or select the next deeper Level of red and apply.

If there is a high percentage of gray, add 1/2 to 1 oz. of a neutral shade to the formula for the scalp area.

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