Friday, December 10, 2010


Someone recently reached out to me regarding a hair mishap. Forgoing the idea of reenacting a cheesy before-and-after makeover—where the person looks drab and bland without makeup and then they’re given better lighting and great makeup for the “after” shot—I decided to keep it real and take a simple picture of her with my iPhone right before we started and again as soon as we were done.

She originally asked to go lighter than her natural color (an ashy medium-brown), but not too light. Her hope was that, though her hair would be lighter, she’d have the option of allowing her to roots to grow in without too much upkeep. What she ended up with was something she was not prepared for (see images below). What you can’t see too clearly in the “before” shot are the very violet tones running through her hair, with an unfortunate band of orange at the roots. Needless to say, her hair texture was not much better.

Together we decided recolor it a rich, warm brown that added some much-needed darkness to the root area. Our biggest concerns were it shading red, or going the other direction with muddy ends. I decided to work with Diacolor from L’Oréal, which is a demi-permanent color gloss. This acted as my filler, adding back in the warm tones that were absent from her now-bleached-out hair. My main reason for using Diacolor rather than another product was that it provides great color and tone control. Using red/gold to add that much-needed warmth back in was the first step. I left the filler on for 15 minutes, then rinsed: The effect the Diacolor had seemed promising. I proceeded to the next step—a light shampoo and a towel-dry. Then we dried the roots further with cool air using the dryer. I then gave her the chosen color: a medium brown with 15-volume by L’Oréal Majirel, leaving it on adequately to add depth to her re-growth (which, as I mentioned previously, was a ashy medium-brown). Since there was no gray coverage needed, the 20-volume peroxide I often use was not necessary.

After a quick post-color shampoo, it was apparent that the warmth the Diacolor added was exactly what we were going for. I proceeded to the next step, which was to give her another light shampoo and towel-dry, and again apply some cool air from the dryer. I then mixed another Diacolor gloss for her final color application, leaving it on the roots through to the ends. We then rinsed and dried a front section to see the final result. The outcome? Her hair looked beautiful again! Finally I gave her a deep treatment and—violà!—a soft brunette with a smile. : )


newer older