February 27, 2012

Hairitage : Bleach Versus "High Lift" Blonding : the Lifelong battle

Maybe some Technical Aspects May Help You Decidekatehudso_sgran_9425255_600

Here's the problem: Clients come in for professional hair color and ask for a certain blond ( light - baby wheat blond - like Gwen, Reece, Kate, Pamela, Gywneth, or Madonna - just NOT a yellow/brassy blond) then comes this request: but could you please NOT use bleach. They have a million reasons why they don't want me to use it, ranging from:
  • it smells terrible
  • my cousins hair looks terrible & she used it
  • it burns hair off
  • how could anything with the word "bleach" be good on hair
  • my sister used it and all her hair fell off - -
  • and every single thing in between
This went on for years ( btw : and still does !) therefore >> the hair color manufacturers heard this and went to work on something to answer this problem.
What is the first rule in creating a successful product or service?
** Find a "need" and FILL it **
** Find a "problem" and SOLVE it **
Thus came this new big roll out of a new product to fill that need. 73069739
HIGH-LIFT Blond Hair Color
Some claiming they used double 40 Volume as a big grand answer to more incredible lift (which truly has nothing to do with the "lift"). This was probably about 16-17 years ago, just before I got into the biz, because it was brand new when I started - although its very hard to find info on the technical beginnings of this branch of hair color. As a beginning Colorist I didn't get the picture back then, not like I get it all now. As a well-rounded Colorist, now I feel I can sum up what it is and how effective it is or isn't. After 10,000 heads you get a feel for it.

The reason I feel you should understand this? Because they have High-Lift Blond "CLAIMS" everywhere now, and I want you to watch out for them. Most are bogus and they are the reason for many of the color corrections I have had to do over the years.
Color Correction became my specialty . . . I never pursued it, but there wasn't a soul in all of Malibu who did them, so I began taking them in slowly at the beginning. Its a specialty no one really wants, you are never paid enough for the time that goes into them, there is no book, no guideline, its a very tricky process because every single person has a different problem and story. There are never 2 of the same, think about that. Can you say NIGHTMARE ? This is why I know what I speak of when I tell you the stories I do. For 9 years every tricky color correction was funneled to me from all the stylists in town...its usually like that in every city across America, there is one Color Correction specialist. So if you need one - just ask a few hairstylists , they will know who it is. In Malibu they came to me so they wouldn't have to drive the 30 miles into the city and probably pay 30 times the price! With that said, here is my take on the High Lift Blond Battle.

Killer Re-crop1
"High Lift Blond" is basically, the marketing of the words themselves is really all they came up with. Making it sound like there is finally an answer to the problem of using bleach on the hair - it was an excellent marketing strategy, I wish I knew which company thought it up. The words "High Lift" must mean it lifts the hair Lighter than anything ever made. Thank the Lord. Its marketing boys and girls, pure marketing. What they did technically was ADD more ammonia to the existing blonds they had. The LEVEL 10 Blonds they had, including Level 10 Ash Blond - Level 10 Neutral Blond- Level 10 Gold Blond - all the standard highest lifting blonds they made ...they just added more ammonia. Ammonia is used in hair coloring to raise the pH - raising the pH allows the solution to penetrate the hair. Ammonia is an alkali; it swells the hair shaft, promoting penetration. It is also a catalyst and its primary purpose is to facilitate lightening by releasing oxygen, supplied by the developer. wwwaaaaaa
The higher the Level of Color you are using the more ammonia (lift) and the less pigment (deposit). The lower the level, the less lift and the greater deposit. That's why a medium blond will cover gray better than a very light blond.

Too much ammonia is unnecessarily damaging but without ammonia, penetration, lightening and dye development simply does NOT happen. Ammonia or something like it is necessary for hair color to work. Manufacturers strive to put in just enough -- and not too much -- ammonia in their permanent hair coloring products - lighteners as well - its a very tricky procedure. Think about that when some of you go looking for organic hair color without ammonia. Yes, it won't smell yucky, but how in the world will it work correctly ? That is the biggest problem I find when the whole "natural - organic" hair color topic comes up - so think about that.

High lift blonds contain the most ammonia, to have the fastest and highest lift cycle. That much ammonia in darker colors would be overkill. Really great Colorists are aware of all these little tricks and tips I have given you here . . . I want you to at least read them once. . . hopefully you will come back and re-read them, its not an easy concept to grasp, I know I've watched many a blank stare on my assistants faces and these are young eager to learn - right out of Cosmo-School kids!55915060
So that is how and why and WHAT high lift blonds are. But the real answer to: how many levels does a high lift blond lift? : I truly believe maybe, just maybe they have increased the lift by 1/2 to one LEVEL more than the 2-3 levels a Level 10 can and that is all. Every single company claims theirs can lift, 5-6-7 Levels - that simply is NOT TRUE. I've run multiple tests on over 15 companies high-lift blondes so I would have my own tests in front of my face and my own eyeballs - so I knew for sure - what they could and could NOT do. I like to think a High-Lift Blond will lift 3 maybe 4 levels depending on the porosity of the hair -
P E R I O D . 

That is your key and your guide to High-lifts, never think they will lift more than that........and that is PROFESSIONAL HAIR COLOR ONLY. Anything else? Under 3 levels PERIOD -- probably 2. 11-2006

Hope This helps.
Killer Chemist
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