March 19, 2012

What Is the Difference Between High-lift Blond & Blonde Hair Color?

I am answering Group Member's Hair Questions This Month....this is a great question Regarding Terminology in Blonding..

 Hi KC,
I am a little confused about whether to use the highlift blonde colors vs 'regular' blondes, I am scared to use high lift in case I get too blonde (don't want the platinum look!). I have level 6 mousy blonde naturally, my colorist has been doing a blonde base color on the roots (no idea what color) every 6-8 weeks, plus foil highlights (partial) usually every other visit.  However, I'm not happy with the color or service, the color on the length is probably level 9-10, bit yellowy and the roots seem to get a little brassy/orangey a couple weeks after I get it done, and I want to start doing it myself to save money and time on the salon visits.  I travel a lot on business and so many times have to cancel appts, then it's hard to get in when I want to at short notice, they always make me wait and the whole appt. including drive time can take 4hrs! What I would like to achieve is level 9-10 beige blonde. Seems like I should choose an X factor color, maybe a level 10? With a toner? But maybe a high-lift level 12 instead? And any thing I choose should just go on the roots until the rest of the existing color grows out? It's so confusing!
Hair is long, below shoulder length very fine, good condition.
Thanks for any advice!

 I bet you would be surprised by how many people ask this question. !! It sounds like a headache trying to get your hair done correctly, doing it yourself would be the perfect answer for you. As with any talent or do you become confident in what you are doing?  You educate yourself on the subject. 
 While you are traveling you have plenty of time to begin reading the Blog from the beginning.... skim the Posts and read the ones that pertain to what you want to learn (hair color). You can learn to be very confident choosing and applying your own hair-color I promise you. It sounds like you are trying to learn it all in a day or two..... THAT is when it becomes confusing. We have hundreds of excellent Crib Colorists in our Group, you can be one too.
 Now, to answer your question...............

People let the "high-lift" term freak them out sometimes and honestly it is just a marketing 'term' is all.  What happened was: there were originally Levels 1 thru 10 only and if you look at any swatch charts you can tell that.

~~~~~~~~~~~~ X.Factor HAIR COLOR SWATCH CHART(above)~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 One of the hair color company's (WELLA) developed 2 more levels LIGHTER.....than the 'Level 10'. So, here they were, they came up with this UNIVERSAL HAIR COLOR LEVEL CHART.... they had even got many of the other lines to go along with this idea....and BAM! ... 2 new lighter colors were introduced. What those 2 colors are.... in reality are a  Level 11 and a  Level 12, and that is all. That is exactly what you were talking about "L." So GOOD JOB, my dear!
There is no 'super booster' in those colors, there is no 'secret high-lift juice' in the is just the next color lighter on a chart that originally was Level 1 thru 10. So, what happened next?  
 In comes the big marketing Team. Wella asks them how to 'market' the 2 new lighter colors they have developed when in reality they have had a Swatch chart with 10 levels for the past 30 years. In my opinion... the Marketing people decided to name it "highlift blond"..... and they decided not to call it what it was....... a Level 11 & level 12. Which is what happens when you ask a layman to do what is a Stylist/Colorists job.
What all this means?
There really is no such thing as a "high-lift" blond. As you will notice in the dictionary that word doesn't even exist.  It really is just a Level 11 or Level 12 color...most " highlift blonde's" you see in the hundreds of lines are just called Level 12. Then most will assign from 3 to 6 tonal qualities to each tube. You will see 12.10A (ash) or 12.00N (neutral) or what I suggest for you: 12.20: super high lift violet blonde....oh my Lord, I never even 
noticed it said that. There that shows you how silly some of these companies can be. Remember these lines are trying to
This is a very long answer to your short question about the term "highlift". Does that make sense to you? I hope so.
So, do not worry AT ALL about using the Level 12 colors, because there is no "super duper light lifter" in those colors I promise you. Its just a marketing ploy aimed at Colorists/Stylists. 

Remember I have let all you Crib Colorists into the world of Professional hair color - something that was unavailable to your brain and hands a few years ago. I mean I call it a high-lift because the hair color companies have crammed that term down my throat....I really should just say Level 12. So, please do not worry about using these colors.

Now for the specific answer to your questions:
  • you cannot go platinum from a high-lift - Level 12 blond...when you are a Level 6 - so please do not worry about that being a problem. It just won't happen. Sounds like she was using a high-lift blond on you and not leaving it on long enough or it was an inferior brand (or one of multiple other reasons).
  •  sounds like you have not read much of my Blog....once you understand Color Theory, then you will understand which color you need to use to cancel the orange-y yellow-y . We call those yucky colors: DURP (Dominant Underlying Remaining Pigment). So your DURP is orange-y yellow-y. You then look at the color wheel for your answers to the proper color to use, with what you have on your head. Using the opposite color from the color you are fighting - is how one can cancel the obnoxious tones in hair coloring. You see where the yellow-orange-y is.....??? in order to cancel those colors out?? Follow a line across the  must use a Blond color with a violet-blue BASE.
  •             If I were you I would order a tube of X.Factor 12.20 AND don't forget the developer  (40Volume).......this is the color for the base ( roots).  Then for a toner, I would suggest 2 colors.......In the Permanent line (these are giant size tubes of color - so they go a long way) I would choose either 9.10  or mix with 10 Volume for a good toner.......AND in the Semi Permanent line which is called "SOFT" can use 9.22 plus 10 Volume.
 I hope this helps you . . . there are plenty of posts on Hair Color Theory.....and on going Blond on the front Guide to Posts....right hand side.

So, Thank You...
Killer Chemist
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