June 17, 2015

How To Formulate Hair Color on Virgin Hair.

Learning to formulate hair color can be a tricky slippery slope......there are so many 'exceptions to the rule'.......that its hard to remember any rules exist and if they do, why do we have them because of all the exceptions !
Plus it can be many weeks before a woman with VIRGIN hair walks through a Salon door in today's world, because even if they haven't experienced a Salon, nearly every person on earth has bought at least 1 box of hair color in their life time it seems. So you learn those rules but rarely use them because no one with virgin hair color ever sits in the chairs of stylists.

What I do want to do with this post is show you how you would formulate hair color on a person with virgin hair = for those of you out there that do have it and are considering coloring your hair for the first time. Let me tell you that if you have virgin hair........start off with the color we carry in our store on the best quality and will give you the best results you can get. Read this Blog get very prepared by being as educated as you can and I bet you will have wonderful results. I kno its scary, but thousands of people have learned right here the entire process and their results have been awesome.

look @ formulating from a Level 4B - VIRGIN COLOR
to a ..................................... Level 7N 

                                                                  LEVEL 7

                                            Level 4

 Lets just imagine you are a level 4 brown..... and want to be a level 7....blond.
The difference between the level you are at... and the level you want hypothetically be is 3 levels.....
if you use a level 7 color will you achieve the desired result?

You can really only learn to formulate the way we learned in Academy fr when you are working on VIRGIN hair. Which , of course means, NON-COLORED, in-touched color-wise - hair color. Which I have discovered that is nearly impossible to find any longer! 

Many Stylists and Crib colorists think that if they are a virgin Level 4 and want to end up as a Level 7, that they would use a Level 7 to get there which is not the case AT ALL.
You must use a color that accounts for the difference between your natural level and the level you want to be... 

Desired Level..............  7
Virgin Level................ - 4 
difference  =..................3

Add Desired Level........7 
result :choose a level 10

A level 10 color is the correct choice....however using as level 10 which contains only pale yellow dyes, will not keep the orange in a level 7 from showing through. I would use a Level 10 Neutral/Ash/Matt.....in the line I use I have dozens of tones.....and that's why i like it.
You could use Wella Illumina in 10/69 and achieve everything you need to in combating the brass and golds

Lots of you are writing me and I am very pleased with how well some of you are absorbing the material......and asking me "proper" questions.
I guess this was a good idea.
Some are quoting the LEVELS like an old Pro - very refreshing to hear....know that it inspires me and moves me that you are interested enough to try to learn this - - - its not easy -- I take that back.....it IS EASY; its just very 'foreign' to most......and has never been done out in "public" before.
so Thank you...
I hope to keep going, get better and for sure > more organized.
18 comments on "How To Formulate Hair Color on Virgin Hair."
  1. Do you recommend 20 or 30 volume peroxide is used for this formula (equal parts of 10N,M,A to bring level 4 to 7 in single process application)? Thanks.

  2. Usually you read that a level 4 brown must bleach and tone to achieve a level 7 blond. If I am following your theory here, the suggestion of mixing equal parts of 10N, 10M, and 10A, is to add more base colors than are present is just one, thus eliminating the brassiness that would normally be present if attempting to achieve a blond color with a single process product. I know that "N" stands for neutral, and that "A" is for ash, but I'm not familiar with "M" is most color lines. Does that represent a red or gold base? I am excited by your formula, as I have been looking for a very long time to achieve a natural dark blond color from natural medium ash brown hair, in a single process. Thank you so much for your site here.

  3. Anonymous,

    let me try to understand what you are asking me here....? I was using a total hypothetical situation to explain the early stages of formulating color in this post.

    If you are wanting to go from a Level 4 to a Level 7 without any brassiness in one step the formula would be:
    Mix (3/4)10A with (1/4)10M...mix then add 40 Volume.

    If you have real problems with brassiness there is one line of professional color that just blows every other line OFF THE PLANET, it truly is incredible.
    I make it available to my readers that are truly following my blog. Or if you have a stylist that could order it..

    NO NO NO where did you read that to go up 3 levels must be a bleach and tone? Not in my experience. If your hair is super resisitant
    You could use a Level 12 High Lift Tint and 40 volume, but that would be for Asian or very resistant hair. There should be absolutely no reason for a 2 step process to go up 3 levels.
    The problems come when trying to go up 5 Levels...They 'claim' that the high lifters can lift 5 levels, and yes that one brand of color i was talking about can, but not in all cases.

    M is from the European line of hair color from WELLA called KOLESTON PERFECT...stands for "MATT" and is more "blue based" its Blue-Green base....ASH is more "Green" based....
    I hope you have read through all the color wheel instruction, etc.on my Blog...

    Its the one and only way I can give answers...
    in hopes that everyone has read thru the entire blog ( i know its a lot) but everyone tells me they enjoy it

    What you want to do is "kill" the brassiness, right? Well in order to do that you want to use TINT with "blues-greens-purples" in its base .. which are the opposite colors to the brassy colors on the color wheel
    that is how you NEUTRALIZE the colors you do not want to see.

    These are all professional colors I am talking about... I have run some tests on the color they have at Sally's Beauty Supply as that is the one and only place that is nationwide that I can use to tell people to go to. So I got some of their color and ran some tests, they are not as good as the pro-color (of course) so I would definetly use the 12A + 40 Volume - in those lines...if you choose to use them.

    Please let me know if you need further help

    Killer Chemist

  4. Thanks for the fast reply and advice. I have read through much of your blog, and do understand basic color theory. My thoughts about having to bleach and tone my hair to achieve a natural looking blond color are based on what I have been told by professionals in the past. Everytime I asked about a one-step process, I was told that my hair would be too brassy, and that level 10 tint doesn't have enough "deposit". I have also tried highlights with a "base break" to bring up my natural color slightly to blend better with the highlights, but my hair is short, and I don't like the "striped" look that this combination often produces. I have also tried using a high lift tint with 40-volume peroxide in the past. The color was perfect while the product was on, but after rinsing, my hair was way too yellow. I overcompensated then by tinting back with a level 5 brown. I would love to be able to find the right single-process formula to go from a medium ash brown to a dark ash blonde color, and that is how I have found your site. I shop at Sally's, and like Clairol's Premium Creme tube color. I have used their 10A with 20-volume peroxide as a base break before, and was impressed by the results. Sticking with this line, would you suggest their 10A or 12A, with 40-volume peroxide? Thanks again for sharing your expertise.

  5. P.S.

    Sorry, the base break formula above should have read 10A with 10-volume peroxide.

  6. See how hard this is when you do not have a visual.
    It is nearly impossible, maybe that is why no one has tried it.
    I swear I am doing my best.
    But not knowing that your hair is SHORT, is a whole other problem that I didn't think of because.............................I can't "see" it.
    Damn. I am so sorry. This becomes very frustrating. I do not like to be wrong, especially when I know what I am doing. Its just difficult doing it basically with a blindfold over my eyes....
    You know I have a list of 10 questions, that I try to have people answer before I give them advice on their hair color. Everyone avoids it.

    Sorry , this is my fault.
    I am trying to accomplish something that really needs to be done with a "visual" at least. Makes me feel stupid that I am not.
    So please accept my apologies.

    What I have done is start a Group on Google Groups to help solve this problem. A Hair Color formulation Group. So many people ask me questions about their hair color...and without photos...and a basic 10-15 questions answered, its really got me handicapped and I will make mistakes like I did with you.
    So my best suggestion to you and others, if this is your quest...is to join it, and just know that if you want top notch answers I have GOT to see your hair. This is a very visual occupation, just using words doesn't cut it...I've tried. It works in some cases but not all. People worry about taking their photos, I'm a Stylist-Chemist-Scientist...I look at it as a problem I "WANT" to solve ...but can't if I can't "see" it!http://groups.google.com/group/killerstrands

    I have been doing this a long long time and been around a whole lot of different types of stylists, and NEVER heard of a "BASE BREAK FORMULA"....?
    please tell me, what is that?

    If you were going to use any line from Sally's I would still suggest using Wella's/Color Charm: 12A & 40 Volume, people have a weird thing about WElla, but I have run tests against each other and wella's is a tad better...every little bit helps.
    killer chemist

  7. My hairdresser called it a "base lift", others call it a "base break", and still others just call it a "toner". It was an added step he used to blend light blond highlights with a darker natural color like mine, to achieve very natural looking results. After shampooing highlighted hair, he mixed and applied to wet hair, a level 10, violet-base permanent color with 10-volume peroxide, such as Miss Clairol 12B1. He said that the forumula was too weak to alter or deposit color on the highlights, but was strong enough to slightly lift the unhighlighted or natural "base". He said it helped to pull the excess blue or what we would call the "pencil lead" color from my natural color. This was one of the added steps to his highlights that made him a very successful colorist. Most other hairdressers thought the added step was a waste of time, but it wasn't. The results are beautiful and so much better than just highlights alone. He has since passed away, and I've yet to find another hairdresser that can match the natural look that this combination produces. Now I usually leave a salon after getting highlights, and have to apply this formula afterward at home to get the results I'm used to. Another friend who is a natural level 7 blond also uses this formula about a month or so after getting highlights, to help extend the time before new highlights are needed. Back to my pursuit of finding a one-step formula...I am curious about your recommendation to use Wella Color Charm 12A. I see that this is a high-lift tint. My previous experience using Miss Clairol high-lift tint left my hair yellow-gold. Perhaps I didn't leave it on long enough, or it was the limits of that product line. I'm certainly willing to give it another try in another line. Thanks again.

  8. anonymous,

    I'm a bit fascinated by your description of what your deceased hair stylist used to do to your hair that you liked so much. I like to think that I have tried just about everything, I have always had everyone that comes to me say the exact same thing you are claiming was said to him...so I would like to see if I understand.
    Are you saying that he did one extra step to lighten the entire look of the hair because of the "darkness" of your base? The contrast between the highlights and base was so stark that's what he did to soften it? That's what I got out of your description ??
    Do I understand?
    When I do a head of highlights on someone such as what you are describing on you... I rarely use less than 6 colors. 3 blondes/3 browns-beiges - all mono-chromatic...sometimes even more. Using that array of colors provides for all the different intensities needed for both brightening and blending. I cannot imagine why another step would be needed.
    sounds like he did the old fashioned method of highlights; where he used one color - very light,on your very dark hair... then had the radical difference between the light and dark, so added a step (to soften it)
    Which to me is what a lot of old time hair stylists did to tack on $$ to the bill. But maybe I do not get what you are trying to explAIN.

    wHICH IS THE HARDEST PART OF TRYING TO DO HAIR ON THE INTERNET!!!!! Not having the "visual" part of it all!

    OK, lets go back to your goal here.
    First off....are you talking highlights, or ONE COLOR?
    That is a very big difference.
    very big.Unfortunately, formulating hair color is not an EXACT science, there are many variables.
    If you want the proper answer to this question about hair color formulation then you'll need to answer the standard 15 Questions...its very difficult when I don't have the exact scenario.

    You can go from Level 4 to Level 7 using an ASH/MATT high lift professional formula.
    MISS clairol is not a professional line, I would doubt that line.
    There is a huge difference between professional lines and home lines.
    And especially BOXED KITS, those are trash. absolute trash.

    If you want a complete answer and correct answer you will have to answer about 15 questions, I really do not like to make any mistakes... the decision is yours.

    Killer chemist

  9. Yes, what you are describing is exactly what he would do...foil highlights with frosting bleach, and then "softened" the look with the added step I described. I have been to a few salons since, and even recently, where they are doing this same two-step approach to highlights, and yes, charging extra for it. As I said before, I am unhappy with the look of highlights on short hair, softened or not, although having them done your way would probably change my mind. For now, I am looking for a one-step color process, like a high lift tint. Although you haven't seen my hair, your feedback and education has already been very helpful. I will definitely consider joining your group.

  10. Everyone wants a 1 step color.

    Which is exactly why the BOXED hair color kits are a $50 million dollar business.
    A fact that makes me ill. Every one of those companies sells their product separately, but do not market that facet of their bizness.

    The 1 step hair color only works successfully for a small portion of the world. As I've said before, I believe the failure rate of those hair color box kits is 80% ++PLUS.
    Just so you understand.

    The problem I foresee with your situation, is coming out with the proper "tone" with the lightness.
    With short hair you should avoid highlights...I do a technique called
    shoe shine....where I put bleach on a long strip of foil and shimmy it on the top of the hair. So the tips are bleached lighter..but that needs A CERTAIN CUT..
    A one color look is much smarter and can look wonderful.

    If you really want to accomplish this I am willing to sell you this professional color that has the strongest and best tone's of any hair color. Its $15.00 a tube. Which 'should' get you 2 applications I am thinking...depends on thickness- porosity,length of your hair...
    I would use a 12A to get what you are after, I suppose you could try a test strip UNDERNEATH with a hair color that you get at your own beauty supply..Mix a small amount - and apply to a 1/2 inch strip underneath.

    Anything further and we'll have to go into the questions and photos...this is hard with no visual....really hard.

    killer chemist

  11. Thanks for the offer to sell the color. I would like to buy a tube from you. Please let me know how to send payment. I'll send you a separate email if you want to reply directly to me. Thanks.

  12. to purchase color we must move over to my email address and take care of this thru PAYPAL. Which is super simple : killerstrands@gmail.com
    see you there.
    killer chemist

  13. ok if you want to dye your hair lets say dark brown but want to keep a touch of grey to look more natural what you gotta do?

  14. anonymous,
    That would be a great question for our group it is too complicated for this type of setting - - so why don't you join our group and ask it in there, where you can get many answers and have much more freedom to speak and go back and forth with your question
    here is the link and you can join fairly quickly:
    thanks, KC

  15. Your color formulation is targeted for virgin hair correct? Since color doesn't lift color..

  16. anonymous,

    Yes, of Course. . . .
    There are a million and 1 instances of me telling everyone how:
    TINT doesn't lift Tint
    Color doesn't lift Color....etc.etc

    Its the hardest thing to get through everyone's head...this must be the only post you have read. . . . that one sentence is everywhere throughout this entire Blog


  17. I am trying to go from blonde to red like a kate walsh red, I'd like to use Wella does anyone have any good color formulations?

  18. join our group . . .Google: Killer Strands Google Group.....
    you need to "fill" your hair first.
    you never just apply red to blond.
    use our Wella Koleston Perfect colors there are no better reds.


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