September 30, 2007

KillerPics on . . . . . KillerStrands

Live and In Color

September 28, 2007

BIONIC BLOND -- Toner Application

Remember the Process is called a Bleach & Tone and has been called that since the 50's!  Being as our previous Post was on fighting Brass, if you could not or did not get all the brass out then here we have this Post on How to APPLY a Toner for you!

 Bleach & Tone Process

Application of Toner

Shopping List
  • Towels
  • Tail Comb
  • Latex Gloves (small)
  • Crocodile.clips heavy-duty hair-clips
  • Crib Colorist Cap
  • Plastic/Glass Bowl
  • Shampoo SLS-free
  • Peroxide - 10-20 Volume
  • After/Treatment Rinse {Intensive}
  • Cotton
  • Toner
  • Protective Cream
  • Tint Brush
  • Timer
Pre-lighten the hair to the "frozen butter" stage...ever seen frozen butter? Helluva lot different than room temp. butter...its very pale - frosty yellow/white, check your you implant that color in the cells of your brain. 
That is the key to getting hair light enough, YET not too light, so as to do irreparable damage.That is one of the trickiest yet most crucial parts to nailing the proper bleached blond. Here's a couple photos. . . .to show you it is not white. 

  1. Prelighten to FROZEN BUTTER.
  2. Shampoo hair super lightly ( most likely this is already done), after-treatment conditioner, rinse, and towel-dry.
  3. Select the desired Toner Shade - check manufacturer's directions as to whether the hair is better dry or wet ?...they are ALL different.
  4. Apply protective cream around hairline and over ears.
  5. Perform a strand test, for allergies. ( I have to suggest this, its up to you)
  6. Toners are both --- sometimes non-oxidative (which means it does not use Developer - its used straight out of bottle or tube), some times oxidative, usually 10 -15 Volume is for Toners in the rare case. 20 volume. NO OTHER VOLUME. I can see a lot of you do not quite understand VOLUME'S. Remember 10 Volume - deposits color only. There is no lift ( lightening). 15 Volume is deposit only. The idea here is to deposit a very light OPAQUE ( think of Nylons or Opaque pantyhose in this case) "Tone" on top of the lightened hair. An Ice beige, a Platinum, Rosy beige, there are a zillion colors like this. If you cannot figure this out.... you cannot go wrong by using a Platinum toner. Platinum would be Gwen Stefani's hair, everyone loves Platinum.

  1. Part the hair into 4 equal sections, using a tail comb or tint must be VERY gentle to the scalp it will be very tender (on some), avoid scratching it.

  2. Mix the Toner according to manufacturer's directions.

to be continued....

"Bleach" Versus "Lightener". . . . WAR OF WORDS

Wash your mouth out with....bleach?!?!

There was an article in one of the 2 million hair industry mag's I read, the other day that I cannot find again, but the jest of it was this, '

in today's world, women do not like referring to this procedure we have been studying as a "bleached blond" ....the terms have been revamped to please clients taste to : "lightened" "blonding" and "decolorization"...which I have started to use & will 'try' to incorporate into my vocabulary more & more.

On the other hand, Colorists between themselves know how bleach works, bleach is 95% less harmful than BOXED KITS, in my humble opinion. Those kits, produce different results every time they are used....Bleach is a "constant" it always works the same. We know what it does and how it works and love how it is extremely useful in hundreds of different ways.

There is no other product like it. None. Zip. Zero!! We would be lost in the world of Couture Hair ,Show Hair, Model's hair, Editorial Hair, Hair Contests, most common use: highlights, and to top it all off: the EMO kids would not be able to accomplish those crazy 'Do's
................................Bleach; a crucial ingredient to the world of Hair Color

We use it to "Fix" many mistakes, so we are not scared or turned-off by the words. I do admit ....back before I started Hair Academy, I was one of those, and would cringe every time some one would call it "bleach" swearing to myself that I was going to be one of those that didn't use it!!! took 1 full year before I understood the tremendous advantages of "lightener" (or bleach!) and how it would become my best friend .. I simply would not be able to do all the creative hair tricks without it. You come to cherish it. You really do. In my color closet right now , I have 7 different brands of powder bleach alone (some work faster than others)..2 types of Oil Bleach..Wella even has a colored bleach,I have 2 (Colored bleach? it both bleaches the hair and deposits colour -reds, excellent on Latino's with dark resistant hair ).

I hope to teach you to love it as we do and for you all to try to become friends with bleach. I will try my best to watch the words I use its just so much easier to say bleach.... if I blow it you will know why.

My suggestion?For those of you really trying to learn how to do some of these procedures, Read and re-read.....PLUS, either get some locks of hair -- Level 3, Level 6 and Level 8- most importantly your own level of hair... maybe some kids in your neighborhood are going to get their hair cut??? Ask around if you can borrow a swatch or two off of someone's head. Then experiment. Apply the bleach to your level of hair. See how long it takes to get to "FROZEN BUTTER" stage! Before you ever apply to your own head or someone else's hair.

I have found a few hair stylists are readers of Killerstrands... that is EXCELLENT. There are many schools around the country that did not focus on hair color which has left those of you with your Cosmetology License, yet no education on hair color. That will handicap you terribly if you don't learn how to do color. Never experiment on real clients until you know what you are doing. Please.

Killer Chemist
September 25, 2007

Killerstrands 'Reader' Responds with Kick Ass Results

Breaking Use Of Hair Color Kits Isn't Easy, But...Well Worth It!

It was the most pleasant email response. . . . stemming from advice given to Killerstrands readers (just like you!) . . .she had been using Boxed Kits like so many of you . . .Listen to Jackie O, one of the readers, if you are hesitant to listen to me.

I am hopeful that many of you will try to escape the dreaded Boxed Kit...I am interested in getting everyone to have the wonderful experience she has.

Jackie had written me with a story of being on a boxed kit "merry-go-round" and never finding the answer to what she wanted, her hair was always the wrong tone and well, you can read the rest here..

from Jackie Ortiz on September 10, 2007.........

............"Seriously, I would have never known about this had I not seen your blog.
I was just going to buy another boxed dye and keep screwing myself over.Now I know I can do it on my own and now look down at boxed dyes.
No I don't mind at all, go ahead and post my story. I'm flattered. Thank you so much for the kind words. : )
First off I noticed a difference in the feel of my hair, it just looked and felt soft, silky, and
shiny, like I just came from the salon. The color was vibrant. Boxed dyes look like a thick
glob of paint stuck onto the hair, this looked luminous(which is rare for brunette/darker colors), brighter with a sparkly shimmering coating with that great multidimensional effect
I have NEVER seen on my hair before. With the boxed dyes I used to get a orange/reddish brassy tone or a plum flat color when I used boxed brown dye on my naturally black hair. It looked harsh and washed out my olive skin tone. Now my face looks radiant with my new
medium chocolate brown color with caramel and toffee multidimensional tones!
It is A LOT cheaper too! Now I am in control and know what to use if I want a warmer cooler, darker, lighter shade without any fuss. THANK YOU!!!
......................................................................Jackie O.

That Pretty much says it all
September 18, 2007

Bleach & Tone is How You Roll - "TONER" Education Everyone Needs

In Prep For Toner Application
After Lightening the Hair, I ALWAYS...ALWAYS Tone the hair. I've explained it a million ways and still see many of you not quite understanding what a toner is NOT a color. is an opaque - light coating - that gives the hair a "tone" only, not a solid color, thus the name. I have never bleached/lightened a clients hair without also Toning it, although I have seen others just do the one step. I highly recommend the toning process. . . once you do it, you will fully realize the advantages, some think they are so slight that it doesn't matter, but they have been so wonderful that I have never "not' used one. Most of your blonde celebrities have their hair 'toned' once every week or every other week depending on how porous the hair is. Gwen Stefani, Christina Aquillera, they use toners regularly.

Have I made clear porosity? Please let me know if I need more on that subject it is very important when dealing with color. The difference porosity can make on lifting time's can be amazing. Normally, in a classroom I would have the students sit down with wefts of human hair in Level 7 and Level 3 along with 2 different types of bleach (Oil & powder) a high lift blonde(12A) and a Level 10N Colour. This was usually their first go round with color and real human hair...just before they did each others hair...they were allowed to experiment and play around with different volumes of peroxide and those lighteners. ....

{ I hope to carry some hair wefts for you to order & experiment with. I needed that to give me security ( they should be pretty minimal in cost) although I guess on here most of you will just be doing your own hair, not a variety of hair as stylists do}

After the hair goes through the 10 stages of decolorization, the color that is left in the hair is known as its foundation. It is essential that you achieve the correct foundation in order to create the degree of porosity required for proper toner development.

Manufacturers of toners generally include literature with their products that recommends the foundation necessary to achieve the color you desire. As a general rule, the paler the color you are seeking, the lighter a foundation you will need. {There is nothing wrong with reading directions... no matter how secure you are with a product, as a chemist I know how often formulations are altered which reflects into the directions as well. It is imperative that you review directions for all the different lines and manufacturers you end up using } It is important to follow the literature closely and to understand that overlightened hair will "grab" the base color of the toner. Underlightened hair,on the other hand, will appear to have more red, yellow, or orange than the intended color.
It is not advisable to prelighten past the yellow stage. This will create overporous hair that will have inadequate amounts of natural pigment left in the cortex for the toner to bond to. Refer to the Post on the Color Wheel to select a toner that will neutralize or tone the pre-lightened hair to the desired shade...and you can always Post your comment at the end of this POST and I will get back to you within 24 hours ( my new mission ! )


Administer a patch Test for allergies or other sensitivities 24 hours before the toner application. Do it at the same time you do the tests for the its all done the day before and you are ready to go on the same day, I feel its important to Tone the same day as the bleach because the cuticle is still open and the porosity is at its most right after a bleaching and if anything is a problem with toners, its that they wash out too quickly. If you apply it the same day, it will usually last a week to 10 days - - longer ( great for Toners). Proceed with Toner application if patch/strand tests are negative and hair is in good condition.
Toners are about the one and only hair color "I" do not wear gloves for, they are so mild and light they neither stain the hands nor sting I don't wear them but I cannot speak for everyone .I like the feel of human hair in my hands and cannot stand gloves but after bleaching my fingerprints off my hands for years at a time I have gotten a lot better about that whole habit.
Tomorrow the shopping list for Toners - Directions....then the Lightener Directions for previously colored hair.
good nite;!
Killer Chemist
September 12, 2007

Bleach For The Stars / The Quest for Platinum Hair - Part 1

Part 3 (final) of the ONLINE Directions :  "HOW-TO-BLEACH-YOUR-HAIR : White (not yellow) Leaving Hair In Excellent Condition

The Quest for Platinum (part 3)
11.)Determine from a color chart or as best you can 15 minutes before the time is done, you are looking for a pastel yellow-white....the one major problem made by people bleaching hair is... that it is yellow. What does being yellow indicate? .... they have taken the bleach off too early... or that it was put on once....and not put on again. Many times...let me say, most times, the bleach needs to be applied twice. If the client has very light hair to begin with, Level 7 is the breaking point, a Level 8 would be darkest you can be to get away with one bleach is a pretty good guess.

Remember the porosity, the texture of the hair have a lot to do with how fast hair it will be different all the time. You need to understand that person A with Level 8 VIRGIN Hair and person B with Level 8 VIRGIN hair can both have completely different lift speeds. Person A has straight, very porous fine - level 8 hair...while Person B has straight - non porous - coarse level 8 hair.....with my experience I will guess that person A will be light enough when all is said and done and person B will need an extra 30 to 60 minutes. 

Just know that when hair is wet with this product on will never look totally white, do not look for totally white, what it looks like is a pale yellow-white, when it is dry it turns to white. Why do you not want it to be totally white? It will be over done....the product will be on too long creating too much damage. I do not mean to sound confusing, I mean to try to teach you everything I know through words, I want you to understand this process through reading words as much as possible.

12.)About 15 minutes before you think it will be finished, remove the cotton from the scalp area. Apply the lightener to the hair near the scalp with the 1/8-1/4" partings, very very quickly...(figure 16-54). If at this point you are running out of bleach prepare a fresh batch - at this point I would make up a batch of regular bleach - using 40 volume developer, to help speed things up.You have all the hair covered in the oil bleach so the oil is on all of your strands in order to protect it. The cuticle opens and lets the OIL IN....which helps the condition and controls the damage to the hair. If you just have some spots or stubborn areas put the 40 volume bleach on them and work it in with your fingers, rubbing it into the hair strands briskly and hard with your fingers..

Process and perform your strand test until the entire shaft has reached the desired stage of pale yellow/white.

13.)Rinse the hair thoroughly with tepid water. Shampoo gently with a Sodium Lauryl Sulfate--FREE shampoo.

14.) Apply "After-Treatment" of choice for a minimum of 5 minutes to get the pH back to normal.{Remember Wella's "In-Depth" is only $4.00 at Sally's and is an EXCELLENT Deep conditioner + an "after-treatment" as well}....this little step is one of those tricks that I added that makes a huge difference in this process, many discard it...don't! You want the best tricks? Use them. You will see why in the condition of your hair.

The idea is to perform only the necessary steps,in a Salon setting you are in a massive hurry,in my days in Salons,there was never enough time for people that wanted their hair done, ever...yet doing this step was one I would never axe. Only the necessary ones are on here I promise you.

Re- condition with the best conditioner you have for a couple minutes.

15.) Towel Dry the hair....under a cool dryer.....find out which way your toner needs the hair its about 50-50 1/2 the toners want your hair damp the other 1/2 want it dry.... if sure to dry very very gently and on a lo-warm temp. treat the hair with care its just gone through Hell and back.

16.) Examine scalp for any abrasions (See Figure 16-55)  Analyze the condition of the hair. Proceed with toner application.
{ as a warning the color of this is too yellow (Fig.16-55), I would apply bleach one complete more time for how this looks.... it is in the yellow stage..... and needs to be AT LEAST in the yellow/white stage - - - see the DeColorization chart I posted... the lightest says "pale Yellow"...I call it :  Yellow/White...because it is ...Yellow White } the Decolorization chart shows what stages the hair goes through as it loses its color with bleach on it. As a Colorist we are trained to use the word "lightener" in front of clients...talking to each other we say "bleach" that's what it is and its easier
when bleaching the first few times....Click on it and Print it for reference..
At this point you are completely done with the Bleaching process....your hair will feel kind of will smell kind of funny...I LOVE IT ! ! ! .oh and why do I like this procedure better than any other in the world of hair???? Did you figure it out?

Its because it is the one single procedure that changes the hair the times going from black to white...especially when applying to Hispanics or Asians. Also when it is done like this....with a gorgeous icy beige toner...there is nothing more beautiful. You will see once you do this.. You basically are changing hair from 'black' to 'white'....the more change I can do,the more I feel like a true artist within the world of hair. The very first bleach I did was to an Asian girl from Pepperdine College, she had come to Sassoon to get her hair done for free.... we had her for 8 hours,that was the penalty for "free hair" 16 years ago. I can't believe I can still remember that she was an Advertising Student so she was an ARTIST herself.....she let me put a 2 inch band (surrounding her entire hairline) of PURE White Hair so she had a GORGEOUS white frame around her face and then I took her Level 2 darkest brown hair and made it Level 1 > it was the complete opposite ends of the my VERY FIRST bleach. I cannot believe my mentor ( Lucie Doughty) had me do that first, but as she used to say, " it IS only hair". She had this great attitude toward hair which took me about 10 years to acquire, I had always held my hair dear to my heart....but as I matured and as I had quite a few severe tragedies happen in finally hit TRULY is . . . . . . .ONLY Hair! Its the one object on the body that WILL grow back....!

Now find your Toner...this is as important as the bleach. 
You never want to leave it Un-toned that is like making a birthday cake and not frosting it. You can eat the cake and I suppose some would consider it done, but my Lord how much better is it WITH the Frosting!!

ITS THE BEST PART, just like the frosting is!

(Toners are tomorrow)

**** Just a note...I have gone through and added a few very important points to both posts that I both forgot and changed my mind on, so be sure to re-read them...if you have gone through the headache of reading all this. Sorry its so long, I wanted to cover everything....and I know I will still have questions.....

PLEASE >ASK ALL THE QUESTIONS YOU WANT....I WANT TO SEE IF I HAVE MADE THIS CLEAR ! ! ! ! and what I might have forgotten or what you do not understand.... I want you all to fully understand it.....PLEASe . . . ASK, ANYTHING ON YOUR MIND.

You may always "ask questions" . . . .

September 10, 2007

On Your Questions To Me....

Lots 'n Lots of questions.....

Can I ask you all ...a few things....I am more than happy to answer your questions...but I do ask a couple things... Please read through the basics...I am trying to teach this and it takes a long long time for much of this. Read the Levels and whatever I have posted about your particular issues.

On your opening email, please post these 7 answers first:

1) what Level & tone IS your hair?
2) what Level & tone do you DESIRE?
3) What Level & tone of color do you have on your hair now? is it virgin?
4) Length of Hair?
5) Thickness ?
6) Texture?straight, wiry, curly, kinky etc..
7) Porosity? how easy does it take color?
Please Open with the Answers to helps me like you cannot believe and its why I taught it. For me to give answers WITHOUT the advantage of touching and seeing your hair is not easy...think about that. 1/2 of the analysis is in the touch/feel of the hair. So I am working handicapped, I must at least have these answers and will send you to this post, if you have not given them to me.

These answers are time consuming...... help you

Thank You,


Killer Chemist
September 3, 2007

Killer Chemists > Most Common Question For August.

Below is a wonderful email from a Killerstrands reader, this seems to be a very common problem this month. At the end of every month I want to pick out an email that represents the most common inquiry to me for the month, in hopes of helping others out there, too timid to ask and answer it for you all in a post. I got Melissa's approval first to publish her email, so I thank her for giving us the peek into her hair world.

Please, I adore your questions and look forward to answering them. So ask away.

Here is melissa's Email...
I would estimate I had at least another 20 emails to me very very close to the same problem.... Melissa summarized it the best..

Aug 31 (3 days ago)


i just found your blog, and i have to say i have learned a lot. i wish i found this earlier.
i need some help with a problem i have with my hair.

i asked my stylist to make my hair color a nice medium warm brown.
I have naturally black hair but has been highlighted, and then changed to a dark brown.

My hair looked brown when she was done, and i liked it. but when i got home it looked more of a dark plum red tint.
which i hate! i was pissed. in the light you could see this dark reddish purple tint to it. and even in pictures it looked like that.
so i panicked and bought a toner (demi-permanent), Loreal Gems. That made my hair black with a dark reddish tint! Yuck.

So i go to her to fix it. She doesn't lift my hair at all???? I thought that was weird.
Instead she said she put in more of an ash color in the mixture she made......It definitely got most of the red out but not all, there is still a slight red tint in the light, but its still black. Now in the light it will look brownish/reddish depending on the angle of the light.

Ugh! i don't know what to do. i want to be able to do this myself and i am worried about damaging my hair, meanwhile paranoid of hair loss.
i just want a nice medium but warm brown. is that so difficult. oh she said i would have to bleach my hair to get this color, which after reading you blogs, it sounds like she is right. she said my hair since i'm asian (technically only half, and I don't have typical asian hair) will always pull red.

i know when she did my highlights i got a nice brown. i don't know what i should do.

There is a whole art in the Hair Colour World called Color Correction. This would be a person that spends the majority of their time fixing others hair color mistakes. I did this throughout my career because I was trained by a Colour Correction Specialist, she was the top in the field in the United States and she continues to be. I was very lucky to have that training because there is no where to 'read' about it, one has to be trained or find someone that will let you intern/mentor underneath them... it is the only way. Most with the knowledge do not like to give it up they want it elite & private.

The very first point about this email that needs to be made.............
This is a HAIR COLOR Rule that is the most important one you will ever learn. Almost everyone that reads and comments on this blog....does not seem to understand what it means. I am upset that I have not explained it correctly & that no one understands what I mean.
Here it is:

Colour does not lift color.
Tint does not Lift Tint.
Dye does not lift Dye..............................all 3 of these statements mean exactly the same thing.
Its just what you are calling the hair color product. I prefer Tint.

If you put Tint or color or Dye....whatever you want to call it...on your hair.... she did...she had brown colour put on her hair....
once you put that color on your are basically screwed..... once it is on your hair, it is chemically impossible to take another color and put it on top....and have that color on top work....they do NOT WORK ON TOP OF EACH OTHER, that has not been figured out yet...
Once dark brown is put on hair.....the only way out of it is to wash it out or use a very expensive very long process called MODULAT a German color remover.

Modulat is how the Celebs all change hair color so much and their hair is still on their head. It does removes the color/tint/or dye....safely - it does not destroy the hair.... but it takes an entire day and can cost $200-$500. in the Salon.

Now we are right back to where we started......

Colour does not "Lift" Colour. ( lift means 'lighten') Can you grasp that statement? I think if you do it will help you all in so many ways...

So for Melissa and the many others that wrote to me with this problem.. ....I am making available the VANISH to any readers of Killer strands that want to do the procedure to themselves. The product ( 2 applications normally) costs $23 and is not difficult to apply I've helped a couple people with it :very successfully. That is one option.

The other is to start right away with the shampoo train.
I have quite a few people in this stage right now. This is what we use in the hair color world with hair models.....If you shampoo the hell out of hair, with a CLARIFYING shampoo....
the color begins to come loosen the color molecules and begin to fade the hair color...exactly what we want.
It goes like this.....
The best shampoo is cheapest lousiest shampoo from grocery store....if you can't get a crappie CLARIFYING shampoo
....leave shampoo ON THE HAIR for 5-10 minutes ( longer the better) rinse...........wait min. 30 minutes & repeat..... Do this 4-5-6 times - EVERY day!!
That will lighten that black....which is what you want.

just give me the word and I will send you some VANISH !

First you have to work at getting that black and all those colors out of it......start that shampoo train many people have tremendous success with me. It's the beginning you need.