April 17, 2012

Blonde is The Absence of Color in Hair, NOT a Color Itself

Blond, James Blond - The First Post of a 10-Part Series on everything I can come up w/ on Blonding

Within the walls of Killerstrands we have a way of displaying to everyone what our hair color looks like now, what we were born with and where we want to go with it. We call the 10 Questions the KILLER 10, we call them that because these 10 questions are absolutely necessary in order to have a successful result when coloring your hair. {oh and btw : these questions better be considered by your Stylist in a Salon situation as well}.  What we have below is both the display of that and the beginning of a Series I am going to write called:  Blond, James.....Blond - The Crib Colorists Side of the Complexities of Having and Keeping Your Hair Blond. issues at hair salons across the United States and now that many have Killerstrands to use...... a lot of it is going on at home as well.

I was just writing the first of a 10-part series on Blonding, when I received this question, that shook up my whole idea of what I should talk about and I'M THRILLED ! I love to have a clear focus of the angle of Blonding (or whichever subject I'm writing about) that many of you don't quite understand. Now, I can clearly see where I should concentrate the next 9 Posts about. The concept of how we arrive at blonde hair. It is a weird one. People think that Blond is a color, well.....technically it is not. Blond is the absence of brown, well - wait.....let me start at the beginning .... here is the Question that was Posted in our Group - that made me re-think the whole series. . .

 My Hair Is A Disaster I need Your Help ? ?

Here's my Killer 10.
1. Do you have previous haircolor on your hair? Yes, I have 90% of
2. What is your VIRGIN (God-given) hair color level & tone ?  7N
3. What IS your present Hair Color level & Tone ? Terrible 8.34, 9.3
and a very few 10.01
4. What is your DESIRED hair color Level & Tone ? 8.12(I think .12 is
ash/violet, right?) or 9.12
5. What is your percentage of Gray? Is it Resistant? very few, it just
started showing up
6. What is your DURP?  When I do highlights my hair turns yellow/
orange. When i color my hair turns orange/red
7. What is your texture? Dry  (but was not like that before a year
8. What is the Porosity? Low porosity
9. Along w
10. What is your length and thickness? A little bit underneath the
shoulder. Fine-course (but it was thick before)
What is the Condition ? damage, brassy and frizz

I'm 40 years old from Brazil  and I started highlighting my hair when I
was in my 20's. My hair used to look like Alessandra Ambrosio's hair
with that color and those highlights. That's the way I like my hair
(with a little bit more highlights than her). It was like that until 1
year ago when I changed my colorist because she moved. After that,
every colorist i went to, messed up my hair and now I have highlights
over highlights over highlights all over my hair... Every thing they
put in my hair turns brassy, yellow, orange, and sometimes redish-
orangish. Now I have all these horrible colors in my hair with 2
inches of my roots showing and I really don't want to try another
What I want you to help me with is decide what to put in my hair
because I am really lost since it is going to be the first time I
color my own hair. I am thinking about using 9.02 + 8.10 and I'm going
to be crazy and try the star shape technique (because i think this is
the easiest one, and i really dont like my hair in just one color)
with 10.10, with 9.22 toner all over my head. What do you think, Is
this a good combination? Should I use 30v or 40v on my base? Should I
use 40v on my star shape and 10v on the toner? What about the times
for the star shape and the base? I put the toner on wet hair?
I really hate orange, yellow, and red and unfortunately my hair has
all those colors. Do I need to use a blue and violet shot to mix in my
formula? If you think neither of these options work on my hair, then I
am willing to go back to my natural color.

Thank you for helping me, I really appreciate it, 
 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

 This one Question jogged my brain and reminded me that I myself had a difficult time with these concepts when I first began, which is great news for all Killerstrands readers ! Here I was about to embark on the James Blond Series - Well, what a way to start it, with a real Comment from the Killerstrands Group.
Let me start out by saying that at about the age of 30 and then again at about age 40, 50 and in my 100% honest opinion on the DECADE of every age from then on.... EVERYONE's hair begins to change. . .and as much as I am one of those people who feels we get better with age, unfortunately I do not feel our hair is on board with that theory. it has a mind of its own. So first off, please get ready for your hair to change, its just part of life. We all must make adjustments accordingly to how your hair has altered for the worse.

At Killerstrands we do not encourage experimenting on the entire head of hair, we stress STRAND TESTS, on new formula's. That way the mistake or success is only on a small piece of hair. So please read a post or 2 on that subject before trying any color at all (yes that includes the Toner idea !). Take the time. Do not put it off and think its not worth it. Once you get the color down, then you may fly through the application. But I will tell you that most of the mistakes that are made are made because you are in a hurry. Forget the mental attitude that comes with doing "Boxed" Hair Color. Hair color that is gorgeous is NOT FAST. Remember the last time you had 'rockin' color by a great Colorist....I bet it wasn't fast ! Anything that is done well, is not done in a hurry.

Now. The problem with your hair and hair color in general. Its difficult to know why a new hairdresser screwed up in the manner in which you describe. This concept stumps a lot of people but I am going to try one more additional way in which to explain it......

> Blonde is not a color you "add': to the hair. The strands of hair have natural pigment in them from birth. That pigment 9 times out of 10 is darker....say a Level 7,6,5 and on and on. The way you reach blonde is by removing layers of natural pigment. So you ( for lack of a better word) SUCK-OUT the pigment in the hair in order to reach blond. Lets say someone has Level 7 color and the goal is a Level 9 . We do NOT ADD color to go from a Level 7 to a Level 9. What we do is "lift" the color out of the strands in order for it to become lighter (and blonder) . Therefore if the color is Lifted out of the strands - - rather than: removing existing color.... as many of you think, it would not work. But, I am very glad this scenario was brought to my attention....so now I see clearly what issues are not understood.
So, I need to work on this area so that everyone understands this concept better! Thanks for this, both of you ! !                        
Blond is not a color that is added to your hair.
Although, Brunette is .
Why isn't blond?
Blond is the hair color that is the result of "lifting"out your natural color . When either "lightener" or High Lift Blonde's are used, there are 2 main goals of the high lift blond colors.......1st they LIFT THE NATURAL COLOR OUT of the strands....then, they DEPOSIT the "tone" of Blond you have chosen.
I'm trying to remember how exactly this was explained to me years ago as this was a concept I just had the hardest time comprehending at the beginning. Remember my trick, read concepts you do not understand -- OVER and OVER again. Eventually it WILL sink in. (That was how I went to the hardest hair school in the USA with a bunch of 19 year olds and made it through the other side!)

'Lifting' basically means 'lightening'

Remember how (only) permanent colors can "lift", which is why as a Colorist we adore permanent colors compared to Demi-Permanent hair color. With the Demi-Permanent colors the only process they can do is to deposit hair color.
The most miraculous part of hair coloring is the fact that Permanent color CAN do 2 polar opposite techniques on ones hair  (lifting & depositing)  AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. Therefore when you apply level 9 - 10 - 12 to your hair with 30 or 40 Volume that color you applied will FIRST lift all your natural color out of the hair strands you have applied it to, then it will deposit the tonal quality you have chosen.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now My Dear, I cannot tell you why your hair color is all these bizarre colors for sure....but if you have had it beautiful at some point then I am guessing it is very possible. I would start by following Betty and try 9.22 + 10 Volume - that is a toner with strong Violet undertones. Violet rids us of Brass. How you use the color wheel on this subject is.....if you have brass that you cannot stand....go to your color wheel.....go to the color directly ACROSS on the Color Wheel. Across from Yellow is Violet. The Color directly across WILL CANCEL THE COLOR you dislike. You don't need us if you understand that one little rule. Don't like Orange? Use a color that has a BLUE base.

 If you had a stylist doing your hair that you loved I am willing to bet a lot of money that she used the old "standard" used by every Hairstylist known to man......and that is powder lightener and 10 Volume with the 1st bowl  and once you are half way thru the hair you use powder lightener and 20 Volume. THAT is how you avoid all those crazy colors you quoted and that is what is used on all those South American models, I've worked on their hair before. Most of them have at least a Level 6 hair. Most Hair Stylists don't go to all the trouble I do using 2-3-4 colors......so I need to remember that for all of you to not have to live up to the way in which I worked. I know that over 1/2  It was harder, and there are short-cuts, I just need to be aware that I should point them out for all of you to choose your method of coloring from. Since I have turned into over to a home hair colorist myself, I have even stopped putting blond pin-size ribbons in the top of my hair, its too hard - so now I get it. 100% !

In the hair business the #1 manner in which Stylists put "highlights in the hair, is by using "powder lightener"( bleach) and 10 or 20Volume. The issue with that is, you want to be fast enough so that you get all the foils in within a very close margin from each other..... The biggest no-no with using powder lightener is not leaving it on too long. Then you get into the field of creating Damage. So THAT is the theory behind running Strand Tests. If you do not leave the lightener and 10V "ON" long enough ...then if you look at the 10 degree's of De-Colorization Chart, what would you end up with?.........................Guess ?    ?  You could end up with orange-Gold or the hard-to-avoid "BRASS" ! Remember how it works. . . The hair begins brown.....yes if it is black it is even 1 step darker than on this chart.  As time ticks away in the "processing time" everyone's hair begins to go up the chart up above. And as you can see if the time has not been long enough it will stop at RED ......if not long enough STILL.....It will be Gold ......the goal should be the top 2 shades....yellow (which is a nice Golden Blond) and Pale Yellow (which is most likely the color most strive for). 

The issue that effects this most is................your God-Given DURP. Your Dominant-Underlying-Remaining-Pigment that is basically hidden from most.  Some people (think Jennifer Anniston) have the most amazing DURP on Planet Earth.....which means as your hair goes UP the Ladder, in all the different Levels it passes through  - -  it is STILL or gorgeous color.  But that is not the "norm" and THAT is why EVERY single one of you should run a Strand Test or 2 !

 Also, when the powder lightener is used correctly you will eliminate all those crazy colors you spoke about.... The reason those crazy colors are there? Is because your color was not LIFTED - "PAST" the orange stage......not LIFTED "PAST" the Brass stage....and so on.....

I think you should purchase 1 or 2........ of X-Factor's 9.22, a small tub of Framesi's powder lightener ( 3 oz.)  and an X.Factor 12.20 Highlift +40V.....run strand tests with all 3 products and then you will know for yourself where your hair stands and which colors work for you.

What I want to be sure about is that NO ONE  use Vanish on Blonde, That is the one place you are not supposed to used it....as it would not work. I have seen a few people refer to possibly doing that, and I am glad I have finally had a chance to address this subject. So every woman with Blonde hair presently must NEVER use VANISH. Once you fully understand the Theory....it will make ZERO sense.

But I will continue on with this theory and this intensity in teaching everyone the ins & outs of the Blonding world.
thanks everyone,

Killer Chemist
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