May 4, 2015

Hairway to Heaven : Remove, Renew & Begin Again (Killerstrands method : Remove Old Hair Color)

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77863126hairRemoving Old Hair Color, for one of many reasons:
  • lighten hair
  • have used boxed (yukky) hair color & desire good quality color
  • hair is unhealthy & damaged for one of many reasons
  • color hair lighter than current color (the one & only way)
At Killerstrands we recommend a 2 step method to remove old hair color we call:
Remove, Renew & Begin Again.
Spring is the Time of the Year When Everyone comes out wanting to start anew with hair color and cut. 

Remember, VANISH & the Shampoo Train are the one & only Hair Color Removers that do not damage the hair ! 

Having noticed a huge increase in VANISH sales of late - -  which always happens in the SPRING/Summer of every year….it seemed a good time to revisit the process and some of the finer points. While I realize many of you may fear the procedure…I am always so happy to see that many of you are ‘going for it’ and are giving it a try. Let me assure you that I do not sell any products in our store that I feel need any type of super-duper special education to properly apply. I just would not and will not  - -  ever do that to any of you… or your hair.


Once I got into writing this BLOG and analyzing some of the procedures we do as professional Hair stylists: I began realizing how so much of what we do is very plain............ simple........... and it runs very close to cooking which is Chemistry as well.  I always compare concocting hair and hair color products to the same as following a Recipe and cooking a meal. cooking. If you follow the proper directions and theories you will have a good outcome or a poor one – how good the outcome is, always depends on -- how well you have followed the recipe or directions. Yes, its true there can be bad recipes --just like there can be bad formulations for hair color....and it takes time and practice in order to become a good Colorist. 

But to become a decent and qualified Crib Colorist is not that hard, you know why? Because all you have to learn is YOUR own hair................. as a General Colorist in a Salon we must learn how to deal with thousands of types of hair and hair color. Along with millions of different problems and hair combinations and disasters.

All that each of you have to do, to have a great little hobby in Hair Coloring, is to learn your own hair and what to do to YOUR hair, not one other person. I have explained in this Blog the entire method we learned at the best hair school in the country, all you have to do is to study what I have written and I have taught it in a simple manner I promise.


Yes, I guess with so many of you having such poor experiences with bad Hair Stylists  you could have some doubts when you first find us…… On April 15 was our 8th year Anniversary this year !  I doubt we would be around that long if I was a poor Stylist or more importantly a poor teacher. I try very hard in listening to as many of your requests as I can and responding in teaching accordingly. So just know that.

 Same with hair, which is why I do encourage you purchase all options with us that include directions. . . If you follow the directions I give in many of these Posts with the hair color you purchase from us, you will have good results. Unfortunately, there is a lot of counterfeit hair color out there and I just cannot endorse any color you don't get from us. I continue to have people complain to me when they decide to try to save a few bucks.  So, remember that first.

I only have 2 complaints, that is one and the other is  the "timing". All directions in every single color line tells you to leave it on 20 minutes………they never suggest a “long enough processing time! Remember....... It should be 65- 85 minutes for blonding and 45-55 minutes for processing time for any color darker.

     I’m very happy that many of you are taking the proper steps to properly color your hair. VANISH is the one and only hair color remover that works without damaging the hair. The manner in which it works  > > still fascinates me. . . as it truly reverses the way in which the hair color goes into your hair in the first place. No bleaches, no peroxide………….it’s a bizarre process to explain but hopefully as you repeatedly read about it will begin to sink in.

We now have 2 separate types of hair color removers.......Vanish And now De-Cap. Why the new one? Vanish does NOT remove Direct Dyes or Crazy Colors but - De-Cap removes it all ! Which makes it a wonderful addition to the hair color removing category especially being as it works on the same principal as VANISH and does NOT damage the hair AT ALL. It too, shrinks the color molecules of all 3 types of hair color and wipes it right out of the air with ZERO damage. I would suggest purchasing the application sponge at least, because you get a lot more coverage with it.

0002 VANISH 

 One of our staffers just applied 6 applications of VANISH, which reminded me I forgot to tell her about the 1st Step which would have saved her a whole lot of time, and headache. 

 I was freshly reminded of the persistence one needs to approach hair color removal. Even yesterday I had the clerk at the supply house ask me what did she do wrong when she just applied Vanish and then her hair turn dark again. What I want to be sure to point out to you, is  - - the first part we call the "SHAMPOO TRAIN.

The Hair Color Removal procedure is not a breeze, so I don’t want to mislead anyone. The good part? It’s not complicated, The Bad?  (once you read directions)…….it IS ‘time-consuming’ and pricey. But nothing.............I mean N-O-T-H-I-N-G beats how advantageous this procedure is for the HEALTH of the hair. The Shampoo Train is a necessity to begin with in order to make the Vanish Steps easier and work better. 

The longer you perform each step on my direction sheet the more successful your outcome. Just like anything in LIFE, ‘precisely navigating the steps as long as you are going to take the procedure ‘on’ you might 


as well do the best you can.

I mean not only did we have to apply 6 (common) separate applications – a step I worry many of you may be shorting yourself on – (remember there are 2 applications per box).

 Our staffer – Cassy - - had what is a very common issue I bet many of you are dealing with. She had highlights under her Level 2-3 DARK BROWN hair color… Black .. basically. Now, that type of situation will many times take a minimum of 2 boxes, 3 is more likely and 4 is not out of the question…just FYI. The reason I want you to know is hopefully you will only perform this procedure of hair color removal ONCE in your life.

 Now. . . after this you will have read through the BLOG, learn the 10,000HEADS :14 STEPS and study your color wheel and the Level System. So you will learn clearly how to care for your hair in a new and unique method.


The number 1 mistake most people make in removing their color is: they do not apply enough applications of VANISH. I don’t think in all these years I have ever gotten all the color out in 2 applications… it would be nice if you could…but almost always people are trying to get BOXED hair color out of their hair which is this ‘thicky syrupy gunk’. 

Professional hair color comes out of the the hair much faster/easier than boxed color. Why? because it is not made to color ANY color of hair it is properly formulated for your hair! . Formulating is done by the professional (or you) so the color that was used was the “proper” color for the situation. Boxed hair color is made so it works on any hair without any formulating knowledge necessary. Otherwise why would they be selling it every store in America to A N Y O N E  that wants to purchase it. The color in boxed color kits….uses the E X A C T same coloring process and formula that professional hair color does. There is not one hair color formulation for boxed hair color and another for professional hair color….they are made the same way only 1 has better ingredients (quality).

The difference? You (or your stylist) is taking the answers to the KILLER 14 questions and calculating the proper color to use. When that is done…the color process is done correctly and therefore REVERSING the process works flawlessly. Most people that are looking to remove color here @ Killerstrands, I find, are boxed hair color removal. Which I am very sorry to say is going to be minimum of 4 applications. . . . and upwards of 8 or 10. I had Cassy our staffer, working on the Shampoo Train and using the COLOR PREP and COLOR CORRECTOR packets every couple days (by Malibu 2000) for 5 weeks prior to our 2 days of VANISH applications. . .which completely helped. . .we would have had to do at least 8 apps. if we had not done that…. as it was we did “5” !!   I know - - I know, just keep in mind: this is a one time project….hopefully to never be done again. She had highlights underneath (which btw she neglected to mention until about 1/2 way through) – I was really becoming puzzled by the fact that the procedure was not working very well {after 10 million of these, you truly get a feel for how they should work}.

Malibu 2000Has now come out with a new packet called CPR - or Color Pigment Reducer, so I highliy recommend purchasing a couple packets of this. If you are removing your color once and trying to recolor, that simply will not work, you either to either go ALL IN or forget it. So many people try to take short-cuts, when that simply will not work in hair color. Remember its a science and the rules and laws must be followed in order for the result to come out correctly.

Then I asked her, “ did you have any blond underneath this black? The truth came out about her wanting to get rid of the highlights so she got a box of color from Target and slapped it on, then she did it again and again and again for a year… She will never do that again, and neither should you!ONE BIG TIP HERE: When applying new color ( of any type) you must only color the “NEW GROWTH”……the “ROOTS”………..the “BASE” – coloring over the lengths that have already been colored will do nothing but damage the hair, whether going lighter, the same Level and especially going DARKER…. see this photo . . . the color is applied on the root area and the “lengths” are left out….that way you are not coloring on top of color….it IS NOT NECESSARY, & I promise you is one of the biggest mistakes hair stylists make.


How does hair color get in the hair and stay there >>>??? The molecules of “color’ shrink, then they go in the hair strand through the cuticle…then they EXPAND while in there - - which locks them in there – they can’t leave because they grow and become too large to get out the way they came ‘in’.. Thus, the hair is now the color of those color molecules. VANISH works by reversing that process. VANISH shrinks those molecules that are locked into those hair strands The reason we have a VANISH KIT versus just the VANISH Box?? You need 7 odd little things to complete the application properly plus my personal directions assure you of a perfect application. 

The single most important fact of beginning and ending the VANISHING technique? Making sure the old color is all the way out. With the Kit comes the one trick of a way of checking if all the color is out of the hair or not, that way you will KNOW - - you will have a gauge of when you can stop and be assured that all the color is out.bonnet dryer 020203

Now in our little Vanishing escapade… I discovered 2 new wonder-products we recently added to the store I thought I’d point out to you…. (the new Portable Bonnet Cap BLOW dryer system - -  that I was completely impressed with, btw) she had been using it all month long with the COLOR PREP and COLOR CORRECTION packets. What she forgot to tell me was how well it worked. I guess I thought the dryer would blow-up . . . WRONG…. or that it would either be too hot or too cold….WRONG again!. She brought it back and we put it on her ends as we had put pastel colors in her drips for EASTER… OK – YES, it looks goofy, but who cares… it works so well, that just doesn’t matter…..I mean don’t look at yourself.  . . . and the price is sooooooo reasonable. Ours are black, is the only difference. The most goofy looking new tool  - - - and the most EFFECTIVE….LOVE IT!

bonnet hair dryer120393B


The second great discovery is…………really silly but supremely effective and I wished I would’ve had for my entire career. Truly. I’ve already had it posted in the store but getting these posts on here are getting harder and harder for me…I try - - I promise you  - - I try. This little item is an applicator sponge….and as goofy as that sounds…let me explain…….
applicator sponge 1 

Above is a shot of the little devil . . . One of the problems with VANISH, Malibu 2000 Packets and all those types of products . . . is, the product itself is expensive….even to me VANISH is expensive. So we all want to use every last drop of the product, which is why all Colorists use tube “keys” - - to get every last drop out of the tube. 

Same with VANISH…every little drop of liquid should be used. Over the years I have tried 6 different types of applicators: make-up sponges, kitchen sponges…and most lately I had found these sponge “cloths”… I cut them up and thought that was my final answer to the issue. NOPE! I don’t know why but it must be the density of this particular foam that its absorption and application of the liquid was just awesome. 

You see if you have not used Vanish before: there are 2 bottles inside, Bottle 1 and Bottle 2 - -To look in each bottle you would think you were looking at water. When you get ready to use,  you mix 1/2 the bottle of #1 and 1/2 the bottle of #2 for 1 application. Then tighten both bottles immediately – tight. Use a spoon to mix thoroughly, at this point you would reach for this handy dandy applicator brush. Not even expecting a thing I decided to give this new little contraption a go . . . now our staffer has hair a couple inches past her shoulders – so long-ish. Her hair was completely drenched after applying only 1/2 of the total VANISH the bowl….( or 1/4 of the total liquid in 1 box ). That would have never happened using all my other contraptions I had been experimenting with. Plus with VANISH the more you douse the hair with the liquid, the better. 

This little wonder – brush wins my vote for “Tool – of -- the- month”  - - if not the year. But…..this little sponge for some reason holds the right amount of liquid and then disperses every last drop onto the hair strands….why? I have no idea  - - but I was just star struck. Cassy kept making fun of me and my enthusiasm for something so silly. . .
But I love finding a GREAT tool . . .especially at a great price .
That’s probably why Killerstrands has turned into the success it has. . . because I DO care about every little product I bring you . 
Once again - - thank you for your support . 
1 comment on "Hairway to Heaven : Remove, Renew & Begin Again (Killerstrands method : Remove Old Hair Color)"
  1. I am a cosmetologist and I have been looking for the right product to remove level 3 and 4 color from the top part of my hair. I had lighter brown hair and decided to make it a dark ombre but now I want to go really light and I'm deadly afraid of what my hair will look like after removing the color. I have very long hair that I care for like a baby and I'm hesitant to remove the dark color but I don't want to keep putting more dark on top I have grays coming in and I want to camouflage them by going light. Any suggestions or words of wisdom?? Thsnks!


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