The story of a bright blonde who wanted a cooler, more natural color
You've seen this collegiate stunner on this post, but have you SEEN THIS HAIR?? Between living in a swimming pool and only getting together once per quarter, the outgrowth and upkeep of her blonde was becoming overwhelming. We toned this hair right down and blended out demarcation so well that you would never know 3 hours before this picture was taken she had 3.5 inches of level 5 outgrowth!
While her nearly solid beyond blonde is so striking, it was time to change it up. We both LOVED her blonde hair, but knew that in order for it to look it's best for the longest length of time we needed more dimension than we had previously allowed for in her formula.
This color palette has been a pretty standard starting point for us every appointment due to length of time between visits. Her virgin hair matches up perfectly to a level 5 in my preferred color line, and her ends are a clean level 10. In order to give this hair a more blended and natural appearance, we needed to bring some of the dark down, and some of the light up. This would offer a more diffused look, as well as create more dimension and contrast in her hair which to this point had been lacking!
WHAT DID I DO
Alright guys, follow along closely! We utilized the same highlighting formula we have been using for months, BUT added in a new technique and lowlight formula to bring some balance to her blonde. After careful conversation and consideration, we decided that using permanent color in place of a demi permanent would be more beneficial due to the amount of swimming that she does. A demi permanent just wouldn't last. With her base color being a level 5 and her ends being a level 10, I knew that it would be impossible to use the same lowlight formula in a foil from scalp to ends. Her regrowth would end up too warm, and her ends would end up too dark and cool.
We used two separate formulas in the same foil to give a gradation to her lowlight that had the same tonal reflect, giving her hair more softness and cohesion. I used what I refer to as a "negative space" lowlight. This is the act of weaving a section off of the top for the highlight, clipping that out of the way, then slicing directly underneath the woven section for my lowlight. This gives the lowlight a solid line on the underneath (which makes placing a foil a breeze), and a woven top that integrates into the highlight giving THE most gorgeous blend! You can see a video of this technique being used here!
20g violet powdered lightener
40g 30 volume
10g 6,1 (level 6 blue based ash)
10g 5,1 (level 5 blue based ash)
30g 10 volume
20g 8,0 (level 8 natural / neutral)
30g 20 volume
Toner (liquid demi-permanent):
2g Amethyst (level-less blue violet)
10g 9,22 (level 9 double violet)
37g 10 Volume
Processed for 15 minutes
For her lowlight base formulation, I know that adding blue based ash gives the appearance of being 1/2 of one level darker. With this in mind, I formulated 1/2 level lighter than I normally would have to keep the hair from becoming too dark and used 10 volume to ensure there wasn't enough energy to expose any warmth. Through her lowlighted ends, I used a neutral level 8. This gave us 2 levels of depth (well inside of the allowed darkening frame before having to fill) with a true neutral reflect. Had I used an ash tone, her ends would have grabbed too cool, and had there been any warm tones they would have grabbed too warm.
We applied these foils from nape to hairline because it was such a change to her current color that I felt we needed a total overhaul for the full effect. Once she was done processing, I cleansed her twice with a nourishing shampoo to remove any lightener residue, then applied her toner from base to ends. We processed for a full 15 minutes before cleansing and conditioning with a nourishing family. I prepped her hair with a heat activated amino acid building treatment and nutrient dense leave in conditioner, then blew out smooth. Once she was blown out, we flat ironed (so that her natural curl wouldn't spring up in the humidity), trimmed her ends a teeny tiny bit, then took roughly 725 pictures. We were both shocked by how much we loved the darker look! The image on the left is her hair outside in natural lighting, and the image on the right is her hair inside in natural window lighting.
This blend is just to die for. The color transformed her skin tone, made her bright eyes pop, and really visually lent to the health of her hair. By adding some "dark" into her very light hair, we were able to even out her color and give the pieces that stayed really blonde the contrast that they deserved! If you would rock this color, like this post and comment below! Don't forget to follow @theformulationfiles on Instagram to stay up to date on daily happenings and behind the chair videos!