Updated: Feb 1, 2019
Naturally enhancing a virgin head of beautiful blonde hair
We all daydream about what we could do with our favorite levels & shades if only we had a healthy head of virgin hair to play with. Guys... I had just that head of hair come true in my chair the other day, and let me tell you, it was delicious. As you'll come to learn about me, I am a self titled blonding specialist and my daydreams almost always begin with a blonde.
When a virgin sits in your chair, the opportunities on our end are nearly limitless. As a professional, it is important that we don't take advantage of a dream come true for us and make their future life a living hell.
The catch 22 that comes with a healthy head of chemically untouched hair is that hair color is upkeep. I don't care WHAT kind of color we are talking about, there is always upkeep that comes with chemically processed hair. A full head of platinum requires a trip to the salon every 2-4 weeks for a root retouch & tone, while a partial balayage may only require an occasional toning or a violet shampoo / conditioner at home as needed. Figuring out exactly what your guest is ready to commit to is the VERY FIRST step in deciding what we can offer them color wise.
Can you imagine never having colored your hair before and suddenly being faced with unkempt hair after a few weeks with no appointment scheduled?! Talk about panic.
WHAT DID I DO
With this in mind, my guest and I hashed out that she is happy to commit to seeing me every 8-10 weeks, and prefers a brighter, fresh and multi tonal blonde. To me this screamed foil work. I decided on a mixed foil (more than a partial, less than a full) using 2 different blondes knowing that her own natural blonde would create 3 total tones to deliver what she was asking for. I color matched her to an EXACT swatch to figure out where we were starting, so that I could properly formulate for where we were going.
Starting level: 7,32 (Level 7 Gold Violet)
Desired Blonde #1: 10,0 (Level 10 Natural / Neutral)
Desired Blonde #2: 9,0 (Level 9 Natural / Neutral)
Here is where it gets tricky. I work with an Italian based color line that reads differently (and reflects differently) than other lines. Within this company there are two permanent color lines (one ammonia based, one non ammonia based), one semi permanent coloring system, and 1 temporary coloring system. As with all color lines, each color family reflects differently from the others, hence the need to have multiple lines within one company. Are you still with me? If not, re read this paragraph until you are. COOL.
12g Violet based powdered bleach
24g 30 volume developer
Processed for 35 minutes
10g 10,22 (Level 10 Violet Violet)
10g Base Creme
20g 40 volume developer
Processed for 35 minutes
WHY DID I DO IT
Rather than using a level 10 color to achieve her neutral blonde for formula #1, I chose to work with bleach. Her natural keratin is VERY strong, which means traditional rules of developer may not apply to her hair. Rather than risking her blonde be too warm, I went the route of safety and used bleach knowing that it would easily tone to neutral if needed.
Formula #2 was created using our non ammonia based color line. As I stated before, all of the lines inside of my companies families reflect differently. The 3 component non ammonia color line reads nearly 1 full level darker than our ammonia based line. Knowing this, I chose a level 10 understanding that it would appear to be a level 9. At a level 9, I am exposing yellow. At a level 10, I am exposing pale yellow. I used a level 10 violet violet to ensure cancelling out any warm tones that would be exposed by lifting her hair (remember, her natural keratin is STRONG and would likely lift warmer than the standard rules).
By weaving two different levels and tones of blondes into her own existing blonde, we were able to create a believable color that would give her 8-10 weeks of life! We were both thrilled with the end results. The best part? Her hair. Still felt. Like silk.
Know what you are starting with
In a lot of instances, I would have stuck with using two different formulas of color for a virgin level 7, but in this case I felt bleach was necessary because of my starting palette. Her natural hair showed visible warm undertones, as well as her skin, and was a medium texture with a firm feel to it. Her nails were also very strong. Understanding that all of these things can point to a strong natural keratin, I opted for bleach as a safer route, and am happy that I did. We did not have to tone her hair because it lifted to a clean neutral level 10, and using bleach AND color lent a visual textural difference that allowed for more dimension in her overall finish.
Guys. I love this head of hair. Like... really love it. Call me old fashioned, but I LOVE good foils, and anytime I can play on a head of virgin hair I'm just tickled pink. WHAT A FUN DAY. If you have any questions about my process, alternative formulation, or my favorite color, please feel free to comment or email me directly!