Corrective Hair Color… it’s not just a black & white issue


… guess I could have said it’s not a cut & dry issue. Get it? So many salon puns, so little time!

Yes, indeed there are many shades of grey when it comes to the subject of extreme color correction. I mean, of course, that no one blanket answer will suffice here. Color correction greatly depends on the individual and all aspects of their hair have to be considered… like, is it thick?, thin?, strong?, fragile?, never been colored or over-processed ?? and much more.

We get calls frequently from people wanting to get these answers directly over the phone… Can you get my black hair blonde? I’ve colored my own hair and it’s red. Can you fix it? etc…

Keep in mind that we do indeed have amazing front desk guest-relations staff and they are very knowledgeable about many aspects of our salon industry, but when it comes to very specific questions about color correction services, there is no greater source than to be asking a stylist themselves, in person! This is why we offer complimentary consultations. It only takes about 15 min. with a highly trained professional to get the scoop on exactly what your hair needs, what can be done and what should not be done.

I mean really, you wouldn’t want your Dr. to diagnose you over the phone would you?? Let’s get real. (ok, we aren’t Dr’s but you get my point right?)

In a world that seems to demand immediacy of all things, I suggest you be patient with the care of your hair and go about things the best way. Speak to a professional…IN PERSON… so they can see & feel your hair and give you the best answers. Please. We will turn away services that we do not think will be the best for your hair health. It’s not often, but we have before and we will again. We are not willing to risk extreme damage to your scalp or hair. Occasionally this upsets guests, but 9 out of 10 times they come back later, after going elsewhere, and thank us for being honest about the limitations of our craft.

Don’t get me wrong… Our colorists are Masters! They truly work magic. Hair color is chemistry though and it should be taken seriously. (or not be taken ‘lightly’ hehehe geez, I crack myself up) With all that being said… we LOVE the process of big transformation and are ready to help you look and feel your best. That’s why I am writing this blog!

Here are the loose guidelines about the light and dark side of what your locks will do. Insert some witty Star Wars humor or great Yoda quote…. 😉

Hair color 101: what your stylist should be educating you about.

In the hair industry we talk about hair color in levels. Levels 1-10. 1 being the blackest black and 10 being the palest blonde.

Consider your average brunette, or consider them WAY more than average 😉 … they are typically a level 5 to 6.

Daenerys-Targaryen-daenerys-targaryen-23814921-1600-1200*We would still consider Daenerys Stormborn to be about an 11 or 12 😉 that’s white! yes, I mean The Mother of Dragons from House Targaryen and my goal here is to keep you from looking like your hair has been singed by dragons.
However, if you wish to be that light… we can do it.


Loose guidelines now, remember you are going to schedule that consultation and find out for sure!

It is easiest to get that pale blonde (level 10) if your natural hair is already a level 6 to7 or lighter. This is due to the fact that the only colors needed to be lifted out are shades of yellow, not reds.

As we lift color out of your hair, whether it be natural or colored hair, it goes through a series of reds to yellow. Just like the rainbow. Darker hair starts to turn violet/red, to red to red orange as it lifts. Naturally dark hair will turn, or go through, several shades of red to orange before it will go blonde. This is why, when you lighten your hair, it has a tendency to turn brassy. We, as professionals, know how to counteract those underlying pigments in your hair and can still get you light without being brass, typically. There are also times it just shouldn’t be lifted lighter without being totally aware it can get over-processed. With todays hair care products it’s easier to accomplish and easier for you to care for at home but there are still many ‘red-flags’ on lifting dark color (levels 1-4 mostly) out of your hair.

Literally! Screaming waving red-flags… You get me?

Yes, that’s right you’re going to call for that consultation.
If you let me be straightforward here… The ones of us that have to be aware of the “red brass band” are people like myself that are naturally raven dark. Often these clients can be of ethnic origin… Indian, Asian, African- American, Native American and Middle-Eastern. We have many clients and a lot of experience in lifting these hair types. Those that do get their hair highlighted with us that have this type and color of hair, we typically bring them to a subtler shade of highlight… like a lighter brown, auburn, violet or copper. Reddish shades in darker hair are very successful since it is what color it wants to turn naturally. Of course there are also steps we can take to tone it.

Wow…. I’m really giving you the tutorial here. I think it’s important for our guests to be informed.

So when you ask us if you can get that black color out of your hair, or if we can highlight blonde pieces in your naturally dark hair… just know there can be a lot to it. Your awareness on what it takes to accomplish the color you desire greatly lessens any frustration you may have if it takes more time and money than you had expected. This is why we want to see your hair and let you know what course of action is needed.

It’s possible it will require several steps and several hours in the salon. It’s possible we can do it in one easy step. It’s possible you may have to come in for several appointments over a series of separate visits. It really all depends on your hair, what’s been used on it, what it looks like now and where you want to get it to and also how safely we can do it for you. Which your stylist will go over with you during that consultation.

There are SO many other aspects I want to write about as I am telling you this but I think it’s best if we leave this blog primarily about going from dark to light. There will be more time and more posts about reds, blondes and more… I promise.
If I may say so too… please be very careful when coloring your own hair. Of course, as a salon, we want to do it for you but I get that many people will still do their own hair and I care, so I am telling you… it’s harder to correct color than to get it done right the first time.

Included here are pictures of an actual client of ours, Bree, that slowly went from very dark to really light. She did this over the course of a year! She enjoyed each color along the way and it wasn’t even their intention to go that light at first but it was a natural progression and, I think, the best route. It keeps your hair looking healthier with less risk of breakage if you take things slow. This color was done by Master Designer, Heather Seiler.

Again… we love BIG transformations and dramatic colors. We also love healthy hair and being honest with our guests, informing them the best we can and working together to achieve the best look for you.
Thanks for reading and I wish you much light… in life, not just your color 😉

Written by, Jennifer Clay
Owner, color lover, people builder, happiness seeker and oh, so much more! because with me nothing is ever black and white…