COLOR CORRECTION: Dark Brown to Blonde Using Wella Professionals

By Alison Alhamed | 11/09/2012 12:23:00 PM


MODERN Facebook fan Drew Noreen, a stylist at Arizona's Pucci Salon and artist for The Beauty Agents, was given quite the task when client Jenn Lyles decided she wanted to take her box-colored level 3 hair to an Amanda Bynes-inspired blonde.

"I have naturally thick, dark hair with about 20 percent gray. For a 27-year-old, gray wasn’t an option for me and I was sick of constantly dying it dark to blend the horrible streaks," Lyles says. "My hair grows fast, so for regrowth purposes I always steered away from going too light because I knew maintenance would be challenging. That being said, I was ready for a change. Working in the beauty industry as a communications coordinator for the American Association of Cosmetology Schools, I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never really shoved out the cash to have a pro do my hair. From box dye to cosmetology schools-- I can’t remember the last time I stepped foot in a real salon."

It took two days, and two plans, but Noreen nailed it. Here's how he did it.

Client: Jenn Lyles
Starting color: Level 3/4 darkest brown (colored professionally and box)
Target color: level 8 highlighted golden blonde through top with deep auburn underneath

Day One
Original Plan: To gradually lighten the hair over two to three services by doing heavy highlights through the top. Wella Koleston Perfect 6/75 + 15vol. was applied through the bottom, base to ends.

After application and processing time, Noreen took Jenn to the shampoo bowl and began rinsing out the underneath color and pulling the foils. After washing, he noticed that two inches at the base of her hair underneath had lifted to an auburn red while the ends turned almost black. Through the top, the highlights were around a level 8/9 at the base while the midshaft and ends were a level 7, which was expected.

"I went in to do a level 7 glaze that would bring it all together, but within a few minutes the lighter part of her highlights started to turn a drab, ashy tone," Noreen says. "I immediately washed out the glaze as soon as I noticed the unwanted tone. I took Jenn back to my chair and explained to her the situation that had happened, both with the top and underneath sections of her hair. At this point the salon had been closed for an hour so I was challenged with what could be done. I offered for Jenn to come back in the next day where we would approach the process with a new game plan."

Day Two
Final Plan:
Soft bleach wash with Wella Blondor lightener, 20 vol, hot water and Oribe Moisture and Control Shampoo through the bottom to lighten the dark ends and prep for new color application. The same bleach washing technique was done through the top to pull out the glaze and bump the pre-existing color to a lighter, golden tone. Equal parts Wella Koleston Perfect 6/75 + 5/75 10vol. was applied through bottom at base first then pulled through ends.

Finished result: "To my surprise, the soft bleach wash bumped the preexisting color and highlights from Day 1 to an almost perfect dimensional, golden blonde," Noreen says. "There was no need to apply a glaze through the top as we added a few more pops of brightness with additional highlights. In the end, we created a beautiful golden, strawberry blonde with a bright blonde highlight and a rich, deep auburn red underneath."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alison Alhamed

Alison Alhamed, Editor in Chief of Modern Salon Magazine | Editor of First Chair

Since July 2008, Alison has worked across all brands under the MODERN SALON Media umbrella, including MODERN SALON, SALON TODAY, FIRST CHAIR and MODERN SALON TV. Alison’s passion for the beauty industry grew even deeper after she enrolled in beauty school, working as an editor by day and a student by night. Alison earned her cosmetology degree from Pivot Point International in Bloomingdale, Illinois, in May 2011.

You can find Alison on Google+ or e-mail her at


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carole zimmerman    
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December, 01, 2012 at 02:28 PM

.very beautiful transition from the dark brown to the golden blonde, i love the color but if her hair grows so fast, then how about the maintaince.

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