3 Most Common Hair Color Mistakes
Empire Beauty School
student Angela
Sullivan learns to work
out color corrections,
band by band.

3 Most Common Hair Color Mistakes
with her
fixed color


Educators at Empire Beauty Schools say
the hardest concept for colorists to master
is formulation—particularly for corrective
color. “Most new stylists think faster is better,”
says Gina Pieper, student educator
trainer for Empire Beauty School in Madison,
Wisconsin. Here, a three-part correction reveals
the most common color mistakes, when
plotting a course from color A to color B:

Situation: Kendra didn’t like her new red
color and tried a drug-store decolorizer, thinking
it was safer than bleach. Her natural Level
8 was a bright Level 10 at the scalp, followed
by about five mid-shaft bands, ranging from
Level-5 violet/salmon to Level-6 orange, and
ending in pink.

Common Mistakes: Novices tend to use
40-volume with bleach to lift the darker bands,
which can make the bands too light, and
result in damage, as well as uneven finalcolor
coverage. The uninitiated will also apply
the new color right after lifting, instead of
addressing underlying pigment by using a
toner on the lighter, brighter re-growth.

Smartest Solution: Apply a soap cap of
equal parts lightener and 20-volume developer,
along with shampoo and a bit of water.
Use a brush and stay half inch off the scalp,
avoiding the ends. Process for half an hour,
while continually re-applying the mixture to
the darker bands of red. When most of the
midshaft is an even color, shampoo and dry
the hair. Next, apply a toner to the lighter
scalp re-growth and process for 10 minutes.
Finally, apply the new, all-over color—here,
Goldwell TopChic 8KG with equal parts
10-volume developer, applied roots-to-ends
and processed for 30 minutes.