California stylist, Modern Salon Artist Connective member, and Modern Salon 100 alum Stephanie Hodges is an expert at producing beautiful color melts. “Sometimes all you need is that subtle shift in color to change things up a bit,” Hodges advises. Here’s the scoop on how she created the depth and dimension in these stunning color melts.

1. Deep Richness

"Tara’s highlights were still poppin from her last visit," Hodges says, "they just needed a little richness upgrade and some yummy shine." Using a dark base color boldens and brightens existing highlights, adding richness and depth.


  • Base: Matrix SoColor Pre-Bonded Permanent color in 505N+504N
  • Toner: Matrix SoColor Sync Alkaline Toners in shades 8N+10V

2. Dramatic Melt

Hodges applies a dark base color up top and blends it into the toned color below for a dramatic melt with tons of dimension.


  • Base: Matrix SoColor 1N
  • Toner: Matrix Acidic Toner 8AA

3. Subtle Shift

For this look, Hodges does a two-in-one technique, covering gray strands while adding a touch of red at the ends for a dimensional color shift. "Sometimes all you need is that subtle shift in color to change things up a bit," she says.


  • Toner: Matrix Alkaline Toners 6N+6BR


  • Use base colors to add depth and cover any grays.
  • Blend into the toners, brightening any highlights.

Color melts can be used in so many different ways to create the effect you're going for. Whether you want your client's color transition to look subtle and soft or dramatic and deep, a strategic color melt can help you get it done.

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Follow Stephanie Hodges on Instagram @stephhstyles.

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