HOW-TO: Natural Level 2 To Smokey Blonde

This client started as a natural level 2 black with no previous color in her hair. According to her colorist, Sam Lawrence (@samlawrencehair) from House of Color in Colorado Springs, she never thought she could go blonde because of a previous bad experience. "Last time she tried to go lighter the warmth wasn't toned out enough so she felt very orange," says Lawrence. "I assured her we would not leave her orange but that it would take multiple sessions to get her blonde."

Lawrence lightened her over three separate appointments, two weeks in-between each.

SESSION 1: Using Joico Cream Lightener and 20 volume, balayage - fully saturating the mids and ends - feathering it up to about 2 in from scalp. "I foiled my sections to get the most lift I could without using heat." First service tone with Kenra half 6na half 7vm.

SESSION 2: Balayage using the same formula. Tone with Redken Shades EQ 9p. "During the last lightening session I brought the balayage higher to give it a transition tone in between the dark and light."

SESSION 3: Balayage using the same formula. Tone with Redken Shades EQ half 7p half 9p on the mids and 9v on the ends.

"Each lightening and toning service took about three hours. L'anza Trauma Treat was used after every lightening service to keep the hair healthy and strong," says Lawrence.

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