How-To: Magical Melt

by Maggie Mulhern | March 15, 2019
Hair color makeover by Nicole Graftner (@hairbynicoleg)
Hair color makeover by Nicole Graftner (@hairbynicoleg)

Nicole Graftner (@hairbynicoleg), a freelance artist based at 6 Chester Avenue. Bogo Beauty Toronto, Ontario Canada , wowed us with this makeover. We had to know more and Graftner shares the details:


Emily, my guest came in for her complimentary consult (which I insist on for all new clients ) at the end of October 2018 . 

We discussed her hair history and series of previous balayage sessions which unfortunately left her hair color not where she wanted it. 


Natural level 3, 7-8 “ regrowth, mids at a level 6 orange/red. Ends - some  areas had been left compromised due to previous lightening to a level 9, some were her natural level 3, the majority was a level 7 


To lift everything evenly for an even canvas by navigating through all the different levels of natural and artificial color to lift everything evenly to the same level at the ends/mids.  Emily wanted a Balayage ombré effect. My goal was to get her mids to a 7/8 and ends to a 8/9.

She was totally understanding  and knew I couldn’t be too aggressive during the lightening process so this session was more about creating an even, blended look while maintaining the integrity of the hair. 


Prepare 2 separate bowls of Schwarzkopf Blondme lightener 

1 bowl with 30 volume - for zone 1/2 as well as the natural level 3 in between in zone 3

1 bowl with 15 volume - for the majority of her level 7 in zone 3

Begin at the nape in a bricklay pattern – combine diagonal  and horizontal 1/4” wide sections in a chunky weave. Backcomb then isolate in foils. 

The pieces that were already at a level 9 and compromised were left out but mids balayaged to blend. Work up to the crown in this manner.

Sides -

Diagonal back 1/4” sections beginning at the ear/ hairline. Once again navigating through the level 7, level 3 and random level 9 pieces. 

Each section was woven, backcombed and painted alternating with the 2 separate bleach mixtures. Last 3 sections on either side of her natural part at the top of the head were a very fine backcombed and painted weave. 

Babylight the faceframe.

Return to the nape. Work up the head. All foils are re-opened and checked. In some cases bleach and 20 volume was re-applied.

Process for 1 hour. 

Lift ends to a level 9 , zone 1/2 to a level 7/8

Shampoo and apply a cocktail of conditioner and Joico porosity equalizer.  Rinse and towel dry.

Pre-tone with Guy Tang MyDentity Rapid Toner,  Pearl and 6 volume. Process for 5 minutes. 

Shampoo, condition, towel dry. 


Zone 1 to 2 dragging down 1” in front to 6” inches in back in a teardrop shape using

Schwarzkopf Igora and 7 volume - 6-12, 10g  8-11 10g , 6-1  7g , 0-22 2g  

Zone 2 to 3  Vibrance and 6 volume, 8-11 15g , clear 5g , 3g 8-19, 5g 9.5-1 

Process for 15 minutes.

Apply Olaplex step 2 for 10 minutes under the dryer. Wash and style.  

Total time 7 hours 

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