Expert Advice

Color Correction: Bleaching and Lightening Up

Web Editor | July 10, 2011 | 6:17 PM

This month, salons are doing more than a small measure of color corrective work. Vacations have taken their toll, clients extended their appointments into the new school year and home users are coming in from the cold for a fix. When bleaches are involved, getting it right the first time is a must for protecting the hair’s fiber.

Glenn Sousa, owner of Salon Nuvo in Newport Beach, Rhode Island, who oversees color artist Linda Cogswell for the blonding makeover shown here, says color corrective work can be done with lighteners that lift up to seven levels. But if the hair is slightly compromised, using a cream or oil bleach and limiting decolorizing to two tries before toning works best, he says.

What came before the color correction shown here was a natural Level 5.5 with several inches of banding in various darker shades—the result of home hair coloring. With an inch and a half of regrowth and hair that was near-black on the ends, cutting helped improve results. To work with the remaining bands, Cogswell used highlift bleach with varied developer volumes to produce a soft platinum.

Color Correction: Bleaching and Lightening UpBands Away

(80 minutes processing time; two and a half hours service time)

1. Apply the first lightening formula to the ends and midshaft and process halfway.

2. Apply the second formula to the regrowth and process the two together before shampooing, rinsing and drying the hair.

3. Tone the hair in reverse order.

Color Correction Formulas Used

1. Two scoops of Redken Up to 7 powder lightener with 2-oz of 20-volume developer. 

2. Three scoops of Up to 7 with 3-oz 40-volume developer.

3. Redken Shades EQ ¼-oz 09V (Platinum Ice), ¾-oz Clear with 2-oz processing solution.

To begin, Cogswell applies Formula 2 to the ends and midshaft. She processes for 30 minutes, then applies Formula 1 to the regrowth area. The two formulas process for an additional 30 minutes, for a total processing time of one hour. The hair is shampooed, rinsed and blown completely dry.

Next, Cogswell mixes the toner, here Formula 3, and applies it with a brush to the less-porous roots first. After 10 minutes, she brushes the formula through the midshaft and ends. The hair processes for an additional 10 minutes. She then shampoos with Redken Color Extend, rinses and applies Redken Extreme Treatment. After five minutes, she rinses out the treatment.

Modern Salon is the best resource for color correction information. Find the latest color correction trends at


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