Hair Color Trends

HOW-TO: Drab to Baby Blonde

Elizabeth Jakaitis | January 19, 2015 | 1:31 PM
Every blonde-gone-drab wants to get back the color she had as a child. Robert Thomsen nails the ultimate “anti-aging” color with a combination of techniques and a tri-formula treatment.

Using a combination of balayage and traditional foils, Robert Thomsen of Shapes & Colours Salon in Albany, New York, took this client’s drab level-5 base and grown-out highlights into a shimmering new buttery-gold, honey blonde. His natural-looking results come from hand painting the back sections and weaving foils through the top and sides, using three different blonde formulas. The results emulate the “baby” blonde that so many clients desire.


A: 1 Scoop Aveda Enlightener Powder Lightener + 20g Universal 0N with 60 grams of 30-volume Color Catalyst.

B: 20 grams Aveda Full Spectrum Permanent Extra Lifting Cream + 2 grams Pastel Blue Pure Tone + 1 gram Pastel Violet Pure Tone with 40 grams of 30-volume Color Catalyst.

C: 20 grams Full Spectrum Permanent Extra Lifting Cream + 2 grams Pastel Violet Pure Tone with 40 grams of 20-volume Color Catalyst

D: 1 Scoop Aveda Enlightener Powder Lightener with 30 grams of 20-volume developer

E: 30 grams demipermanent 10N + 30 grams Universal 0N + 2 grams Light Y/O + 2 grams Light V/B with 60 grams of Full Spectrum Demi-Permanent Liquid Color Treatment Activator


1. Create an off-set rectangular section from the hairline back toward the crown, making sure to include the client’s part and the area where the growth pattern splits open. Then isolate the sides by parting them off from the ears forward.

2. Starting at the nape, begin by taking horizontal sections that are the width of the head and about 2-3 inches thick. Subsection into 2-inch wide sections and begin hand painting Formula A on the last few inches of hair. Gently cover with plastic wrap to keep the lightener moist.

3. As you work up the back, introduce Formulas B and C higher up the hair shaft, alternating them while continuing to feather Formula A on the ends. A highlighting board helps control the hair, as you blur the line between the formulas.

4. When the back is completed, move to the front of the rectangular section and begin foiling with Formula D. Use a heavy weaving pattern in the front hairline to create the bright “money piece” with the first 3-5 foils.  Then ease up on the weaving, and show a bit more of the base shade for a natural transition. Continue through the section, following a Formula D, B, D, C application pattern.

5. Then work through the side sections, using a similar foiling pattern. Be sure to use Formula D in the first few sections near the hairline and alternate the other formulas in the same manner as before.

6. Process for 30 minutes, or until desired degree of lightness is achieved. Rinse, shampoo and towel dry.

7.  Treat the hair with Equalizing Solution before applying the Formula E glaze. Process for up to 20 minutes, then rinse, condition and style.

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