COLOR CORRECTION: Box Boo-Boo To Winning Blonde

Maggie Mulhern | February 17, 2015 | 5:23 AM


Brianna Shaughnessy (@brishaughnessy) of the Perfections Hair Salon, Scranton, Pennsylvania, posted this amazing transformation that caught our eye on Instagram. We tracked her down to get the story on this gorgeous makeover.




A former bleach blonde turned ombre client of mine tried to bleach her whole head on her own with an at home lightening kit. This resulted in platinum re-growth, an array of golden brown, orange, yellow, very warm mids and platinum ends.





Matrix Vlight and 30 volume (her hair was damaged, I wanted to stay away from 40 volume because I knew I would have to tone with a high volume later. I didnt want to put her hair through the 40 as well as a high volume toner post bleaching).



20 volume liquid developer (liquid developer brought the creme colors down to a better consistency to work quickly with, also aided in getting better color payoff and brilliance)

Schwarzkopf 11-0 super blonde natural

Wella Color Charm T-10 Ivory Lady

Joico KPak LB (lightening booster) 

A ribbon of Beth Minardi 10BB Laguna Beach 

A ribbon of Paul Mitchell The Color 10A (not too much, just to eat out that brass)


* Our salon does not use one single color line, I enjoy working with various color lines in order to obtain better knowledge of a wide array of uses, purposes, formulations, tones and techniques.




Step 1: Apply Matrix Vlight and 30 volume directly to discolored areas. (In this case, it was the golden brown band of color in the entire midshaft.) Starting at the bottom and working your way up to the top with horizontal partings throughout the whole head.

*Separate sections as well as contain heat by using balayage cling-wrap. Any plastic wrap will do. 


Step 2: Let hair lift to Level 10 or lighter, to match the level of roots and ends. 

*Remember to concentrate on matching the LEVEL at this time. At this point my clients mids were lifted to a warm level 10 and the roots/ends were a cool level 10. This is what you are aiming for at this time. The TONE itself is the toners job to correct. Match the level first then work on matching the tones for an even result. 


Step 3: Once the hair is lifted, shampoo at the sink, towel dry and apply toner.


Step 4: Apply the toner mids first working in verticle partings around the head making sure to hit all warm areas without touching the roots or ends. Watch the hair diligently as this is the most important part. The formula for the toner speaks for itself when I say, work fast and KEEP WATCHING so as not to over-tone resulting in gray/discolored hair. 


Step 5: When mids are at desired tone, work the rest of the toner onto the roots and ends, watching the color as always. 

*Being that the roots and ends were already cool to begin with, this part is really just to ensure an even tone throughout the hair from roots, to mids to ends. I only left the toner on the roots and ends for a matter of seconds. Like I said, the root and ends are already cool toned, they do not need as much toning time as the warm mids did. 

*Keep in mind that because I use 20 volume with my toner, I allow the toner time to both lift and deposit. Varying by client porosity and hair type in general, this can take anywhere from seconds to a full 25+ minutes. This is why watching through the entire toning process is very important. The lift 20 volume offers helps to blend out any unevenness giving you a better end result.


Step 6: Once hair is evenly toned, shampoo, rinse, shampoo with a violet toning shampoo for that extra kick of coolness. Rinse, towel dry, apply conditioning treatment (aids in recovery from lightening process), rinse, dry, and style!


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