Expert Advice

Showstopping Blonde Color How-To by Paul Mitchell

Elizabeth Jakaitis | May 11, 2015 | 1:24 PM

Lucie Doughty, editorial director for Paul Mitchell, used three formulas to lift a natural level 2 to a stunning blonde.

“Everyone has a little blonde in her,” Doughty says. “I chose a showstopping blonde, which is striking for most people but even more so on a naturally dark-haired Asian. Grace’s not-so-typical hair shows the perfect brightness and lightness for spring. Her new shade is luminous and fresh, yet absolutely edgy.”


Natural level 2

Formula 1: SynchroLift with 30-volume Cream Developer, amount depends on hair length

Formula 2: SynchroLift with 20-volume Cream Developer

Formula 3: PM shines XG 1 oz 10A + 1 oz 8PN with 2 oz 10-volume XG Processing Cream

1. Begin by sectioning the hair into four quadrants. Starting in the back of the head, take 1/8-inch slices and apply Formula 1 to the hair. Be sure to apply ¼ inch away from the root (this area is done in the second step). Wrap each slice in foil. The foil holds in the heat and keeps the lightener moist, which aids lifting.

2. Work your way up one back panel. Then repeat on second panel.

3. Once the entire back of the head is foiled, start the sides. As the sections become wider, you can subdivide them, working from the ear to the top of the head.

4. Allow the hair to process to about 80 percent of desired lightness. Then remove all the foils and begin the second application.

5. Begin applying Formula 2 to the ¼-inch root area that was left out in the first application. Go through the sections and check roots to ends, adding any lightener where needed.

6. Process until desired lightness is achieved. Then rinse thoroughly, shampoo and condition.

7. Dry the hair to 80 percent before applying the toner.

8. Apply Formula 3, staring at the root area and pulling it through from roots to ends. (Application of a toner is based on porosity of the hair. Pay close attention to those areas that need more time to develop.

9. Process for 5-20 minutes. Check the toner every 5 minutes. Then rinse thoroughly, shampoo and condition.

Hair: Lucie Doughty
Makeup: Iris Moreau
Styling: Rafael Linares
Photography: Darren Tieste


More from Expert Advice

Expert Advice Sponsored by Salon Centric

Hashtag Secrets of a Top Beauty Influencer

October 17, 2018

With 108,000 Instagram followers, styling and top beauty influencer Shelley Gregory (@shelleygregoryhair) knows her way around social media, including the hashtag component. Here’s how she maximizes her hashtag game.

Expert Advice
Expert Advice

2018 MODERN SALON 100: Hai Tran @hai.stylist

Jamie Newman | August 1, 2018

You've probably seen Hai Tran (@hai.stylist)'s viral-on-Instagram post about the color journey from black to blonde, which maps out the time, cost, and sessions it takes to a client to get from a box-dye black to a pale silver. But, the rest of his page is just as well-organized and beautifully organized. Learn more about Tran here.

Expert Advice Sponsored by Sexy Hair

3 Upstyling Tricks That Will Change Your Life

June 14, 2018

Stylists who excel in the art of the updo often develop clever little tricks for creating outstanding work. Here are three go-to techniques, created by Sexy Hair artists, used to create the three looks in their latest collections.

Load More