Fork in the Road: Take Her Lighter or Darker?

Beth Minardi | February 11, 2014 | 10:40 AM
Beth Minardi

OK. So you find yourself in front of a client who has light orange hair. Sadly, this is NOT the shade she is looking for. In fact she attempted to transform her light brown hair to blonde, using a home hair color kit. And, when her hair did not lighten sufficiently, she purchased another kit and reapplied the product.. this time lightening to a lighter, but still very orange color.

Now, she sits in front of you asking you to wave your magic wand and create the blonde shade she has dreamed of. Now, it's up to YOU to decide if this is currently possible. And, if not, how do you get her out of your chair as a happier person. One thing you know for sure, the current orange shade is NOT making her happy.

NOW is the time for a very honest discussion... as well as a strand test. I suggest that as you "chat" the hair is enveloped in a very hydrating, conditioning treatment like MINARDI PRE-WASH THERAPY. Depending on what you learn with your strand test, you will be able to diagnose precisely what you will be able to achieve. You have two choices: Minimize the "red" by highlighting the hair with a mild lightener. OR : Transforming the hair to a light neutral tan via application of an acidic no-lift liquid demi shade.

After removing your pre-treatment conditioner and drying the hair, you are not ready for the strand test. Wrap two or three foils, containing a mild lightener mixed with 10 volume developer to three strands of the hair, located in various parts of the head. Process at room temperature for 20 minutes as you keep your client engaged. Talk to her. DO NOT promise her that she will be a super-light blonde when you finish today. Let her know that the condition she brought to you was NOT of your doing.

If after 20 minutes, the test strands reveal a light golden blonde tone, and are not broken or fee like overcooked spaghetti when wet, you can safely highlight blonde strands into the hair. You will need to wrap the hair, process, and take down in sections. DO NOT attempt to wrap the entire head before checking and rinsing... or you COULD have hair running down your longer attached to the head...

Option Two: Gently deepening the hair and neutralizing warmth so that the red-orange hair now takes on a tan, softer tone. This can be accomplished in two ways:

1. Lowlighting the hair with equal parts of a creme demi noo-lift color... a light blonde ICE tone, mixed with equal parts of a medium blonde neutral tone.


2. Application of an all-over acidic, liquid demi toner. Here I like to intermix a level 10 ICE tone with equal parts of "clear". I apply this to the root (scalp) area of the hair and I then bring the formula up about one inch away from the scalp. Continue processing for 10 minutes.... then, work the formula about midway down the hair lengths. Process for 3 - 5 minutes. Then, bring the remaining formula down through the ends of the hair lengths... and immediately accompany the client to the sink. Shampoo and condition with Minardi Wash Tree and After Wash Three (Nourishing). The hair will be a warm, creamy tan... and the unwanted "orange" will be neutralized.

YOUR consultation, advice, honesty, and clear evaluation fo the strand test will lead to a successful appointment. As the hair is trimmed, regularly conditioned and treated at your salon, more and more blonding will be possible. As they say, "Easy does it". You are at the fork in the road here. Be sure to pause and evaluate before taking the road successfully traveled.




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