An ARE YOU KIDDING Color Correction: HOW TO and Formula Here

Maggie Mulhern | June 27, 2014 | 10:22 AM
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MODERN found this incredible color correction on Instagram. We tracked down Cassandra McGlaughlin, owner of the Platinum salon in Tampa, Florida, who is also a Paul Mitchell National Color Educator. In her 9 years of hairdressing, McGlaughlin has found her passion to be haircolor. “I love everything about it,” she says. “I love the chemistry and artistry of it.”

The client pictured here found McGlaughlin on Instagram (as did we!)  It was her first visit to Platinum after searching for a hairdresser who could offer an even and icy blonde.  “I’m a BIG advocate for planning my color services so I wasn’t afraid of this,” says McGlaughlin. “I just step back and plan out my service and make sure to give my guests realistic expectations.”

McGlaughlin found this service to be exciting. “I love making big changes in color, and certainly love any challenge.,” she says. “This was my first experience lifting Asian hair, but to me hair is hair. I understand that I was lifting thru so much depth so I just planned accordingly.  I think when I’m working with a canvas this uneven and going for this much lift, the biggest piece of advice I can give is look at each canvas separately. Formulate the appropriate lightener for each canvas, instead of working form a one-size-fits all approach. And be patient. You must give the lightener time to do what it needs to do.”  

Here McGlaughlin offers the inspiration, steps and formula:

Process and Inspiration:  

Before I begin any lightening process I make a game plan for addressing each canvas separately, planning the timing, the volume of developer and type of application I need to get to my desired result. Timing is extremely important when prepping a canvas like this. I was trying to even out about 5 different tones and levels. I used an assistant for application so I could control my timing.

I drew my personal inspiration from a few sources; I love the light pearly blondes and pastels that are found in Japanese Street style and the overall trend of light pastel hair.  I find so much of my inspiration from social media. It’s an amazing platform for hairdressers!

Step one: Address the natural level 2 six-inch regrowth.

My first phase was to lift the level 2 to about a level 8 to give me a controlled and even canvas.

I used Paul Mitchell Dual Purpose Lightener. (What I love about DPL is that is has the power to lift 7 full levels, but maintains the condition of the hair, with castor bean oil and jojoba oil.) I used it with 30 volume cream developer, with a very gentle application, and completely avoided overlapping the 30 volume on any of the previously lightened hair. I used "baby foils” (foils torn in half or quarters) to incubate the regrowth and cold shaft with an overlay technique (also known as a Platinum Card technique) but I left the ends outside the foils. I used extremely small sections to ensure even lift and saturation.  I let this process to the yellow/orange stage of lightening. 

Step Two: Addressing the darker portion on the ends. 

Once her regrowth was lifted to a similar level as the ends I began my 2nd application. On the darker panels I used DPL and 20 volume in foil packets for extra incubation and lift. I let everything process until the yellow stage of lightening. 

Step 3: Kick the lightener into high gear. 

 I knew that my guest’s hair was able to handle the extra energy and needed a boost to get to the pale yellow sage of lift so I removed all foils. At this point, verything was relatively even and at the yellow stage of lightening. I used DPL and 30 volume and applied directly over the DPL that was already processing on the cold shaft, careful to avoid applying near the scalp. I then mixed a color balance with DPL, 20 volume cream and Paul Mitchell Shampoo One; I applied this from the end of the regrowth thru the ends of her hair. This all stayed on for about 10-15 minutes until everything was at that perfect pale yellow.

I imagine the energy in our developers like gas in our car, depending (gas/energy) we have determines how far we can go. The second application of lightener was a boost. It sped up the process and reenergized the lightener to push it just past the point where most hair this dark wants to stop. This must be done with a very watchful eye and 2 people applying is ideal. The hair integrity comes first. To maintain the inner strength and elasticity of her now beautiful blonde, I used Paul Mitchell Super Strengthener after I rinsed and before I shampooed. This is such an important step, Super Strengthener starts to return the pH to a normal state, and provide a shot of the Super Strong Complex, rich in Amino Acids and proteins. 

Step 4: Toning 

After shampooing, I used PM Ultra Toner Ash and 9P mixed in equal parts with 10 volume. 5-10 minutes.  This formula is perfect for a soft smoky pearl blonde; it neutralizes unwanted tones perfectly while providing that long sought after Platinum tone. To reinforce the tone, add hydration and shine, finish her toning process with PM shine 9v9a and clear, equal parts.  Pm Shines is an ideal topcoat for super light blondes because if the beautiful translucency and the UV protection it provides. Now the icing on the cake: to ensure a long-lasting smooth shiny blonde was an Awapuhi Keritriplex treatment. This is a MUST for a guest experiencing a big jump in color. This is an in-salon service that transforms weak hair into pillars of strength! The super concentrated complex of keratin proteins instantly penetrate the hair to repair, rebuild and seal the cuticle.  It’s a serious have to for my blondes!!

Maintenance: 4-week retouch with DPL and 30, Platinum Card with baby foils at the regrowth, Tone appropriately and follow with an Awapuhi Keritriplex treatment.

Take Home Recommendation: Forever Blonde Shampoo, Conditioner and Dramatic Repair. As a blonde myself, I cannot live without Forever Blonde!! This is the perfect take home option for any of our guest experiencing a lightening service. It’s Sulfate-free, intensely hydrating, and designed to maintain and restore health and vitality to all of our blondies!


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