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8-Hour Transformation: Red to Blonde (with Formula)

Jamie Newman | January 18, 2017 | 1:48 PM
A final goodbye to red.
Photo By Matrix Photo 1 of 8
On goes the lightener.
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Processing.
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Rinse.
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Color stripped...
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...time to dry.
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Tone.
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The finished look!
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Eight hours can seem like a long time for a client, but as a colorist, you know if your red-haired client wants to go bright, highlighted blonde, that's really not much time at all.

But thanks to bond builders, that sort of transformation can be possible. Matrix Celebrity Stylist George Papanikolas took his client, Lydia Hearst, from red to blonde in eight hours with the help of Matrix's BOND Ultim8 Bond Protecting System

“This is a pretty drastic change we did, going from red to blonde," Papanikolas said. "She is a natural blonde, so we’re going back to where her base is. The good thing is, she let her roots grow out for the past two months so we had about two inches of her natural to work with. We went with a little more depth at her roots and soft delicate highlights throughout so the grow out would be easier too. Because this change can be harsh on the hair, we wanted to be able to space out time between highlights."

The first step in this process was stripping red from Hearst's hair. Papanikolas stresses that it is up to the colorist to make a judgement on the hair's integrity when doing dramatic transformations like this one. Because damage is the number-one concern he when doing a drastic color change, Papanikolas used Matrix BOND Ultim8 Bond Protecting System to push the boundaries, helping to protect the bond during lightening and deeply nourishing to prevent breakage. 

But even with this protection, Papanikolas never recommends stripping the hair more than twice in one session. 

"If you notice that the texture of the hair is starting to get compromised, then you need to stop at that point," he says. "Sometimes that means the client doesn't leave with as cool or pale of a blonde as they may have wanted. But the darker tone will be necessary to preserve the integrity of the hair."

On goes the lightener.
On goes the lightener.

Once hair was stripped of red, Papanikolas added a dark golden blonde, close to her base color, and then highlighted and toned over that with the following formulas:

Highlights: 2 scoops Light Master & 4 oz. 40 Volume MATRIX Cream Developer & 8ml BOND Ultim8 Step 1 Amplifier

 Base and lowlights: Equal parts Color Sync 7N 10 Volume MATRIX Cream Developer

 Over the next few weeks and months he will be refining and perfecting the color while Hearst uses at-home products to prevent damage, fading and dryness, including Step 3 of the BOND Ultim8 treatment, the Weekly Sealing Treatment.

"It's a very time consuming process that needs to be babied," he says. "I always recommend Matrix Total Results Hello Blondie Shampoo and Conditioner because that’s going to keep it vibrant and in the best condition. I also like to follow up with the Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Re-Hydrate Mask to really hydrate the hair and keep the moisture in."

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