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7 Tips to Get Sensationally Beautiful Color Results


Are you a salon owner or stylist looking to significantly improve the way you color and your color income?

We don't just mean a regular root re-touch or a grey hair coverage.

We're talking about sensationally beautiful color.

Follow our 7 pro tips and you will be getting stunning color results every time.

1. Do a hair color consultation and hair analysis correctly

Hair Analysis

Doing a hair color analysis is absolutely essential before you dive in to the actual coloring

A hair color analysis involves opening up your client's hair, brushing it through to untangle it, looking at it carefully and asking yourself 6 very specific questions:

  1. What color is the root area?

  2. What color are the mid-lengths?

  3. What color are the ends?

  4. What is the overall condition of the hair, in particular the ends?

  5. What target color is your client looking to achieve?

  6. Is she looking for a solid color? Or a particular highlight technique? Smudge root? Highlights?

This consultation is really the brainwork which precedes the actual coloring, and it really is no exaggeration when we say that it is the most important part of hair coloring.

Get your analysis right after the consultation, and you will be setting up the correct bleaching and coloring strategy. If you get these right, the rest is literally just a piece of cake.

2. Determine how many levels of lift are required at each section of the hair

You need to subtract the desired hair color level from the actual hair color level to figure out how many levels of lift qre going to be required.

You need to be aware that is there are differently colored sections (for example, a regrowth section and a lightened section as above) then you will need to do this analysis for each section.

Use the chart below to figure out where your client's hair is right now.

How many levels lift

Use this chart to assess what level your client is at right now

The right side of the chart will enable you to read off your client's hair color level if her hair is natural (for example, you should use it to analyse her regrowth).

The left side will enable you to read off your client's hair color level when it has been previously lightened and the secondary pigment is showing through.

So, for example, if your client's hair (or a part of your client's hair) is orange, that means that it is level 5.

3. Decide whether bleach is going to be required or not

Ultra dark regrowth

Bleaching is necessary for dark roots when the rest of the hair is blonde

The rule for deciding on bleach use is as follows:

  • Are you looking to lift by 1-2 levels? Then you can use a regular color or toner with 20 Vol developer.
  • Are you looking to lift by 2-3 levels? You would be better off using 30 Vol and possibly a high lift color or an intense toner.
  • Are you looking to lift by more than 3 levels? You would be better off using bleach first, then color. In other words, a two-step coloring process would be needed.

Clearly, in the picture above, bleach is going to be required to lift those ultra dark roots to get them to the same level as the lengths.

4. How to Succeed with your Bleach Application

If bleach is required, we would always urge you to use a quality bleach which has good lift as well as some degree of protection during lifting.

Too often we see client using beauty store bleaches and find that they are forced to bump up developer strength to 40 Vol or do multiple applications because the bleach they bought is not lifting enough.

We would suggest you use Brilliant Blondexx with Bond Protect. It can be used with 20 Vol in most cases and with 30 Vol for very high lift and in the majority of cases one application will be absolutely enough.

Brilliant Blondexx Bleach

Brilliant Blondexx - Bleach with Bond Protect

Apart from the choice of bleach follow these guidelines to do truly successful bleach applications:

  1. Choose 20 Vol for up to 3 levels of lift and 30 Vol for more than 3 levels of lift. Never use a higher strength of developer than 30 Vol with bleach. It should not be required if you are using a good quality bleach.
  2. Make the mix ratio 1 + 2. This will give you a fairly wet consistency, which is what you need to work fast and saturate the hair properly.
  3. Start work from the back in case of full head applications, or whatever part needs the most bleaching. 
  4. Very often, the bleaching is required on the regrowth area. So be mindful in such cases that you need to lift all the way up in order to get consistency between regrowth and ends.
  5. Do not under-bleach - that is the most common mistake that many stylists make. To get truly stunning blonde results you need to take the hair all the way to level 10.
  6. Rinse when you have achieved the pale yellow (not yellow-yellow and certainly not orange-yellow) which is what level 10 is.

Level 10 hair

Hair which has been correctly and consistently lightened to level 10.

5. Going Blonde: How to choose your toner correctly

Going Blonde

Let's say that you have succeeded in your bleach application.

Or you decided (from your hair color analysis) that your client did not need bleach. What do you do to get your client blonde?

We would suggest you follow the following toner rules:

  • If your hair still has significant yellow or worse, yellow-orange, use Ugly Duckling's intense toners.
  • Either intense oearl blonde or intense silver blonde, depending on your preference.
  • These toners carry an extra booster ingredient which will help kick out this yellow and take your hair to the correct level.
  • If , on the other hand, your hair is very well pre-lightened to level 9/10, use Ugly Duckling's regular toners. Either pearl blonde or silver blonde.
  • For quick blonde refreshes on highlights, and for cases where you don't want to touch the base, use Ugly Duckling's liquid gloss toners - Blondify. Either 010A (Natural Ash) or 010V (Natural Violet).

You can use this Toner Guide Chart to help you choose the correct toner for your client's hair:

Which toner should I use?

Use this chart to make the right choice of toner for your client's hair

6. Fashion Color: how to get really vivid & 3D color results

Getting Wow Color Results

Ugly Duckling's Fuschia Pink

Make your mix as follows:

  • 1+1 for all regular Ugly Duckling color and also for Ugly Duckling liquid toners (to be launched shortly)
  • 1+2 for cream based toners and for high lift colors.

Choose your developer strength as follows:

  • 20 Vol for most cases, including level-on-level, and 1-2 levels of lift.
  • 30 Vol when using high-lift color.

Some application tips to help you get better, more vivid color results:

  • For the first time application, segment finely and apply with a brush (apart from Ugly Duckling liquid toners).
  • Try and really saturate the hair with product. The more the hair gets into contact with the product, the better results you will get.
  • Apply on dry or towel-dried hair whenever possible. Hair has natural oils which protect the hair during the coloring process. Also, by not placing on excessively wet hair you avoid disturbing the mix ratios due to the excessive water.
  • Do a second application on the hair while it is processing.
  • it is a good idea for this application to rub in using fingers (wearing gloves).
  • This, once again, will help you achieve great product saturation.

Roots or ends first?

  • If there was a big regrowth and you had to bleach that, chances are the regrowth will still be yellow, in which case start with the regrowth area first, then extend.
  • If the hair is all consistently lightened to the exact same level, then do the lengths first, and the root area at the ends.
  • If the ends are very very light (and bleached) avoid doing the ends first and do them at the end.

Basically, the rule is apply color first to the area which is the darkest, or needs the color the most, being mindful of the fact that hair always processes faster at the roots due to the heat from the scalp.

7. Emulsify before doing a complete rinse

You would be amazed how many stylists don't know this tip!

  • Before letting the water really flow, only let a few drops first.
  • Then rub the hair really well.
  • Then a little more water, then rub again.
  • Do this a third time.
  • Then rinse.

Doing this will help you achieve really vibrant, 3D color results.




About the author

Sally has been a hair colorist and trainer for many years in both the US & Europe. She currently does hair color training for Ugly Duckling. She also helps develop new & awesome products for the brand.

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