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Mistakes that you should not make when using the color wheel


Knowing how the color wheel works is absolutely key if you want to deal with any color correction issue.

This knowledge is especially important when you have to deal with very brassy hair, or orange hair, or very yellow hair.

But there are two mistakes that many trainee cosmetologists make when they start dealing with these issues.

And as a result, they get disappointing results.

Today we are going to show you what these mistakes are.

And how you can avoid them dealing when you get color correction cases. 

The color wheel in theory

The hair color wheel

The hair color wheel

The theory of the color wheel is that every color has an opposite color.

The color wheel places these colors in such a way that it shows which color cancels out which.

The colors that cancel each other out are called neutralizing colors.

Opposite colors cancel each other out

Neutralizing colors

Neutralizing colors

The theory is that you use the opposite color on the color wheel to neutralize.

In the above chart we have laid out the relevant color for you against the color it neutralizes.

So, for example, use green to neutralize the red tones that you get when the hair is brown (level 4-5)

And use blue to neutralize the orange rand orange-yellow eflects that you get when the hair is dark blonde (level 6-8)

And use purple (violet) to neutralize the yellow reflects that you get when the hair is blonde (level 9 and up).

Mistake no. 1

Now we come to the no 1 mistake which we see many trainee cosmetologists make.

They think that you can just dump colors and toners on top of each other and expect it all to work.

And they forget that you need to lift or lighten with bleach before you can do anything else.

Check the level of the hair that you are looking to neutralize

lightening levels

Check the level of the hair using this chart

We strongly recommend that you first take a good look at the hair that you are looking to correct.

Try and understand what level it is at.

If it is reddish, most likely it is around level 5.

If it is orange, most likely it is around level 6-8.

If it is orange-yellow, it should be around 8-9.

And if it is pure yellow, it will be around level 10.

Lift the hair with a good quality bleach and developer

Brilliant Blondexx bleach

Brilliant Blondexx Bleach

Now use good quality bleach and developer (our bleaches and developers are among the best).

Try and lift the hair properly from whatever level it is to level 10.

Do that, and all your color problems issues will literally vanish away into thin air.

Mistake no. 2

Mistake no. 2 is to attempt to use the primary colors green, blue and violet to neutralize.

The problem with doing this is that the amount you need to add varies.

The darker the color you are working with, the more you need to add (typically 2 inches from a color tube to 1 tube of your target color)

And the lighter the color, the less you need to add (typically half to one inch from a color tube to 1 tube of your target color).

Frankly, it can be a real headache.

Which is why many people are unable to put the Coilor Wheel theory into practice.

Use Ugly Duckling's pre-mixed toners, not primary colors.

So here's what you do:

Instead of using blue, green and purple, we suggest you use Ugly Duckling's premixed toners instead.

It will make life easier for you, because we are going to recommend you some pre-mixed toners.

Toners with the right amounts of ash, blue and green for you to apply straight away on the hair.

Which toner should you use?

Best toner for platinum blonde

10.2 Violet Blonde

10.2 Extra Light Cool Blonde

Use 10.2. This is a purple based blonde color.

It is our whitest blonde color. It is purple based and will produce stunning cool, white blonde results.

Best toners for ultra white blonde hair

(1) Regular lift toners

Blondify 10V

Blondify 10V Natural Violet Blonde

If your has been correctly bleached and is now pale yellow, and you want to get it to white blonde, use either Pearl Blonde 10V or Blondify 010V.

These are both purple based toners which will neutralize the yellow at the level that your hair is at (level 10)

(2) Intense lift toners

Intense Pearl Blonde 100V

Intense Pearl Blonde 100V

But if your hair is more of a level 9, then in that case use either Intense Pearl Blonde 100V or Intense Silver Blonde 100B.

These toners contain added lift and are great at kicking out a lot of yellow when the hair is at level 9.

They will take your hair to a white blonde. The intense pearl blonde toner will give more of a grey/pearl white blonde.

Whereas the intense silver blonde toner will give more of a natural white blonde result.

Best toner for natural ash blonde results

Blondify 10A

Blondify 10V Natural Ash Blonde

For ash blonde, we would suggest you use Blondify.

In particular, Blondify natural ash blonde 10 level toner 10A.

This toner is ammonia-free and works in just 10 minutes.

It is perfect at getting rid of yellow and brassy and producing natural ash blonde shades.

Best toners to tone down orange hair to a medium blonde or dark blonde

Blondidfy 9B

Blondify 9B Blue Ash Blonde

For toning down, we would suggest you use Blondify 9B and Blondify 9V

These toners contain blue and violet and are at a 9 level blonde.

They are excellent at producing medium blonde or dark blonde results.

And getting rid of orange!

We would also recommend you to add in some ash blue additive if you need extra toning.

It will help cut out orange.

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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