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Hair Correctly Lifted to Level 9. Some yellow which can be neutralized with a toner.

The Hair Color Wheel - The Secrets to Color Neutralization and Tone Correction that All Hair Stylists Need to Know!

Each color has a relationship with every other color. The Hair Color Wheel is a way of showing this relationship.

 

Q: How Should I use the Hair Color Wheel as a Colorist? 

A: Simply Read off the Opposite Color on the Color Wheel to Know Which Color You Need to Neutralize. 

  • Purple is the opposite of yellow. Purple will neutralize yellow.
  • Blue is the opposite of yellow/orange. Blue will neutralize yellow/orange.
  • Red is the opposite of green. Red will neutralize green.

Q: How can the Hair Color Wheel Help me in the Salon? 

A: The following color neutralization issues are very common in a salon:

  • You lifted a customer’s hair with bleach but there is still yellow left in the hair.
  • You lifted a customer’s hair from dark brown to blonde but there is still orange left in the hair.
  • You lifted a customer’s hair from dark brown to brown but there is still red left in the hair.

In general, remember these rules about Color Neutralization:

  • Green cancels out red on hair that has been lifted to brown or light brown.
  • Blue cancels out orange on hair that has been lifted to dark blonde.
  • Violet cancels out yellow on hair that has been lifted to blonde.

In these three cases above, using the opposite color can help you achieve your desired result quite easily. 

  • In each case you are using the opposite color on the color wheel to counteract the unwanted red, orange and yellow.
  • The technique here is to add in a very small quantity of the opposite color.
  • So use greenblue and violet as color additives.
  • The normal mix ratio here would be 1 inch of green/blue/violet added to 1 tube of regular color. 
  • The blonder the level you are working at, the less of the additive you should add - otherwise you may end up with blue or purple hair.
  • So rather than one inch to one tube of regular color, try 3/4 inch of one tube. 
  • Add in the same amount of developer as you have of color: 1:1 mix is the normal mix for Ugly Duckling color.

Q: Can I use pre-mixed additives to neutralize hair color? 

A: Yes, with Ugly Duckling Additives you can do this.

Instead of using pure color to neutralize, use Ugly Duckling's Ash Blue Additive or Ash Grey Additive.

  • Ash Grey Additive has been developed to add in green for bases up to level 6. You can add in an inch of this into your color mix. This helps counteract brassiness (yellow/orange) in brown hair.
  • Ash Blue Additive has been developed to add in blue for bases 6 and up. You can add in an inch of this into your color mix. This helps counteract brassiness (yellow) in blonde hair.
  • The recommended technique here is to squeeze in a little of your chosen ash additive (around 1 inch is good to start with) to a full tube of the blonde color that you are using. 
  • Note that these additives will tend to take your color level down by about 1 tone.

Q: So I Want to Take My Client Totally White Blonde and she has Yellow Hair. What Should I do?

A: Use Purple to Neutralize Yellow if you are Planning to take the Hair to an Ultra White Blonde

  • If the hair is level 9 or higher, and you are looking to go white blonde, you should use use purple (violet).
  • Ugly Duckling' violet is in the fashion section of our colors, but it also works very well as an additive.
  • However, if you are new to color neutralization, there is an easier way than using an additive.
  • Use instead one of Ugly Duckling's purple based colors, toners and shampoos.
  • They have all been formulated to help you achieve blonde on yellow hair.
  • You can for example use a violet based toner, such as Ugly Duckling's 100V or 10V. 
  • You can also use 10.2. Extra Cold Ash Blonde. This is a regular color and has really vivid and intense purple pigments built in.
  • You can always follow up purple based toner or color with more purple - purple shampoo and mask.

Watch the Video Below of 10.2 and Purple Shampoo in use After Bleaching to Neutralize Yellow Hair and Produce a Stunning Super White Blonde Color! 

Hair by Elona Taki

Q: My Client Has Yellow Hair And Wants to Go Ash Blonde. What Should I do?

A: Use Blue to Neutralize Yellow if you are Planning to Give Your Client a Regular Ashy Blonde Result

  • If the hair is between level 7-10, and you are looking to neutralize yellow or yellow/orange you should go for blue rather than purple.
  • Once again, there is an easier way than using a blue additive.
  • Use instead any one of Ugly Duckling's Ugly Duckling's blue based toners such as 100B or 10B.
  • You can also use blue based ash blonde colors, such as 10.1b, 9.1b, 8.1b, or 7.1b depending on the level of hair color that you are going for.

Watch the Video Below of Blue Based Extra Cold Ash Blonde 10.1b in Action!

Hair by Brittney Perez.

AND WATCH THIS VIDEO, WHERE WE DO COLOR CORRECTION USING 7.1b and 8.1b to CANCEL OUT YELLOW

Hair by Elona Taki

Q: My Client Has Orange Hair. What Should I do?

A: Use Green to Neutralize Orange Hair if you are Planning to Give Your Client a Dark Blonde Result or Darker

  • As long as you are not looking to go lighter, you can use your choice of (a) green (b) ash grey additive or (c) any of Ugly Duckling's green based ash blonde colors.
  • Ugly Duckling's regular ash colors are green based - in fact they contain a lot of green! (more than most color ranges).
  • 3.11, 4.115.11 are double ash reflects - extra amounts of green based ash to fight red on dark bases.
  • At higher levels, you can use 6.1, 7.1, 8.1, 9.110.1 - all green based ash colors.
  • It is, however, important to remember that the above techniques work very well in tone-down cases.
  • But in tone-up cases, in other words where you are trying to go significantly lighter, you really need to lift first properly using a lightener, then neutralize using a toner.

Q: My Client's Hair is Orange Hair. I Want to Take it Blonde. But it's so damaged that I am Scared to Lift it Any Further. What Should I do?

A: In this case use Green to Neutralize Orange Hair 

  • The case below shows a customer whose hair had been colored many times.
  • It was basically impossible to lift it up beyond a certain level without damaging her hair.
  • Our stylist used green to neutralize an impossibly orange hair color.
  • Watch the Video below to see this in action!

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW: GREEN WAS ADDED TO 7.1 to NEUTRALIZE AN IMPOSSIBLY ORANGE HAIR COLOR. WATCH NOW!

Hair by Elona Taki

Q: Can I Use Toners to Kill Brassy, Orange or Yellow?

A: Yes, you can - but you need to get the hair correctly pre-lightened to level 9/10

  • Ugly Duckling's toner range have been formulated with exactly that aim in mind.
  • They have very fast acting pigments which typically neutralize in around 10 minutes.
  • Use Intense Pearl Blonde 100V or Intense Silver Blonde 100B for first time applications or when the color is still yellow (level 9)
  • Use Pearl Blonde Toner or Silver Blonde Toner when the lift is correct (level 10).
  • When using toners it is really important to pre-lighten dark areas of the hair and get everything up to as close to level 9/10 as possible.

Q: I'm doing all that but I am still not getting the Ashy Blonde Result that I am looking for. What am I doing wrong?

A: Almost certainly you need to lift the hair more. 

  • If you are looking for a white blonde or an ashy blonde, color neutralization from a dark level will not work.
  • Almost certainly you need to lift the hair more. 
  • Use a quality lightener and lift the hair up, ideally all the way to level 10. That way you will get rid of all yellow and orange.
  • Then apply a toner as above.

Hair that has been correctly lifted to level 9/10

Level 9

Q: How do I tone yellow hair?

A: Use Ugly Duckling Intense Toners

  • In general, we always recommend that you first lift the hair correctly (see picture above) before attempting to tone.
  • If you have done that, and the hair is still yellow, use Ugly Duckling's Intense Pearl Blonde Toner 100V or Intense Silver Blonde Toner 100B.
  • These toners have a special "booster" in them which will get rid of any remaining yellow.
  • This is what makes them among the most effective toners on the market today.
  • Use with 20 Vol developer in a 1:2 mix.
  • Try & work fast because these toners are very fast acting & you want to give all the hair an equal processing time as much as possible.
  • If you have long hair, tone the root area the last - it will process very fast there because of the heat from the scalp.

Q: My hair pulls orange. What should I do?

A: Sorry, there is no such thing as hair that "pulls orange."

  • There is, however, such a thing as a stylist that does not lift enough!
  • Don't misuse the color wheel and think you can just dump in ash and more ash and kill brassiness. It doesn't work like that.
  • Hair has its natural melanin which is causing that orange and that brassiness. You need to remove that first.
  • Lift up the hair to a true level 9/10. Use a quality lightener that works well on dark hair.
  • Then apply your ash toners as above. You will get a much better result.

Q: My customer has dark hair. She wants to go blonde. How do I get rid of all the orange as I lift?

A: Just keep lifting all the way up. It will transition from orange to yellow to pale yellow as you do so.

  • We do recommend you use Ugly Duckling bleaches whenever possible. All bleaches are not the same and have different lifting powers.
  • Brilliant Blonde is what we recommend when you have "heavy lifting" to do. It has been designed for dark hair and it lifts 8 levels.
  • Brilliant Blondexx with Bond Protect is what we recommend when you need to go in near the scalp and when you need a gentle bleach.
  • Brilliant Blondexx has Bond Protect built in and will protect hair from breakage as you lift.
  • We also recommend you use Ugly Duckling pearl blonde and silver toners. They are very heavily pigmented and provide for fast and effective toning.

Watch This Video to See Dark Hair Bleached Correctly and Toned to Pearl Blonde in One Sitting

Products Used:

  • Brilliant Blonde Lightener
  • Intense Pearl Blonde Toner 100V
  • Purple Shampoo and Mask
  • Developer

Hair by Ashley Betancourt

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