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The Hair Color Wheel - Everything You 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 can the Hair Color Wheel Help me as a Colorist?

 

The following color neutralization issues are very common in a hair 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.

A: What You Can Do:

You can use the Hair Color Wheel for color neutralization

  • Add in green to get rid of unwanted red on hair that has been lifted to brown or light brown.
  • Add in blue to get rid of unwanted orange on hair that has been lifted to dark blonde.
  • Add in violet to get rid of unwanted yellow on hair that has been lifted to blonde.
  • 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.

Q: Is there Any Other Way of Neutralizing Warm Tones? 

A: Yes, instead of adding in pure color, use ash additives instead:

  • 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.
  • Ash additives are generally easier to work with than pure colors.
  • 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. 

Q: Can I also use Ash Based Toners to Kill Brass When I am Working on Blonde Hair?

A: Yes, you can:

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. You should not rely on color neutralization only!
  • 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: 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.

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