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Does brunette + balayage = brassy + dry?


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Not necessarily. I'm obsessed with finding ways to colour dark hair in the healthiest way possible while maintaining longevity of the colour. Low maintenance, no blorange, healthy locks. This is all actually possible! Let me explain.








Starting point aka the state of your hair prior colouring is important:

  • If your hair is natural, it can be lightened with a hi-lift permanent hair colour - it lifts and deposits colour at the same time, the colour doesn't wash out or become overly warm overtime. The results may vary and generally are on the natural side. Cons of this colouring option is that it will not make you platinum blonde or "bright blonde". Pros in my opinion by far outweigh the negatives - the grow out is beautiful and integrity of the hair is maintained. The best way to explain would be with examples of my work below:




  • If hair is already been lightened, tinted or box dyed, hi lift colour generally can't be used but there is a way to gently lift hair with powder lightener - by using Olaplex and low levels of hydrogen peroxide (the magic ingredient that makes the process faster). Slowing down the process ensures your hair cuticle is as healthy as possible. The pros of this method is being able to achieve the blondest result possible if that is the goal. Once the hair is lifted to the desired level it is toned. The Cons: A toner washes out eventually and regular top up along with home masks are required to maintain your beautiful colour. To illustrate my point here are some examples:




Choosing colour technique often comes down to what suits a client best and maintenance:

  • Foliage - Balayage in a foil, foils are used to trap the heat inside the foil for better colour processing. Allows for a bright result.

  • Teasy lights - Balayage with the roots teased - looks like an ombre, seamless root to mid length transition.

  • Freehand Balayage - visual hair painting technique, great if you're into dimension.

  • Babylights - Tiny baby foils that create a beautiful shadow "balayage like" effect on your root, it's a low maintenance highlight option. Great for someone wanting to have colour in the root area but not having to commit to frequent visits - baby lights can look good even after 3 month of colour and can be easily changed to highlights for more colour in the root area or to a darker root balayage option.

Combination of the above can be used as well. Balayage is usually maintained at a 3 point mark (touch up of a hairline area and a toner if needed) and a full/partial root touch up at a 6 point mark. Colour saturation is important maintenance wise (meaning how much of your hair is getting coloured, the more hair is coloured the more visible the regrowth will be).


Brass - science Why does hair, whether natural or coloured, turn red/orange/yellow?

Hair structure looks like this:

The outer scales are called cuticle. Natural or artificial colour is behind the cuticle - in the cortex of the hair. When the cuticle is open, colour leaks out of the hair, exposing a raw pigment.

Here is why cuticle damage happens:

  • Curly/Frizzy/Thin hair types are just prone to having an open cuticle and dryer hair.

  • UV Rays

  • Hot Showers

  • Swimming in a chlorinated pool or salt water

  • Colouring hair

P. S. Sometimes open cuticle isn't necessarily a bad thing, leading to gorgeous natural highlinghts or voluminous hair.


What can we do to prevent damage and manage unwanted tones:

  • Keratin treatments close up the cuticle and let the hair restore.

  • Masks based on keratin, anti brass treatments - the trick is to leave it on for a good amount of time and let it do the hair restoring magic. Unless it's Fanola ;) Yellow and violet as well as orange and blue are opposites on the colour wheel and are used to cancel out overly warm tones. Below are the two of my favourites:


  • Wear a hat on a sunny day

  • In Salon Toning - doesn't solve the cuticle issue but evens out the tone of your hair.


P.S. Michelle I hope this helps!


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