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How to Use High Lift Hair Color

Updated on March 1, 2016
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In recent years, the hairdressing industry has seen a marked increase in the number of clients who want to go blonde but don't want to use bleach. For a long time, there was simply no way to cater to these clients and you couldn't dye dark hair blonde without the use of bleach. That changed with the advent of high lift hair color, and now it's possible to dye your hair blonde without the bleach powder. Or at least, in certain circumstances.

What is high lift dye?

Many people are afraid of bleach because of the horror stories they've heard about melting hair or scalp burns. This is a problem perpetuated through the use of bleach by people who don't know what they're doing and haven't taken the time to learn about the product before they go ahead and bleach their hair. Combine a lack of direction, making the bleach too strong, and using bleach on hair that is already highly damaged and you end up with a widespread fear of bleach.

Bleach is not the enemy and is actually a highly useful and necessary product in all salons, but more and more people are being lead to believe it is too harmful to use. As such, hair dye manufacturers discovered a new market to penetrate and high lift dye was born to cater to those who refuse to bleach their hair.

High lift color is permanent hair dye, but it works slightly differently to other hair dyes because of its unique composition. High lift colors contain more ammonia, more dye pigment, and are mixed with a double ratio of 40 vol developer. This leads to a hair dye that lightens your hair more effectively than other blonde dyes yet still tones it during the lightening process.

Lightener comparison

Lightener
Lift potential
Generic bleach powder (20 vol)
3 levels
Generic bleach powder (30 vol)
4 levels
Igora Vario bleach
3 - 8 levels
Wella Multi Blonde bleach
3 - 7 levels
Indola Rapid Blonde bleach
3 - 7 levels
Indola high lift dye
4 levels
Wella high lift dye
3 - 4 levels
Igora high lift dye
4 levels
Matrix high lift dye
3 - 4 levels

High lift hair color vs. bleach

High lift dye was invented to replace the use of bleach for those who didn't want to bleach their hair, but it is not interchangeable with bleach. The uses of high lift hair color are fairly constrained and it can only reliably be used on virgin hair that is already a dark blonde color, or at most a light brown shade.

A regular blonde hair dye mixed with 30 vol developer can lift around 2 - 3 levels, or in other words, lighten hair from dark blonde to a medium to light blonde color. It does this whilst toning the hair, whereas the use of bleach requires you to tone your hair separately as an additional step. High lift hair color offers a boost to lightening, equivalent to about 1 extra level on top of what a regular blonde dye would achieve.

Although you can lighten your hair up to 4 levels using a high lift dye, you're also restricted to using it on virgin hair because like other hair dyes, it will not lighten dyed hair. Dye doesn't lift dye and if you've dyed your hair, you will need to use hair dye remover and bleach to lighten it. This means that you need to already be a natural blonde to use a high lift blonde dye. If you apply one of these dyes to brown hair you will end up with a regrettable shade of orange.

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High lift or bleach?

Hair condition
High lift or bleach?
Dark hair
Bleach and tone
Dyed hair
Hair dye remover and bleach
Natural blonde hair
High lift dye
Natural light brown hair
High lift dye
Natural red hair
Bleach and tone
Source

Is high lift dye less damaging?

The most popular misconception surrounding high lift hair color is that it is dramatically less damaging than bleach. This is not completely true though. The damage of a high lift dye or bleach are roughly equivalent, and this shouldn't be the primary factor used to determine which product you use.

When you lighten hair with dye or bleach, it is the oxidation from the developer that is causing your hair to lighten. It does this through a chemical reaction with the melanin pigment that is inside each hair. This melanin is what gives your hair its natural color, and by discoloring it with oxidation, your hair becomes lighter.

Damage to your hair isn't a result of the use of bleach or dye itself though. The damage that occurs is a side effect of the oxidation process that is occurring inside the hair shaft. Whilst oxidation is necessary to lighten melanin and activate the dye molecules so that they become permanent, this oxidation also affects the structure of your hair. When the keratin protein comprising your hair structure is oxidized, it weakens, leading to damaged hair.

From this you can understand that damage to your hair is directly related to the amount of lightening that takes place, through the amount of oxidation. If you were to lighten your hair 3 levels with a high lift dye, or 3 levels with bleach, the amount of damage would be exactly the same because although both products are formulated differently, both work through oxidation. The oxidation lightens your hair, and damages it as a side effect.

The main benefit of high lift dye over bleach in this sense is in being less drying and cutting out the additional toning step that bleaching requires. Dryness compounds damage during hair lightening, so anything you do to keep your hair nourished and conditioned during the process will minimize damage. Bleach is a lot more drying than most high lift dyes.

Matrix UL-AA high lift dye
Matrix UL-AA high lift dye

When should you use high lift dye?

High lift dye has a specific use and it will generally work very well if you use it properly. This means that you should not be applying it to black or brown hair and expect to end up with blonde hair. You also shouldn't be using high lift hair color on hair that has been dyed in the past. Unless your last color has completely grown out of your hair, you can't lighten your hair with high lift dye.

High lift dyes are best used under the following conditions:

  • You have virgin hair
  • You only require 3 - 4 levels of lift
  • Your hair is in good condition
  • Your hair is already dark blonde or a very light brown

Although high lift dyes are generally used to dye hair a light blonde without bleach, they can still be used to lighten darker hair. Please note that you won't reach a blonde shade if you do this, and you still must have virgin hair in order for the dye to work. The darker your hair is, the less lightening that will occur, and you need to tone it afterwards because the blonde dye in the high lift isn't concentrated enough to tone dark hair. In this case, bleach is far superior.

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How to prepare high lift hair dye

High lift hair color is prepared in mostly the same way as other permanent hair dyes. You will need a tinting bowl and brush to mix it in, as well as the appropriate developer to mix with the dye.

In this case, the developer used has to be 40 vol developer. The boxed high lift dyes you can find in supermarkets that use 30 vol developer or less are not high lift dyes at all. Manufacturers can call these products 'high lift' or 'hi color' because there is no set standard for naming a high lift dye. These products that mimic actual high lift dyes are merely regular dye marketed in a way that makes it seem like they lift more than other dye brands because of their name.

The reason you need to use 40 vol developer is two-fold. Firstly, high lift dyes are formulated to work optimally with this concentration of peroxide and the lift and deposit balance is changed when you don't use this. Secondly, if you don't use 40 vol, the dye loses much of its lightening power and you may as well be using a regular blonde dye as the high lift will be a waste of time. Always mix high lift hair color with 40 vol developer.

You also need to be aware of what shade you're using and choose an ash shade rather than the shade you want. Even though high lift dyes are formulated to tone hair as your hair lightens, they don't live up to expectations here. An ash shade is necessary to counteract the warmth that will be revealed during the lightening process. If anything, even the ash shade won't be enough to counteract the warmth and you will still need to tone your hair anyway.

Once you're ready to prepare the dye, measure it by volume and to each part of high lift hair color, add two parts of 40 vol developer. It's easiest to mix developer into dye by adding a small amount first, then gradually incorporating the rest. Otherwise the dye has a much thicker consistency than the pool of developer surrounding it and you have to go to extra effort to incorporate it all together without making a mess.

How to apply high lift dye

High lift hair color is applied like any other permanent hair dye. You will see the best results by sectioning your hair out into four sections and applying it one section at a time. To do this, part your hair down the middle from your forehead to your neck, then once more from ear to ear and clip each section with a sectioning clip to hold them in place.

It's standard protocol to begin by applying dye to the back left section of your hair, but this isn't set in stone. Start wherever is easiest and quickest for you. You may even prefer to work down in both sections at the back of your hair then switch to the front and finish it off. Where you start and how you progress really just depends on what you feel is easiest.

Work from the top of each section down to the bottom by taking thin layers of hair and applying the high lift color to each side. It is also preferable to apply the dye to your lengths first and then go back and apply the dye to your roots 10 - 15 minutes into application so that the heat from your scalp doesn't lead to lighter roots. This is more of an issue with bleach, but it can also occur sometimes with high lift colors.

Once the dye is completely applied, leave it for up to 50 - 60 minutes to process, depending on brand. High lift color has a longer development period than other dyes because the extra time is necessary for it to lighten your hair substantially. You can rinse it out after this time has passed.

If your hair is closer to brown than blonde when you apply the dye, you will most likely still need to tone your hair again after the high lift color is rinsed. This occurs even when using an ash blonde high lift and is unavoidable. Dark hair simply can't be toned by the high lift and it will only lighten your hair. You will need the appropriate toner to complete the color.

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Schwarzkopf Igora Royal E-0 Lightening Extract Permanent Hair Color 2.1 fl. oz. (60 g)
Schwarzkopf Igora Royal E-0 Lightening Extract Permanent Hair Color 2.1 fl. oz. (60 g)

Igora E-0 is a lift booster that can be added to Igora Royal dyes to add an extra level of lift.

 

Lift booster

Hair dye brands will sometimes produce a lift booster product that is designed to be added to their high lift color. Lift booster is essentially an ammonia supplement that boosts the ammonia content in the high lift.

Ammonia acts as a catalyst, driving the decomposition of the peroxide in the developer into active oxygen that oxidizes and lightens the melanin in your hair. More ammonia means that more oxidation can take place, and lift booster can provide up to 1 more level of lift when mixed into your high lift color.

Should you wish to use lift booster, you should only be using it if your hair is in good condition. High lift colors are just as damaging as bleach in most cases, and adding lift booster will increase the lightening, but this means more damage as well. You also shouldn't use it if you have a sensitive scalp.

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After you dye your hair with a high lift color, it may be necessary to tone your hair. Like all hair color, this dye will fade with time too, and a regular maintenance routine is the best way to keep your hair looking great and prevent it from becoming brassy.

You will also need to condition your hair thoroughly after using a high lift, just like when you bleach your hair. For this purpose, a conditioning treatment or a deep conditioner is all you will need. Add a protein treatment like Redken CAT Reconstructor and your hair will look and feel great long into the future.

Do you have a question about high lift dyes? Are you considering using a high lift dye and wondering whether it is an option for your hair and the result you want? Leave a comment for tailored advice and share your insight with other readers.

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    • profile image

      Amee 4 weeks ago

      My sister used a joico semi purple on top of her hair can i still lift her roots with high lift color? It was a non oxidative color and our goal is red and we will then apply purple again. I appreciate your feed back.

    • profile image

      Juliette 2 months ago

      Hello,

      first, thanks for these articles, since I had a difficult time understanding whether I could use Igoral royal high lifts or not. I want to go blonde, for a warm very light blonde, as I have fair/golden skin & rosy cheeks with some freckles and blue eyes with.

      since last year, I did twice some light highlights (my basis is 6 with maybe 15% white), and more recently some foils. The highlights are orangey and foiled hair is very light blonde, but only in narrow strays, not very numerous. As I have a lot of hair, it is a mixture of natural (dark blonde), yelloey orangey, very light blonde and white hair... I don't think it looks good.

      I was considering using Igora royal High lift (10.14? + 40 volumes) to lighten the base as well, because I don't imagine going anywhere with only foils, and I don't find that the contrast between the light blond and my base looks really good.

      I am also considering using opalex to protect hair (rather dry but ok). Can I use the high lift on te very light blond hair or would I have to protect them?

    • profile image

      Kaely H 2 months ago

      The bottom layer of my hair is not dyed, but the rest is blonde and dark blonde colored. However, my roots have begun to grow out and I don't want to bleach all the hair, just add some lighter streaks on the roots and lift the brass that my blonde has taken on in the last months. Can I use a high lift over entire blonde hair or only on the individual pieces that are brassy?

    • profile image

      Maria 2 months ago

      I used the high lift on my black hair with 20 developer. They recommended that I use 20. It's not as light as I wanted but when can I lighten it again. I just did it last night. I'm going to dye it a blue afterward.

    • profile image

      Nene 2 months ago

      Can i use it on bleached hair?

    • profile image

      Anonymous 3 months ago

      My hair is dyed medium red and I have natural medium brown with gold highlights built in will I have to use gair remover and bleach to be a dark blonde but I will have to wait a while because I recently did my hair dyed it

    • profile image

      Pam 3 months ago

      I bought permanent high lift natural blonde hair color and a 20 developer. I have darker roots and very light blonde hair now. My question is what is the outcome going to be?

    • profile image

      Anne 4 months ago

      Hi Maffew,

      I recently got my hair professionally high lifted (original hair dark brown) at the salon. Got a caramel balayage. It's starting to look brassy. If I use something like the Fudge Violet Toning Shampoo and conditioner, would that be effective on my hair as I didn't use bleach to dye my hair?

    • profile image

      Elena 4 months ago

      Hi i have 2 questions can i apply a 12-1 highlift of igora to a bleached hair?

      And cmy other question is if i can add toner to the bleach mixture or have to do it in seperate steps? Thnks

    • profile image

      Sarah 4 months ago

      I have a bottle of hi lift creek peroxide 30 vol 9% if I want a friend to do steaks on my virgin mousy blonde hair does anything need to be add even added?

    • profile image

      Debbie northcott 6 months ago

      Hi would u still use 40vol with high lift tint if the client has at least 50% grey?

    • profile image

      Susan 6 months ago

      Hi,

      If I was to use bleach with 1.9 developer rather than high lift with 40 vol would this be less harsh for my hair.

      Thank you

    • profile image

      Yvonne 7 months ago

      My hair is purple and pink and want to go brown with blonde sandstone lights can i mix haircolor brown with high lift.

    • profile image

      Kellee 7 months ago

      Hello! My natural hair color is a dark blonde. I was using a high lift ash to color my hair, and it looked to bleached out after a while. I wanted to slightly darken it. A stylist bleached my roots and toned with an 8V and 10N. Pretty color, but my root area looked lavender. Had this happen before with a level 10 blonde too, and even had light bluish roots. How does one get rid of the light blue or lavender root hues?

    • profile image

      Aims 7 months ago

      You've mentioned that you can't use high lift on dyed hair. Are you referring to deposit only or lifting with bleach too? I have bleached balayaged hair between levels 7 at roots and 9 on mid and ends. Do you recommend high lift for me? I want to lighten my ends to a cool platinum and keep my roots the same.

    • profile image

      Traci Kleinaitis 8 months ago

      I have a level 7 natural with 85% blonde almost white highlights and when my roots start to come in they look SUPER dark next to the blonde. I want to use Schwarzkopf highlifts 12-1 with 40 vol to lift my natural hair or base in between the highlights (literally paint in between) however, when I did a test strand with the Schwarzkopf highlifts I left it on for 50 minutes and in the back of my hair at the crown it only lifted about 2.5 levels but light orangey color and the test strand in front lifted to a very nice blonde color except it left the blue residue on my already highlighted hair So I am wondering if I go in and mix it up again Using the same ratio 1:2 40 volume 12–1, will my highlighted hair turn blue ?? Or should I be using more of an ash like the 12-11? Right now I would describe my hair as a very very light golden blonde which I hate golden blonde but anything is better than orange !! I also would it mind an ashy blonde but will the ash leave a violet/gray-ish residue on my highlights ? I would also like some help if you think Schwarzkopf is not the best line to go with, even though I have a level 7 naturally I do pull warmth and have had problems with any highlift colors!

      Thanks

      Traci

    • Anya Romaniv profile image

      Anya Romaniv 9 months ago

      Naturally id say im a level 5. Last my hair was done I'm very unhappy about it wanted a suggestion on how to make it look more natural. Last time it was lifted and highlighted i dont know what with but I ended up with hair between a 10-11/12. Which could be nice except the problem is that the 10 is actually a bit brassy not horrible but not great so last time when we tried toning my hair with the white lady toner and 20 developer it turned the 11/12(highlights) purple and the other hair stayed yellow and I ended up looking silver all together but a ugly silver since the yellow was still there. I just kinda bared with it as I did not want to do more to my hair but now my roots have grown out and I have to do something. the problem is that I feel like my hair just looks very flat and dull all over but then by the root its looking more golden-y. I kinda wanted to lighten by natural 5 root growth to a maybe 7-6 but more ashy than warm. However, I don't know how to do this so that it doesn't go yelow-y on me-I just want more of a root grow-out look like a smudge root (but im not sure if I want to actually apply color, so wanted to just lift my root enough blend? is this possible or do I need to apply color?). But then also the rest of my hair just looks too flat and washed out and idk what to add to the hair to add a bit dimension and still match the roots? thank you!

    • profile image

      Mady 9 months ago

      How far in between lifts would you recommend? I lifted and toned to a nice 7/8 but I am hoping to go to a 10. My ends are a 10 for sure but my roots are a 7/8. I am wondering when it will be safe to lift again. Thanks :)

    • Hevyn Allen profile image

      Hevyn Allen 9 months ago

      Hi! I've been seeing a friend/stylist who is a crackerjack with my cut. In fact, she's the only one who's ever done it exactly like I want, but, even though she is licensed to do everything, she's only been doing cuts for years. She also charges me next to nothing, which is a huge plus for my budget. BUT, we are having a terrible time getting my color right without overprocessing my hair. I asked for a platinum blond in the very beginning as you can see in my profile pic, but the bleach was RUINING my hair. I have very fine, thin hair that is a medium brown and she just couldn't get it right using Wella products and the Ultimate Blonde sold at Sally's--she would bleach, then use toner, then use high lifts. We finally got the color right, but my hair was breaking so badly. This week, I told her we HAD to do something that was healthier. She put in a high lift made by Ultimate Blonde and it started turning my hair a lavender-gray!! We quickly washed and rinsed. Then, we ran to Sally's to get a little advice. They advised using something with low to no ammonia. We walked out with the lightest blonde high lift SOY formula by Clairol and it took 2 HOURS to lighten to the color--so while my hair is the healthiest feeling it's been in a while, it is an orangey blonde at the roots and this whitish gray blonde everywhere else!! She even used a toner on top to try to correct that. I am NOT HAPPY with the color. I would like to see if I can correct it on my own. What I eventually want to get to is get away from the platinum blonde and just do a high lift all over and have her do a partial highlight on top. What do you suggest to get to that point? I cut it really short in a pixie, so I'm just looking for what I can do now to correct this, what I need to do to transition, and then the final process that we need to stick with. I can see that I'm going to have to help her find the solution. I know she can do the technique, I just need to help her find the right products/shades for my hair.

    • Robin Huber profile image

      Robin H 9 months ago from Los Angeles

      Hi Maffew. I hope you're still reading comments on this page. Your articles are extremely well written, compared with 99% of hair coloring articles on the web. I have a question about using lift boosters. If given the choice, would you get the extra level of lift from going with a higher volume developer, or using the extra ammonia? How do they compare? Thanks!

    • profile image

      Dean 9 months ago

      If you are a natural base of an 8 with a golden tone and use highlife wella 12.81 with 40 volume will it flatten out the warmth and make it more of a dull ash blonde? Help would be great

    • profile image

      MONI 9 months ago

      CAN YOU HIGHLIGHT AFTER USING A HIGH LIFT COLOR?

    • profile image

      Jv 9 months ago

      Haven't been getting blonde enough. Assuming 40 min isn't long enough even for my light brown hair

    • profile image

      Erin 10 months ago

      Can you foil in hilift color in stead of using bleach ?

    • profile image

      Olivier 11 months ago

      Hi!

      First of all I want to thank you for the time you take to answer! You are a great person and obviously a great hair stylist , sorry if I didn't spell it right,Spanish is my mother language.

      Ok,I have above shoulders length hair,bleached very damaged,natural level 2.Around little over a month I bleached my regrowt that was loooong.Well I got it bright orange there, overlapping occurred in my previously bleached hair now it is very weak.I dye it with a formula that supposed to give me rose gold, but I kind of got that result after several washes.The dyes I used were Igora permanent(rose,coral &red-violet).Now I have my natural roots little over 1/2".the orange bleached fail,and the rest is almost white with pinkish and gold tint.I would like to use your high lift formula for lighten the roots and lifting the orange (level 7).Do you think it will work??

      And also seems like the dye is almost washed off,but I'm concerned also about the weak bleached hair, Could the high lift dye destroy it?THANKS!

    • profile image

      Heidi 11 months ago

      Hi. Please can you give me some advice. I'm currently all over bleach blonde getting my roots done evry six weeks. I want a more multidimensional blonde and healthier hair bit still nice and light. Naturally I'm a 4/5 and obviously this is damaging so I see breakage and more so recently which is distressing as my hair is past my shoulders and I want to keep it that way. I have tried a highlift tint in the past called keune tinta colour in 1517 and had great results. It took me to a level 7/8 but wasn't too brassy. My question is. If I did this myself at home then got bleach highlights over to break it up at the hairdressers, would this be healthier than full bleach and tone every 6 weeks? I would then only have a full head of highlights once or twice a year and just get a t-section or half a head of bleach highlights every 6-8 weeks. My theory is this would be a bit cheaper too because I'm doing the colour at home. Thanks x

    • Maffew James profile image
      Author

      Maffew James 11 months ago

      Hi Rachel,

      Now that you know this, I'd recommend switching to 12-1, rather than 12-11 for future treatment of regrowth if you use a high lift again. You could also use 12-0 mixed with 12-1 if you wanted to further reduce the ash intensity.

      Keep in mind that the way you were using the dye has a major effect on this though. Eg, it may have deposited too much ash because it is a strong ash tone, being a double ash, but this may have also been caused by a lot of lightening occurring. The more the hair lightens during the high lift, the less warmth that is present to contend with, and thus more of the ash will show through. Use of the same shade may not produce the same result on regrowth if it is darker than the hair that was treated in your previous experience as more warmth would be present.

      As for cleaning the current colour up, a few shampoos should do this relatively quickly. The ash will fade and you can then move onto using toning shampoos as necessary to maintain it where you want it to be. If you want to speed the process along, you can mix up a weak bleach bath using 10 vol developer, bleach powder, and shampoo on damp hair. Apply for a few minutes and rinse and this will take care of the excess ash tone. There is next to no damage with this process because the bleach is very weak and diluted, and is not applied to the hair for very long.

      Alternatively, apply 10G (lightest golden blonde) in the form of semi-permanent mousse or demi-permanent dye, leave a few minutes to add warmth, then rinse. Another method is to mix a dash of a darker permanent dye like 9G into a small amount of shampoo with 10 vol developer and apply this to damp hair for a few minutes to form a kind of colour toning wash.

    • profile image

      Rachel 12 months ago

      I used igora 12:11 & it's deposited too much ash. What can I use to get a cleaner blonde?

    • Maffew James profile image
      Author

      Maffew James 12 months ago

      Hi Arron,

      That's perfectly fine. If you've got the dye mix correct and like the way it turns out, other than the slight excess warmth, a dash of corrector can deal with this. Just be careful not to add too much as these products tend to be very intensely pigmented and will go a long way in blonde hair.

    • profile image

      Arron 12 months ago

      Hello I've had my hair lifted to an ash blond with some dark brown low lights. I have a little bit of a gold/yellow in some spots. I want it brighter and get rid of the brass color can I add the red gold correction in the mix? Will this help?

    • Maffew James profile image
      Author

      Maffew James 12 months ago

      Hi Bon,

      That's perfectly fine, as long as the hair is not excessively damaged. However, note that the high lift will not necessarily work on hair that has been previously dyed because it is not very good at lifting the artificial pigment from a previous dye, so if this is the case, you may find it more reliable to continue bleaching it until you get it as light as you want it.

    • profile image

      Bon 12 months ago

      hello can i use a highlift after i have done a bleach bath? Thanks

    • profile image

      MM 12 months ago

      Hello!

      I've recently bleach and toned my naturally level 3 hair using olaplex so it's held up really well. I toned it using T18 wella. I've noticed that while my roots are pretty white, throughout the body there is still some darker sandy bits. I'm lucky that there's absolutely no yellow because I was patience and exact with the bleaching but the darker bits are sandy beige. If I want a striking white (with the tiniest hint of violet/silver to make it contemporary), would using a simple Kenra Demi SV Silver Violet 5 Min Rapid Toner (20 developer) followed by the

      Kenra Perm 10SM Extra Light Blonde Silver Metallic work (w/ 9 vol)? Or do I have to repeat the bleaching process? Or perhaps a high lift? Help! Thanks in advance!

    • Wael Almasri profile image

      Wael Almasri 13 months ago

      I used high lift and got very light root but the hair is still dark. I have black hair. Can i apply the high lift on my hair again without applying it on the roots to get lighter hair color and balance it with the kinda orange roots now?!

    • profile image

      Hairdresser 13 months ago

      Hi i have colored my hair with a high lift blonde and 40 volume develpoer for 20 plus years. Over the las few years i have had trouble with breakage in my crown area. I started using a flex bonder the last 6 months with mt color formula. Well several weeks age i had a horrible amount of breakage on the top of my hair. My hair is coarse and thick. I double my developer when i do my roots. I do not pull the color through my hair. I do not understand why my hair is breaking after i color now?

    • profile image

      Cindy 13 months ago

      Hi, I am going for a silver light ash brow to a silver dark ash blonde. I can't seem to achieve this color. Ill start by saying my hair is over processed. I haven't had a hair cut in a long time. My scalp is a little sensative. My natural hair color is a dark brow which are my roots. I have colored my hair professionally and recently a kit from a drugstore. As well as I like to color the bottom half of my hair black. And i use heat almost everyday to straighten my damaged hair. I still want to achieve a silver ash brown or silver ash blonde color for the top half of my hair. Please help.

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      pat 13 months ago

      I need help! Professional colorist for 30 yrs. Client over 10 yrs. used matrix hilift ul-a on level 5.a liitle warm but ok. matrix changed formulas of hilift and ive been struggling. Went to bleach, too much damage, fine hair. sooo, I have warmish roots smoky midshaft brassy end. My thought, olaplex treatment bleach with 10 vol on brassy areas but not sure what to do with new growth. Thank you so much for your time.

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      Dags 15 months ago

      Hi, I was hoping you could help. I had my hair highlighted with a box dye, which has resulted in fairly damaged hair and I now need to touch up !y roots without damaging the rest of the hair. I feel My hair has darkened a bit as well and would want to listen it by another shade or two. My natural hair is lift brown, probably around level 5. The highlights vary from fairly light to medium/dark blonde. I was thinking about using a high lift colour (12.11?) on the roots and then toning the whole head with an ashy blond toner. Would this work or is there a better solution?

    • profile image

      Zenny 15 months ago

      Hi can i ask if i can use high lift tint,even my hair is not virgin,my hair is already in color but not balance,i just want to achieve honey blond.

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      Jessica 15 months ago

      Hi, such informative and awesome information!!!:) I have dark brown almost black hair. The lengths have been bleached blond. My roots are coming in and I have about 10% grey. I am trying to decide between doing my roots with chi infracolor hilift blond (which is a hilift bleach) and the clairol Liquicolor hilift blonde in 12AA-BV. I don't know what the difference is with hilift bleach and hilift color? My hair has always responded horribly to bleach and I don't mind having to do it a couple of times but which do you think would be better? Looking forward to hearing from you, thank you so much

    • profile image

      Janet Schwartz 15 months ago

      Hi, Maffew,

      2 questions. Do you apply the high lift dye on clean dry hair? Can you use it to balayage or highlight? Thank you.

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      Kamila 16 months ago

      Hi! I dyed my hair black/burgandi maybe 8 months ago now that is summer I want to go lighter like 6 or 7 I been doing some research about what new products are out there with out bleach( my hair is really fine and breaks very easy even tho I don't dye it often or use heat I like that) so I used a color remover 3 times and now I have it brown/red and a little orange so now, I'm no sure what I should do? If do a bleach wash, get a high lift by Schwarzkopf for browns or just apply a level 7 ash or make some balaye and then apply 7A all over my hair skipping my roots because I want to have like a ombré effect. I hope u can help me, I know are many questions but this time I want do it. I don't have many good experience going to the salon. Thank u

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      TamaBana 16 months ago

      Hi Maffew!

      I recently bleached my hair, it is now a true gold color- level 8.

      I want it lighter and beigeish.

      Can I use a high lift blonde on it?

      Which brand do you prefer?

      Thank you!

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      Kathleen 16 months ago

      Hello!

      Thank you for providing answers!

      Question:

      A month ago, I dyed my short, natural hair to a medium golden brown color. Color has faded.

      Want to try light blonde hair color now, to achieve 'Florida beach kinda look'.

      Thinking of first applying an ultra light platinum dye, then apply a blonde toner.

      What do you think?

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      Lacy 16 months ago

      Hi I have platinum hair right now and would like to go to a warmer shade like a honey or sandy blonde. What color should I use??

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      Joanne D 16 months ago

      I have mousey light brown hair with a touch of gray here and there, not much at all. I had old highlights on my hair and asked my hairdresser to save me the cost of foil highlights and just give me a full head color. She highlifted my roots only with the highest number she told me. I came home with yellow roots with some orange hues which over the course of a couple of weeks toned itself down. Going forward what do I ask her for in order not to go yellow and to go a little darker when my tan fades. The lightest highlift is too light for my skin tone without a summer tan. She doesn't seem to understand me.

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      Ashley 16 months ago

      Ok I have Ion 8N & 9N on the bottom half of my hair and the top has bleach with about 1" of light brown regrowth. I have just bought Ion HL-N with 40 VOlume developer. My hair always pulls orange and I was wondering if I added Red Out to the color would that help?

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      KelMic 16 months ago

      Hi!! My hairdresser gave me highlights and I went back because my roots were very dark still. She then put highlift on my roots (I have dark blonde hair) and it turned them really brassy orange. I thought my purple shampoo would get rid of it. I tried once and left it on for about 5 minutes. I don't think it it made any difference. What do I do?? Help! I don't know if I can go back to her again. She seemed annoyed when I went back to get my roots fixed!

      Please help!

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      zara 16 months ago

      Hi,

      I naturally have black, virgin hair. This is my first time colouring, I was looking to go a deep burgundy colour.

      I bought some hair dye from the store, and strand tested. Unfortunately the dye did nothing for my hair.

      I used a 20 vol developer which came in the box, was wondering if I should use a 40vol instead?

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      Heather 17 months ago

      Hi maffew! So i have a client that is natural 6 and has about 2 inches outgrowth. When she first came to me her top half was yellow/blonde and the bottom half (underneath) was level 4 1/2. She wants to go lightest blonde. She was a little damaged so i just weaved highlights through her brown to get it to the blonde she wants and ofcourse have been doing treatments for months. Now we are ready to go lightest blonde. Im thinking of doing her base .13B high lift blonde idol. And then refreshing her 1/2 oz 09gb shades eq gloss + 1 1/2 crystal clear+2 oz processing solution? Do you have any other recommendations for me or u think that will work?

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      Maffew James 17 months ago

      Hi Melinda,

      If you use Wella Koleston 9/1 or Wella Color Charm 9A with 20 vol developer, that will work fine for your purposes. You don't really need a high lift in your situation unless you wanted to take it to platinum and were dealing with very resistant hair.

      The /1 or A shades listed in these lines are an ash tone and this will neutralise the warm underlying pigment as your hair lightens so that it doesn't end up looking bright yellow. If want more of a beige result, mix the ash as half ash and half natural shade, eg half 9/1 and half 9/0 to reduce the concentration of ash tone present in the dye. You can also use 8/1 or 8A in each respective colour line. Base the level choice (The first number before any other numbers or letters, which signifies how dark the shade is), on how light you want your new shade to be.

      The developer strength is what determines lightening however, and the level of dye used is mainly to ensure it is dark enough to tone properly. The 8 and 9 will yield roughly equivalent lift when mixed with 20 vol, but the 8 will tone stronger. You'd use the 9 preferentially if intending to go much lighter because the darker 8 will over-tone if used for this.

      As for adding anything to the dye, anything you add to dye, other then the developer or different shades of the same brand and product line, may affect the lift and colour result. For example, conditioner will decrease pigment penetration and lightening because it coats the hair shaft and dilutes the dye preparation. It's best to use dye as-is and then apply any conditioning or repair products that you want to use after rinsing to ensure the dye works properly. Whilst I haven't used Olaplex, I am aware that it tends to greatly decrease lightening.

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      Melinda 17 months ago

      Hi Maffew, I've never coloured my hair before and it is a natural number 6-7 blonde which i only want lightened about 1-2 levels. Highlift generally lightens your hair 3-4 levels and I feel like that will be too much for me. If you always have to use 40 vol developer what should I do? I was considering using wella 12N high lift blonde. Also is there anything else you can add to the dye mixture to aid your hair such as olaplex?

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      Jean 17 months ago

      Hi Maffew,

      I went to my hairdresser about a month ago looking for that silvery/cotton candy-ish pink color all over, less the roots. My natural hair is about a 6. I had virgin hair half way down, and then I had previously bleached/browned the bottom half. My hairdresser was supremely confident that we could achieve my desired color - but we didn't. I lef there with a natural looking strawberry blonde on top and neon pink underneath.

      I went back a few days later and she did a bleach bath, then replaced the pink and it came out slightly better but a lot of orange compared to pink. So $200 later, I was all set with continuing to struggle with her.

      I've colored my hair on my own many times but because of the large scale bleach process, that's why I put it in the hands of a professional.

      Anyway - about a week later I bought a lather toner and toned it - that took out some of the orangeness and I put the pink back on, it wasn't bad but still not what I wanted.

      So now it's been a month and I decided to try lightening it again - I did a bleach bath with 30, it didn't do anything to the lift, only removed the pink. So I did a bleach bath with 40 today and it got to a nice life, but needed to be toned. I went to Sally's in search of the Wella T14, but they were out, so I asked if they had any out back and the person there gave me "Argan Oil Hair color - 11 HLA Hi-Lift Cool Bloonde." I was a little skeptical but she said it should work the same as the toner and to use it with 30 vol.

      So I got home, put it on, and per the instructions on the box planned to wait 30 minutes - I cleaned up my bowls from mixing and took a peak and its muddy green/grey. So I immediately shampooed the heck out of it and I was able to get most of the muddy green/grey out. I put my pink on, in hopes that the pink would cancel some of the green - but it just looks terrible. The sections that I was able to shampoo out the awful color look wonderful, they're like a silvery, metallic pinkish/purple. But there are other sections that are still muddy green/grey.

      I'm not sure what else to do at this point.

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      Maffew James 18 months ago

      Hi Margo,

      Apologies for the late reply. If the warmth is still a problem, you can correct this by toning with ash blonde. As your hair is highlighted and there are lighter areas, you want the ash to be no darker than 1 level below the lightest highlights or else it will grab to them and look cause them to become over-toned. The use of a lighter shade means that the highlights will be toned by the base won't change much, but this should be fine because it's those bright highlights that are causing the redness to be more pronounced by the sound of it. Warm highlights make the overall colour of your hair look warmer, whilst the opposite is true of ash highlights. You could also add lowlights using natural blonde that is 1 level darker than the lightest highlights to cancel out some of that brightness in the overall colour through the same mechanism.

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      Maffew James 18 months ago

      Hi Leah,

      What colour were the roots and what colour were you intending to take it to? If you were aiming for brown to match the rest of your hair, you'll need to tone separately after using the high lift dye because it doesn't contain enough pigment to tone at darker levels like this. You end up getting the intended lightening, but all the underlying warmth is uncovered and not corrected during the dyeing process.

      To correct, assuming it is light enough now, take an ash shade 1 level lighter than the roots and apply, allow to tone, then rinse. If it is too light, you can darken it up to match the lengths and also tone it by using a mix of half ash and natural shades (using less ash as necessary depending on how cool toned you want it to be). If it's still a little too dark, take an ash shade 1 level lighter than the target level and use 20, 30, or 40 vol as the developer depending on how many levels still need to be lifted. 20 vol will lift 1 - 2 levels, and you'll get up to 1 additional level of lift for each jump up in strength. Allow this to develop and it will tone while it lifts.

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      Jessica 18 months ago

      Hi:) I have level 8 hair, and would like to use the Pravana ultra high lift violet. Can I use developer by a different brand?

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      Leah 18 months ago

      Hi, I have mousy brown hair with a full head of highlights a inch or two of roots. I bought a 12-1 with 40vol to put on my roots as I have highlights and was just sick of paying out every 4 weeks, big mistake! My roots have gone orangish. I'm not sure if this is because I never left it on long enough or that I need to tone it or a purple shampoo? Thanks in advance x

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      Kate 18 months ago

      What do I use to die my hair blonde when it box died dark red and dark brown.

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      Margo 18 months ago

      My hairs is naturally a strawberry blonde with more strawberry. I highlight my hair by a professional but this time she decided to used a lift and tone. I didn't want to tell her but I do not like it. It brought out a bright red throughout my hair. What can be done?

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      Stephanie 19 months ago

      Good morning, I am African American and just this past Saturday I went to my hairdresser and got my hair bleached, (my natural color is bleached, or so I thought, to make a long story short, she used hair booster to lighten my hair, which turned out to be cinnamo n in color. After finally getting a half answer on the process, she told me that my hair needs to be high lifted to go lighter. Is this true in order for me to achieve the blonde results I wanted, or is there nothing else I can do at this point?

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      Kelly 19 months ago

      Hello,

      Love your site! Very informative. I'd love your advise:

      My virgin hair is level 7N with underlying gold.

      I had highlights 18 months ago and since then i've just had high-lift blonde and toner to give an all over level 9 (the ends are more of a 10 from the past highlights) but it inevitably kept turning a bit brassy.

      I had 2.5 inches of roots so last week decided to try BLONDME Coloring in Natural Ice but only used 20 vol on my regrowth then the recommended 7 vol to refresh the lengths and ends. My hair is very porous and baby fine so I thought 20 vol would be enough but it didn't quite lift it high enough! Now I have slightly warm 8G roots and 9N/P lengths and ends.

      Should I have used the BLONDME Lifting cream in Ice with 30 vol or 40 vol instead?

      Now it just looks bleurgh so i'd like to get it to an all over 10N, how could I do that?

      Thank you!!

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      Yvette Saldana 19 months ago

      Ok so since I used Loreal's Ombre Touch kit & got red/orange hair, using a hilift blonde color will not work to lighten my hair even more to get it where I want it?

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      Heather 19 months ago

      Hello Maffew,

      I need your help! I basically had ombre tips in my hair.. and i lightened it with pravana 000 plus 20% developer. this made my tips "lighter" .. The basic look I was going for was a "teal mermaid" color on only my tips of my hair.. (this was already lightened so didnt need to bleach) but this is where the problem- I decided I wanted to go higher on my hair.. - which was virgin black .. So what I did was first bleach my virgin black (middle part of my hair) and it came out to a dark brown.. then i used the pravana 000 to get it lighter (did not work- didnt get any lighter, not sure why).. this is where it gets really BAD.. i decided just to use the pravana teal mermaid mix I made - from 2 different pravana colors (pravana locked in teal, and locked in yellow) and just coated my "middle" of my hair which was bleeached only once.. and then the super bleached tips..

      the end result.. NOT GOOD

      basically the middle of my head is light green.. almost lime green yellowish.. very ugly.. but my TIPS are BEAUTIFUL.. the tips came out a beautiful teal... now this is where i could use your help...

      1.) should i use the pravana 000 on the middle of my hair to get the teal out.. and THEN bleach to get lighter?

      2.) or should i just use a teal color to go over the ugly yellowish green.. will this change the color..?

      its quite confusing because i need the color from the middle of my hair to match the tips (the pretty teal)

      I need your help please!! :) I would appreciate it so mucH!!

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      Heather 19 months ago

      Hello Maffew,

      I need your help! I basically had ombre tips in my hair.. and i lightened it with pravana 000 plus 20% developer. this made my tips "lighter" .. The basic look I was going for was a "teal mermaid" color.. with blue and gr

    • profile image

      Steph 19 months ago

      Hi there Maffew,

      I have been told I'm a natural level 7. My hairdresser has been using the Igora hi-lift with 12% on my roots which usually appears too dark/warm. We started off using a 12.0 for a while, then gradually added some 12.11 in increments over a year before using 12.11 exclusively. I always have the tint left on for 90 minutes (my request) and my hair is in good condition.

      Looking back, I think the 12.0 gave a lighter result. The 12.11 doesn't really seem more toned in comparison, just darker. Could it be that the 12.0 lifts better because it isn't concerned with toning?

      I have long hair which varies in lightness/tone - the undersection is quite orange, while the top layer is a more acceptable creamy blonde which I like. However, purple shampoo makes this area appear grey which only serves to exacerbate the orange under layer!

      I don't know what to do... I'm anti-bleach, want to stay as light and blonde as possible, yet hate the brass! I sometimes cover warm roots with Idola wash-off mousse in an ash tone but this isn't a great solution.

      Any advice would be great fully received!

      Steph

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      Steph 19 months ago

      Hi therr

    • Maffew James profile image
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      Maffew James 19 months ago

      Hi Carolyn,

      That's perfectly fine to mix shades within the same brand and colour line. It may take some experimentation to get the exact mix you want though. Depending on how ashy it looks, and how much warmer you would prefer it to be, you may want to start with just 10 - 25% as the natural shade and then adjust up or down as necessary from there.

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      Carolynerowe@hotmail.com 19 months ago

      I have been using Clariol 12/1 half tube + 2" 000 booster & 70ccs of 40 vol coming out to ash.. my level us 6. Can I mix it with 12.0 otherwise I look ashy...

    • Maffew James profile image
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      Maffew James 19 months ago

      Hi Ellen,

      A green tone can be caused by two different things: blue and yellow mixing together to create green, or actual green pigment from darker ash shades in certain brands. As you're using a Wella dye, the latter is unlikely because 8A in this brand's colour lines is predominately violet-blue. This means that the green is the result of the blue tone grabbing to your hair and mixing with yellow pigment that is present to create a green tone.

      You can fix this a few different ways depending on your preferences here, starting with the way you tone it. If it still looks warm with that green tone, increase the amount of violet additive and this will take care of both problems. The violet will counteract the yellow tone, meaning that the mixing to create green will no longer occur and the warmth will also be further reduced.

      If you're happy with the current warmth however, you can correct the green tinge by mixing the 8A with 8N. This will dilute down the amount of blue pigment within the dye to prevent the green tinge from appearing, but you'll also likely need to increase the violet additive because there will be less toning occurring overall.

      The above methods can be taken to prevent the green tone from happening in future. As for correcting its current colour, you can do this by using a demi-permanent or semi-permanent dye in 10G with a small amount of 10C, or, a dash of copper intensifier / additive / concentrate. Apply this and leave to process only until it warms up slightly or it will start to shift back in the other direction again. If you have trouble finding the right shades of dye for whatever reason, you can make your own toner by adding a small amount of semi-permanent orange dye (Like Fudge Paintbox or Manic Panic) to conditioner. Just be careful with how strong you make this because you only need a tiny amount to correct the green tone.

      As for adding violet additive to bleach, I wouldn't recommend this. The problem with adding dye and other products to bleach is that there is the potential for the two to interact. Together, the mixture could reduce the effectiveness of the bleach or create byproducts that are harmful. You may want to consider Wella Magma for this purpose instead, as this is very similar to the product you were hoping to create by mixing the violet and bleach. Wella Magma is a bleach that contains strong pigment in a variety of shades that can be used to bleach and tone in one process, or at least reduce the amount of toning required following bleaching.

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      Ellen 19 months ago

      Hello - I love your blog and than you for sharing your thoughts. I started dyeing my hair at home because I ccoulbd't afford to go to the salon anymore. To some mixed results over the last year :) The biggest issue is that my hair pulls so red - but I've used Wella 8A and 50 (the violet additive) to combat that as toners were not getting out the brass and red. The problem is that its gone the other way and is a bit greenish... So i'm not sure if I should use a warm toner or something like a T28? Also one other question - when you balyage (which I've done a few times and love the look) can you ad 50 violet additive to the bleach mixture Or is that not a good idea? Thank you in advance and I greatly enjoy you blog.

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      Johnathan Skot 20 months ago

      Hi Maffew:

      I'm a new hairdresser and have a question about Igora High Power Browns, in particular the Brown Booster. I've used shade B2, cool brown, with success on a client with dark hair, mix B2 one-to-one with 40v and processing for 45 minutes. Gave a nice natural looking level 5/6 brown. But she'd like a little lighter. I know the Brown Booster should give me more lift, but I can't find any information on mixing it. What is the ratio I mix Brown Booster with the other High Power Browns? And can Brown Booster be used on the scalp? I can't find this info. anywhere.

    • shafiqahmed profile image

      shafiqahmed 22 months ago

      This is a very useful hub article. It provides a step-by-step guideline for hair lovers. I mean who love caring their hair and understand the value of their hairs. Love this hub.

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      MissBella 22 months ago

      mmm your right my hair is really dark i love it as it looks thicker but it's annoying when i want to lighten it xx

    • Maffew James profile image
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      Maffew James 22 months ago

      Hi missbellauk,

      High lift is effective for lightening, but you may prefer the bleach for lifting dark brown hair to blonde. The high lift is ideal for taking light brown or darker shades of blonde to a light blonde. On darker brown hair, you can end up with orange hair because the amount of lift isn't adequate to push through to the blonde stage.

      Of course, if you'd like to try it for yourself you can do so on a small section of hair as a test strand and this will give you a better idea of how it reacts with your hair. As with bleaching, you need it to get to the point where it's beginning to turn golden before it can truly be dyed blonde.

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      Maffew James 22 months ago

      Hi Deen,

      When it is said that dye doesn't lift dye, the reality is a bit more complicated. Whilst the artificial pigment from a previous dye job will rarely be lifted by use of another dye, it is still possible to get your hair lighter because the dye can still lift the natural pigment. Dyed hair is a combination of the dye pigment that has been added, and whatever natural pigment is still present in the hair.

      However, the amount of lift you get from use of a dye on top of previously dyed hair is very mininal if you've applied darker colours, or have used many dyes over time. The darker a colour is, and the more times you've used a colour, the more artificial pigment there is in your hair and the less chance there is of seeing lightening occur with another dye.

      If you have seen some lightening through use of the high lift at this point, feel free to try it again if that's what you'd prefer to use, and your hair is strong and healthy. It is of course possible that it will work in your situation where you aren't aiming for extreme lightening or achieving blonde hair. Other alternatives to lift more pigment out with minimal or no damage include bleach washing, or dye remover.

    • missbellauk profile image

      MissBella 22 months ago

      Love this! my hair is natural dark and i normally use heavy beech it messes my hair up for a few days, ill try this thanks for sharing x

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      deen 22 months ago

      Hi.. I have base color level around 2-3. I have dyed my hair twice with highlift. I know that dye doesn't lift color, but I found my hair got lighter after the second process. If I use ash blonde highlift once more, what will it do to my hair? Will it lift some remaining pigment from my natural color so I can get more lighter hair, like light brown maybe? FYI, I'm not aiming to be blonde so bleaching will never be my option. I just want lighter hair color. Thanks..

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      greeneyedblondie 23 months ago

      This is an awesome hub. Thanks for sharing! One day I'd like to go platinum but I'm not sure when.

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      Tay 23 months ago

      Hi so I recently had my hair bleached from dark brown/ black color and I've toned it twice to get rid of the brassyness and its helped some but I still have some brassy spots and my goal was to achieve an even platinum/white shade. what do you think my best bet would be? I was considering trying a blonde dye or hi lift but I really don't want much more damage done to my hair.

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      Betsabe123 2 years ago

      Hi Mathew,

      This is a great website!! I was trying to read some of your comments to try to get an idea of what I should do. I want to be a blonde. But I am scared of the bleach because I think my hair is so fine. Well this is what I did. I decided to strip my hair by using peroxide and baking soda with coconut oil and brought it down to like a strawberry. Kinda like a soft orangy. More exact copper. I was impatient and decided to dye it with Revlon Colorsilk Ultra Light Ash Blond 05 . The result was a like golden yellow kinda orangy on top and the length golden copperish. I need help. My question is how do I get it to a descent blond without bleaching? Should I dye one more time? I saw you mention the high lift. If that. Which color should I use to try to get a nice even blond? Not so light Please help I was trying to do this as economic as possible. How can I fix this?

      Thank you :0)

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      Brennan 2 years ago

      Hi Maffew,

      I've read at least 40 of your color correction advice posts and you give great advice.

      I have fine, textured hair, level 5 to 6 natural with 10% gray. My hair was dyed 9 weeks ago with Aveda permanent 6YO at the crown and a Demi 5N underneath. Previous to that, redken shades just to tone and condition after a bleach wash to lighten lightly all over.

      The Aveda color has gone from chocolate brown to deep auburn/copper with very yellow tone in the sun. I wanted to remove some color and make it more neutral with highlights, so I partial foiled with Paul Mitchell synchro mixed with goldwell 20% creme peroxide. I processed to a golden wheat color which is nice. I did not apply bleach to my regrowth because it would over-lighten. I was going to go back in and hi-lift with joico HLB (blonde beige) at the base of all the highlights... But now I don't think it will lift enough. I think the overall tone will still be too orange/warm. At most, I want neutral.

      My goal: medium natural blonde with sun kissed look of tiny wheat colored highlights.

      What I have: warm medium brown with caramel highlights and natural medium brown regrowth.

      My possible formula:

      Color removal all over and reassess natural underlying pigment left.

      Assuming level 5 natural regrowth and as light as 7 on ends; I have goldwell topchic: 8SP & 30% foils throughout, a few 9NBP foils at crown, a few bleach foils face framing. (Any reason to use I use the high lift for the end result?)

      Please also tell me if you think my formula is good and what I can do to condition my hair as the ends are quite dry (I read about using a cider vinegar mixture to rinse through to lay the cuticle down.)

      Thank you in advance!

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      tracypoppet 2 years ago

      Hi Matthew. This page is so informative, however I'm still a bit confused. I've used wella koleston 12/81 with 40 vol 2-1 under a cap for 60 minutes. My yukky mousy brown hair goes a nice pale blonde. I've done this every 21 days for 15 years. My hairdresser gave this advice, very kindly, when I could no longer afford the £100 every 3 weeks. Another in Aveda looked at it and said "pick another colour, you're not meant to be ash blonde dear" (I left) My question..I read that after lightening one should 'dye' it. Isn't my 12/81 just that? Have I been lucky that my hair hasn't fallen out? It feels good. I've been told it's good strong hair. Other forums give out the vols and then put 40 vol.... '"don't try this at home!!" I just do the roots, redken extreme mask afterwards. Mousy brown to ash blonde, at home..am I doing this right? oh, and I must be very blonde, it's my persona/job. Tia ps I'm truly afraid of blue bleach, I will not use it. A hairdresser managed to turn it into chewing gum, it snapped off.

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      lisaleslie 2 years ago

      what do you suggest i do to refresh my two month old high lift tint highlights?

      i just got my hair trimmed and want to just freshen them up but can't afford to get them highlight tinted in a salon at the moment

      thanks

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      Alison 2 years ago

      Hi Matthew I have bleached highlights which are now practically full head & want to apply highlift tint all over how do I do this??

    • Cory Fawn Mullins profile image

      Cory Fawn Mullins 2 years ago

      Hi Maffew,

      Please help me! My hair has been some kind of bleach blonde on the top 50% and underneath was a more reddish blonde For the past 7 years. I let my daughter talk me into dying it a darker color all over-6 light brown raspberry. I used a protien filler and my hair turned out super dark and i hate it!

      It's been a month and i still can't stand it. Can i add some blonde highlights throughout the top and framing my face or do i have any options?

      Thanks so much!!

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      Katie 2 years ago

      Hi, I'll give you a little background on my hair first, I have naturally around a level 3 brown hair, really thick and long, ive been having it lighted for years but getting fed up of the dark roots as it grows so quickly (having it done every 5 weeks with around an inch of growth each time!) anyway I'm also after a more natural softer look on the root that I can manage in between appointments and so have used a highlift on my roots this has given me suprisingly good results and is a warm light blonde with a hint of ginger! I've toned it both times which has also resulted in the darker of my highlights to go the same warm/ginger colour whilst sending some of the lighter ones a shade of blue. It doesn't by any stretch look horrendous (although it sounds it!) Intend on having it highlighted again soon but just so I am able to got to the hairdresser more like 10-12 weeks rather than 5 weeks plus I'm happy with the highlift level I just want to get rid of the ginger tinge whilst not sending the rest blue! I've thought of putting a light ash semi permanent colour all over on just to even it all out as its not just the roots that need addressing, any suggestions? Thanks

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      LC30 2 years ago

      Hi Maffew,

      I went to a new hair salon toda and asked for my usual full head of hilights toned with a violet ash. The stylish insisted that I use a high lift blonde tint on my roots instead as it's less damaging. It came out orange and despite her toning it I still have really warm brassy roots and a distinct line between the hilift colour and previous hilights. Is there another toner I can use or does this.need to be corrected with bleach? I'm naturally very.dark brown.Thanks

    • profile image

      Suzy 2 years ago

      Hi Maffew!

      My ten year old has light to medium brown hair. She has wanted blonder streaks in her hair for a while. Right before school, we went for a trim, and I told her stylist that she wants blonde highlights, but I was unwilling to allow it because I didn't want to damage her hair with bleach. She said she could do what we wanted without bleach and proceeded to use a Hi-Lift. Needless to say, I am completely disappointed to read that it is just as damaging as bleach. It sounds like we should let this grow out and not do a hi-lift again. I am now concerned about the roots when it grows out though since she is at a pivotal time in her youth when she will start middle school and identify herself. What are your thoughts on how we could eloquently fix this situation? Thanks so much for your help and advice.

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      Maffew James 2 years ago

      Hi Renae,

      As the root application can only overlap onto the last area where it was applied, the last time you had your regrowth lightened, you shouldn't really expect to see breakage like this if you've never seen it before. What this suggests is that for some reason your new growth is somewhat weaker than it was previously.

      Have you used any heated styling tools, or spend a lot of time in the sun? Both heat and UV light can damage and weaken your hair, but I wouldn't expect this to be the cause. It's more likely something nutritional. If you're deficient in any vitamins or minerals, or not getting enough protein in your diet, this can cause your hair to become weaker or grow slowly. Even being sick with a virus like the flu can temporarily lead to weaker hair because it stresses your body and takes nutrients and energy away from hair growth to prioritise repair elsewhere.

      Apart from that, it's difficult to work out why new hair growth can be suddenly weaker, so unless this happens again next time you have your regrowth treated, I wouldn't worry too much. If it does become a continuing thing, this might warrant a closer look at your diet, stress levels, and general health to see what's going on because it could be a symptom of something else.

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      Maffew James 2 years ago

      Hi Muneera,

      You'll notice the same thing happening whether you dye or 'bleach and tone'. This is because your natural pigment doesn't wash out of your hair, whilst artificial colour does because it can break down over time as well as be stripped out by shampoo. IE, when you bleach your hair, the warmth that is revealed isn't going anywhere but you can add in cool tone to neutralise the way it looks. When this dye fades out, the warmth is gradually revealed again.

      In any case, not all the dye will fade out, so even when the warmth does reappear, you end up with a slightly warm shade, rather than bright orange again. With continued toning, the dye builds up and fading becomes less of a problem. It is always something to think about whenever you dye your hair a lighter colour though, that when you tone, the shade used as the toner will fade over time, so there will always be some level of maintenance involved after lightening hair.

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      Maffew James 2 years ago

      Hi Jess,

      You can use the 12/11 to lighten your hair, but with hair that is as dark as yours, you'll see a lot of warmth and will need to tone with a darker shade afterwards to deal with this. It mostly just depends on whether you want to avoid using bleach, because a high lift can be used on darker hair like yours to lighten your hair more than regular dye, but because they are generally only made in blonde shades, they won't tone darker hair. Like with the use of bleach, you still have to tone separately.

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      renae 2 years ago

      I recently went to my hair dresser to have my roots done, I am a dark blonde with fine hair and have been having my hair colored by only hair dressers for years, I have been going to my current hair dresser for 2 1/2 years. She uses Goldwell and does my roots and up until this last coloring my roots have always lifted to my desired blond color. After this last coloring I noticed when I got home that my bangs felt lighter and it wasn't until the next day I realized I had hair breakage that significantly thinned my bang area. I also began looking at my root area and noticed that the majority of my roots were my natural dark blond color but at different lengths from my scalp, it looks like the dye colored some of the hair follicles but then didn't from around an 1/8 inch or less down to my scalp. The breakage looks like some of the hairs broke where my natural hair color and color met? My hairdresser does not understand what happened as she has used the same color on me countless times and has no answers for me as to why this happened. I would appreciate your help because I do not want this to happen in the future.

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      Muneera 2 years ago

      Thank you sooo much for taking the time to answer my question.

      I am not aginst using bleach but i am afraid if my hair is golden orange it will keep coming back as the 6 ash dye will fade with time and shampoo and i will be left with orange gold undertone.

      Is there any way to overcome this problem?

      Thanks again for being so helpful.

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      Maffew James 2 years ago

      Hi Muneera,

      Whilst it is possible for high lift dye to take a level 2 to a 5 or 6, it's not the best option for this. At these darker levels, the pigment in the dye is going to have very little effect on the warmth that is revealed. You really need a 5 or 6 in ash for this because it's the darker dye pigment that will deal with all that warmth.

      Overall, best option is to bleach it because it's so dark right now. This will allow you to watch it as it lightens. Once it gets to the point where it's a golden orange colour, you can rinse it out and tone with 6 ash (6/1 in Wella, or 6-1 in Igora) to neutralise the warmth and take it to dark ash blonde.

      Otherwise, if you definitely want to avoid using bleach for whatever reason, you can use dye, but I'd recommend going with a 6 in ash instead of a high lift to try and get that lift and toning to occur at the same time. You'd still be mixing this with 40 vol developer to push as much lightening as possible, but the darker dye pigment is better for toning at this level. You can use the high lift, but you'd need to apply a darker shade as the toner after it lightens if you do this.

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      Jess 2 years ago

      Hi

      I previously dyed my level 2 hair a light brown colour using a box dye which went very coppery because of the red tones in my hair. Now my roots have grown out about 3 inches (ahh) and it looks like I have a really badly blended ombre.

      Was wondering if I could use Wella Koleston in 12/11 to blend it all out and make it a more subtle looking ombre?

      Thank you!

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      Muneera 2 years ago

      Thank you alot for yor informative article. I am a level 2 virgin hair and i would like to get a dark blond ash or light brown ash. I am planing to use high lift : wella 12/69 or Agora Royal 12/19 with 40 volume violet developer

      Do you think this is enough to get me the color i want with out brassy look ?

      Thank you in advance..

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      Maffew James 2 years ago

      Hi Sara,

      You'll likely have trouble with the high lift. They lift well, but for the amount of lightening you're after you'd be better going with one of the Blondor bleach products unless your client is averse to using bleach. Apart from the inadequate lightening, you'll also see significant warmth because when it doesn't lift as light as you want, the cool tone deposited by the dye probably won't be able to deal with all the warmth that the lightening brings out; forcing you to tone after dyeing and taking away a lot of the convenience of using the high lift.

      Scalp irritation can definitely also be a problem. The 40 vol used with a high lift is about the same level of irritation as powder bleach and 20 vol, but whether someone is able to have either of these products used on their hair comfortably is going to vary a lot with how sensitive their skin is.

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      Sara Melanie 2 years ago

      Hi

      im doing a root regrowth and need help. Her base colour is around a 5 and she had blond on her hair and bleach highlights which are now grown out so im needing to cover them. Her hair colour is a mix of shades 10, 11 and 12. I was going to use wella high lift tint with 40% but im not sure if this will lift the natural 5 enough and also wont the 40% be harsh on the scalp?

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      Maffew James 2 years ago

      Hi Geoxana,

      I'm glad you've found it helpful. Let me know if you run into any problems or have any further questions.

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      geoxana 2 years ago

      Hi Maffew,

      Thank You SO much!

      I really appreciate all your help!