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Hair colour shade tone

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mike vallance

Hair colour shade tone

Hair colour/Dye and pigment:

The Relationship between natural hair colour, Hydrogen peroxide, and Permanent colour is a complex one. 

The key to successful hair colouring or dying is taking the time in the consultation to do an in-depth assessment using the correct formulation to control the pigment and so warmth that you will be exposing.This is not a simple process. Why is this? So many thing have to be considered .Its not just look at a shade chart chose a colour mix it up slap it on ! It’s  a process one that needs consideration and planning!

As we look at a shade chart to choose a colour. We have to consider the formula, this leads onto considering the required level of Hydrogen peroxide we require to attain our target colour level how much lift do we want !  what pigment are we going to expose ,when making this choice we must consider the pigment we will be exposing its key to formulation choice and end result so has to be considered! or we may well end up with a drab dull colour or one to bright or hot !

What makes it challenging:

When we assess our hair natural colour we work off a scale of 1 to 10 in most instances

1=Black 10= Blonde this is pretty much Universal within the hair industry. When deciding on Permanent hair colour we have to access the natural hair level of the hair before choosing a target colour a big mistake made is not considering the volume of peroxide being used and the influence it will have over your chosen colour.

Lets work off an example of level 6

{ that being dark Blonde, Light Brown, or rat} Depending on the level of peroxide we opt to use we are going to introduce colour or add undertone from the hairs natural Pigment. {remember level 6This can gets a little complicated mainly because in some circles we are mislead as to lift we should expect from any given strength of the Hydrogen Peroxide. An example of this is 10 volume or 3% Peroxide: In some circles it’s suggested that it does not lift. it will expose the pigment at the level you are working at so at level 6 it will expose red orange. So in a formulation this has to be considered in our formulation and colour choice.

 An example of this  is as follows. The lift you get is enough to expose the pigment in the hair at that given level, so on our level 6 we would expose Red Orange, by bringing this out to play we now have to decide as we chose our new target shade do we want to Utilize or neutralize the shade exposed? At this point we look at our shade chart and choose the shade to do the job not just the shade that you like in the swatch! The higher the volume of peroxide the more lift the more pigment to consider.

Note: Take a look at a colour wheel if 10 is the lightest then it sits in the yellow segment so working from our level 6 what shade would we expose trying to get to level 10? is it possible to get their?

lets see.

Level 6  10 vol 3% 1 level  still level 6 but with pigment exposed.

Level 6  20 vol 3% 2 levels through level 6 up to level 7 orange pigment exposed.

Level 6   30 Vol 9% 3 levels through level 6 and 7 into level 8 Yellow Orange pigment exposed.

Level  6  40 vol 12% 4 levels through level 6, 7, 8. and into level 9 exposing yellow but still a warm yellow. 4 levels of tint will not give you lift from level 6 to level 10 you will always struggle with to warmth. { even with a high lift Blonde using adjusted formula with a violet base to neutralize the pigment exposed}.

Depth and Tone:

I C S, International colouring system, offers a system where hair colours and shades are divided into numbers. Using our example of level 6  a chosen 6/1 would denote a shade at level six with underlying Ash Pigment { perfect for neutralizing red orange undertone}

Laws of colour are just that Laws they cannot be broken.

Over the years i have worked with many stylist who like to break the rules. They Don’t measure colour, they don’t ever read the technical manual, they mix shades hit and miss oh so random, but ego dictates they know it all! I have made a great deal of money correcting these dull muddy over processed colour jobs.

Understand the colour Wheel trust what it tells you consider the environment you are working on take  the time to read the black stuff in the technical manual it normally has the answers to your issue sand problems.

Trusting and understand your colour wheel

Note: Different companies place their shades in different location on the wheel depending on the pigmentation of the shade:

FACT: Most salons that change colour lines through dissatisfaction with the colour not getting the results they want.

In most cases the problems lies with the stylist, lack of knowledge,  poor training, taking short cuts, rarely is it the product!

But hey it’s easier to blame a product that look in that mirror and be honest with your self!

Natures Colour is around us all the time we just have to take the time to take it in!

TAKE THE TIME TO FULLY UNDERSTAND THE COLOUR YOU USE IN YOUR SALON ITS OK TO ASK QUESTIONS. note:  not understanding or lack of knowledge is not a excuse for a poor job!

The ‘Three R’s’ 
”Reputation. Recommendation. Retention”. 
It’s not built on that constant looking for new clients it’s looking after what you have! It’s investing in your self and your business and those around you.


This journey, this career, is wonderful – challenging, inspiring, and yes, hard work.

Our industry is in constant change and is sometimes criticised. For lacking vision in some areas. However there is an ever growing body of professionals. That have a firm commitment to our industry, they have a passion for change, to raise standards through education and sharing. Leadership, education and team incentives.Will over time and with commitment give any individual that ability to do exceptional work and to be more creative. Leadership and management help create an amazing work environment for all concerned. So key for success for all concerned.
This journey. This career, is wonderful – Challenging. Inspiring and yes can and will be hard work. but the rewards are worth all the effort.
Thank you all for letting me share some thoughts with you today.These are inspirational, passionate, industry professionals.They have a vision. These are the people I want on my bus to learn from, share with, take a journey with. Get inspired. Connect with driven motivated industry professional. challenge your self. invest in ones /your self 

Are you driver or passenger !

 There are no guarantees in life and ones career and career choice is no different thing happen and its how we deal with them that defines us. Jobs change relationships come and go the one thing that remains after training is our skill both hands on creative and the ones we learn about people and communication about caring about being a team player. Constantly developing new skills staying current is so very important.

I also think that we need to always look at the WhyAsk the question Why are we in business whats it for? OrWhy do we want to go into to business what is success? Why do I suggest this I think by asking and exploring the why we get to the motive behind why we want to be in business what is true success. Why the will also help us to understand our true values this in turn helps us to follow the path to the success we want  and desire. It will help us to surround ourselves with the right team those who share our values and vision.


Remember. Salon success. Stylist success. Business success are all linked together it’s Team success. Its never about any destination only ever about a journey taking the right people on that journey makes it enjoyable maybe even fun!

Mike B2MR

The salon and the S word now available in book and e book format for links to purchase and reviews Click here or on the image.


The Salon & the ‘S’ Word

 Written by Mike Vallance

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