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Controlling exposed hair pigment


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mike vallance

Controlling exposed hair pigment

Controlling exposed pigment when lifting hair to lighten it take a great deal of consideration of what you might expect. It is essential to gain all the client background an information that you can as past colour history is vitally important when doing this type of process, ask the right question but also listen.


When we use a chosen formulation to lift hair its inevitable that we will expose some of the underlying pigment that is contributing to the hairs natural level of colour. Depending on the natural level how dark or light will determine what you might expect to expose. At this point the decision is do you want to neutralise or utilise the pigment exposed.

When working from a level 6 and up to level 9 you will be encountering anything from red to orange and yellow or any tone that is a mixture of both. Red orange. Orange red. Orange yellow. The first or stronger tone represented has to be considered as the primary one to be addressing in this process. Red Orange would suggest predominately Red. Orange red would suggest that Yellow is influencing the Red making Orange the stronger tone. always consult your colour wheel and technical manual.



See chart below: Swatches “Techno fruit” Professional permanent colour Alter ego Italy 

Natural level what you would expect to find if you expose the pigment at that level this is not lightening it just lifting at the level you are working in this would be done using no more than 3% or 10 volume developer.

Pigment exposed at any given natural level and re balancing.

Level   pigment                                               lacking       re balancing tone.

Level 6= R             RO = R+R+Y                      B+Y+B         Ash/gold B-Y


Level 7= O             YR=R+Y                              B                   Ash


Level 8= YO           YO= Y+Y+R                      B+B+R         Ash /Violet


Level 9= Y             Y                                          B+R             Violet or Ash pearl


Level 10=Y             Y                                          B+R             Violet/ or Iris other wise seen as  pale yellow at this level.


When we lift hair  from a level natural level 6 up to say level 9 or 10 we encounter to some degree all of these pigments so to attain that natural looking blonde often we have to consider using more than on high lift shade. anything darker than a natural level 6 will not attain a natural blonde look so if considering trying from a level 5 think about all the pigment you will encounter think about how warm it could potentially be. Then ask yourself if its that warm can i control that warmth. at best from  a level 5. I might suggest you would be looking at burnt Honey Blonde or Carmel once toned!  You would not achieve a lighter shade without pre lifting the hair from level 5 or darker.

Back to out level 6 given the chart above that shows the pigment you would expect to encounter in the lofting Process something to consider would be a blend of your high lift shades.


Here is an example given that the above table shows how much ash and violet one needs to control the pigments at each level one can work out a formulation to address this in the lifting process using 40 volume or 12 % developer.


I would consider using 30% Ash 30% 30% Pearl ash. Violet/Iris and 10% Natural  knowing that this formulation given me enough ash to address the red orange pigment and enough violet /Iris to address the yellow and pale orange issue the natural series is free of pigment so acts as a lifting agent. This is quite a customised formulation and it is essential that you think about your formula and target colour and that you an have an in-depth consultation with your client prior to mixing any formulation.


The Be Blonde. Pure Diamond Lift range by Alterego Italy offers you so many options with unto 5 levels of lift and full pigment control with a mixing ratio of 1 part colour to 2 parts developer with a process time of 50 minutes never take short cuts when doing high lift colour. heat will not accelerate the process for ti does not allow for full development of the colour pigments to control the pigment you have exposed in the lifting process patients is a virtue.



Take small section to ensure total coverage and hair salutation read technical information that supports your colour line.

As stated the other option would be pr lighten and Tone see past posting using  lifting agents and our Toner.

Below: Some information and link to the “Alterego Italy product line”  their products have been used to demonstrate the colours and products in this article I have also added links on help on how to understand and run your salon and business successfully.




This was a long topic but I hope those who read it find it useful Alter Ego Italy professional products are already having success in both the UK and all over Europe and its now ready to launch and be part of the Market in the USA/North America. It’s offering all the things that I hold dear passion and commitment to salon training and support. It has the support from being just one part of a much bigger entity that is striving for success in the salon and hair industry.


The product line is very comprehensive offering professional products to cater for all needs of both the salon and the stylist salon products and retail support for the clients. Many new an exciting things are being launched and coming on line via their web site Alter Ego Italy and various social media platforms.

Alter Ego Italy is proud to be the only Italian brand, specialized in professional hair care. If you would like more information on this product line you can contact. Phil Clark Alter Ego Italy 

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The Salon & the ‘S’ Word

 Written by Mike Vallance

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