We've had discussions about haircolor and talked about the rules for choosing the right
color for you. We've even talked briefly about the risk of taking your hair to levels that
are too light. But the best way for me to show you the results of improper color selection
is to demonstrate the application of a haircolor on manikins with two very different
We begin with two manikins: a blonde manikin whose hair is at level 8 (light blonde)
and a brunette manikin with hair at level 3. Both manikins were shampooed, and
because the blonde has had her hair lightened previously we gave her a deep
conditioning treatment prior to the application of the haircolor, to prevent any damage from the color process.
Afterward, both manikins were blown dry and ready to color.
We used the same haircolor on each manikin. The only difference in the color
mixture was the developer we added. For the blonde, we used 20 volume peroxide, and
with the brunette we mixed the color with 30 volume peroxide for added lift.
The color used was Clairol 72R (Sunberry - light strawberry blonde) a level 9 color with
a red-orange base color, because both our brunette and our blonde manikins had hair
color with a red-orange contributing pigment. Therefore, there was no chance of
unfortunate color results.
(click to enlarge)
We start the color processes with the blonde manikin first. In order to make the color
change most visible, we did an all-over color. Now, when you are coloring hair that is
medium length or longer, you want to apply the color to the middle of the hair shaft
first, about 1 inch away from the scalp and stopping two to three inches from the ends
of the hair, starting in the front on one side, then the other and work your way back to
the nape of the neck. Then you return to the starting point and apply the color to the
scalp area. Once the scalp color is applied, then you pull the color through to the ends
of the hair. The reason for this is that the hair at the scalp will process faster because
of the heat of the scalp, and the hair on the ends is more porous and will also process
faster, therefore, to assure even color, you want to begin coloring with the middle lengths of hair.
However, because the manikin's hair is so short, we began by applying the color to
the scalp first, and continued to add color until it was worked through to the ends of the
hair. After the color was on, we took a wide-toothed comb and combed the color through
the hair to distribute it evenly. Once evenly distributed, all that was left was to wait for the color to develop.
It's important to work quickly when applying haircolor, because once you mix the
color with a developer, you have about 30 minutes before the color mixture becomes
inert and will no longer color the hair. The longer the haircolor is able to sit on the hair
and process, the better color results you will get.
Next we applied color to the brunette manikin, but instead of doing all-over color, we
wanted to use the Sunberry as a highlight color. We mixed our haircolor with 30 volume
peroxide for extra lift. Using a freehand technique called balayage we brushed swaths
of color in various areas of the hair (as shown by the photos) and allowed them to
process. The idea was that the highlights would show up better against the starting brunette color.
After allowing the haircolor to completely process, we rinsed the haircolor from the
hair, by first rewetting the manikins' hair and massaging the hair to a lather then
rinsing the color and following up with a good conditioning shampoo. Both manikins were then blown dry and styled as shown.