Full head bleach highlights causing anxiety!

#1
I have a client in a couple of weeks who would like a full head of bleach highlights - no toner. She's naturally about a base 8, and just wants to be blonde (her last salon used a warmish 8 colour for a few lowlights to break it up a bit). I plan on putting a few lowlights through using Koleston 8/03, but I'm really worried about the bleach!

I've been out of the salon for years (I worked in a salon for a couple of years prior to that after I qualified), and after having my little boy last year, I decided this summer to go mobile and self-employed. I thought I knew quite well what I was doing but I realise I'm a bit out of my depth and every colour service is causing me to panic. I used a high lift tint on a client's base 6 yesterday and realised after I should have used bleach and toner, so I'm learning all over again. She was really happy with it though and has rebooked, but it still leaves me anxious.

My bleach highlights client... should I use 3% at the back and 6% on top? I've never used 3%. Will it lift? I just worried because I'm not fast. Yesterday's half head took over an hour (she did have to break to make her daughter's lunch though!). I worry that the back will lift too much and the top not enough. I recently saw a bleach that slows down after its processing time - I thought it was Blondor Cream lightener but I can't remember and can't find anything that slows. I also don't think I can foil close enough to the roots.

Has anyone got any advice? I really struggle with anxiety and worry anyway and am having therapy for it, but right now I feel like cancelling all my colours and only offering cuts (as I actually think I'm pretty good at cutting hair). Sorry for the rambling post but it's really getting me down. I feel like I need to do a refresher course but they all seem to be in London - I can't get my little boy to childcare early enough to travel to these courses (and affording them is another issue!).

Any help or words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated x
 

Haircutz

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
Try to stop panicking. I sure what you’re doing is perfectly good enough.
I blame social media such as Instagram for its fake pictures that give people (both clients and stylists) unrealistic expectations.

Regarding the no toner rule. I think you need to find out why she thinks she wants this. Is she allergic to colour?
You need to educate her that bleaching hair is a two step process. The bleach lifts and leaves behind the raw exposed yellow colour that always needs toning to look natural, even if you were going for warmer tones. (You can always tell the diy-ers who use bleach and don’t tone afterwards!)

If she’s a normal 8 naturally, 3% at the back should lift the roots easily. Just make sure you apply it thoroughly.

Good luck. You’ll be grand.
 

#3
I'm a natural worrier lol. I'm desperately trying to stop, hence the therapy.

She's not allergic to colour that I'm aware of, and I did a skin test on Monday too - she's not said she's had any reaction. She wants me to do her hair exactly as she's had it done in the salon before, and said she has "2 bleach for 1 x8crm" (I have no idea what that colour is!). I asked if any other colour was applied after the foils were rinsed off, and she said no. I'll take some 10s and Pastel with me, just in case.

I was thinking 6% at the back and then 9% on top, but I thought that'd lift faster than I can apply, and then I'd have to somehow rinse the back off over her bath without touching the foils on top.

She's very abrupt, very posh, seems very important (too important to stop working for me to do it - she'll be on her computer while I do her hair), and I'm totally intimidated by her.

I normally use Blondor - is that still a good way to go? Is the Cream any better?

Sorry for all the questions. I feel like I should work in a salon again for a while to get some support from colleagues, but needing certain hours and more than minimum wage says it's not an option right now.
 

cassies97

Well-Known Member
#4
As Haircutz says, try not to panic... Its only hair! I think you're probably just really overthinking it and being your own worst enemy.

Bleach and any % developer will lift. If you're worried about not being fast enough you could start with bleach and 1.9%, then go to 3% and finally 6% on the top. I wouldn't use 9% with bleach in foils as you really don't need it, the foils provide heat which speeds up the product anyway.

Because she's an 8 this would be a situation where you could get away with using highlift and 12% but as you're nervous stick with bleach and tone.

I'd recommended 8/38 as a lowlight, its a lovely beige colour, not too warm, not too cool.

Either cream or powder will work but I feel using cream in foils is a waste of product as its better for on scalp.

What do you plan to tone with?
 

ronray

Well-Known Member
#5
I'm a natural worrier lol. I'm desperately trying to stop, hence the therapy.

She's not allergic to colour that I'm aware of, and I did a skin test on Monday too - she's not said she's had any reaction. She wants me to do her hair exactly as she's had it done in the salon before, and said she has "2 bleach for 1 x8crm" (I have no idea what that colour is!). I asked if any other colour was applied after the foils were rinsed off, and she said no. I'll take some 10s and Pastel with me, just in case.

I was thinking 6% at the back and then 9% on top, but I thought that'd lift faster than I can apply, and then I'd have to somehow rinse the back off over her bath without touching the foils on top.

She's very abrupt, very posh, seems very important (too important to stop working for me to do it - she'll be on her computer while I do her hair), and I'm totally intimidated by her.

I normally use Blondor - is that still a good way to go? Is the Cream any better?

Sorry for all the questions. I feel like I should work in a salon again for a while to get some support from colleagues, but needing certain hours and more than minimum wage says it's not an option right now.
Blondor is definitely my favourite bleach, you will be absolutely fine with this. If you are worried you can always use the blondor meches system, which give a maximum of 5levels of lift, and if I remember correctly stops processing after the maximum development time has been reached. Still use 3% at the back, and 6% on top. This is exactly what I'd do, and I do a full head of highlights quite a lot. There's nothing wrong with being cautious. As she's a level 8 you only need 2 levels of lift anyway.
 

#6
Cassie - Thanks for your reply. I did ask her if a high lift appeals, as I'm actually more confident with those colours than bleach, but she wants bleach. I'll look at the 8/38, thanks. I chose 8/03 as it looked almost identical to the lowlights in her hair, but I'll definitely look at 8/38 too. I hadn't thought about toning really as she said she didn't want a toner. It'll be a fairly neutral toned 10-something though.

Ronray - Thank you! It was the Blondor Meches! I was 99% sure it was Blondor but I've been searching for info on the Cream and forgot all about the Meches. I'll definitely use that. I think it'll be just enough to make me feel more confident that her hair's not falling apart at the bottom while I'm still working on the top. What's the darkest natural base you'd use it on?

Also, just out of interest, what's the darkest base you'd use high lift on? I trained in the days where it was cap highlights with bleach + 12%, and foils were less common (started my training in 2001). We also used loads of high lift - even as a toner on the cap with bleach highlights. It's kind of thrown me coming back and finding how much things have changed!

Thank you all for your help :)
 

cassies97

Well-Known Member
#7
Cassie - Thanks for your reply. I did ask her if a high lift appeals, as I'm actually more confident with those colours than bleach, but she wants bleach. I'll look at the 8/38, thanks. I chose 8/03 as it looked almost identical to the lowlights in her hair, but I'll definitely look at 8/38 too. I hadn't thought about toning really as she said she didn't want a toner. It'll be a fairly neutral toned 10-something though.

Ronray - Thank you! It was the Blondor Meches! I was 99% sure it was Blondor but I've been searching for info on the Cream and forgot all about the Meches. I'll definitely use that. I think it'll be just enough to make me feel more confident that her hair's not falling apart at the bottom while I'm still working on the top. What's the darkest natural base you'd use it on?

Also, just out of interest, what's the darkest base you'd use high lift on? I trained in the days where it was cap highlights with bleach + 12%, and foils were less common (started my training in 2001). We also used loads of high lift - even as a toner on the cap with bleach highlights. It's kind of thrown me coming back and finding how much things have changed!

Thank you all for your help :)
Yeah you'll definitely need to tone as it'll just look raw, even for 5 mins just to take the edge off.

I wouldn't use a highlift on anythinf below a 7 if I wanted to achieve a 10. I just find it very hit and miss because you don't know how much warmth someone has which I find highlift is ill equipped to deal with if someone has a lot. For example my hair is naturally a 7 and I can only get one level of lift with a highlift and 12%
 

#8
I find with clients like this (very demanding and causing me worry I just don’t rebook them) your in charge you tell her how your going to approach it after consultation not the other way round, easier said than done I know but she’s paying you for your professional knowledge. You’ve got this!
 

#9
Cassie - Thanks for your help. I've just had a thought about a client I have on Monday. She's got a box colour at the moment which has grown out rather a lot. It's quite golden, possibly the equivalent of a 10/3. She wants to convert to highlights. She's about a base 7, so I'm thinking of highlighting with a 10/03 and probably 12% as I think 9% might not lift enough, and then lowlight with a 7-something (I haven't decided what yet!). Would you use the 10/03 or a 12/03? I had a bit of colour training with a local salon a couple of months back, who said that on 7s and 8s I don't need a high lift and can just use a 10-whatever, but I'm questioning it now. Sorry for all the questions but you seem so knowledgeable I thought I'd pick your brains!

DONSLJ - Thanks :) I think she's just being a bit cheap! I will admit I'm not massively experienced as I've been out of the salon for a long time, and I'm learning all over again. I panic because I know I don't have the knowledge and support of the high end salons she's used to, but I think she's still expecting that but with a cheaper price tag (I'm certainly one of the cheaper mobile hairdressers locally, and I've priced myself that way because I know I have less experience). Sometimes I wonder why I colour when it causes me anxiety lol - I'm much more confident with cutting and I've never doubted whether I've done a good cut!
 

cassies97

Well-Known Member
#10
Cassie - Thanks for your help. I've just had a thought about a client I have on Monday. She's got a box colour at the moment which has grown out rather a lot. It's quite golden, possibly the equivalent of a 10/3. She wants to convert to highlights. She's about a base 7, so I'm thinking of highlighting with a 10/03 and probably 12% as I think 9% might not lift enough, and then lowlight with a 7-something (I haven't decided what yet!). Would you use the 10/03 or a 12/03? I had a bit of colour training with a local salon a couple of months back, who said that on 7s and 8s I don't need a high lift and can just use a 10-whatever, but I'm questioning it now. Sorry for all the questions but you seem so knowledgeable I thought I'd pick your brains!

DONSLJ - Thanks :) I think she's just being a bit cheap! I will admit I'm not massively experienced as I've been out of the salon for a long time, and I'm learning all over again. I panic because I know I don't have the knowledge and support of the high end salons she's used to, but I think she's still expecting that but with a cheaper price tag (I'm certainly one of the cheaper mobile hairdressers locally, and I've priced myself that way because I know I have less experience). Sometimes I wonder why I colour when it causes me anxiety lol - I'm much more confident with cutting and I've never doubted whether I've done a good cut!
I probably wouldn't use either of them for lifting unless you want it yellow. Think of your lightening curve and the tones you go through that you'll need to neutralise as you lift.

As for 10s on a 7 or 8, definitely use it on an 8, 7s can be a bit hit and miss really so I'd stick with 12s. But even on an 8 you'll get a much brighter result with a 12.

I think in hairdressing, as with anything, you'll learn more from your mistakes and practicing than you will doing any sort of theory. Theory can only teach you so much, so just try things out and see for yourself, experiment within reason! I was always my biggest guinea pig and would try all sort out on my own hair!
 

#11
Thanks Cassie. She wants to match up the new highlights to the box colour at the ends. It's pretty golden. If I go for a 12 in that case, maybe a 12/89 would be the way to go? That should neutralise the orange/yellow as it lifts. I'm just wondering whether it'd be gold enough, and what it would do to the ends. I'm thinking 7/17 for the lowlight to take out some of the existing gold in the ends and then that should balance it overall?

I've found a colour correction course with Capital (theory and practical) which looks like it will be a big help - it's not 'til February. I used to experiment with my own hair years ago. I don't do it so much any more - busy mum and don't want to look too daft at playgroup lol! I do have a practice head which I've used for techniques, but it's not always easy to find the time to mess it up and correct it in ways similar to my clients' hair.
 

cassies97

Well-Known Member
#12
Thanks Cassie. She wants to match up the new highlights to the box colour at the ends. It's pretty golden. If I go for a 12 in that case, maybe a 12/89 would be the way to go? That should neutralise the orange/yellow as it lifts. I'm just wondering whether it'd be gold enough, and what it would do to the ends. I'm thinking 7/17 for the lowlight to take out some of the existing gold in the ends and then that should balance it overall?

I've found a colour correction course with Capital (theory and practical) which looks like it will be a big help - it's not 'til February. I used to experiment with my own hair years ago. I don't do it so much any more - busy mum and don't want to look too daft at playgroup lol! I do have a practice head which I've used for techniques, but it's not always easy to find the time to mess it up and correct it in ways similar to my clients' hair.
Ah, would you be able to tone it all so its not so golden? Or does she want it really golden? You could try 12/1.

With the highlift, don't overlap it onto her already light ends as it'll unnecessarily damage it and gone funny tones!

7/17 and 7/71 make nice neutral lowlight colours.
 

#13
She basically wants it to match the ends, but not a block colour - so, quite golden. The gold really suits her. Hence why I thought that a 10/03 as highlights in the root area would be a good match, and then lowlight to break up the block colour at the ends. I thought the lightening curve was mainly for bleach, and tint was more a "choose a colour" thing, and that's pretty much what happens - that's what I was always taught, although I've recently learnt that's not the case with high lift! Do you think 12/1 will lift to a golden colour? I worry that it won't be golden enough.
 

cassies97

Well-Known Member
#14
She basically wants it to match the ends, but not a block colour - so, quite golden. The gold really suits her. Hence why I thought that a 10/03 as highlights in the root area would be a good match, and then lowlight to break up the block colour at the ends. I thought the lightening curve was mainly for bleach, and tint was more a "choose a colour" thing, and that's pretty much what happens - that's what I was always taught, although I've recently learnt that's not the case with high lift! Do you think 12/1 will lift to a golden colour? I worry that it won't be golden enough.
Yes 12/1 will be golden.

Nope, if only it was just a case of pick a colour, we'd never have to do colour corrections again! The only time its like that is if you're going darker on virgin hair I'd say.

But yeah lightening curve applies always when lifting, and when darkening 3 or more shades, you'll need to put those pigments back in when you darken! Aint hair colour fun eh!
 

#15
Colour completely throws me sometimes! During the training I had on colour correction only two months ago (carried out by a training salon), I was told the lightening curve only applies to bleach. This is why I'm confused, as that's also how I was trained years ago. The salons I worked in always just used the colour the client wanted, and there was little other science to it!

Due to my little boy I'm so limited to where I can do further training. Local colleges don't offer refresher courses and I can't get to London without a silly early start (and I don't have childcare at 6am lol). Do you know of anywhere online that offers reliable training? I'm registered with Wella E-Educate but it's not much help with this kind of thing.

With the 12/1, would you use anything through the ends in those packets? I'd have thought 12/1 would neutralise to 12/0, as her roots don't appear that golden. Sorry for all the questions - the more I think about it the more confused I get!
 

ronray

Well-Known Member
#16
I agree with the 12/1, anything /1 or /11 isn't actually as cool as you'd imagine. It's still very warm unless you use on an already very light base. 12/17 is also a lovely warm Highlift. 7/17 is a lovely choice of lowlight, and 7/38 will work well too.
As for the lightening curve, I have always used this when lightening or deepening with tint, Highlift or bleach. Do you have an account with wella through which you purchase your stock? If so they're education team are really good, I absolutely loved all the theory sessions we did. Are you on Instagram? There's a lot of wella users on there that post formulas quite a lot, there's free education pages on there too. YouTube is also a great tool for free education. And of course us lot on here!
Good luck, whichever formulas you pick I'm sure you'll do a great job!
 

cassies97

Well-Known Member
#17
Colour completely throws me sometimes! During the training I had on colour correction only two months ago (carried out by a training salon), I was told the lightening curve only applies to bleach. This is why I'm confused, as that's also how I was trained years ago. The salons I worked in always just used the colour the client wanted, and there was little other science to it!

Due to my little boy I'm so limited to where I can do further training. Local colleges don't offer refresher courses and I can't get to London without a silly early start (and I don't have childcare at 6am lol). Do you know of anywhere online that offers reliable training? I'm registered with Wella E-Educate but it's not much help with this kind of thing.

With the 12/1, would you use anything through the ends in those packets? I'd have thought 12/1 would neutralise to 12/0, as her roots don't appear that golden. Sorry for all the questions - the more I think about it the more confused I get!
Did it ever turn out right when a client just picked the colour? I think if it was just for bleach it'd probably be called the bleaching curve or similar. The underlying pigment is always there and will always be exposed if you're lifting with bleach or tint.

Colour can be very confusing at times, sometimes you think you've got it... Then something happens and you feel lile you know nothing.
 

#18
Ronray - Thank you so much or your help. I'll use 12/1 and 7/17. I love 12/17 but Wella have discontinued it. 12/16 looks nice too though. I purchase my stock through Salon Services or Capital, no Wella account unfortunately. I'll see if I can get an account with Wella - I assumed I wouldn't as I'm not a salon, just mobile. I don't use Instagram but I'll sort myself out with an account and will take a look. I've been using YouTube a lot. I thought I knew what I was doing, but it seems I was taught badly all those years ago and I've got to teach myself all over again!

Cassie - Yep, I've had that a couple of times! Right now I do feel like I know nothing. In the salons I worked in they always just picked a colour and I never saw any complaints - maybe they were just lucky. The second salon I was in used to go to the chemist next door and buy box colours if they hadn't got organised enough to order in professional colour! My college spent more time teaching some of the girls what a ratio was, rather than actually teaching us the science of it all! I was put off doing Level 3 as I was told it was all management, but am now kicking myself as I think I would've learnt a lot more about colour.

One final question for you, and then I'll leave you alone... Another new highlight client has a natural base 8, very mousey blonde is the best way I can describe it. She has really long hair with some highlights through the very ends which will probably get cut out. Looks like they were only bleach. She really likes 10/38... Will the 8 in the 10/38 neutralise enough of her existing yellow tones, or would I be better off using something else? So, if a client wants to keep their natural tones in their hair, but either go a little lighter or a little darker, or just enhance what they have, what would you do there? I understand green neutralising red etc., but I'm struggling to find theory on keeping tones the same or adding more warmth. My lady with the mousey 8, would you just lift to 10 without adding tone?

Sorry, that was a couple of questions! You guys are so helpful though, and I have been reading through so many other threads on here and feel like I learn more here than from the training salon! No-one has complained about my colour services, but I'm so critical of my work and really want to improve.
 

ronray

Well-Known Member
#19
Because you're only lifting 2 levels, 10/0, 10/38, or 10/97 would be lovely options. You don't want anything with neutralising, or excessive amounts of tone, when you want to lift the hair and keep the undertones.
 

#20
That's perfect, thank you! I'll go for the 10/38, as I'm sure that would be ok.

So sorry, one last question, I promise! The lady in the attached photo wants to go 8/96... will it go purple through the top? Sorry, minor panic as she's in this afternoon!
 

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