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blonde, blonder, and BLONDER: lightening jessica’s hair

today we’re going to walk you through how to take someone that’s already blond, BLONDER.  jessica is completely redoing her look by going lighter AND getting some bohemian bangs.

we’ll use a variety of lightening techniques to lighten her ends and break up the ombre she currently has.

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step 1: SECTIONING the hair

like most cut and color jobs, the process begins with SECTIONING the hair.  

we want to break up the ombre on the top of her head and keep a shadowed root at the bottom. To do this we are going to section the head into 5 sections, a HORSESHOE section on the top of her head and the rest of the hair into 4 even quadrants.

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step 2: LIGHTENING the hair

with the hair all sectioned.. it’s time to get LIGHTENING!

PROTIP: it’s important to note that we are using a different developer for the lightener in each section. We also remix the bleach after each section. we’re doing this for 2 reasons:

  1. we want the bleach to STAY FRESH. It oxidizes as it’s exposed to air so it’s less effective at lightening the hair
  2. we’re making the bleach a little stronger in each section to make sure we can wash out all sections AT THE SAME TIME.

with that said, let’s dive in.

  • 1. quadrants 2+3: the BACK section

  • we’re going to start at the bottom of the hair, in the 2nd QUADRANT. we’ll be getting rid of half of the brown by pulling the BLONDE up.

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    we’ll start at the bottom of the section and work our way up. PROTIP: BACKCOMB the hair before applying the lightener to diffuse the line.

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    as we PAINT on the lightener, we’re making sure not to touch any of the hair that has already been lightened. we’re holding the brush VERTICALLY and FEATHERING the lightener on to ensure that we get a diffused line without any overlap.

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    NOTE:  you DO NOT want to overlap the lightener on to the hair that has already been lightened enough. this is VERY important for avoiding damage to the hair.

    we STAGGERED the amount of dark we left on each section. alternating how much brown you leave will allow the color to flow naturally from the darker blonde to the lighter blonde.

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    for the first section, we left about an inch an a half.  for the second, we left 2 inches.  for the 3rd, we left the hair as it was and the repeated this STAGGERING PATTERN throughout the rest of the section.

    we’ll repeat this process on the 3rd QUADRANT (the other back section) before moving on to quadrants 1 & 4.  

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    PROTIP: there’s more than one highlighting pattern that will give you the same result. make sure you make a mental note of whatever you are doing to make sure all of the sections to follow the same pattern. this will ensure that your color has flow.


    2. quadrant 1 + 4: the sides of the head

    for these sections in the front, we incorporated BABYLIGHTS! we added a lot of blonde to the horseshoe sections so the babylights will prevent it from looking stripy.

    Use the same staggering lightener placement you did in the back sections and and add a babylight every so often.

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    jessica’s has a coarser hair texture, so a babylight weave for her has to be a little more dense than if the client had fine hair.

    PRO TIP: you’ll want to determine the size of your weave by the texture of the person’s hair. if the person has very fine hair, you’ll want to do a fine weave (and so on).


    3. the HORSESHOE: the top of the head

    now we’re ready to do the TOP of the head, we’re going to separate the top section into 3 smaller sections. towards the forehead, we created a half moon around the fringe. with the remaining hair, we created 2 even sections.

    we’re going to use a combination of DIFFERENT WEAVE SIZES to get very blended highlights throughout.  we’ll start with the HALF MOON section.

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    with the HALF MOON done, we’re ready to finish the 2 back sections of hair.

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    we started at the bottom of section and alternated the pattern of FINE to BABY FINE weave. it’s important to note that we’re took small sections that were close together. we really want to break up the brown in her ombre well. we’ll repeat the process until we’ve finished both sections.  

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    step 3: WASH and TONE

    at this point, start checking the foils in the sections you started in and work your way around the head.  if you need to wash out the back while the front sections are still processing, please do so. 

    jessica’s hair was ready to be rinsed all at the same time.

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    you can see the hair was ready to be WASHED.

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    step 4: lighten AGAIN

    as you can see, jessica’s hair is about an 8 on the top. it was then time to move onto lightening the ends.

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    because she wants to be even BLONDER, we’re going to use a paint on technique with schwarzkopf BLONDE ME bond enforcing paint on lightner to lighten the ends of her hair. the result will be a darker blonde melting into a light blonde. 


  • the PAINT ON technique


    to lighten the ends, we’re using the a hand painting technique to lighten the portions of jessica’s hair we’ve already lightened. when using the BLONDE ME, it’s important to remember that it’s still a lightener. make sure that you wash your hands in between sections to avoid getting lightener where it doesn’t belong. if you get it on the unlightened portions of the hair, you’re going to have brassy colors to tone out.

    make sure to feather the lightener on higher on the sides of sections and again make sure to stagger the amount of blonde you see from section to section.

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    start at the back of the head and create a BRICK PATTERN. continue to work your way around the head.

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    after the lightener processes, you’re going to wash it out and TONE the hair.


    step 5: TONE and STYLE the hair

    on the TOP of the head where the color is a darker blonde, we’re going to tone with a level 8 ash. on the BOTTOM of the hair, we’re going to tone with a 10 pearl.

    PRO TIP: formulate the toner according to the tones that you have to tone out in your clients hair.

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    after we allow the toner to process, we’ll wash and dry.

    and then.. the masterpiece is revealed!

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    jessica will also be getting straight across bangs-- but we’ll show that in an upcoming blog :) so stay tuned!
    what did you think of this style? do you use any of these highlighting techniques?  tell us in the comments.

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