Hair Color

Hair Coloring Methods
About Color Correction
Hair Coloring Products

Color Correction

If your hair color has gone wrong, you may require color correction. As you may have discovered, you can not just through a bottle of your desired color on you head and have be as the picture on the box. You must understand the chemistry of different hair color and hair lightening products to understand how and why it creates effects that you may not have intended.

It could be time to call a professional or see a different professional if you are unhappy with you color. Not all colorists understand color the same way. It takes years of experience and not just theory to truly understand how color works. This is why there are specialist.

Kim Lake is an experienced colorist. She was a color educator and show stylist for L'Oreal Proffesionnel. She has been a hairdresser for 32 years, worked with most color lines at various different salon. She is also gifted with a natural eye for color and can see fine differences in color hues.

Back to first person. This is Kim. What I have discovered is a common issue with people not liking their hair, is when they come from a stylist who over processes their color with bleach or has continued to oversell too many product services to raise their ticket price on an ongoing basis that creates a very unnatural looking looking color that the client simply does not like.

Here are other issues that people have with color correction:

Breakage from over highlighting.

The main reason that I see this is from over use of a bleach lightener. A bleach lightener is different from color as it only removes color and does not deposit any color pigment. If there there is overlapping, breakage may occur. Most lighteners and permanent hair color do not belong under a hair dryer but stylist habitually do it anyway. This can lead to breakage. This will happen faster with thin and lighter hair colors. Regular in salon conditioning treatments will help to a degree, but how about being careful not to do this in the first place.

Bleach lighteners do not belong under the dryer! Most hairdressers do it, but most manufacturers directions do not advise it. There is a reason for this. Color does not usually belong under the dryer either. However, some semi-permanent colors do need heat to activate. Finer and thin hair suffers the most from overuse of a hood dryer to activate color or bleach.

I am a former color educator for L'Oreal Proffessionell. I have also seen other educators come into a salon where I work to preach about how to make a client "chemically dependent" with color as a method of creating a higher ticket and having the client come back with more frequency. I have also listened to a beauty school instructor, that I met at a barbeque, explain to me how to "NOT blend color" and how to purposely "leave a line of demarkation" to "make the client feel obligated to come back sooner." Be aware of unethical practices where colorists hook you into dependency while ruining your hair.

High lift blondes can lift up to 4 levels. This can easily create desirable blond instead of bleach.

Colored too dark.

Your hair is too dark but you want it light again: Well, you can not just add a lighter color on it to change it. Color will not lift artificial color. You will need to lighten it first. There are a couple different ways. Bleach products are not the only way to remove unwanted color. There is a color remover that will remove artificial color and leave natural pigment intact. You must lift the color first. Then, add the desired color. The lightening process may require several applications. The lightening processes will damage the integrity of your hair. This is why I will caution about changing your color back and forth too often.

Tint Back

This is what you do when you try to color hair back to it's natural color after it has been lightened. It can be a new color, but the natural color no longer can exist until it grows back out. Natural color is more translucent. Artificial color is more opaque. If coloring hair darker over bleached out hair, the hair must be filled with all the necessary hues to create a natural looking hair color. If the hair is not filled the darker color may seem hollow, greyish, ashy, or faded looking. It is missing the gold or warmer tones that are normally in the base of a natural darker color.

Too brassy

The color is not lifted enough and gets stuck on an orange or orange-yellow color. This can happen when you tried for blond but it just didn't lift high enough. A store brand color will not lift as much as a professional hair color. A contrasting foil could be used in this situation. Color remover may be a step to recovery. A toner, darker, lighter, or both may work depending on the situation. Keeping away from the color isle at the grocery store may help too.

This also happen when a colorist insists that you need a base color and color is added in between foils. The base color is meant to be darker, but what it does is lightens your natural dark into a nice reddish tone as it fades and creates a line of demarcation. Then, of course, you keep going over it to fix it and at first it is good until it fades again, leaving you with the same problem, but keeping you at the salon more often.

I like to evolve people toward a color that lost longer, is healthier for the hair and looks more beautiful. Many times, less is more. It's not about ticket price that makes money. Some hairdressers don't understand this. It's about the happiness and overall beauty of your client's hair.

I like to go darker for the fall or winter and lighter for the summer.

This is the very back and forth thing that causes damage. Once you color darker, you have to bleach to go lighter. Color will not lift color. A high lift tint will not work on artificial pigment. If you have had lightened hair, then go dark, the lightener has to work harder to remove the darker color, as well as over processing previously lightened hair. This kind of over processing does not look nice. Hair looses it's sheen and luster. It has no shine and looks dry and dead.

Add on services and over processing

A colorist wants to sell color and add on services to create a larger ticket. This is an unethical practice. Lightening, darkening, or doing both, plus a glosser and weekly or monthly conditioning treatments is the goal for may colorists. I think it's wrong to ruin a person's hair and make them overly chemically dependent. I am aware of this practice because of my time at more than 23 or so different hair salons. I've heard educators try to teach it to me. I believe that less can be more and the long term health and good looks of a person style makes my clients far more valuable to me than a quick dollar. My clients look good for longer and that's OK if I don't see them as often because of this. Bottom line is they are looking good, not running back to me so often because their color is over done.


Banding is when you can see a line break of color difference. This can happen for a number of reason. Banding can happen by going too long between color retouch, by using a different color than you did the last time. This can happen by going to different colorists. Again, be consistent with your product and do not go too long on between color. A retouch should be done about every six weeks or sooner. The hair near the scalp, or new growth is new hair and will process warmer from being closer to the scalp. This can give you "hot roots" or create banding.

Hot roots

The new growth near the scalp is lighter than the rest of the hair and maybe warmer too. Warmer color are the natural undertones in hair color. When going darker or coloring from scalp to ends, care and special technique in the application must be followed to prevent these conditions. On virgin color, you must apply color half of an inch away from the scalp, then go back at the end to do the new growth so that the hair color does not lift too much on the new growth. Some hair dressers may claim that you need to know the rules before you can break them. Hair color and bleach does not belong under a dryer. Some semi-permanent and demi-permanent color may go under a dryer to process but most permanent colors and bleach lighteners do not belong under a dryer.

The ends did not lift but the new growth did when I highlighted.

This might happen if there was previous color on the ends. A test strand is usually advisable when you want to highlight through previously highlighted hair. Color will not lift color so a bleach lightener should be used. A higher volume of developer can be used on the harder to lift ends.

I want RED but the ends keep browning out and it's not bright enough

You require a Pure tone hair color. The red pigmint id the first to fade, leaving only the other part of the color, which keep it brown. A pure tone only adds red, not a reddish color. a natural red looking color consists of all a mixture of pigment. If you are naturally brown, you have those other colors. Use pure tone color like Framesi color.

Why natural red hair is hard to lighten.

It seems light enough, a level 6 or 7, so putting a high lift tint should come out blond, right? Ok, so you use a different lightener like bleach and the color still wants to not lift very much. By the time it is light enough, it gets pretty dry. It happens every time, but why?

In all my years of being a colorist, and being trained as an educator for three different color lines, I never was told why exactly this happens with red heads. "Some people are just hard to lift." But no, the answer, I learned from a forensic website when looking to buy a microscope to look at hair with.

A cross section of a red hair revealed that the color molecules of natural red hair (not colored) is different than that of natural brown hair. In brown hair and shades of brown, the color molecules, or the pigment is spread evenly within the cortex of the hair.

In red hair hair, the color molecules are centered in the middle of the hair shaft close to medulla ( inner most hair layer) while the rest is translucent, which explains why natural red hair is so shiny. This also explains why natural red hair is virtually impossible to match with artificial pigment. Even if it is the exact color match, it will look different because the colored is opaque and the natural hair in translucent. Therefor, it has different reflective properties.

So, when trying to lighten natural red hair, the lightener, either the high lift tint or a bleach lightener has to cut through to middle of the hair to reach the natural color pigment in order to lift it out. It takes longer to get all the way in the there with natural red heads.

The ends have gone too dark

This can happen when leaving color on the ends too long. The ends re usually more porous so they will absorb more color molecules. When touching up color, we just refresh towards the end of the processing time.

Color fading

Artificial color are color molecules that are forced into the cortex of hair. In time they fade or bleach out. Use Pureology shampoo. It does not have Sodium Laurel Sulfate in it. That is an ingredient that is the detergent in most shampoos, body washes, and dish soap. Also, Use a leave hair sunscreen for your hair or cover your hair in direct sunlight.

Covering Gray

L'Oreal had special formulated color designed to extra gray coverage. If you grays seem to keep popping out through your color, you may not be using the right product.

Going back to a lighter color.

This is not a one step process. If you have continually had dark color put into your hair and not want to be a lighter color, We can do this but it may not be a simple process> it may take several applications or done over a period of time to evolve your hair gently and safely into a new color.

Kim's Advise

Be serious about your color choices. Know the long term consequences. Over and over, a see a lightened blond go red or dark, but then come back and want to reverse it. I don't want to be the one to have you sport damaged hair that I worked on. These client's get the secret label of "crazy person" for having unrealistic expectations. Please be reasonable and own your choices. I'm here to help make color changes, but also try to educate you on what those choices can mean, and maybe help prevent disaster. I will not also agree to do what you want.

As your colorist, I assume you have selected me for my expertise. I will be honest and and let you know what is reasonable for color design.

Hair Color and Extensions

The design starts with your desired color. Hair Extension color can be created and customized to match any color you have. We can create blends to match hi-lighted hair by making sure we get a all the hues in your hair represented into the colors of the hair extension blends. We can have the hair custom made to order for each client. During your appointment, we finalize the blend to see if it matches your color before we start adding the hair extensions. Color can be adjusted easily at the salon and we produce the hair extensions in house, using only top quality hair and bonding. We are cutting edge in our techniques of matching hair extensions and color.

Hair Coloring Methods
About Color Correction
Hair Coloring Products


Salon Hours : Tuesday - Saturday From 10am to 7pm dailey. Call or Leave a message anytime: (206) 992-9907

color correction Getting rid of the black Hole

Getting rid of the black hole for a softer looking blond. Let us please move forward away from this before look.

Color Correction

Before and After

Color correction and hair extensions for thickening.

Before and after hair extension pictures

Ombre Color

From lightly highlighted new growth to solid bleach blonde.

Call for your consultation appointment.
(206) 992-9907

The consultation appointment is complimentary. This is where we analyze your hair and talk about design and pricing options before we set an appointment for hair extensions. A security deposit is required to secure your appointment day. If you live far away we can do the consultation on the phone and through email with pictures of your hair.

Custom Blended Red Hair Extensions

About The Hair

Our hair extensions are made with top quality hair. The bonding is small and virtually undetectable. They feel comfortable because of our special method that allows them to fall with even tension, and they do not shed like other hair extensions. We use a variety of different hair types in order to customize the hair extensions to perfectly match each individual's needs. Read more about the hair.

Kim Lake Hair

Custom Blends Hair Extensions

For perfect color and texture matching, we customize each set of extensions with endless creative options. Each bond can contain between 2 to 4 colors with any ombre options. For texture, we have available many hair types; Delicate Russian Virgin hair, naturally wavy, Indian, heavier Asian hair, Eastern European. Read more about our Custom Blends.

Kim Lake Hair

L'Oreal Hair Show in San Jose, California