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Last updated: April 07, 2022

3 Toning Tips For Adding Depth With Shades EQ

How To Add Depth Back Into Level 9 Hair Using Shades EQ

Imagine: A Level 9/10 client walks in and wants to go brunette, what do you do? Redken Ambassador Philip Foresto III (@philipforesto) has the solution! Keep reading for his tips on filling the hair to go darker, how to achieve ultimate saturation and Philip’s quick and easy application technique


Plus, make sure you watch the video tutorial above for the full step-by-step and check out the finished look below!


CLICK HERE To Purchase Redken’s NEW Shades EQ Bonder Inside From SalonCentric!


1. Formulation 

It’s beauty school 101: To go from solid blonde to darker dimension, you have to fill the hair! Warm tones add a filler to the hair to anchor in the brown color that you want. Level 9 to 10 hair has little to no pigment, so if you don’t formulate correctly, you can get a translucent result or color that quickly fades after a few washes.


Pro Tip: Over-processed blonde clients can benefit from Shades EQ Bonder Inside, which delivers the classic Shades EQ results with bonder for added protection in one step. 


Formula Used

equal parts 2 oz Redken Shades EQ 06NB + 10 g Shades EQ 06C  + Shades EQ Processing Solution



2. Saturation

Remember: demi-permanent color like Redken Shades EQ doesn’t expand in the hair like permanent color does. That’s why saturation is everything—where you place it, is where it will live. So if you miss a spot or don’t saturate enough in your application, you’ll end up with spottiness and inconsistent results. 


Check Out The Before & After!

close formula


3. Application

The best part about this technique is that the application isn’t time consuming. Philip separated the hair into quadrants and started applying color in the back going forward. The idea is to add depth back into the hair, while still maintaining some brightness for a dimensional contrast. Here’s how he does it:


  • First, apply the formula about an inch down the root in a global application around the section. 


  • Next, take diagonal back sections at the nape and alternate applying the base color and leaving a section out for the highlights.


  • For the lowlights, after saturating the hair, apply a foil around the section.


  • For the highlights, apply a shadow root to the section. You can use a comb and your fingers to feather the color down to eliminate any lines of demarcation and create a natural transition.


  • Continue this step going up the head until you reach the money piece.


  • At the money piece, take the base color and create apply at the root. Feather the color out using a finger and comb down a little to blend.


Pro Tip: The next time the client comes in, Philip recommends going in with babylights or teasylights to break up the ribbon-like affect created during the first application.


Products Used

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