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Last updated: December 14, 2022

What Would You Do: Extreme Color Correction

Your new client is here and wants to go to an all-over, heavy-highlighted blonde. Can it be done? What Would You Do?

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Color corrections give you the opportunity to make life-changing transformations for unhappy clients, but when is the damage just too much? We saw this “before photo” go viral on Insta, so we went to the BTC community to see how stylists would handle this extreme situation. Here are some of the best responses (including color formulas to fix!).  



Cut It Off
“I would tell her she needs to cut her hair so that all the brown on the bottom is gone. Then, I could work with the natural from there, creating back-to-back highlights with Olaplex. I’d explain that she won’t be all one color today, but that by working with the blonde on the ends and coloring the top, we can start working towards it. I wouldn’t willingly work with the color on the bottom. I have no idea how it will lift and if I could protect the integrity of her hair. So, it has to go.” — @highbrowlowlife_


“I’d find out what her credit card limit is, and if she can dedicate a full day. She’ll be paying by the hour, along with buying every product I tell her to take home. I would create an ombré for the first process, painting a heavy foilyage from the base to midshaft, depending on the integrity of her hair. She needs to be realistic with a haircut, and a waiver will be signed post-consultation.” — @majwrx


“I’d tell her how she could totally rock a pixie cut!” — @barberdoll80


“If she’s open to cutting length, then suggest cutting the hair to the shoulders to remove the brown ends, but still leaving the blonde band. Then, apply a full foil through the top and leave the blonde ends out. After, tone everything to desired tone! Explain that it’s the most efficient and cost-friendly approach. If she doesn’t want to lose the length, then she’s looking at a color correction somewhere between $600 and $800, not including a cut or blow-dry. – @jimmychoosy


“It’s clear that all that hair below the blonde band was black (and possibly!) box color that won’t lift . So, I would cut off the lengths, using the bottom of the blonde band as my guide. Then, babylight and foilayage the rest of her hair and give her that short, textured bob that you see everywhere!” – @woodward.danielle


“Start with a serious conversation about expectations and suggest a lob to get rid of that brown. Suggest that because of her dark starting level, we will gradually take her lighter to maintain the integrity of her hair. Heavy foil with finely-weaved slices of Aveda 14N, Full Spectrum Deep Light Y/g (or maybe B/gr?) to lighten base without harsh regrowth. Use Aveda Enlightener Powder for tipping in between foils to break that line and move the blonde up a bit, especially around the face. Gloss will be determined by where we lift to but hopefully something like 20g Aveda 6N + 20g 7N + 2g BV + 5g VB + 1g YO. In 6 weeks she could potentially be much blonder. Send her home with Aveda’s Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment.” – @samoslyn



Be Patient and Find A Solution
“This would be awesome. I would actually like this because the midshaft is already lightened, and it’s sometimes the worst part to lift to a Level 8 or 9. I would take some Schwarzkopf Professional BLONDME lightener with 30-volume developer and lighten her ends, adding babylights on top of the dark roots, backcombing and keeping the dark color in between. My end result would be a well-blended balayage, toned with Schwarzkopf 8-46 and 1.9% developer at the roots and Schwarzkopf 9-4 at the ends. At the end of the day, you will succeed with someone else’s botched ombré!” – @logixhair_yyc


“Start with a balayage using 30-volume developer and Olaplex from the midshaft to the ends (not overlapping the lightened areas, of course!). Leave her under heat until the hair is a Level 7.5-8, then create heavy highlights throughout the rest of the hair with 40-volume developer and Olaplex. On the hair outside of the foils, apply Redken Shades EQ 3NB + clear. Process until perfect, then rinse and tone with Redken Shades EQ 9P + clear!” – @mrs_marina_miranda


“Start with a test strand to see what lies underneath. Analyze. If the hair is strong enough, begin the first process of foiling, covering any previously bleached hair with a heavy conditioner!” – @morgan.l.777


“Make it a uniform brown by filling the blonde, and mix a Level 6 with 10-volume developer. On top, mix a Level 6 with 20-volume developer, then create a blonde ombré so she can still have blonde dimension without it breaking on top.” – @nicolealexis714



Click here to read all the responses!