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Last updated: April 04, 2018

Fill ‘Er Up!

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Each color formula is as unique as each client. The products stylists use are unique as well, in a sense that they are always changing to make the coloring process quicker and more efficient. With new color products comes new ways to go about doing old coloring techniques. This BTC member wants to know whether new products allow stylists to make the leap from blonde to brunette by eliminating a step—rinsing out the fillers. “Do you have to wash the filler out before applying the dark color? Or can you apply the color right over the filler?” Here are 10 suggestions from the BTC community. And keep in mind that as long as you get the results you want, there is no right or wrong way! 


1. If you use more than one formula, you might want to rinse
“I prefer to see exactly how the filler looks, as porosity or previous color may slightly change how I want to approach the final formula. I rarely use one formula for a whole head, so for me, rinsing and drying to 80% assures accuracy.” – Mickey Long


2. Best answer is on the label
“Different brands have different rules; check your manufacturers’ instructions.” – Anthea Markham


3. Not all brands are created equally
“You can do both! Some brands actually tell you to just apply over. I use Matrix ColorSync for tint backs. I prefer to process the filler completely, rinse and dry to 80% to 90% dry then apply my final formula.” – The late Jose Garcia


4. What are you looking for—neutral or warmth?
“It’s not a shortcut for most color lines. If the result you want has warmth, it’s better to just color over filler. If you want a neutral or ash result, then some lines recommend to just wipe off the first filler.” – Jennifer Simoneau



5. Overbooked and busy? Save a step!
“You could use Scruples Hypnotic and do it all in one step. I’m busy and booked every day. If I can save a step, a shampoo, a product and get beautiful results, why wouldn’t I?” – Mary Todd Lewis


6. For your consideration
“Manufacturer’s instructions, target level and tone, existing level and tone, and finally porosity will help you decide.” – Jennifer Jay


7. Add fillers to the formula—and ink to the shampoo!
“I add my fillers to my color formula—Paul Mitchell The Color. Their color shots are fabulous fillers! Make sure they get their take-home shampoos too. Just add some ink to their shampoo or conditioner. It keeps them fresh between visits!” – Lora Abate


8. Rinse away the odds of an angry phone call
“I always rinse my fillers before applying the desired shade. It might look good in your chair but 3 to 4 weeks later, the result could look muddy. I’d rather have a happy client with a color done properly than a client who is calling to complain that the color washed out after two washes!” – Stef Marie


9. Make some rules, then break some rules
“Most importantly, the condition of the clients’ hair will vary so at times this alone will require you to change your approach. You must always take time to examine the hair and consult with the client to determine what’s best. We all have our own rules and we have all broken those rules.” – Gracie Silvas


10. A clear starting point is important
“If the hair is still coated with the fill formula, you do not have an accurate starting point, nor do you have a clean slate for application. How do you know where you are going if you don’t know where you are starting?” – Stacey Gatlin Chittam