Gloriously Blonde How-To
What do you do when a client can’t decide between going blonde and going brunette? You give her both of course! However, mixing both colors can be tricky, as shown by Sadie Gray (@sadiejcre8s), BTC #ONESHOT Hair Awards Finalist and owner of Sadie Jean & Co in Santa Rosa, Calif. But don’t let the number of steps stop you from achieving this gloriously blonde how-to. Sadie gave us all the details so you too can perfectly weave brown and blonde together. Check it out!
Formula C (glaze): Redken Shades EQ Equalizing Conditioning Color Gloss 09P Opal Glow + Shades EQ 9T Chrome + Shades EQ 9V Platinum Ice + Clear
1. Retouch at the roots with a balayage technique and brighten the hair through the ends using Formula A. Insulate with cellophane.
2. Apply Formula B just above the midshaft and feather up toward the roots, then saturate through the ends. “I also used b3 Brazilian Bond Builder to ensure shine and longevity,” says Sadie.
3. Start with the blonde sections in the front just above the front of her ear with a diagonal back 3/4-inch parting. Surface paint each blonde section with Formula A, saturating just the ends that weren’t above a Level 8 already. “Those pieces that were already Level 9 and above, I just barely grazed the surface of the hair,” shares Sadie.
4. Blend Formula A upward from the ends toward the roots staying only on the surface. For blending, Sadie says she uses the side of her finger, grazing over the hair to smooth out the product.
5. Next, move on to the brown sections using Formula B. Instead of using a diagonal-back angle for the application, Sadie applied Formula B horizontally, staying about half to three quarters of an inch away from the hairline to avoid striping when her client pulls her hair back. “My client wanted ‘not too ashy and hates gold/orange’ so I decided after a few trials and ‘almost perfect’s’, this time I would use Schwarzkopf IGORA Royal Nude Tones because it tends to go a bit on the matte side, thus appearing ashy without the green or grey sheen,” Sadie notes.
Pro-tip: The trick to adding these low lights and avoiding lines of demarcation is to feather the product up toward the scalp as opposed to applying it directly at the scalp.
6. Follow this blonde-to-brown pattern every other section so that both Formulas A and B are applied twice. Once you get just above the eyebrow line, using about 1/2-inch sectioning, color the blonde panels twice and the brown panel once.
7. Staying heavier in the blonde application at the hairline and only just barely coating the surface at the roots, move back toward the crown. Sadie kept the peaks and valleys all the way back to honor her client’s wishes of wanting to feel blonde, while also remaining somewhat lower maintenance.
8. Separate the low lights with Color Trak Long Papers to allow the color to oxidize while separating it from the lightener. “I refreshed my lightener from one side to the next to ensure proper lifting, not adjusting the developer level just yet,” Sadie shares.
9. In the back, create a V-shaped section from the top of her ears to about 2 inches above the nape and cover the entire section with Formula B. Leave the underneath of that section naked, using the same saturation format as the front sections.
Sadie’s planning diagram for Formula B on the brunette panels in the back.
10. Move upward using that same V-shaped sectioning, alternate applying Formula B to Formula A to Formula B again. Then add a blonde panel directly hovering above the previous brown panel to switch up the patterning. This also ensures Formula A wasn’t only applied to the middle of the hair and Formula B wasn’t only applied to the sides.
11. Moving on to the crown, weave-in Formula B and then panel-paint a section above it with Formula A. Rinse the hair with tepid water and shampoo lightly with MorningapleX Shampoo. While at the bowl, apply Formula C for five minutes for a light glaze. Then condition with MorningapleX Conditioner.
12. Style as desired. Sadie applied J Beverly Hills 5-in-1 Styling Conditioning Cream and had her assistant David (@shear.gemini) curl the hair using a 1 1/4-inch curling wand. David finished the look by lightly spraying Living Proof Flex Shaping Hairspray.
Partial balayage with lowlights: $195
Layers and length shape up: $30