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Last updated: October 15, 2019

One-Step Repigment Technique: The Pigment Lock

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Hair by @cameronkepford

Learn More About This One-Step Repigment Technique!

You know that to take blonde hair back to a natural dark shade, you must fill the hair, and you also know that this two-step technique—called a tintback or repigmenting the hair—results in warmer hues. But what if you want to take a blonde back to a natural cool brunette? Tintback 101—you can’t use cool hues to fill (you’ll get a muddy green!). In this situation, try the pigment lock! We got the deets on this master-level color technique from Wella Professionals Signature Studio Artist Danielle Stern (@danielle_wella) when we stopped by a color correction class at the Wella World Studio in NYC. Check it out!


(Psst…click here to get the basics on repigmenting hair!)


When To Use A Pigment Lock Technique

“I use this technique when someone REALLY light is looking for the most natural brunette finish,” Danielle said. With a pigment lock, you can take a client from light to dark without repigmenting, and it won’t alter the client’s natural root shade. Use a pigment lock when:

  • Going darker by two levels or more
  • A cooler tone is desired


Wella Professionals Signature Studio Artist Danielle Stern gave BTC a close-up look at color correction at the Wella World Studio NYC!



How To Perform A Pigment Lock

Danielle’s expert tip is to mix this formula one level darker than desired. Here’s how to do it (and yes, you are reading this right…there is no developer in the initial formula!):



15g Wella Professionals Koleston Perfect /77 (any shade in the /77 range, which Danielle described as “brunette tones, rich and warm”)

15g Koleston Perfect /0 (any shade in the Pure Natural range, one level darker than desired)

90g warm water


  1. Apply the pigment lock formula on dry hair and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not rinse.
  2. Apply 120g Koleston Perfect Pastel Crème Developer over the pigment lock. Process for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse, do not shampoo, and follow with Wella Professionals Post Treatment.


Products Used


Why A Pigment Lock Works

  • The first step—applying the pigment and water—allows the color molecules to penetrate the hair shaft in their smallest size.
  • The second step—adding the developer to begin oxidation—locks the color into the hair shaft.


Check out Wella Professionals classes here, and learn more about the Wella Professionals Master Color Expert Program here!


Listen to the video below for Danielle’s explanation!



The Pigment Lock In Action


Scroll through the slideshow to see before-and-after shots using the pigment lock technique.


Hair by @cameronkepford


Check out the at-the-bowl application by @cameronkepford!

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