How To Prep Hair For Lifting Without Damage
Let’s be real. Summer is no vacation for colorists in the salon—why? ‘Tis the season for heavy blonding, highlights and hair paint! That’s why it’s super important to start prepping clients for dramatic lightening services ASAP. This will not only save you stress, but also help clients maintain their hair health on their journey to blonde.
Keep reading for a complete guide to prepping hair for lifting without damage from balayage and blonding specialists Farhana Premji (@xo.farhana.balayage), Becky Miller (@beckymhair) and Sarah McDonald (@stylesbysarah). Get it all below!
1. When & How To Start The Transition From Dark To Light
Easy answer—it depends on when you and your client start the conversation. “If I know a client wants to lighten up for summer, I make sure that we’ve stopped any deepening or darkening services around January,” shares Farhana. “That allows a few months for darker color to fade away and we can move toward softly lightening the hair.”
“You never know when a client is going to come in and say, ‘Today is the day, let’s go as light as possible,’” adds Becky. “I’m always prepping my clients’ hair.” The best way to be prepared is strengthening and maintaining health on color-treated clients.
2. Spring Cleaning 101: How To Create A Clean Canvas
The earlier and more frequent you are pushing a healthy care regimen on your client, the stronger their hair will be for heavy lifting processes. Here are some tips:
During The Color Service:
- Sarah recommends adding Olaplex No.1 to every color formula. “Olaplex No.1 is your hair insurance and helps prevent damage from the start,” shares Sarah. For brunettes and redheads who want to transition to blonde, Sarah works in multiple sessions over 6 to 8 weeks using the Olaplex system throughout every service.
- “Go low and slow and to listen to the hair along the way,” shares Farhana. “Give it what it needs and stop right before it has had too much. My favorite color is SHINE which means an intact cuticle and minimal chemical damage!”
- Becky recommends using Olaplex No.2 after every color service OR applying it to the ends as foils process as a mini-treatment for healthier blondes.
Living for this healthy brunette → sun-kissed transformation!
3. Excessive Heat? Cool Down & Prep With This
Are your in-salon styling services working against your client’s color progress? Turn down the temperature on thermal tools and increase leave-in treatments to prevent damage. Olaplex No.6 Bond Smoother repairs hair, reduces blow-dry time (aka less heat!) and adds a much-needed boost of hydration to wannabe blondes.
Here’s How: Apply a very small amount to damp or dry hair, concentrating the product on the midlengths and ends. Then, comb through and style as desired.
Blondes + beachy waves = summer hair goals!
4. Send Clients Home With This Blonde-Approved Regimen
- “We only see our guests for a few hours at a time, so the majority of their hair prep and ongoing care is on them,” shares Farhana. “I love [sending them home with] Olaplex No.4 and 5 for ongoing bond care and using Olaplex No.3 once a week on wet hair for 20 minutes.” Have clients apply to unwashed, towel-dried hair.
- Clarify first, lift second. “Have clients use a detox or clarifying shampoo a few times before their appointment to get rid of unwanted product buildup, minerals or barriers that will make it harder to lighten,” shares Becky.