What Would You Do: From Level 1 to Level 10
OMG. How truly frightening are these brassy, blorange roots?! This photo comes to us courtesy of stylist Ceaser York. This is Ceaser’s client’s hair after he applied 30-volume bleach on the roots and processed for 45 minutes with no heat (her hair is a natural Level 1 and she wanted to achieve a neon yellow, Ceaser notes). So we asked our BTC Community…what comes next? You all offered up some super helpful (and all slightly different) tips—ranging from re-bleaching to avoiding bleach completely! Here’s some of the best advice you gave.
Go back in with the bleach.
“Re-beach those roots, make sure you’re using Olaplex, shampoo, cap for the old build up, then tone.” – @bianchiwiththegoodhair
“40-volume the first ½ inch only. Plastic bag. Heat. Follow by toning with 9/1 and 10-volume.” – @human_advocates
“20-volume with cap as long as needed, then tone with 9v and 9n.” – @rosalbaesque
“If the client’s scalp isn’t irritated, I would apply bleach ¼-inch from scalp, let process, apply at scalp until lifted to desired level. If the scalp is irritated, I would do a very heavy slice/weave and tone with a 9v or purple shampoo.” – @debbiiiieeee_
“On the roots, I’d apply Level 7 ash with a small ribbon of blue corrector and 10-volume. Then I would dry with cool air and fine-weave (about 11 weaves per foil) with 10-volume and 20-volume equal parts and lightener powder. Tone that result with a Level 9/violet.” – @thegift0fglam
“I would use [Wella Professionals] Blondor [Soft Blonde Cream Lightener] + 20-volume on the roots to as close to the mid-band as possible without damage. Then literally for seconds bleach wash the ends, and then either tone with [Wella Professionals] Color Touch 8/81 or Koleston Perfect 9/8 3%.” – @suechriskeira23
“Lightener (20- or 30-volume, depending on sensitivity) and Olaplex with cotton or foils in between. Conditioner/pomade on the already-bleached hair. It should be corrected immediately! Judging by the blonde/blue, this is someone who consistently needs to be very light for pastels/vivids. I think a shadow root is a form of procrastination. Personally it would bother me knowing that was underneath. – @hannahthepainter
“Do a root shade 6-12 and tone with Redken 9T, 9V, a cap full of 1B and 2 oz. clear to make it a silvery color. If the roots are still too warm, tone with 1B and clear and watch.” – @deargoogly
“If the client definitely wanted Level 10 roots, I’d go in again with ½ [Wella Professionals] Blondor [Soft Blonde Cream Lightener], ½ Magma /89, 20-volume and 1/16-oz. Olaplex per ounce of lightening powder. If I started front to back in round 1, I’d go back to front in round 2. Then I’d tone according to the client’s desires. Usually [Wella Professionals] Color Touch ½ 10/6 + ½ 10/1 if the client wants to be icy. That said, for clients like this, I prefer to get them to Level 8 or 9 and do a shadow root so that when they come in for the next touchup I can overlap without panicking about their hair breaking. People generally prefer shadow roots to breakage.” – @thethirdmilk
“I’ve had a client who wouldn’t settle for anything other than white! What I did was I took my sections from the lower neck. When you need to rinse section by section, starting from the back is easier. I had a bowl of thick conditioner and a bowl of bleach and 20- or 30-volume depending on the quality of the hair. I apply the bleach 1 or 2 millimeters from the scalp because bleach swells and it will prevent any more irritation. Then where the white starts, I would apply the conditioner. I find when bleach touches the conditioner, it automatically stops activating/lifting. So even if I accidentally overlap, the hair won’t break. The main focus is the roots. If this method is done properly, the outcome is great. Also when you tone the hair after you’ve lifted to your desired level, apply the toner again, 1 millimeter from the scalp if you’re worried about marks.” – @antonia.k.88
“Redken Flash Lift + 30-volume with pH Bonder No.1. Super-fine bleach retouch sections with no overlapping. Lift to a Level 9 pale yellow. pH Bonder No.2 for 20 minutes. Rinse, shampoo with Redken Extreme Shampoo. Mix Redken Chromatics 10Av + 20-volume and apply at the bowl starting in Zone 1 and then out to Zone 2 (you may need another stylist to help you apply this quickly). Process for 20 minutes and you’ll have a beautiful, neutralized pearly blonde. The oil delivery system in Chromatics will help push out that previous blue hue through her ends and offer a clean and consistent canvas for the future.” – @emazinghair
“Wait a couple days—that scalp looks pretty irritated. Then blast it with 30-volume bleach (thick consistency) just on the roots, cap, no heat, Olaplex the ends, tone with 10.1, wash with violet shampoo + Olaplex + Olaplex + Olaplex!” – @hairbyivan
Give her a shadow root.
“Shadow root for sure. It looks to me like some of that hair at the scalp may have broken off, and she has a thin band that has processed lighter due to body heat—almost a “hot root” effect, but with bleach. I think another bleach would cause this band to break, causing breakage right at the scalp, especially if she truly was a Level 1.” – @hannahjdoeshair
“Shadowy balayage to give it some purpose, making sure to bring a decent amount of the new root tone down into the already-very light hair. It will fade significantly, but this keeps the root from looking like a lack of upkeep rather than a soft blend.” – @thepeoplevssara
“I would tone with Goldwell Colorance 7A. Let it look like a ‘shadowy root.’ Then two days later, bleach again, then tone with Goldwell Colorance 10 ICY Express Toner. Then I’d give her a glass of wine and say, ‘This might sting a little and bleach that head again.’” – @_mel_mel_mel
“Personally I wouldn’t re-bleach those roots. The risk of breakage is too high. I suggest hitting the roots with a soft ash blonde and blending it downward a little bit to give the colors a natural seamless transition. Then at the shampoo bowl, hit the whole thing with a blue/violet toner. Then Olaplex No.2 and No.3.” – @urban_fantasy_beautyinc.16
“Personally, I would wash the roots with blue or purple shampoo. Try washing the ends with a clarifying shampoo if the hair allows it, massaging it carefully…Maybe that will remove a bit of the bluish tones on the ends. Then, tone the roots with a 7N, creating a shadow root. If the blue is not gone, I would tone the rest of the hair with 9G/8N. No heat. Make sure the client is doing deep treatments at home or coming back for them. In a couple of months, she can come back.” – @leo_poshhairsalonnyc
Whatever you do…don’t use any more bleach.
“The white band is most worrying, and a toner may not take well to that section. No more bleaching—with or without Olaplex! Touch in and flatten the roots with a darker color, and get creative with a more intense shade on the ends—minimum fade. Let the hair rest…The overlap of the demarcation line is a mistake, but we’ve all done it! The most important thing is to maintain the integrity of the hair and scalp. Any more bleaching and the hair will break off around that band, it will probably break a fair bit anyway…grab yourself some Wella [System Professional] Perfect Hair and treat in before any more chemical services.” –@rinvcd
“I’d be terrified of re-bleaching because of that white band. That would probably snap right off with any overlapping, and it seems impossible not to overlap a little. Maybe go with a darker base temporarily until the hair grows out. Go with a different look, keeping the rest lighter.” – @jendunkelberger
“No more bleaching! If you overlap, the hair will break off. Do a shadow root using equal parts 6N and 6A. If you want to neutralize the teal, use equal parts of a strawberry blonde and beige blonde (on midshaft and ends). Or you can just go with the flow and apply a Level 4 on the roots (shadow root) and apply fun colors like more teal and blues on the midshaft and ends.” –@elonataki
“Don’t use more bleach! Put olive/coconut oil on the blue under heat for about 30 minutes, then mix baking soda and laundry soap immediately after, rinse and repeat two times, and it will lighten significantly. Then I’d do a protein treatment (Redken Extreme Cat Protein Reconstructing Hair Treatment Spray does wonders) under heat, ash/natural 2:1 with 5-volume on the roots, and on the ends do neutrals mixed with enough gold/warm tones to cover the entire color wheel.” – @ncervone