Colouring hair with pre-lightened sections

  • lightening

Colouring hair with pre-lightened sections

The best approach to lightening your roots if you already have lighter sections (eg. highlights, balayage or pre-lightened lengths) is to colour match the colour on your lengths. Just let our colourists know your colour details (level and tone or your colour numbers) and we should be able to colour-match and suggest one colour or a blend of colour which will work well for you. Follow the root touch-up application, which keeps the colour just on your roots for most of the processing time. Add the colour to your lengths for ten minutes to boost the colour and tone (instructions are in the colour pack).

If you don’t know the details of the colour in your lengths, it can get a bit trickier. There can be a tension between what is the best colour to cover pre-lightened highlights or balayage and the best colour options for your new growth if you are wanting to lighten your regrowth.

  • Neutral colours are the best to cover highlights as they have a balance of cool and warm secondary tones, and they do not have any prominent tones which can appear brighter over highlights. 
  • Cool tones are the important when you are lightening your natural colour, as brassy secondary tones which are naturally present in the hair are always revealed during lightening and these can impact the final colour finish, due to the natural contributing pigment. The best colour choices to manage unwanted warmth when lightening your colour are colours with cool secondary tones, as they will counter-act and neutralise unwanted warmth and give you a tonally balanced finish.

Unfortunately, there can be a downside to each of the above options when you are lightening regrowth and you have pre-existing lighter sections.

  • Neutral colours won’t mute the brassiness that is revealed during lightening, so if you are trying to lighten and you choose a neutral colour, then you may see some brassiness at your roots.
  • If you choose a cool based colour, then that is a better option for your roots, but if you have pre-existing cool tones on your lengths, then cool tones + cool tones could be overly cool, which can lead to a visible greenish tone.

If you are wanting to lighten your regrowth but you already have pre-lightened sections, then our colourists may recommend both a neutral and a cool based colour as we don’t always know the secondary tones in your highlights or pre-lightened sections.

If you are primarily lightening your regrowth, then a cool based colour could be the best option, but our colourist may advise that you follow the root touch-up application directions – with the colour applied to the roots (where you are lifting colour) for most of the colour processing time, and the colour is then applied for ten minutes to the lengths which will tone and blend the colour, without over-toning on your pre-lightened sections.

If you are not sure whether you should choose the neutral or the cool based colour, then we suggest you choose the cool based colour, and follow the root touch-up application instructions, so that the colour can lift and tone at your roots, but the colour isn’t left on for quite as long on your pre-lightened lengths. If you know that you have pre-existing cool tones in your lengths, then reduce the time you leave the colour on your lengths, to around half of the total colour processing time. 


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