Colour matching is a fundamental element in achieving natural looking hair extensions for a client, therefore it is of the utmost importance that as a technician you understand the different elements to consider when matching different hair colours. Blonde in particular can be a difficult colour to master, and here we will discuss the different characteristics in blonde hair that must be taken into consideration for a seamless colour match. For this example we shall be focusing on block blonde colours e.g. the overall colour is flat and one colour, as shown in the image to the left. If you are looking for colour matching for mixed blondes, please see the following page.
Generally speaking, if you have a client who has a block blonde colour, they are likely to be bleach blonde, honey blonde, or ash blonde which have been achieved through dying, or they are one of the very few lucky individuals who are naturally blonde.
Preparing your blonde client for a colour match
When colour matching block blondes, it is highly important that you perform your match in natural light. As blonde hair is more reflective than other shades, it is very important that you are in an area of natural light as a darkened room can greatly affect the appearance of your clients colour. For this reason, consultation should always be booked during daylight hours and you should also ask that your client presents you with freshly washed clean hair that is preferably straightened- this will enable you to get a good look at the overall colour of the hair, as well as the thickness and texture.
Important notes for block blondes
It is very likely that if you have a client that has a block blonde colour, that this has been achieved through colouring and bleaching. As bleaching is known to be damaging to hair, before you go ahead with a colour match you should first be assessing the quality of the hair. This type of hair is prone to damage and breakage, and if too damaged hair extensions may not be suitable, therefore perform a full assessment before committing to fitting hair extensions.
Once you have assessed the condition of the hair and deemed it as suitable for hair extensions, you will need to establish with your client if their hair is dyed or naturally blonde, what their natural colour is, and how often their hair is dyed.
These days a natural blonde is hard to come by, however if you do have a naturally blonde client with an even all over colour you have hit the colour matching jackpot. This is the easiest of all colours to match as it is a nice even colour, it is unlikely to change in the near future, your client will not need to dye the hair during the time they are wearing the extensions, and if they do encounter any grey hairs they will not be in desperate need to dye them.
If you have a client with all over blonde hair that has been dyed, you will need to take a few things into consideration when matching the colour. Once you have assessed the quality of the hair and have deemed it suitable for hair extensions, you need to discuss with your client their natural colour, and how often their hair needs to by dyed. The reason for this is that it is unlikely your client will be able to go 4 months without applying any colour to their hair due to root regrowth, and they need to be fully informed of the limitations and restrictions they face due to the hair extension application. When the hair extensions have been fitted your client will still be able to cover their regrowth, however only on the top section of the hair, the frame of the face and the nape of the neck that does not contain any hair extensions. Your client will require professional attention to ensure no bleach is applied to the hair extensions or the bonds, and therefore your client will need to be aware of this potential extra cost if they are used to a home dye kit.
When matching a block blonde, the tone of the blonde is the most important aspect. If you select a colour that is too light or ashy this will show up against the clients hair colour, in the same way that picking a warmer colour will be visible, which is why natural light is so important.
Client’s hair is too light
From time to time you may come across a client who bleaches and heavily tones their hair, meaning the outcome is a very pale white blonde. Although hair extensions do come in very light shades of blonde e.g. colour 613, in some cases this simply is not light enough. Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards is a perfect example of this type of blonde, however fortunately there is a solution to this in the form of a silver shampoo. A client with this colour hair would need to have colour #613 fitted, and then after application use a silver toning shampoo to remove any yellow and warmth from the colour so that is matches their own.
For these clients it is very important that you raise this issue and discuss the colour limitations before the fitting, in case your client is not prepared to tone the extensions. Once the hair has been fitted it will be your client’s responsibility to use these products correctly, and they must be aware of this and feel competent enough to do it. Toning shampoos are generally very easy to use and for those with bleach blonde hair it is quite likely they are already familiar with the process, however it is always worth double checking.
Please be aware that attempting to alter the colour of extensions in any way as at the risk of the customer, and a strand test would be recommended first. Hair extensions which have been altered in anyway will become non refundable.
Here we have our lovely block blonde client, Georgia. Georgia has naturally brown hair and dyes her hair regularly (every 6-8 weeks) to achieve her platinum blonde look. Georgia uses a hairdresser to colour her hair, and therefore the quality of her hair is good despite regular colour treatments.
Pictured in natural light, Georgia’s hair colour matches perfectly to colour #613, the lightest of our shades available. If Georgia were to opt to lighten her hair further, she would require the use of a silver shampoo to lighten this colour further.