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How To Brighten Pre-Lightened Hair

Many clients, who are not natural blondes, have been lightening their hair for years. Still, many find that although they are happy with their colour, it is never quite as bright or clean as they would like it to be.

Our client wants to brighten their blonde hair around the face and increase the softness of the contrasting layers of her hair.

She explained that she had lightened her hair for many years, so we targeted the darker strands that needed lifting to brighten the overall look. We also want to bring soft transitions to the hair while protecting the integrity of the hair that was already blonde and processed.

How To Brighten Pre-Lightened Hair Step-by-step

Step 1:  We started by prepping our bleach formula, Lloreal's Multi Techniques powder and 20 volume developer, with Olaplex to protect the hair while lifting.

Step 2:  We sectioned the hair behind the ear to isolate a large section at the front to begin lightening.

Step 3:  Starting at an angle at the front of the face, we began packing in babylights to give a more significant amount of brightness and lift around the face. We applied bleach to the roots and then carefully picked out the blonde hair strands with our pintail comb and pulled these to one side. So that we were able to only apply the product to the dark strands of hair. By doing this, we can isolate darker strands that need lifting to bring a much brighter and softer finish and prevent the light strands from becoming damaged and over-processed.

Step 4:  Continue this process as you build your babylights around the face, picking out all of the blonde strands through the lengths and ends and only applying product to the roots and darker strands.

Step 5:  Once you have 3 back to back babylight foils, use the tipping out technique by gathering all of the hair from these sections that did not make it into the foil, backcomb and apply your foil. When tipping out, you will not need to pick out the lighter strands, as the foils are not near the head and will process a lot slower without heat from the head accelerating the process.

Step 6: Repeat this process through the entire front section of hair, with back to back babylights, and then transition to chunky broken slices as you work your way upwards towards the parting, picking out the blonder pieces and tipping out after every third foil.

Step 7:  Once your first side is complete, repeat the process on the opposite side. 

Step 8:  Now, you can move onto your back section, starting at an angle with babylights, isolating the darker strands, and tipping out after every 3 foils. For the first 3 foils, we applied our product to the underside of the section to ensure a clean and even layer for when the hair is pulled back into a ponytail.

Step 9:  Begin to section at the centre of your two sides to ensure you are covering the head's entire circumference.

Step 10:  Switch your technique from babylights back to a chunky broken slice for greater coverage and depth throughout the back of the head, but continue the tipping out technique as usual.

Step 11:  Now that the back is complete, we can shift our attention back to the face, removing our first foils and pulling off any excess product. Once the excess is removed, use your fingers to pull the product through the hair, including the strands sections of lightened hair we had previously kept out of the foil. This will help clean up and brighten these strands without compromising the integrity of the hair.

Step 12:  Work your way through the hair in the same order you put the foils in, removing the excess product as you go, and pulling the product through all of the hair.

Step 13:  Now all foil and excess product has been removed, you can rinse and wash your client's hair at the basin before brushing and detangling at the chair.

Step 14:  To tone our client's hair, we used RedKen Shades EQ, 15g of 5N, 5g of 6G, 5g of 7NB & Gloss, followed by 15g of 9VG, 5g of 9G, 5g of 9NB, 5g OF 9AA & Gloss for the mid-lengths and ends.

Step 15:  Apply your toner at the back first with a tint brush to ensure complete saturation and coverage at the roots. We are taking vertical sections to help give a soft transition from the root toner to the mid-lengths. Use a brush to slightly pull the toner through the mid-lengths for a softer transition.  

Step 16:  We then moved on to the front sections, using more traditional sectioning to work the toner through the roots of the hair, leaving the very front of the hair free from toner, and using a brush to pull the product into the mid-lengths.

Step 17:  After the root toner has been on for 5 minutes, we applied it to the front sections to have a shorter overall developing time and a brighter finish. As the front sections had already started to dry during this time, we used a water spray bottle to make sure the hair was as damp as the rest of the hair had been during toner application.

Step 18:  Rinse the toner at the basin before applying your mid-lengths and ends formula of toner to the hair at the basin. Use your hands to ensure complete saturation of the mid-lengths and ends.

Step 19:  Rinse toner, wash and condition.

Now you are ready to style and reveal your much brighter and lighter lived-in blonde.