Do I Need A Corrective Color Before I Color?

Often times, clients will call to schedule a color or a highlight service not realizing what they actually need is a corrective color service first.

We’ve had quite a few clients walk through our doors over the years wanting to have their long dark, box colored hair magically transformed in one session.

Like the perfect shade of cool dark brown that seamlessly melts into an icy blonde at the ends.

You know, the kind of color just like the photos on Pinterest. The one that will look exactly the same on them, because after all, the girl in the photo has dark roots too. Girl…no!

FYI: Stylists have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest…

What clients often times do not realize is that it’s just not always that simple. In certain situations, hair needs to have a corrective service done BEFORE a stylist can even begin to lay the foundation for the final color the client is ultimately looking for.

Many times when a correction is needed, it’s due to excessive buildup of box color on their hair that they, or a friend has been doing for them at home.

A box color is NEVER a one size fits all color.

The pretty color you see on the front of the box, well, we hate to break it to you, but it’s just not going to happen exactly like that on your hair (unless you are super lucky) but you probably already found that out at some point in your journey into the wonderful world of box color.

The final color will never be “box” accurate because it all depends on the color, tone and base level you are starting with, and also the underlying pigments that will be present once you begin to lift out your current color. Chances are the girl on the box did not start out with your exact shade!

Box colors can be a nightmare to remove!

Another reason why a correction may be needed before you get to your desired shade, is that many times “banding” will be found in the hair.

Banding can happen for a few reasons…

One reason is when you try to color your hair yourself at home. It’s almost impossible to get good even coverage applying color by just feeling around. It’s easy to miss spots or not apply enough product to saturate each section evenly. Not to mention overlapping or just plain selecting the wrong color to begin with.

Another reason is when color is applied to the root area and it is lighter or darker than the previous color you used. This creates a “band” where the colors overlap. (see photo)

Banding usually occurs when areas of the hair do not lift evenly. Uneven lifting can occur when you have more than a 1/2 inch of regrowth. The heat from your scalp will process lightener correctly when it is applied to regrowth that is no more than 1/2 inch from your scalp. This is why it is very important that you stick to a proper maintenance schedule for your retouches, which is every 4-5 weeks tops.

Leave it to the professionals…

To correct banding, a stylist must use multiple different formulas and products and also use special additives to protect the hair during the lightening and coloring process.  All of this work must be done before any toning work is involved.

Then deep conditioning treatments are used to close the cuticle back down after this type of corrective work.

Cheap hair is not good…good hair is not cheap!

Having a corrective color is definitely a process. It usually takes multiple appointments and in some cases multiple treatments to get your hair back in shape before even moving forward with your desired shade.

A professional colorist will be able to tell you what can be achieved, what can’t be achieved, and how long it may take to get you to where you want to be.

So yes, please leave it to us. That’s what we do best! 🙂


*Images on this page were found on Google and used for informational purposes only. Images are copyright their original owner.