Hairbrained Quick Tips: Brightening Up Blondes for Summer Refresh

As the warm weather season ramps up, environmental influences can play a big role in the longevity of bright, blonde hues – and keeping mid-lengths and ends free from brassy tones and fade-out can be a struggle. Here, Lupe Voss, Hairbrained Host and Owner-Operator at Hair Color Magic, shares her tips and tricks for keeping blondes beautiful and brilliant, all summer long.

“When we first hair paint, balayage or lighten strands,” says Voss, “we’re left with a shimmering blonde.” But as days spent basking in the sun’s harsh rays go by, that aesthetic changes. “If we continue to use the same formula to address our clients strands, under these conditions, we’ll begin to see uneven tones. This can show up as slightly darker, or muddier mid-lengths and ends.”

Tip 1: Mid-Lengths and Ends "The Re-Fresh Formula" Safely lifting mid-lengths and ends can be a snap. “Use an enlightening formula, and combine it with a low-level developer, 5 volume or water, and further dilute the solution with a conditioner or universal 0N, an ammonia free clear base,” says Voss.


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Remember that the lift is achieved via the bleach, not the activator. Instead, your activator is your timing for how long you want the bleach to work. For example: When shifting the tone at the bowl, bleach with hot water is used.

The conditioner (or universal 0N) will help to blend out and dilute the enlightening formula, which will provide the perfect amount of shift instead of over-lifting the mid-lengths and ends.

Tip 2: Achieve an even Finish Use the above formula to refresh dark or muddy mid-lengths and ends, while using your original lifting formula in the areas that you’d like to add dimension. Apply a layer of conditioner (or Universal 0N) and blend through to the ends. Your finished look will be balanced, with brighter mid-lengths and ends, plus dimensional pieces. You can repeat this process every second or third service, depending on how much brightness you are trying to achieve.

“Remember that when you’re pricing your services, communication is key,” adds Voss. “This process will add time to your already-existing blonding service, and clients should be charged accordingly (learn how you can establish a base-line for pricing, here).” Speak with management and front-end support staff to create a baseline price for this additional brightening service.

Tip 3: Removal “It’s crucial that you adequately remove your enlightening formula. And for this, I recommend shampooing three times,” says Voss. (Learn about my system, here.) This is because leftover bleach can adversely affect subsequent glossing/toning formulas. “I follow with PHinish by Aveda, which is a neutralizing conditioner,” she adds. Before applying the conditioner, thoroughly towel dry strands. Apply the conditioner, and allow it to rest for up to five minutes. Rinse thoroughly, and apply your favorite deep conditioning treatment, prior to glossing/toning.

Brightening and lightening your client’s mid-lengths and ends can be simple, using this failsafe formula. So for bright, warm-weather blondes, use these simple tips and tricks, and discolored blondes will be a thing of the past.

About: Founded by two like-minded hairdressers: Photographer and hairdresser, Randy Taylor, plus world-renowned educator and platform artist, Gerard Scarpaci. Both share a deep love for the industries professionals, and the craft alike. @hairbrained_official