Beth Minardi: Why Some Clients Aren't Candidates for Single-Process Blonding

While single-process blonding is a lucrative and very important salon service, we see a number of potentially blonde clients with a shade of that might not always be as rich, balanced and clear of undesired brassy or warm overtones. Let's explore what is most likely going on:

In most every case, we can observe what often happens when we apply a lightening formula (bleach) to brunette hair. Go ahead; conduct a strand test. Wrap one or two strands of brown hair, covered in lightener, into one or two foils, and, set a timer for 15 minutes. In some very limited cases, you will see that the brown hair has transitioned to a rich gold. This means that you are in a very lucky situation! But in most cases, you will see that the hair remains brown with orange undertones, or that it is red or orange. This tells you that this client is not a candidate for single-process, high-lift blonding.


The reason this client needs to be pre-lightened with bleach and then toned is because her hair contains warm underlying pigment called phaeomelanin. Phaeomelanin is the orange-gold pigment present in most Mediterranean, Latin and Middle Eastern hair types. (By the way not all brunettes’ hair contains this very warm pigment.) Phaeomelanin resists departure from the hair and tends to "hang on.” In fact, phaeomelanin cannot be destroyed by permanent haircolor. It is dissolved out of the hair's cortex via application of professional hair lightener (a.k.a. bleach). The ammonium persulfate, or a.p. substitute in lightener, like Joico's Creme Lightener, most effectively destroys unwanted golden-orange in the hair.

While many colorists choose to apply a high lift blonde shade, followed by highlighting with bleach in foils, they might keep in mind that a careful and well-applied application of a creme/oil lightener, followed by a pampering shampoo and conditioning with a dedicated  (acidic) product like Beth Minardi Liquide Demi Color (as a toner), and a pampering wash and conditioning with Mindardi Wash and After Wash Three will provide perfect, and beautiful blonde results that you and your client will absolutely adore. Wishing you a wonderful journey into the light.


About: Beth Minardi has dedicated her professional life to the elevation of  salon haircolor to an art form.  For almost thirty years, she has worked both behind the chair as a star colorist, and has been instrumental in the development of several of the top color brands in use today.  Beth began her colorful career at Clairol, where she became director of education.  At Redken, she traveled, training thousands of color professionals, and penned the monthly Shades EQnewsletter. As an integral part of her current work at Joico, Beth created her own exclusive brand of professional Color:  Beth Minardi Signature Shades, a collection of 77 intermixable conditioning colors. With industry legend, Sam Brocato, she opened STUDIO B Hair, a salon oasis located on Manhattan's luxurious Upper East Side.  She continues to lecture and teach extensively.  Beth resides in New York City with her Poodle 'person,’ Mango.