"I graduated from Paul Mitchell in 2010..... I'm naturally a level 7, but have been dying my hair darkish for about 2 years. ....The darkest part is probably a level 4 or 5. I really want to go back to something close to my natural color all over; a level 6 or 7. In school they always told me the ONLY way to do that would be lightening, which can be very damaging.
At this point, I'm not as concerned with the integrity of my hair as I normally am. Couldn't I use a Color Remover? Every time I go to a salon they seem to talk me out of going lighter....is color remover not used in salons? I see a lot of people go from really dark to light blonde several times....so why can't I get anyone to get my hair a few levels lighter?! I guess my main question is: what do I need to [do] so that I can get what I want?!"
Ok so there a few answers within this question. First we will tackle the process of how I would handle taking a previous colored level 4 to a level 7.
Rather than attempting to change your entire color and use a "color remover" or "lightener" I would suggest the idea of creating a more dimensional based color and utilize some of the level 4 color that you have as a low light. Then if you still feel like you would like to have a one solid color you can do so in time. So rather than changing your hair over one "salon visit" you would do so over time. Even though the integrity of your hair is not your priority, as a hairstylist it has to be mine :)
Sounds great right!? So how would you do this exactly?? Answer..... Simple!!
Use a highlighting technique to create a lighter dimension. Using a standard full foil application pattern highlight the entire back of the head first using as many baby fine highlights as you can in order cover at least 50% of the hair. When finished with the back section... Allow this to process, do not move on to the front section.
(Lightener formulas - For fine hair 10 volume with lightener. For Medium/Coarse hair 20 volume with lightener)
** HOT TIP - Make sure when applying your sections of lightener to each foil you saturate the entire section consistently to ensure proper lift.
Once finished processing to pre-lightening to a level 8/9 in the back. Shampoo, Condition and then Dry the Hair.
Repeat the same process for the front/top sections.
**We are breaking up the sides to ensure a consistent lift and to ensure integrity strength to the hair. Yes it will take longer, but color correction should never be jeopardized for time.
Once the entire application has been completed and the hair is dry formalize a glaze/toner to create the desired result to which you are looking for. Utilize your color wheel to create your desired result. If a desired result is as neutral as possible make sure to use your complimentary colors... such as a red and green.
The result of this process will be a perfect level 7 with beautiful dimension and hints of low lights. If you prefer to go lighter... continue with the same processes (only picking up the darker pieces) on the next visit.
So...... To answer some of your other questions.
- Yes salons do use color removers. It is always something to have on hand.
- The difference between a color remover and lightener is the level of strength and the ability to lift - in fact I am putting this in my notes to do a blog post about this!
- If you are referring to celebrities as [seeing a lot of people going from light to dark] - always make sure to note that with celebrities there are often extensions and wig work involved, so sometimes it can be misleading. In my opinion the processes from dark - level 4 to light - level 7 is best done over time.