How to Manage Color Correction on Hair

June 17, 2024

Color corrections are often what can keep a stylist up at night. You envision that your client has likely dedicated hours to meticulously researching the most fashionable hair colors for 2024, scrolling through countless Pinterest boards and social media feeds, dreaming of the perfect shade. So when that moment of truth comes when…you remove the towel, you do not want them to be met with disappointment as the color turns out differently than they may have expected. Here’s where it pays to be clued up and confident with your color theory so when you see a color correction booked into your column you know that you have the tools and know how to save the day and rescue their hair from their color-related distress (but also not to over promise!).


What Is Color Correction for Hair?

Color correction for hair involves the process of altering or adjusting the existing hair color to achieve a desired shade or to correct any unwanted tones or inconsistencies in the current color by choosing the correct neutralizing color or tone from the color wheel. This may involve correcting color mistakes, balancing uneven color, or removing previous color to achieve a new look.

How Soon Can Hair Color be Corrected?

The timing for a hair color correction varies depending on factors such as the current condition of the hair, the extent of the correction needed, and the desired outcome. While some corrections can be addressed immediately after the initial color service, others may require multiple appointments that are spread out.


Color Correction with Bleach

Bleaching is often used to lighten hair or remove previous color pigments until the desired ‘undertone’ is achieved. It requires careful application to minimize damage and achieve the desired level of lightness. Sometimes the hair may be underprocessed which means that the pre-lightener was not left on long enough to reach the desired level or that the chosen product was not suitable for the desired results. It can also be left on too long which unfortunately can lead to breakage. This is when you may need to offer alternative options or say no to that platinum blonde dream altogether. To really understand the true quality of the hair you will need to carry out the appropriate tests such as a strand and porosity test to determine if another application can be applied. Ultimately bleach is the strongest product used within the salon environment and there are many risk factors that need to be considered, which is why you should always advise your clients that this service should only be carried out if the results of the tests show that it is safe to do so  (and your busy salon column) permits. Never feel pressured to complete an additional lightning service. – Remember you are the professional.

Color Correction with Dye

Dyeing is generally a permanent color that’s used to add or adjust color, correct unevenness, or achieve the desired shade. Proper dye formulation and application are essential for optimal results. It can be easier to pre-straighten the hair before carrying out a color correction service so that you can see the hair fully, especially if the client has lots of banding to fix.  Remember to advise your clients that the color will grow out but will still fade if exposed to sun and other environmental factors. We recommend Revlonissimo™ by Revlon Professional to help achieve the perfect balance between coverage, precision, color versatility and shine for a natural, modern look.

Color Correction with Semi Permanent Colors or Toners

Toners play a crucial role in neutralizing unwanted tones, removing brassiness and achieving the desired shade. They also enhance the overall tone and vibrancy of the hair. We recommend the ultra-performing, caring tone-on-tone color by Color Excel that has a choice of two technologies in alkaline and acidic coloration and can recover up to 4 times the shine* and color, and refresh the hair

Revlonissimo Color Excel


How to Determine if Color Correction Is Necessary

Over time, hair color naturally fades. This is a common occurrence, but if your client has recently had their color done (or did it themselves!), they might notice that the results aren’t what they expected right away. Additionally, a few weeks later, they may find that the color becomes uneven, patchy, or lacks luster. Or  also experience the following:

  • Brassiness or Unwanted Warmth: Certain factors, such as under-processing the hair, previous colors and additional factors such as metals or chemicals in the hair can cause hair to expose ‘brassy’ yellow, orange or red tones. Here’s where color theory comes into play. We recommend adding in a neutralizing mix tone such as our 017 tone by Revlonissimo Colorsmetique™ that can help you to eliminate red and golden tones and create a cooler/more neutral result.
  • Overlapping Color and Banding: Multiple dye applications without proper care can lead to overlapping colors, resulting in a muddied or inconsistent appearance and an obvious or subtle line where each color was previously added so be mindful of your application every time you color a client’s hair.
  • Unexpected Color Outcome: Sometimes, the hair color achieved may differ significantly from the expected result, necessitating a correction.
  • Root Glow: This is where the new section of root color appears brighter or lighter in color from the rest of the hair, which may indicate the need for correction.
  • Box Colors and Home Colors: As stylists we understand that opting for the seemingly easy, low-cost choice might seem appealing to your clients at the moment, so never tell them off during a consultation. Instead be honest with them that this is the primary reason for color corrections and can be the most challenging and costly to fix. Incorrect application and the use of strong developers (which are often standard) can result in a mixture of issues mentioned earlier. These strong color pigments can be challenging and damaging to remove which will also likely lead to very warm pigments within the hair that will need to be neutralized.



Recommendations for your client to take care of their hair at home

To prolong the results of a color correction and to help to maintain their vibrant hair color at home, recommend the following tips. 

  • Professional Care and Styling Products: Recommend shampoos, conditioners, and styling products specifically formulated for color-treated hair such as the RE/START™ Color range. These products are gentle on your clients hair and help preserve color intensity.
  • Avoid Hot Water: Recommend that your client washes their hair with lukewarm or cool water, as hot water can strip away the color and cause it to fade more quickly. Advise that they follow with a final rinse of cooler water after conditioning to seal the hair cuticles and lock in moisture.
  • Limit Washing: Advise that they wash their hair less frequently to prevent color fading. For those clients that have finer or an oily scalp suggest that they use dry shampoo between washes to absorb excess oil and to generally refresh their hair.
  • Heat Protection: Every client should be advised to minimize heat styling and to use heat protectant products such as RE/START Balayage Hair Care Cream when using hot tools such as blow dryers, straighteners, or curling irons. This is especially important after a color correction as excessive heat can damage the hair and cause the color to fade faster.
  • UV Protection: Shield the hair from the sun’s harmful UV rays by recommending that your client wears a hat and uses products with UV protection when spending time outdoors. UV exposure can lead to color fading and dryness.
  • Deep Conditioning: Treat the hair to regular deep conditioning treatments to keep it moisturized and healthy. Recommend nourishing masks or treatments such as the RE/START™ Color Protective Jelly Mask, which is designed for color-treated hair. It replenishes moisture and maintains color vibrancy.
  • Avoid Chlorine and Saltwater: Chlorine and saltwater can strip away the hair’s natural oils and cause color fading. Advise that your client rinses their hair thoroughly with fresh water after swimming in pools or the ocean, and to consider wearing a swim cap to help to protect their hair.
  • Regular Touch-Ups: Schedule regular color touch-up appointments with your client to help maintain their hair color and address any root regrowth or fading. This will also help keep their color looking fresh and vibrant.
  • Recommend or customize the perfect color for a salon or home top up to help your client to refresh your hair color using Nutri Color™ Filters. These semi-color masks are formulated with a unique 3-in-1 insta-pic technology™ that delivers direct color, care and shine that opens a world of multi-chromatic possibilities.

Nutri Color Range Vegan

If you are a pro and would like to learn more about this color correction technique, visit #RevlonProAlwaysOn (for clients only) to view a full step-by-step process.

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