using professional color for first time

laurabeth33laurabeth33 Posts: 1,443Registered Users
I will be coloring my hair this week with professional color for the first time. I've gotten it done at the salon for the past year or so and used RC before (so easy until it stopped holding onto my grays :cry:). I've also done my DH's hair with boxed, premeasured kits (pour x into y, shake, apply).

Any tips or warnings?

My (limited) understanding is that I need to use equal parts of color and developer (in this case, 10 volume works fine for me). Blend in bowl with brush, apply to roots only, watch clock, smoosh thru rest of hair, rinse until water runs clean, and poo/condish with acidic poo/condish (to close the cuticle tight as possible).

How do you measure everything? By ounces or weight?
2b w/ some 3a
product tester geek


  • laurabeth33laurabeth33 Posts: 1,443Registered Users
    I know there are some colorists on here somewhere....
    2b w/ some 3a
    product tester geek
  • ringlets of fireringlets of fire Posts: 105Registered Users
    Which professional brand did you get? What color?

    I'm not a colorist, but am trying to understand the process myself.

    I found helpful information here

    It seems like it would depend on the brand, formulation, your base color, etc.

    I did find info on Redken (supporting your math) that said equal parts color and developer. However, I didn't find anything that said how you would pick 10/20/30 or 40 volume.

    If you go forward without hearing from a colorist, I would do a strand test and see what happens. I've heard that people often adjust how long it stays on based on that.

    Please let me know how it turns out, which brand and which color. I would love to see someone get good results at home.
    Hair: tight waves to loose curls. Thick. Coarse. Dry. Natural redhead until bright white strands popped out. Color with FramColor now. Shampoo: alternate Phytojoba with Cowash: Suave coconut, Paul Brown or those that didn't work well as a conditioner. Conditioner: can't find one heavy enough. Product: Aveda Brilliant Humectant Pomade. DT: Coconut Oil
  • Koukla72Koukla72 Posts: 1,680Registered Users
    I'm not a professional colorist, but I've been using professional color from beauty supply stores off and on since I was a teenager. Pretty much the directions for the grocery store boxed kits apply well to professional color too.

    You choose the developer level based on how much color you want to lift/lighten. 10 volume is basically just for permanently depositing color - it can only lift up to one darkness level at most. You choose that if you don't really want to lighten. 20 volume is for lifting up to 2 darkness levels. This is the volume level that is usually included in grocery store boxes. That's why they say to not try to go significantly lighter than your natural color with those - they're simply not capable of it. 30 volume can lift up to 3 levels, and so on. If someone wanted to lift more than 4 levels of darkness, or if they wanted to lift 3-4 levels and their hair was particularly resistant, they'd have to use bleach to get lighter.

    A 1:1 ratio of developer to pigment is standard, though there can be occasional exceptions depending on brand. (Have you decided which brand you'll be using? Wella and Clairol are the most common in beauty supplies, along with Feria [which has metallic dyes in it - why I've never used it] and Redken. Right now I'm using Satin, by the same people who make Color Oops.) Usually if there's an exception to the ratio something will say so. If you're using a pigment that's packaged inside a little box, whether it's in a little bottle or a tube, there will be often be directions printed on the inside of the box - tear it carefully apart at the seams to read them.

    You measure in oz., and you can use a bowl and brush, or you can buy a squirt bottle with measurements imprinted on the side for a couple dollars at the beauty supply. If you do that, buy a bigger bottle than you'll need. It will make it easier to shake it up quickly and thoroughly, and give you more room for dye if you grow your hair longer and need more dye at once. On that note, make sure to buy as much dye and developer as you think you need to cover your hair - one bottle's worth will definitely not do most women's medium-length to longish hair. Bottles of pigment will tell you how many fluid oz. are inside, tubes usually have lines marking out ounces on them, and bigger bottles of developer often have windows going down the sides of them with measurements marked off in oz. so you can see how much you're pouring off and how much is left. You can buy plastic gloves individually or by the boxful. Never use anything metallic to mix in or with, it reacts with the color - plastic or glass only.

    You should definitely color swatch every time you change color, brand, developer, etc. There are never any guarantees on how someone's hair will take a color, even for pros, and that will help give you a better idea of the developing time your hair will need. You should also probably patch test too, if you're at all chemically sensitive, but I have to admit I never do. I'm a bad influence, though, don't listen to me about that. ;-) Make sure you don't scratch your scalp or brush vigorously (probably not a problem for any of us) for a few hours before you do it. It can cause irritation where the skin was scratched. Do it on clean, product-free, but not freshly washed hair.

    Uuuh, can't really think of anything else off the top of my head. I feel like I've already written a novel, and this plus the information in that link ringlets of fire provided should be enough I think? But if either of you do think of anything else, give a shout. :) Plus I'm certainly not the only one here who know something about this, I'm quite sure. :oops:
  • laurabeth33laurabeth33 Posts: 1,443Registered Users
    Thanks to both of you! Good advice in both the link and to open the box carefully to get the directions printed inside--brilliant!

    Thankfully, my stylist, understanding budgetary limitations, shared his ratio for my haircolor. The brand is Artego, and he said he used a 50:50 ratio of 2 shades with 10 volume.

    Thanks again! I feel much more prepared! :toothy7:
    2b w/ some 3a
    product tester geek

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