Step-by-Step: How-to Cure Porosity when Jumping Levels

As the leaves begin to fall from the trees, and the temperature turns chilly, I inevitably have a bevy of beauties that sit in my chair – and they all make the same request: they want to ‘go darker.’ But making the transition from warm weather, icy blonde locks can be less than simple, and too many stylists take shortcuts. These shortcuts cost our clients, but ultimately they cost us, too – because unhappy clients rarely return to our chairs.

Porosity, which refers to how well a client’s hair is able to receive and retain moisture, can be affected by external factors, such as chemical processing and heat styling – and strands that are porous can cause darker hues to pull a vanishing act. Read on to find out how you can cure the common issue of porosity, and keep your clients costly new hue from running down the drain.

Step 1: When a client with porosity issues wants to jump down several levels, it can be beneficial to start the service with a deep conditioning treatment. This is because, when hair is porous, the cuticle is open. A deep conditioning treatment that works to close down that cuticle can simply and successfully combat the issue. To fully close the cuticle, blow dry a leave-in conditioner into your client’s locks prior to the color service. Because this step requires extra time, make sure to pre-book the service. For tips and tricks on pre-booking, go here

Step 2: When deepening your client’s color three levels or more, always pre-color (or fill) strands. This step can help to return the natural remaining pigment to the hair, which will result in more accurate and predictable results, for a perfect formulation, every time. Most hair color lines have a color that they recommend using to fill the hair, but you can create a custom formula by using a filler one level higher than your target level. Make sure to thoroughly rinse and cleanse the pre-fill formula; spray with leave-in conditioner and thoroughly dry strands, prior to the color service.   

Step 3: Be sure to thoroughly remove color from strands, post-service, because left behind color can heighten porosity. To accomplish this, shampoo the hair twice, with hot water, making sure that your client remains comfortable. If you’re able to smell color as you blow dry, you haven’t successfully removed it, and by leaving some behind, you’re compromising the integrity of your client’s strands, plus shortening the life of their color. This is because, once the client shampoos, their cuticles will open – and remain open – leaving them vulnerable to rapid fade-out.

Step 4: Post shampoo; use a PH normalizer to nullify remaining chemicals, and follow this with a deep conditioning treatment.

Step 5: Do yourself – and your client – a favor by sending them home with color-care products, which will further extend the life of their hue.

Though there are shortcuts to achieving a deeper level of color – these shortcuts are certain to cost you in the long run. So follow these fail-safe tips, and you’ll get rich results that last and last.