Glossing, Part 1: Correcting Undesirable Tones


Maintaining the perfect tone and shine requires consistent care, plus just the right amount of TLC. One such way to keep color beautiful is with glossing services. Though they are less permanent than other forms of color, they’re considered more gentle overall – and can easily be marketed as the perfect solution for maintenance, plus hair health and color-longevity. Applying a gloss can help to fill the hair, close down open cuticles and create a sleek, smooth surface – perfect for reflecting just the right amount of color and shine. But do you know how – and when – to apply gloss to your client’s hair? Glosses are perfect for neutralizing undesirable tones. Find out how you can choose the very best gloss, in order to achieve the perfect hue.   

Correcting Oversaturated Tones

Before I color a head of hair, I follow a simple checklist:

  • What do I want to see in the hair?
  • What do I want to keep?
  • What do I want to eliminate?

The answer to these questions helps to guide me in choosing the base for my gloss. For example, during our color formulation, we know to add blue tones to neutralize orange tones; this give a cool, icy finish. But I’ve had blonde and brunette clients, alike, take on an ashy hue – and I know that I’ve added too much of the blue-based color to the formula, which has left my clients strands with an oversaturated tone. This oversaturation can be the result of working on a porous pallet, particularly, when it comes to blond clients. Learn how you can effectively adjust porosity issues, here

Simple color theory tells us:

Blue (pure tone)
+ Yellow (NRP)

We also know that we can use red to cancel out green. However, adding red to a formula that should have a cool, blue reflection can be devastating – and will most likely result in a warm reflection.

We know that, in order to make green, we need blue and yellow. We want to keep the blue for the cool, reflective tone – and ultimately loose the yellow. If we use our knowledge of basic color theory, we’ll realize that yellow is neutralized by violet, leaving the blue alone. So, in order to banish the yellow, we need a violet hue – and for that – we have a very powerful tool on our color lab: A violet based toner.

Simply apply the glossing treatment (toner) to the hair, and watch the green cast disappear.

Formulation examples are as follows:

If I see: Green
If I want to keep: Blue (Cool)
If I want to eliminate: Yellow
I’ll use: A violet base

If I see: Green
If I want to keep: Yellow (Gold)
If I want to eliminate: Blue
I’ll use: An orange or orange-yellow base

If I see: Violet
If I want to keep: Blue (Cool)
If I want to eliminate: Red
I’ll use: A green or green-blue base

Using the right glossing technique, you can effectively fill porosity, correct unwanted tones, plus maintain the vibrancy of your client’s color. So for the perfect shade, every time, keep your eye out for Part 2 of my Glossing Series: Reds, Brunettes and Blondes – and shine on!