How to: Banish ‘left behind’ color

Color services can make a big impact on your clients overall look – but there’s nothing worse than sending your guest home with the telltale signs of color that hasn’t been properly rinsed. That smell that lingers as you blow dry and style? You guessed it: Color. But beyond the offensive smell, lies the problem of porosity. Leaving hair color (even in trace amounts) on the hair can cause premature fading. So read on to learn how you can properly remove color from freshly tinted strands – and leave your guest looking and feeling their very best.

Color Removal

  • Step 1: Using hot water (as hot as your client can stand), rinse color from strands. Though your clients should use tepid water at home when washing their hair, as a colorist, it’s your job to get the color out, so don’t be afraid to turn up the heat.
    • Product note. Encourage your clients to use color-protecting shampoos and conditioners - and of course - always suggest the use of tepid or lukewarm water for cleansing and rinsing, which can significantly lengthen the life of their color.
  • Step 2: Gently towel dry the hair. Use a PH balancing product to seal the cuticle, plus stop the damaging effects of left-behind chemicals.
  • Step 3: Rinse and towel dry. Assess the needs of your clients’ hair, and address them now. Whether the strands lack moisture, vitality, strength or density, you can give them what they need with the proper conditioner.
  • Step 4: Thoroughly rinse the conditioner, and once it’s been completely removed from strands, finish with a cool water rinse, which can help to boost shine.

Bleach Removal

Though similar to color removal, post-process bleach removal requires special consideration – so make sure to follow this process, for the best possible results.

  • Step 1: Using hot water (as hot as your client can stand), rinse bleach from strands. Shampoo three times to ensure proper product removal. Take note: If you can see the hues of your toner, then you’ve left product behind, which can lead to uneven tones – and subpar results.
  • Step 2-4: Mimic color removal steps.
  • Step 5: Tone the hair.

While removing color or bleach from your clients strands may seem like a tedious process, it can be streamlined with proper training and precise techniques. Allot between 7-15 minutes per client for the color/bleach removal: Your patience will be rewarded with more beautiful, vibrant color, plus happier clients with healthier locks – which is the best ‘client referral system’ you could ever ask for.