How can I lighten my hair without causing damage? The 3 Level Rule.

If you follow my work on Instagram or are a current client of mine, you may be familiar with my "3  Level Rule" when it comes to hair color. 

 

Lets start with the basics. What I believe that EVERYONE getting some type of haircolor, whether it be lighter or darker, should know and understand. And yes, professionals call it COLOR not DYE. What you get in box at the grocery store we can call hair dye, but high quality color you get in a salon is referred to as Haircolor. It sounds silly, but trust me my biggest pet peeve as a stylist is when my product is refered to as "dye". It seems somewhat offensive to my amazing, high quality color!! Anyways!! Back to the Basics:

 

#1 The Level System

Day one of cosmetology school we are taught "The Level System". This is THE most important thing you will ever learn about hair because every person on this planet is on this level system. In the simplest terms, each number represents how dark or light someones hair is. Level 1 being jet black and levels 10 and up being platinum blonde. Simple right? 

 Now in my experience, when putting color or bleach on hair, it takes roughly 10-15 minutes of processing time to break through one level of hair color. Now imagine you are a level one (black) naturally and your goal is to go blonde, lets say a level 10. That would mean you would need to saturate your hair in bleach for almost two hours or more. Do you know what your hair would look like if you left a strong bleach or lightener on it for that long?

Either melted and goopy or crunchy and fried! Either way NOT pretty and NOT worth it. Once its to this point, there is no magic potion to repair it. The only solution is to cut it off which i know is not something most of my clients want to do. 

 

So how can we get you to your goal, without comprising the health and quality of your hair? That is where my rule of thumb comes into play. Now after explaining the level system to you, it should be pretty obvious what I mean by "The Three Level Rule." Patience, time, and multiple sessions. If you stay within three levels of lift every session, you will get to your goal color and STILL have healthy hair on your head. Say your a level 1, you must settle for a level 4 medium brown for your first session. A level 7, medium blonde at your second and finally a level 10 "lightest" blonde at your third. Of course results always vary depending on your hair history and condition. For some, it may take 3-5 sessions to get to their goal color. 

 

 

Below is an example of a client who came in with level 4/5 natural or "virgin" hair. At her first session we reached a level 6/7 dark blonde. At our second, we reached levels 8/9 and at our third session we can see levels 10+

Before Pic (Left) After First session (Right) Initially the clients intension was never to go blonde but simply a lighter brown-caramel balayage. By her second session she decided to start going much lighter. Had her goal been blonde all along, we may have been able to safely get her to a level 8 for her first session. (Indoor lighting doesn't do this tone justice but remember we are focusing on level of lightness not tonalty)

Before Pic (Left) After First session (Right) Initially the clients intension was never to go blonde but simply a lighter brown-caramel balayage. By her second session she decided to start going much lighter. Had her goal been blonde all along, we may have been able to safely get her to a level 8 for her first session. (Indoor lighting doesn't do this tone justice but remember we are focusing on level of lightness not tonalty)

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Second Session, we now see a more dimensional color with brighter blondes.

Third Session, she's a dimension blondie!

This Client is a total blonde now with both babylights and balayage and still has room to go even lighter. Her hair is just as healthy and shiny as it was before the process because she is patient and uses quality products at home to ensure healthy results. Currently we are maintaining this color as it is, but eventually I'm sure she will want to go even lighter, as most of them do... Blonde becomes an addiction BEWARE. 

 

I hope this was helpful in explaining my Three Levels of Lift Rule of Thumb. I have truly worked on every hair type and this system has never let me down. I have seen what happens to hair when it is pushed too far in one session and over process and trust me when i say it is NOT worth it. 

 

Check out this before and after using my signature "Bali Mirage" Technique. Look at those healthy locks! 










Abigail Lacey8 Comments