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The science of blonde (and the green eyebrows story)

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

Hey there, fabulous readers! Welcome to our salon blog!


We are going to love spilling the beans on some hilarious and enlightening tales from the salon. These stories aren't just entertaining; they're packed with nuggets of hairdressing wisdom that we hope can help bring questions to the salon.


But hey, we're not the only ones on this learning adventure. Your curiosity and inquiries help us grow, too! Our team is all ears for your hair-related queries, and together, we'll dive deeper into the world of locks and styles. Plus, some stories are just too funny to keep to ourselves any longer.



Three shades of blonde ranging from icy white to warm
Your best blonde


Let's begin this month with one of the funniest stories to come out of the salon. This was a very long standing client of mine. We were casually talking about having her eyebrow tattoo topped up, she had them done quite a few years ago so naturally they had faded over time.


My client reminded me of the last time she had them done, and they had turned out pinkish/mauve tones. She was scheduled for her hair appointment before her eyebrow correction was booked which meant I got to see her pink eyebrows and we had a good giggle about the colour.


Needless to say after her correction they did look fantastic!


We then got chatting about the popularity of eyebrow tattooing now, and she mentioned someone in her social circle who had a very unhealthy shade of GREEN eyebrows!


I have to admit I TOTALLY underestimated the shade of green she was referring to, but quickly it was explained that they are green not just an ash brown. To my astonishment not a single person has ever brought this up to her. She is literally walking around with green eyebrows.



It raised the question: what is acceptable to point out to even your best friend about any cosmetic or otherwise procedure/outfit?


My answer? I wouldn't physically be able to keep my mouth shut about it. I 100% would have asked if she knew they were green?!


Even if she wasn’t a friend or in my social circle, I wouldn’t be able to not point it out. I would have suggested politely to my client that she possibly needed to go back and have them looked at had she not already said they were being fixed. I would love to know your thoughts on this. If you would want to know? Because I absolutely would.


Also does lead me to wonder if she actually likes them that colour and has a secret giggle to herself about others peoples confusion.


The Perception of Light


I talk a lot in the salon about the perception of light and how that affects our perception of colour.


One thing that I did bring up is that green is one of the aspect shades that are extremely difficult for someone who is colour blind to see. Green can often be mistaken for brown in this case and often reds are seen as grey.


It tickles me that we don’t actually know what other people see - and likely never will. We have our perception of how we look and it's completely different to what other people see or is it and some people just like bucking the norm!!


Leading a little more in depth to the reflection of light and if I have ever had the pleasure of discussing this with you in the salon you will know it's this side of hair that really makes me tick.


When you come into the salon with a picture one of the ways we help depict what you wish to achieve is how you interpret that picture you have chosen. It’s very difficult to get a true to tone photograph with all the different filters and effects available now.


One of the key features in our salon is that we use white LED lights, this is because they give the truest reflection of colour to natural sunlight. If you imagine a prism and you shine natural light from the sun through it you make a rainbow, made up predominantly of red, orange and yellow. Green, blue and violet are still there but are less.


So why is this relevant?


For example, if you want a very ash white blonde to show up in a picture in a white LED light it will appear extremely white if not slightly blue/violet. If you then look at your hair in a bathroom mirror that has a warm LED light it will look almost yellow/orange. It is still the same colour, but the light really can make that much of a difference. This is most noticeable when you then take a picture, if you selfie in the car in broad daylight you will have the truest colour reflected, take the same picture in the bathroom and all of a sudden your golden blonde.


Even down to the flash you choose, You can now pick your flash tone on snapchat and choose between neutral, warm or cool. If you're an ash blonde you should pick cool, if your warm blonde chose warm.


It might not always look the best on your skin tone and if that's the case you should then think about either warming or cooling your colour. The other thing to bear in mind is that all blonde including ash blonde is yellow based, how pale that yellow is based on how ash it looks, but that is achieved through picking the right toner. And even the most violet of blondes in the wrong lighting can look yellow/gold.


If your hairdresser says you can’t be platinum it’s not because the hairdresser is lazy it is because it comes down to simple chemistry and if we can’t lift your natural hair to a level 10 pale yellow and tone using a violet. Your colour will still appear yellowish and not that platinum you seek.


Trust they are trying to spare your hair and work with them to find what is achievable.


In simple terms - hair can’t be lifted more than 5 shades without compromising its integrity.


  • If your stylist matches you to a 5 or below you're going to lift to a banana peel colour.


  • Caramel/beige blondes will be your most achievable result that has a reasonable 6/8 week maintenance and come in at a more comfortable price point.


  • If you want more ash then expect shorter hair and more trips for toner to the salon and definitely a closer relationship with Bond Pro and at home treatment masks weekly.


Whenever you colour hair you're changing the pigment, so something to be mindful of is everyones hair reflects differently.


You could be a very ash level 5 and as soon as we apply lightener you will be an orange/yellow colour. The longer we develop the lightener the more melanin we remove and the less integrity is left in the hair.


If you come in with your friend to the salon who has platinum hair we could apply the exact same product and still have completely different results. It means that when your stylist is listening to your words and looking at the pictures you have brought with you and touching your hair we are looking for your personal colour reflect, feeling the texture and porosity and looking at your inspo pictures so we can begin to problem solve our way to achieving your desired result.


It also means if we say no it's not achievable, we are being honest and want you to leave with the hair you most desire.


We respect that you have an image of how you want to present yourself to the outside world, but trust us when we say it's not for you as we also don’t want the outside world to see something that looks off.


To recap; ash blondes are always going to appear duller as they are going to absorb much more light than a golden blonde.


If you want to be brighter than a warmer toner is often a better option than looking for icy white.


Bright is not always white. This doesn’t mean you have to be yellow, just more neutral or beige where you keep an element of yellow to help bounce that light and give you that shiny bright blonde.


If you are googling blondes try searching for ash blonde and golden blondes and let me know if you can spot the difference the next time you're in the salon. This doesn’t just go for blondes, coppers and brunettes work with the same theory it's just a little more obvious in blondes.



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