Jul 14, 2016

Black Box Color to Ash Blonde


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This client came in with her hair down to her waist and a years worth of grown out box color that had previously been applied layer after layer. Colorist and Olaplex Specialist, Slim, knew exactly what to do and walked us through every step of the way.

Slim explains, “She came to me with her hair down to her waist– the old box color was caked through the mid shaft to ends. We did a test strand which resulted in the top of her hair lifting beautifully, but the bottom wouldn’t lift past red.

I told her in order for us to do this successfully, we would have to cut off 3 inches rather than having to nuke those super stubborn ends. So, in order to break through the color, I applied a full highlight then sent the client home with two bottles of No.3 for her to finish prior to her second session.”

Check out Slim’s killer formula and tips below for this journey from black box dye to rooted ashy perfection:

Session One

Step 1: Redken Flashlift 30 vol with Olaplex No.1. Balayage with Olaplex  No. 1. Let process until a level 8-9. (According to Slim, “Due to the metallic dye she had layered on, some pieces came out a dirty level 7-8, which I later remedied in the second session by balayaging through.)

Step 2: Rinse and apply Olaplex No.1 + h2o and comb through, then let sit for 5 minutes. Without rinsing, apply Olaplex No.2 mid shaft through ends. While the treatment is still on, apply root gloss Shades EQ 5n + 7 Nb for ten minutes (treatment is then on for 20 minutes).

Step 3: Rinse well, then towel dry. Apply Pravana Express toner ash for ten minutes. Lastly, send the client home with No. 3 to prepare for the next session!

Session Two (2 weeks later)

Step 1: Balayage with Olaplex No.1 and pick through the warm pieces that didn’t lift from the box color. Then, tip out the whole head.

Step 2: Apply Pravana ½ ash ½ violet and clear for 4 minutes. Rinse.

Step 3: Apply an Olaplex Stand Alone Treatment for 30 minutes. Send client home with Olaplex No. 3 for weekly maintenance and bond rebuilding.


Slim is a colorist and Olaplex specialist at the Ramirez | Tran Salon in Beverly Hills, CA. You can follow her work on Instagram @slim_color. For inquiries, e-mail Slim at [email protected]

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