FAQ: I Would Like To Use High Lift Color Instead Of Bleach

My son's hair is a level 7 and I bleach it to lighten but I would like to use a highlift tint as this would be less damaging to the hair. Can you recommend wich one to use? We use "Koleston" at my college.

And my other question is: sometimes with bleach it leaves some uneven tone around the Parietal ridge area; which toner could I use to even this out - gold ash tone is the target. Hope you can help, many thanks.


  • Switching to a high lift color

If it comes to Wella products, I used to use Color Charm, Ultra Light Blond 1290 mixed with Wella 40 Vol. peroxide for highlighting jobs (I thickened the mixture so it would not "run" out of my foils). This shade produced on many of my clients a natural looking blond color without much brassiness - it is the lightest blond with combination of violet-blue pigment. However, the outcome depends on the pigments in your son's hair. If he has too much gold/warm tonality you may have to try different ash color - such as 1210 (Frosty Ash).
I never used Koleston. But from what I read about it, it is a permanent color, which you have to mix with its own developer. If the manufacturer allows you to use 40 Vol peroxide with Koleston, you can easily turn it into a high lift color. However the foaminess may be a problem if you want to use it as highlighter. If you want to use it as an "all over color", then the foaminess is not a problem.
Another thing you need to consider is how the previously bleached hair will match up newly "high-lifted" root area. You may have to tone down the bleached hair as the roots will seem "darker". To approach it the best way you could use a color chart of a semi-permanent blond to match the color to your son's new shade. Then mix the color and apply it to the lightest area (hair strands) only.

Besides Wella I used Clairol Extra Blond also (which is a high lift color), again mixed with 40 Vol developer by Clairol.

  • Uneven tone

You said that sometimes the bleach leaves uneven tone in the Parietal ridge area. It can happen for a couple of reasons. If it is only sometimes and not always, then your application is not even - you need to saturate the area better. Other reason may be due to hair being more resistant in that area - apply the color first there so it can process the longest. And my last reason I can think of - the hair may be darker in that area, which your high lift color will always leave it darker than the rest of the hair, but if you would stick with the bleach then the bleach could be applied first to that area and the hair could get lighter.


This post should be taken as a first step for a discussion with your hairdresser and/or colorist about your ideas, desires or problems with your hair. Under no circumstances, you should act upon this post ONLY. I strongly advice you to have your hair done by a skilled and reputable hairdresser/colorist in your area.