What’s Black, Lightens, and is Very Cool? by Patrick McIvor

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What’s black, lightens, and is very cool?

Until the other day, if someone had asked me this question I would not have known the answer. And in someways now that I do, I am still blown away, in a mind trick type of way. The fact that there is a new lightener that uses almost ancient technology combined with the latest innovations to create a lightener that is nearly Black, is a different way to think. Kaaral's new Blonde Elevations Charcoal is a Black Cream Lightener, YES a Black Lightener. It is definitely a bit trippy, when I was first dispensing the Charcoal Lightener from its package saving pouch into my color bowl. Then as I added double the amount in developer, I was interested that after mixing it was still black. My mind was searching for some connection, is there anything else that is black that light?

So my journey started off much like yours, if this is the first you are hearing of a Charcoal lightener. When I first heard about it from my friend and Kaaral Education manager, Donna Ogozalek, she was raving about how amazingly healthy the hair was after she tried it. Well she had me at hello, because I don't need many new things from a lightener, but even more health to the hair, yes please, that’s always good. Then she said, that the Charcoal had an amazing toning effect on the hair that controlled warmth. Hello again! I was in, because this didn’t seem like a gimmick, it made sense since people have been using charcoal forever in history, and even better because someone I admire told me she had amazing experiences with it. So like you, I heard about it from someone I admired, it made sense to try and I knew exactly the first 2 people I wanted to try it on.

You know those guests that lighten through red pretty easily and then get stuck in warmth. And every time you check it’s, 5 more mins. But you know if you leave it 5 mins too long, they are white? Yes it is that guest, that I wanted to try this on. My goal is to not have to lift as high and damage the hair less, if this can control warmth. I am looking for that soft ivory, creamy blonde that so many blonde guests love. So when my guests arrived, both who had come to me because previous colorists had either left their hair too warm and 1 also had had very damaged hair with extreme breakage, I was excited to let them know I had something new for them.

My first guest is an older woman who's blonde hair is very important because of the loss her husband that always wanted her to be blonde, which see did after his death. When I told her about the new Charcoal lightener sharing that her hair would be the blonde she loves and would control the warmth without having to lighten it so much, she was excited. We colored her base with Baco Color 7sk 20g + 7.10 30g + 75g 20vol for 45mins. Then after shampoo and conditioning we highlighted her hair starting with 20vol, mixing 20g of Blonde Elevation Charcoal lightener with 40g of 20vol DEV Plus and mixed. Because this was my first experience with this lightener my placement was from bottom up, working back to front. I divided the guest’s hair front to back worked up from the nape, next I moved to a side working from the hair line up into the top of the round on the parietal ridge, then I finished the top. As I worked, when I ran out of product, I remixed with the next highest volume, using 30vol for my first remix for the sides and 40vol for the top. When I completed I checked the back and was able to rinse that section. I knew this because I strand tested first, using a shampoo towel and lots of water from a spray bottle. Because the lightener is black it must be completely removed from the strand in order to correctly assess the decolorization and make sure you have achieved what you want for your outcome. That's one of the other amazing things about this lightener, if you have a guest that is level 1 and they want to have blonde in their hair this is the Lightener You want for them! Not only is it great for lifting both natural and previously colored hair, off the scalp, it is gentle enough for baby fine naturally blonde hair like my next guest had.

My next guest had ended up in my chair about 5 years ago because the last salon had broken off much of her hair with bleach leaving pieces in her crown broken and only about 2” long while the rest of her hair was past shoulder length with almost no layers. Over the past 5 years we have been able to grow her broken hair back out, but I was always very cautious when lightening her because she loves almost silver blonde highlights in her very fragile hair. Oh and she is getting married in 9 weeks. I knew the Charcoal lightener would be perfect for her hair, so I told her I had something amazing to highlight her hair and it would leave her hair even more healthy with the pale cool blonde she wants. She was in!!! For her highlights I started with 10vol, mixed smaller batches. and worked up to 40vol in my last section. After we finished highlighting, shampooing, conditioning and blew her hair dry, she looked in the mirror and said, “You need to highlight my hair for the wedding with this new lightener! I LOVE IT!” Another one of the amazing things about Blonde Elevation Charcoal Lightener was I did not have to glaze either guest, something I always did for both.

I am having fun with the new Blonde Elevation Charcoal Lightener! This Black Cream Lightener gives me the opportunity as a professional colorist to create healthier results for my guests, fight less warmth and have something that is visibly different while working that allows guests to recognize we work differently, that’s why their hair is better.