How To: Gradient Blonde Highlights Using High Lift
By: Kenra Professional
Lighteners are usually the way to go when it comes to highlighting, especially on clients that need 5+ levels of lift in one process. However, many clients come in that may only need 4 or so levels of lift, and some of them may be hesitant to put “bleach” on their hair (even though Simply Blonde lighteners are completely safe for maintaining the hair’s integrity.) Below, Karina Hotchkiss @krina_creates lays out a versatile color application that can be used on grown out highlights using a combination of Simply Blonde Lighteners and Ultra Lifts that work together to create a gradient blonde effect, however you choose to go about it!
Step 1: Section your client’s hair according to their needs for the highlight service. In this particular application, Karina sections her client to separate the sides, the top, and the back in a V shape to do diagonal subsections. Diagonal sections help to soften the overall look.
Step 2: Depending on the overall desired look, take weaves, slices, or babylights and apply Simply Blonde Ultra Lift Pearl mixed with 40 Volume Kenra Color Developer at a 1:2 ratio. Focus only on the regrowth or hair towards the scalp. If there is no previous color in the hair, apply from scalp to mids. If the client has old, grown out color or highlights that need to be brightened or refreshed, apply from the scalp to the previous color.
Step 3: Starting from the end of the Ultra Lift application in the mid-lengths, apply and melt Simply Blonde Beyond Bond Lightener and the appropriate low volume developer of your choosing on the mids and ends. If the hair is already pretty light but can still be brightened, mix with 10 Volume Kenra Color Developer. If the hair has previous color or darker highlights, feel free to up the developer to your liking while being mindful of the hair’s integrity and how long it will need to stay on. This is what creates the gradient effect with beautifully brighter ends.
Step 4: Continue the highlight application melting the Ultra Lift into the lightener. For added softness and dimension, foils can be alternated to include a “tip out” with only the Ultra Lift applied to the mids and ends. The product is then dragged upwards to blend towards the scalp for softness and diffusion. Again, each client and their canvas will be different, so lightener can be used in place of Ultra Lifts if needed to brighten the ends. Process up to 45 minutes.
Step 5: Shampoo and condition using Kenra Platinum Restorative Shampoo & Conditioner to further maintain the integrity of the hair. Tone the hair according to the desired level and tone. In the example video below, Karina uses a combination of 9GB and 9PV at a 1:2 ratio with Kenra Color 9 Vol Developer. Process for up to 15 minutes. Shampoo and condition once more prior to styling, then admire the gradient blonde look you created for your client!