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 Mix Your Own $100 Home Hair Color
   You know “that friend” who goes to “the salon” and has her hair fabulously colored? More likely than not, her stylist mixes two, occasionally even three, specially selected hair colors to achieve your friends' beautiful hair color. What you notice is that her hair color always seems perfect-never brassy, never boring.

The three most common reasons to mix hair colors are: 

   1) Embolden your hair color.
Achieve a particular shade
   3) Neutralize unwanted tones
How Do I Mix My Own Hair Color? 
 1) Determine the shade of hair color you would like to achieve.
 2) Mix most hair color
1:1, or 
equal parts, the developer to the hair color. (The developer is the "active" ingredient, meaning that it is the ingredient that makes the hair color “work”.) While developer is available in 10, 20, 30, and 40 volumes, the preferred and most often used developer is 20 volume peroxide. 
 3) Before you begin, you will need:
An old towel that you don't mind staining     
with an old shirt
      * Gloves
      * A bowl, brush and a measuring container
      * Or, an applicator bottle
      * The hair colors-of course &
      * The developer.
 4) Into your bowl or applicator bottle, measure the developer.
 5) Add the hair colors. (The total amount of the hair colors that you have selected should be (in ounces) the same amount as the developer.) 
               As an example: 2 ounces of 20 volume peroxide   
               1 1/2 ounces 9N w/  1/2 ounces 7N= 7 1/2  (N)                                          
 6) Mix the formula with a color brush (I also like to use a small whisk to make certain I thoroughly mix the color molecules together). If you prefer an applicator bottle to a bowl and brush, but want to make certain the hair color is mixed sufficiently, simply mix the formula in a bowl, then transfer it to the applicator bottle.
 7) Apply the hair color. Hair color lightens more quickly on the first 1/2 " of roots because of the "body heat" at your scalp. If you have struggled with a "hot" scalp, or lighter (often, brassier) hair color at your roots, keep this in mind. While it requires a bit more effort and thought, first apply the hair color 3/4" away from the roots. Then, return to the initial application point to apply the color at your roots.
  Think in terms of adding “balance”, "depth" or "accent" to your formula. 

     A) Balance refers to neutralizing unwanted tones in the hair. While “ash” is the most familiar neutralizing tone, "Salon Beautiful" hair color often begins with a neutral tone. It is identified either by an "n" for "natural" ("6n") or simply by the associated shade of the hair color ("6"). Natural hair colors are neither warm nor cool.    
     B) Depth occurs in a formula by adding a slightly darker hair color to the mixture. It can be as little as a drop or two, or as much as 1/2 of the formula. 
     C) Adding Accent  to a hair color formula acts in the same manner as adding depth. For just a bit of "heat",  add only a drop of two of your chosen accent color, but for a real "flame" add more color accordingly. 

Can depth and accent be added together? Certainly! See the example of Robyn's formula below:

Robyn, has just landed a job at a very eclectic graphic design firm. She wants her hair to "shout" her creativity in a vibrant copper.

Robyn's natural hair color is a medium light brown-a "level" 6.
               Using L'Oreal Preference Liquid Creme Permanent Hair Color
Mix: 2 ounces of 20 volume developer w/  
                  11/2 ounce # 9 Pastel Blonde to lighten Robyn's hair sufficiently
 1/2 ounce # 7.4 Burnished Copper to add depth  and accent to the formula.

 Most Commonly Asked Questions

  1)  Can boxed hair color be mixed? Certainly. Boxed hair color 
  2) Must the 2 boxed hair colors be the same brand? No. With the exception of hi-lift hair color which is mixed 2;1 ( 2 parts developer to 1 part hi-lift hair color), I can't think of another hair color brand that is mixed similarly, 1;1 
  Final Notes
  Being a hair color "mixologist" is fun and creative. Always, always strand test! The time, effort, cost and anxiety created when a hair color goes wrong, simply isn't worth the time saved by not strand testing. Write your perfect mixture down and save it. You'll be glad you did next month. Robyn's hair color turned out beautifully. Use it though only as a guide to build your own unique hair color.

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