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Hair Color Hacks

By award-winning colorist and educator, Sherry Ratay

As any hairdresser will tell you, big-time color correction can be a beast — even for the most seasoned pro. But Joico’s master educator and Orlando salon owner, Sherry Ratay, has a bag of tricks up her sleeve that quickly — and simply — put “off” hair color back on track in a matter minutes. “Creating the correct color doesn’t need to be a long journey,” explains Sherry, whose secret lies in reaching for highly targeted products…and knowing exactly when to use them. Check out her genius hair-color hacks right here:


PROBLEM #1: Blonde takes a turn…for the worse
SOLUTION: Color Balance Blue and Purple Shampoo/Conditioner
HERE’S HOW: Blonde hair is frequently over-processed, leaving strands exceptionally porous and susceptible to breakage. It’s also the hair color that most often takes on unflattering brassy or yellow tones. That’s the bad news. The good news is that those porous strands also suck up balancing color in a heartbeat; often, one good shampoo and conditioning treatment can set things straight at the shampoo bowl.



PROBLEM #2: “Mature” red hair goes dark and drab
SOLUTION: Base Breaker Original
HERE’S HOW: As the years go by, natural gingers often darken, losing the intense vibrancy that makes their color so captivating. Sherry brings youthful lightness back to their hair by following these steps at the shampoo bowl…

  • Apply Base Breaker Original to the ends of the hair and work it gently up the shaft.
  • Once the entire head is saturated, wait and watch — always do a first check at the five-minute mark. (Keep a close eye here: The process is often done by 8 – 11 minutes.)
  • Shampoo, condition, style…and enjoy the big reveal. As Sherry puts it, “You’ll see the shade they once had 10+ years before!” Extra bonus? The grow-out is so natural, this color service often needs only once-a-year touchups.

(Another good use for Base Breaker Original: erasing the build-up of hair dye, and cleaning the shaft of the hair in preparation for fresh color.



PROBLEM #3: Hot, new Color Melts can take forever
SOLUTION: Duo Lights
HERE’S HOW: After applying a root shadow formula and working in the next color on the mid-shaft of the hair, Sherry begins Color Melting the ends of the hair with a quickie freehand technique. “I don’t use foils with this,” she explains. “I simply apply any shade of Duo Light directly to hair ends with my hands…placing it exactly where I want to see lightness. It’s a super-quick way to create lighter, warmer ends.”



PROBLEM #4: Brunette and red hair color get a case of the fades
SOLUTION: Color Infuse Brown, Red, and Copper Shampoo/Conditioner
HERE’S HOW: “I always keep Color Infuse at my shampoo area — it’s perfect for my clients who need a soft refresh of color when coming in for a blow-dry and style,” says Sherry. Three favorite ways to use it:

  • Apply Color Infuse Brown to grey-haired male clients, who need to avoid those brassy strands that give away their “secret” color service. (Hint: Send them home with a bottle to control further oxidation.)
  • Mix Brown and Red together to create a vibrant depth that allows brunettes to sail right through to their next color appointment.
  • Cocktail Brown and Copper Shampoo before a color correction; it offers “a slight tint-back that leaves the hair fiber even and ready to absorb the next process.”
  • Use Color Infuse to give a “Fresh Wash” to clients’ hair extensions. (Charge a minimum fee for extra revenue.)