Dealing with Color Correction

There are two important areas to consider when a color correction becomes necessary or is requested. The first is how to handle the situation with the client and the second is how actually to achieve the desired target color.


The Client
There are a few possibilities here: a client may have returned a few days, a week or even longer since their last color treatment requesting that the color be changed, or they may have come directly to you after a disastrous treatment at another salon! The client may have been completely satisfied with their previous color but just want a change, or they may have been dissatisfied with their previous color. In some instances it is possible to predict that a corrective color will be necessary, for example when lightening the hair. In this case a neutralizing or enhancing tone can be added to the initial color mix.


Before proceeding with corrective color, it is important to analyze the existing hair. If the client has had their hair colored at your salon before, then the previous results will be on their record card. Use this as the basis of a new consultation.

  • Clearly identify why the client wishes to have their hair color changed. This may be self-evident or require some tactful detective work
  • Discuss the client’s new color requirements
  • Perform a new color analysis and record the results on a new record card
  • Remember to ask the client what color process they have had if this is not on their existing card
  • Discuss with the client any issues that have arisen from the color analysis, for example their chosen target shade may not be achievable. If this is the case then try to offer an acceptable alternative, explaining why the original color was not possible, for example the hair may not be strong enough in its present condition to apply bleach
  • Finalize the new color treatment, explaining the coloring procedure as well as any time or cost implications and after-care treatment

The Correction
There are three corrective procedures that can be applied to hair:

  1. Changing the tone
  2. Lightening the hair
  3. Darkening the hair

Once the hair has been analyzed you will need to decide which of these procedures to use; it may be that all three are necessary. For example:


Problem: Hair is too light
Solution: Restore color


Problem: Hair is too dark
Solution: Remove color


Problem: Wrong tone
Solution: Neutralize or cleanse the color


Whenever corrective measures are taken clients will appreciate a positive problem-solving approach. Focus on the end result and use the opportunity to strengthen the relationship with the client and follow up by offering after-care treatments.