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Autumn has arrived and we are looking for those RICH tones! Warmth is always the word that comes to mind when entering into this new season. Inspiration often arises from the glow of the sun and the reflection of color on the leaves. 

One of the most common questions received is, “ how do you create a true warm bronde? It never seems warm enough!” 

Here is the thing: When we view a tone, we have to look beyond what is apparent to the eye. Yes, it's warm, but what is driving that warmth? If you have attended previous education, read up on the blogs, taken the online course or watched any tutorial, you will know that utilizing warmth is a passion here at The Color Collective! 

So, what does the porosity issue mean? 

Porosity is one of the most common things to suck up warmth unannounced. It is hard to perceive just how much it will actually take. From hundreds of bronde creations, we have learned that there must be a warmth included stronger than, “GOLD”. Gold in general is made up of what two things? Orange AND yellow. In our mind this can seem like enough, but when we look at color formulation in different lines there is also a “base”. Generally in warm tones, this base includes brown or tan. When mixed with orange and yellow, this can significantly reduce the amount of actual warmth in your color. Brown is made up of the 3 primary colors: red, blue and yellow. Blue is a dominant pigment that cools things right off. On top of that, if you are using a color line that is blue based, you are ending up even on the cooler side. Most color lines are either yellow or blue based. Make sure to know your line well so you can understand how your color will react better. 

Let’s talk about a specific scenario!

 If you have a level 5 brunette, who’s been lifted to a level 8/9 yellow, you can assume there is a lot of porosity. Why? Because you are lifting through quite a few levels. Always count from the level you are leaving from. So in this situation we have lifted through levels 5, 6,7,8 and possibly 1 extra in some areas. That would be 4-5 levels of lift! That hair is screaming for warmth by this point!  In most stylist’s minds, they will see warmth in the lift (the yellow) and think they don't need to add extra warmth. This is not taking in the amount of porosity that is going to most likely suck up the little warmth in the formula. 

In almost every single bronde formulation, our owner and head of education , Christine ( @painthatmane) suggests adding copper. Copper is the secret to getting those TRUE caramel tones that you want to pop from that BRONDE finish. One of her favorite bronde formulas is using Redken Shades EQ : 08GG, 08C, 07NB. The amount of 08C in this formula is only about ⅛ to ¼ of the entire formula, but provides the proper cushion for all that porosity. 

The other thing the 08C is doing is enhancing all the other warmth in the formula. Whatever you’re mixing together is either warming up or cooling off your formula. A way to understand this further is when looking at a tube of color, there is usually a pigment that is about 70% and one that is about 30%. This can vary based on your specific line, but the first pigment is the dominant and the second is either controlling or enhancing. For instance, a level 8 red violet would be a dominant red pigment with a violet pigment controlling the red. If the tone was a level 8 red copper, the red would be dominant and the copper would be enhancing the red. It works similarly when mixing different gloss combinations, except that you need to also consider your raw lift as part of your formulation. 

Next time you’re thinking about creating a stunning bronde and you think the lift is enough warmth…think again! Try a dash of copper and watch those results POP! 

Becoming A Formulation Expert

There is so much to learn when it comes to formulation, and this fact can prove very intimidating for stylists. The good news is that the first step toward becoming a formulation expert is to develop a basic understanding of color theory and formulation. With this foundation in place, you’ll develop the confidence you’ll need in order to apply your knowledge to any situation that comes your way.

Have you been struggling with your confidence when it comes to formulation? Building confidence in this area is the key to becoming a better stylist, empowering you to deliver the results that your clients are looking for. Sign up for The Confidence Behind Formulation with Christine, where you'll learn the fundamentals of color theory and real, tactical skills that will allow you to formulate with the confidence that you need!