Hi Hairman! I am currently enrolled in Cosmetology school, but I have a question regarding repigmentation. I get different answers from a lot of people so I wanted to see what you had to say! My roots right now are at a level 5 about 2 inches out, and from my roots down, I have all blonde level 9 or so. Then under the nape, I have an (lightened) level 7 or 8. I want to get rid of all this blonde and be one level 6 OR 5NB all around. How do I go about repigmenting this hair?! I have so many colors and don't know where to start. When I do fill in, do I add it from the roots down, or include the roots? Do I need to fill the under nape area? If I use a Paul Mitchell 6RO & 8R with 10 V developer, can I use any other color line over that repig or does it have to be the same color line? So many questions! Hopefully you can help!! :) Thanks Hairman!
First of all, congratulations on your chosen career. It can be a great one. Basically, you have the right idea about repigmentizing (also called filling or priming)and I will go into the particulars shortly.
When we colour hair we deal with what is called natural pigment contribution or residual pigment. This is the pigment left in natural hair when lifted to any certain level in preparation for depositing new colour. For instance, when natural hair is coloured to a level 5, the natural pigment is lifted to a red (natural pigment contribution for level 5) and then the level 5 colour is deposited over that, whether using a level 5 neutral, ash or red. At level 6 the remaining pigment would be red/orange, at level 7, orange and so on. This is important to know because when tinting hair back 2 or more levels from a lighter colour, you want to replace the missing pigment to approximate the natural pigment contribution for the desired final resulting level. This is usually done colour in a combination of red and gold a level lighter that the final colour you will be using. However, you want to do this with a low volume and in a diluted form. So you will want to mix your colour with twice the manufacturer's recommended amount of developer, using 2-1/2 volume developer. You can make this by mixing equal parts of 5 volume and distilled water or 1/4 10 volume and 3/4 distilled water. If your colour line is normally mixed with equal parts developer, use double the amount. This will give you deposit of a heavy stain with no lift, instead of depositing full colour. Apply this to all areas to be deepened and process for 10-15 minutes. Towel off and apply your final colour over this. Don't apply to natural hair. If you are using a colour in your natural level or close, just apply from root to end once repigmentizing formula has been toweled off. If you are lifting more on the natural growth, you may need to use 30 or 40 volume on that growth. If this is the case, apply the same formula with 20 or 10 volume over repigmentized hair.
I prefer using the same colour line rather than mixing products for this.
So, to touch base again, your repigmentizing formula would be one level lighter than your final result, in a mixture of red and gold, mixed with 2-1/2 volume developer, double the amount normally used for your colour line, to create a strong deposit stain.
Best of luck to you.