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Hairstyling/Bleeds/ color correction


Hi Dana,
My blood sister and I are hairdressers by day, and both attend to our other careers at night.  We work all day in the basement of her house.  I normally prefer she does color corrections, as she has much more experience than me, but there is no room in her schedule, so I am stuck with one on Friday.  This lady told me she had foils done a month ago , and still sees a bleed.  That doesn't seem possible; shouldn't it have grown out somewhat by now?  I am wondering if the foils were just so fresh, that you can see where all were placed, and that it just isn't wearing off as fast as normal.  I never get bleeds , as I try too hard not to get too close to the scalp, so I don't know for sure what is and is not considered a bleed.  Can you explain it, or show me a picture.  I am going to be really surprised if she is right considering the time frame.  I am nervous too, because she had 40 volume bleach foiled on what sounds like more than a moderate brunette color hair, do if it seems like I would be playing with fire, should I say no, even if it's a bleed?

Hi Alyssa,

First of all, you can't really make a decision until you actually see it. A bleed happens when, for example, the lightener swells and oozes out of the foil creating a hard, solid line. Sometimes, if the section is too wide, a hard line will result as well.  Generally, it's not the whole head. It's usually just a few bits. The good news is, bleeds are easy to fix. If the bleed line is thick enough, it won't diffuse with time which may explain why she still sees it a month later.

As far as fixing it is concerned, all you have to do is break up the line. If she has lowlights, you match the lowlight. If not, match her natural hair color. Use a demi color, weave the hair right where the bleed line is and apply the lowlight formula and process. Since it's only been a month, she probably doesn't need a retouch yet but if she dies, the way to correct the bleed during a retouch is to do the highlight as normal, but when you get to the bleed line, weave in your lowlight formula. Often, I've even been able to use a mascara wand or slanted color brush and free hand the lowlight in. You really can't do much until you see it.

If she comes in, and you really are lost as to what to do, if your sister is there, there is no reason why you can't ask her to participate in the consultation with you and advise you in what to do,  if thats not an option, and you don't feel confident fixing it, be honest and offer to find a time your sister can help her. I've never had a client get mad at me for being honest. It's even possible that it's so slight that the fix may not be worth the expense. Paring it a different way or curling it differently may break up the visual line as well.  It's all a guess until she comes in.

In the meantime, don't panic. When you see it, if you don't think you can fix it, don't but quite often, we get ourselves all worked up and then they come in and the problem is nowhere near as big as we anticipated. You'll do fine. To fix a bleed though, you don't lighten the hair. It's already lightened. You're darkening bits within the hard line so you won't have to worry about overlapping 40 vol and lightener. Use demi color though. Not permanent color. You'll break down even more disulfide bonds and the hair won't hold color.  


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Dana Sear


I can answer questions on all types of hairstyling, cutting, designing, coloring, corrective color, perming techniques,product knowledge, and in general, anything that has anything to do with hair. PLEASE NOTE: I am a professional designer and trainer. I do hair and teach advanced classes to licensed designers. I do not, under any circumstances, recommend doing chemical services including but not limited to relaxers, perms, color, highlights, or any other chemical service at home. I will not tell you how to use professional products nor will I tell you how to do your color at home. What I CAN do is arm you with current and accurate information and help you to be able to better communicate with your stylist/designer. I can also help you with what you need to do at home to maintain, protect, and treat your hair.


I have been a designer and educator for 31 years. I have been a salon consultant for Redken, affiliate trainer for ABBA Pure and Natural, Director of Education for my own salon and am currently a member of the design team and advanced trainer for my company. I specialize in corrective color, perming and style support, and image updates (make overs)

I have been actively licensed for 31 years. I actively participate in and teach cutting, perming, coloring, and business building classes. I am a REDKEN Certified Haircolorist, and REDKEN Specialist. I also have extensive training in Structure in Motion Cutting Techniques and Tigi Cutting.

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