SoZo HAIR Salon Tips

As stylists, we see a similar shift in client color services each year. As the weather warms up, our clients tend to want to lighten up their hair color, and then as the weather cools they tend to shift back to darker richer shades. While we as stylists see this as a relatively normal thing, we also don’t often get the chance to really explain what is happening to your hair as you revert from dark to light and the effect it has on the integrity of your hair. In this article, we will explain how to go through these processes as safely and gently as possible, so as to maintain both the color and integrity you desire for your hair.

Beautiful Middle Aged Woman in her thirties looking at camera

Transition From Dark To Light Hair

So let’s start with the transition from dark to light. Not only is this transition a bit more involved, but it can often cause more damage, especially if it is done incorrectly. At SoZo HAIR, it is our goal to be as kind as possible to your locks, so most, if not all of our stylists will generally recommend going through a series of highlights to begin your process from dark to light.

It’s suggested that you start with a partial highlight, which is focused toward the top and front of your hair. This will give you an immediately lighter result without damaging the hair on your entire head. You can then come back every 6 to 8 weeks to have your initial highlight service retouched and have additional highlights put into your hair. To minimize damage while going through this process we suggest using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner , such as SoZo Marula Oil or Keratin Therapy, and having conditioning treatments done about every two weeks. This will not only keep your hair soft, shiny and protected, but it will also help rebuild some of the damage done by using bleach lightening on your hair.


Slow And Steady Wins The Race

When going from dark to light it is important to remember that slow and steady wins the race! Although it is sometimes challenging to not get the immediate results you are looking for, this slower process is far more beneficial (gentle) for your hair. When we use bleach lightener on the hair, it removes natural and artificial pigments by opening the cuticle layer (outer most layer) of the hair and breaking up the pigments which reside in the cortex (center) of the hair strand. Bleach also tends to break the bonds in the hair strand, making it significantly weaker and more susceptible to heat damage from blow drying and styling. This is often where you will hear clients mention noticing that their hair feels dry or seems to have more breakage than normal. As stylists, we try to recommend products that will not only moisturize, but also protect fragile, freshly bleached blonde hair. Products such as leave in conditioner and thermal protectant will be among the top of the list in helping to maintain the luster and integrity of your hair as you make the journey from dark to light hair.

Blonde woman holding her hands in hair

Transition From Light To Dark Hair

Next, let’s talk about the opposition, going from light hair to dark hair. This process is definitely less damaging on the hair strands, but can also be relatively involved. Because highlighting removed most, if not all of the pigment from your hair strands, there is little to nothing left for dye molecules to adhere to when placed over your blonde. This is often when we will hear clients talk about rapid fading of their new darker shade of hair. So how do we help prevent this challenge? One option is to put lowlights into your blonde. This will tone down your summer color, but not cover it completely, making it far easier for your stylist to take you back to a lighter, brighter blonde as the season changes.


Another option is called a filler. A filler is made up of several shades of reds and browns that contain dye molecules that will mimic the natural pigments found in hair (before they are removed). This  is placed on damp hair and then rinsed and dried into the hair before applying a darker all over color. You could compare it to a toner as far as its cost and the length of time it takes to have done, but it is used to prepare the hair to accept darker dye molecules before an all over color service, as opposed to being used to remove unwanted tone from the hair after a color or highlighting service. You may hear many women talk about going back to a darker shade of color if they feel their hair is over processed or extremely damaged. While this does not necessarily fix the problem of damaged hair, it does disguise it by filling the hair strands with dye molecules and closing the cuticle down giving the hair a smoother, shinier appearance. Your stylist will probably recommend a color protecting shampoo as well as a moisturizing conditioner to preserve the color as much as possible.
Lastly, as women we want to change our hair often, sometimes a bit too often. When you get the bug to change your hair, ALWAYS check with your stylist. They will be able to help you get the bug out of your system with the minimum amount of damage possible and the best end result. You can change your hair color as often as every 8 to 10 weeks if done gently and can only be accomplished correctly if you are willing to follow a strict regimen of at home hair care set out for you by your stylist. At SoZo Hair we love nothing more than to help you feel beautiful in both the safest and most gentle way possible!

About SoZo HAIR:

SoZo Salon Tips is a blog about beauty salon tips, tricks, and hints.  SoZo HAIR by Bajon Salon & Spa serves the greater Cincinnati area. We are located in Olde West Chester at the corner of Cincinnati-Dayton and West Chester Rds. We’re just a short drive from Mason Oh and Fairfield Oh….a big city hair salon without the big drive and big traffic.


Chelsea S. is a passionate hair designer with an up to the minute awareness of what’s happening in the hair, beauty, and fashion industry. Her passion shows immediately along with her very caring customer service skills!


Karen Welch

Karen Welch has 32 years of experience in the Hair Fashion Industry and is considered an expert in hair design, hair color and beauty makeovers. Karen says she learns more every day.