Matrix Blog

Enlightening You on Lightening Hair

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May 302019
By Lisa Valentine
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Are you a hairdresser? Want to know everything about lightening hair? Read on to find out..

So where to begin? And I mean not just for me writing this but in general this tends to be the thoughts of most hairdressers when a guest sits in their chair and wants to be blonde. Am I right? Or am I right? Now the variations of blonde are huge and getting the perfect blonde for your guest isn’t always that simple. The many factors to take into account for each and every individual guest can be like navigating a minefield!

We have to think of natural starting level, underlying pigments, never mind what colour is already layered up on the hair from years of colouring already so let’s take a look at how to break this down.

Where do I start with Blondes?

2019 is the year of the blondes, but in reality blondes are always around.

Spring/Summer used to see them come out of the woodwork, usually to get brightened up but we have also seen a huge upturn in trends that means their demands on blonde services are increasing and not always with realistic goals from the guest.

As a hairdresser you will either love doing blondes or completely fear it!

There are so many variants of products to use, hair types, hair condition and techniques. So where to start?


Well consultation is key. With the help of google, Instagram, celebrities, Pinterest the list goes on and it’s either a great help or a huge hindrance but at the end of the day it is where guests usually look for inspiration and let’s be honest so do we. Some of the search terms mostly used are hi lights hair, blonde hi lights, brown hair with hi lights and hair colour ideas which is a far cry from 2018 where it was silver hair!

We now know what they are looking for, we have a rough idea what’s previously been done to their hair but how do we decide what to use? Which lightening product is best suited for the job we need to do?


With women colouring their hair more often than ever we also have to factor in consideration of hair damage and this is becoming high up in the concerns of the consumer.

We have seen blonding techniques get bolder as time goes on but are things about to change?

Where we have always reached for bleach or lightener as I prefer to call it, are we forgetting other gentler forms of lightening?

Remember tinted blonde options, usually referred to as hi lift blondes? Well because of recent trends they have seen a reduction in use with us hairdressers believing that a gentle bleach with a toner would be kinder to the hair.

Traditionally these type of colours have a higher ammonia content which was thought to be too harsh and didn’t always give enough lift to the hair. 


Recently Matrix have developed a low ammonia (gentler on the hair and scalp) Hi lift range which will replace their existing Ultra-Light collection or UL’S if you are familiar with the brand.

These will also be the first Hi lift tint to have a built in bonder called Fortibond meaning that this now gives us another option to lighten hair without the damage associated with it. 

The technology within hair products is advancing and we are seeing incredible results but if you haven’t heard of bonding services then where have you been hiding?

Pretty much all companies have launched some sort of Bond Protection system that you add into your colour allowing hairdressers and colourists to push the boundaries of lightening without damaging the integrity of the hair but usually it’s an extra service that we aren’t always comfortable charging for.

Having this built into the product means we are ensuring the best hair result possible.

Matrix UL’s give a range of lightening options to use with best results from a natural level 5 (light brown) to a natural level 8 (light blonde) offering up to 5 levels of lift with tonal options from Neutral, Violet, Ash and double Ash and Violet.

This new and improved range will also include Opal Ash and Opal Violet. So with trends looking likely to see more hi lights and softer looking all over blonde colour these should be your go to lightening tool.

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