Seeing your hair colour like the changing seasons We know semi-permanent colours give freedom, but many people do not realise there is more potential to these colours than simply, apply, leave to fade off, apply a new shade.

If you love regularly changing your hair colour, it isn’t necessary to go through that ‘fading’ stage, before you re-apply your next and new shade. Colour Transitioning is the approach of the artful colourer and can create some of the most unexpected and beautiful shades. Rather than regarding colour as a ‘jump’ from one shade to the next, think of the seasons in nature. Visualise how the bright green leaves of spring become muted and dusky with the heat of the summer, before slowly turning from dusky to red in autumn then deepen to russet as winter approaches. Colours that are ever changing, but never vanishing. But few people realise, it is also possible to follow the principles of colour transitioning with hair.

Colour as you are waiting for the next colour!

Colour Transitioning is the method of applying a new semi-permanent shade on top of the previous shade (you are in the process of fading out). However, the new shade applied must follow specific colour principles to enable combining of pigments to produce a new colour entirely.

It sounds complicated but it’s not!

It’s in fact very simple and is the principle of colour creation in all walks of life. It just requires an understanding of the Colour Wheel and how some colours ‘create’ and some ‘neutralise’.

So, let’s say your hair was Green Emerald, and you next want to be Crimson Red. Here is the problem, if you simply tried to apply Crimson Red onto Emerald Green, the green and the red colour molecules would combine, counteract and create an off-brown colour result. However, if you worked around the Colour Wheel and applied Truly Blue to that Emerald Green, you would initially obtain an Ocean Blue. Over washes, the original and underlying (Emerald) Green pigment would be fading off, and you will notice the hair appearing bluer. This occurs, because the blue pigment (from the Truly Blue) is newer, whilst the Emerald Green pigment was older and already fading from the hair. From the point you begin noticing the hair becoming blue, you apply Crimson Red. Obviously, Blue+Red=Purple. From the Purple stage, you just start applying Crimson Red whenever you notice fading, and you will observe that purple shade becoming Magenta, before turning evermore red, as the underlying blue molecule (from the Truly Blue) leaves the hair.
So your colour transition from Emerald Green To Crimson Red would follow this pattern:-

Fading Emerald Green – apply Truly Blue to create Ocean Blue
Several washes later…
Fading Blue – apply Crimson Red to create Purple
Several washes later…
Fading Purple – apply Crimson Red to create Magenta
Several washes later…
Fading Magenta – apply Crimson Red to create Crimson Red

It’s all about adding in new pigments that create as the prior pigment fades!

Blue to Rose Gold

This is a good example of a completely contrasting start and end colour. Blue neutralises gold and vice versa. Therefore, if you applied rose gold to light blue, you would achieve a deep blonde to light brown result. So, if you want to transition brightly from blue to rose gold, your pathway is pink. If you are currently a deep blue and apply a deep pink (eg Pink Pizazz), you will obtain a Magenta/Purple. As the underlying blue pigment fades out, you will notice the hair starts to become pinker. If you then apply Coral Blush to this pink, you will achieve a vibrant Rose Gold. So your Colour Transition pathway would be:-
Deep Blue Hair – apply Pink Pizazz to create a deep Magenta
Several washes later…
Fading Magenta – apply more Pink Pizazz to create a deep Pink
Several washes later….
Fading Pink – apply Coral Blush to achieve a vibrant Rose Gold
From the vibrant Rose Gold, you can allow the intensity to fade down over washes to slowly transition to a Blonde Rose Gold.

It’s also about light and depth!

Good colour transitioning must also be based on the lightness or depth of your current shade. It’s important you apply the transitional colour in equal balance. At equal balance, the two colours will combine to create one shade, however more depth in the existing or the new will cause the deeper shade to dominate the overall colour. For example:

Indigo (as a colour) has more blue pigment than red. So as a colour, Indigo leans more to appearing blue than purple (think Indigo jeans). In hair colouring, Indigo will display as a full blue if you either applied it to an existing blue based shade or a blue based shade was applied over it. For example, if Indigo Night was applied to grey or silver hair, it would appear either a dark Indigo or Navy Blue. Again, due to the high level of blue pigment that has now been introduced to the hair.
However, if you applied Indigo Night to a red or pink base, it would crank up the overall red pigment in the mix and cause the hair to transition to a deeper purple.

Always Pastelise if you like soft tonal colours
If you Pastelise your next colour combining shade, it prevents that next colour applied overpowering your current ‘fading’ shade. Pastelising is particularly important if you are aiming for blonde based colours such as Rose Gold, Grey and Silver. So….

Grey and Silver

It’s important to remember that Grey and Silver are both very light colours. They require a very pale base to display. Many people make the mistake of attempting to apply a Silver or Grey colour onto an existing ultra-cool base (such as pale blue or even an old grey). Here, the blue pigments within the new grey and silver shade, combine with the existing blue pigments (already in the hair) and a blue colour result is achieved, as opposed to the expected silver or grey.

If you already have blue tone and want to be Grey or Silver….

Your best transitional shades will be very light pastel pink and pastel lavender. The reason being, is the small amount of red colour molecule (within these shades), creates a mild purple tone (when combined with the existing blue tone in the hair) and balances out the overall blue mix, causing it to appear more greyed or silver (depending on depth).

Share your Colour Transitioning With us….

At Knight & Wilson we would love to see your Colour Transitioning results from using our shades. We giveaway four colours of your choice, to any Colour Transitions we feature on our Social Media. You just need to remember to do the following: –
• Make sure you take a photo of each original colour the colour faded and the next shade applied.
• In the photos, hold up the Colour Freedom shade used to create the next transitional colour
• Aim to have a selection of photos demonstrating how you colour transitioned and also the unique and varying transitional colours created.

Lastly, remember to pay attention to the principles of the Colour Wheel

To successfully create transitional colour, you must follow the principles of the Colour Wheel and remember that some colours neutralise and some colours combine and create. You need to apply colours that take you around the Colour Wheel just like that hand on a clock, rather than opposing colours that counteract. If you counteract colour, you will find the shades achieved will be ‘earth tones’, such as dark blondes, deep mahoganies, neutral browns and charcoals.


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