5 Steps to Color Correction Mastery

Color corrections can be one of the most challenging tasks! Several factors make color corrections even more complicated, from selecting the right weft colors, to achieving the desired results, and anticipating your client’s fade-out. 

Let’s talk about DKW Styling Salon’s five essential lessons every stylist should know when to perform successful color corrections. By following these guidelines and utilizing ISLA® products, you can achieve beautiful and long-lasting results for your clients! 

Our model’s goal was to get a gorgeous high-contrast Hailey Bieber color for summer, and ditch her red tresses. She had been dying her hair for 8 years and is a natural level 7.  She had vivid fashion colors, bleached her hair, and a permanent root.

 We knew that we had to set the expectation, anticipate the fade, and choose a variety of wefts to create a perfect blend!


Before booking an appointment, it’s important to have a proper consultation with your new guest. This can even be done over the phone (or zoom!) to gather essential information about their hair and understand their expectations. 

This is also why having guests complete an application to sit in your chair is something we teach inside of NBR Education. 

By identifying if a color correction is needed beforehand, you can allocate the necessary time and resources to deliver exceptional results. Additionally, addressing any potential pricing changes during the consultation ensures transparency and avoids surprises for you and your guest. During Mary’s consultation we let her know that we could get her to her desired result, but it was going to take TIME. 

Book Enough Time

To avoid rushing through color corrections, schedule these appointments appropriately. Do not try to double or stager book this. 

Booking sufficient time ensures you can dedicate your undivided attention to the color correction process, resulting in a more successful outcome!

During Mary’s first color appointment, we did two bleach washes and then low lighted with L’oreal Dia Richesse 5.07 + 6.01 + 7N, left her tips out and used 7 volume. 

For her smudge we used Redken 6GN + 6NA + 7VB + 7N.

Finally, she got toned with 8GI + 7NW + 7T + 8V.

Then we had her live in this for a few days, and she came back to the salon after washing a couple times to do it all over again!

Manage Expectations

Color corrections often involve complex transformations, and managing your guest’s expectations is crucial for a positive experience. 

Encourage your clients to bring inspiration photos, but also emphasize the importance of realistic expectations. 

By discussing the existing colors and processes their hair has undergone, you can help them understand the best goals and the potential need for multiple appointments to achieve their desired look. 

Underpromise and OVER deliver are KEY in this step!

We let Mary know we’d get her close, but she was going to need to come into the salon sooner than her normal 8 weeks to adjust her color after her install.

Go Back to Basics

When faced with a challenging color correction, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. 

However, relying on the basics of color theory and drawing from your experience behind the chair can be highly effective. 

Understanding the porosity and underlying pigments of your guest’s hair is essential for achieving the desired results. 

Remember, hair can only be four things: Too light, too dark, too warm, and too cool, so take it ONE step at a time. 

Anticipate the Fade

Hair color will fade over time, and when incorporating Natural Beaded Rows Extensions with a color correction, you must ensure your guest’s natural hair and extensions still match after 6-8 weeks. 

By anticipating this fade, you can ensure that your clients’ hair maintains a beautiful look even weeks after the color correction. 

For Mary’s wefts, we mixed 22″ and 24″ ISLA Hair, for a seamless and natural looking transformation. So when the wind blows she never looks like she’s wearing extension!

One approach is to mix warm and cool tones or to tone a warmer weft with cooler tones so the natural hair and extensions fade the same. 

You can see from the color map that this is the approach that was taken to create this beautiful NBR Transformation!

Both techniques can result in stunning, long-lasting results that your clients will love.

We left the 5WB and 6GWB colors raw. ISLA colors are so beautiful and they can be taken right out of the package, washed and installed!

For the 5/9WB & 6CB we did a 4″ lived in root with 5.13 + 6N
As for the 9/7WBL & 9WBL we did a 4″ lived in root with 5.13 + 6N and melted into 9.13 + 9N.

This created a gorgeous color correction and NBR Transformation that is definitely one for the books!

Mastering color corrections requires skill, knowledge, and effective communication. 

By following the five essential lessons outlined in this blog post and leveraging the high-quality ISLA® products, you can confidently tackle even the most challenging color correction tasks. 

Remember to trust yourself as an artist, and embrace open communication with your guests! 

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Courtney Dines

Courtney has been a part of the NBR® community since 2018, when she attended BMSCON3! She was later asked to join the Education Team and has enjoyed working to improve the industry ever since.

Courtney’s approach to styling is balanced between her technical skills and her artistic side, which allows her to create seamless blends and strong silhouettes.

Julia Ward

Coach Julia has been part of the NBR® Tribe for four years. After co-owning a salon with her best friend, she decided to take a leap of faith and open her salon, MUSE, located in Olympia, WA, and as of 2023, opened a second location in Gilbert, AZ!

Julia is an experienced stylist who creates natural blonde and light-colored looks that combine glamour and bohemian styles.

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