Dec 4, 2009

Hair & Hair Color Challenges

HCC Email/Question #5

My question is why do my foil highlights swell? I live in what some would consider the country-side with all four seasons and no matter what time of the year it is this happens with a few clients it is very scary. And of course these are the clients that want to be super blonde is there something I can do to prevent this from happening.
Desperate Sandra

The swelling of the foils is very scary until it happens to you many times throughout a hairdresser’s career, but there is no need to panic. There can be several reasons why this occurs and I see more and more of these challenges in rural areas such as suburbs and the number one factor is the water system. Old plumbing such as copper pipes , soft water have a tendency to have sometimes minerals which over time can coat the hair there for once a chemical like hair color goes on the hair a battle begins meaning the actual hair color is cleaning off any deposits and brings heat to the hair resulting in swelling foils. Another factor can be medications or even certain styling products, putting a coating on the hair which again the hair color fights with.

My advice on this situation is , take note of all these possibility’s assess the hair, also move the client to another chair sometimes if you are seated in a warm area it ignites the chemical reactions with hair and hair color. DO NOT panic, the first thing a hairdresser does is wash the hair, let it settle down more than likely it will. And the way I prevent this from happening is asking my clients who I know have this challenges to wash their hair before they come in for highlights with a concoction I have them make at home to use once or twice a week but for sure before they see me. Take half shampoo and half white vinegar, this is the shampoo they should be using. What the vinegar does is break down all the impurities and allow the hair color to process normally, it’s a very old trick I learnt 30 years ago and I still use it today. The added bonus with this concoction is that it helps keep the blonde tone blonde, as we know blondes start going dull after a certain amount of time. The important thing to remember is when prescribing shampoo with vinegar is that the conditioner has to be extra nourishing (vinegar can dry hair out slightly) hence why it should only be used 1 to 2x a week.
Hope this helps.

My recommended products
Aveda Rosemary Mint Shampoo
Aveda Dry Remedy Conditioner


  1. great info great blog!!!

  2. another trick i am going to use ;=]

  3. wow vinegar i am going to try this
    thanks hcc

  4. i want to be you so much knowlege thx for sharing

  5. glad i found this blog it's great!!!!!

  6. this is a great trick its also good for
    chorine removing

  7. my grandmother used vinegar to rinse our hair , she would say it will get all the salt water out ,, don't know you but I love your blog

  8. good advice thank you hcc

  9. what an informative blog site LOVE IT!