Tutorial: Destination Sun-kissed Brown… (A Journey in Pictures)

I’ve labeled this post as a tutorial although in honesty I’m not going to do a step by step guide on what I did. I will however tell you how I did it briefly and will also be popping a review up on one of the products I used in a few days time.

I know its been about 6 weeks that I’ve had brunette hair now; its felt like longer to be honest. I do love my brunette locks please don’t misunderstand its just that they were a little too dark. In some lights they looked almost black and I was still having a great deal of problems on the areas which were high lighted before with the tint grabbing due to porosity. I had thought about doing something a little different but really wasn’t sure what.

My starting colour, this was taken last week after I’d curled my hair and my Halo. Its a lovely colour – strangely in this photo it looks lighter than it actually was due to the sunlight from the window

With this in mind I decided to go for a lighter brown, this seemed a good idea although I wasn’t limiting myself to an actual shade. After seeing the very beautiful Beautyntheblog new profile pic on Twitter (Check out her great blog here) I decided this was a good destination, but with so much dark tint in my hair this would mean only one thing….. Colour B4. So, on Saturday night here started my colour journey.

I broke out the BIG GUNS and went for Extra strength as my hair had been coloured a very dark colour and there was a great deal of build up on it.

I wasn’t really sure how my hair was going to react you see, I’d done a Keratin Treatment on it 3 days before and I’d only washed it once since then. Now with how Colour B4 Works (See my previous post on How to Use Colour B4 and the review here) it was debatable as to whether it would be able to break through everything or even some of it.

During the processing this was after 50 minutes my hair came up almost as light as it usually does – but the proof is in the rinsing.

My hair after the first treatment of Scott Cornwalls Colour B4 Extra Strength

My hair after the first treatment of Scott Cornwalls Colour B4 Extra Strength – Side View

So after 1 hour application and 20 minutes rinsing this is where we got my hair too – I would say a medium warm brown. I was expecting the warmth so not overly worried about that to be honest. I would have liked a little more lift but as I said I had a feeling the Keratin treatment would upset the Colour B4 slightly and I was right. The condition of my hair wasn’t too bad in honestly and so I thought, ‘What the hell’ and got another Colour B4 extra strength.

Mother’s Day –  I did the same thing again with Colour B4 from start to finish but applied some conditioner afterwards as I knew I wouldn’t be colouring that day.

Second Scott Cornwalls Colour B4 ExtraApplication Results; I am around the dark blonde/light brown caramel colour. Its actually very pretty in natural light but not where I want to be.

It was at this point where I decided if I wanted to get to the light brown I liked I would have to remove the red tones first of all and lighten my hair slightly. After some consideration for my poor hair I thought bleach really wasn’t where I should be heading. So I  did what I do best and had a good look about at colour trends, styles and looks.

Beautyntheblog and me got chatting on Twitter about Ombre hair and Khloe Karashian’s hair. If you remember my post about going Butterscotch you will remember my love of Miss Barrymore too who also sports a very beautiful Ombre.

Khloe Kardashian Ombre Hair

My all time girl crush, the beautiful Drew Barrymore with her trademark ombre hair

Now I really do love the ombre look, but has it been done too much? But as this is me here and I will give anything a go (Within reason and if I do hate it I’ll change it in a weeks time) I thought I’d try it. This would also mean having to lighten my extensions which as many may remember from my What Happens When You Bleach Extensions post isn’t the best idea in the world. This is also where I found an amazing product which I think will save MANY people a lot of problems when it comes to lightening their own hair and extensions!

Monday – Straight from school run and luckily with Mark off work I flew to town with my hair tied back in a tight messy bun (To hide the scary red bits) I went to buy 2 products (Ok 3 really but I didn’t think you’d want to hear about my GIANT box of tic tacs!);

Smart Beauty Smart Blonde Honey Blonde High Lift Colour and Clairol Non Permanent Medium Ash Brown 77

I know you are probably thinking I’ve gone nuts right? Could these 2 colours be anymore opposite? Ok, let me tell you why I bought what I did.

The Clairol Nice’n Easy Medium Ash Brown in shade 77 is for my root area. As  my hair currently has a very brassy red tone at present I needed to tone that down and this colour is ash based which will do just that. However, as you may remember after Colour B4 you should always go 1 shade lighter when choosing your colour as it will nearly always go a bit darker on application. I chose the medium shade as I wanted a good coverage for the underneath which is very dark naturally on my hair and also to fit in with the whole ombre I needed dark roots. Being a semi this is going to fade gradually but I’m hoping it will keep most of the red tones at bay for a while.

Smart Beauty Smart Blonde is a high lift colour, what this means is it can lift your hair up to 7 shades (Yes I said 7) and also works on hair that is already colour treated as well as natural hair (It is a bleaching product). The product is quite potent and strong but was definitely not as damaging (Please note I said NOT AS damaging it still will damage your hair like any colour treatment will) as when I bleached my hair and extensions.

If you would like to see the review of Smart Beauty’s Smart Blonde Honey Blonde click here…

So I applied the Nice’n Easy Medium Ash Brown and left that on about 7 minutes (Usual development time is 15 minutes). My hair is super porous on the ends and I only really wanted a little depth and the red bits toned down. My hair as usual saw that colour was being applied and absorbed it like a sponge. The result a medium to dark brown with much of the red neutralised. I was pleased with the base colour but think when its washed out a little and faded it will look better.

My hair after using Clairol Nice’n Easy Non Permanent Medium Brown Shade 77.

Next part was too add my extensions I would be lifting with the Smart Blonde tint. You can easily do the ombre look when you have the extensions out but I wanted to have them in so I could see where the ends of my hair were ending and where I would be adding the colour to the extensions.

My extension all clipped in and ready to go

I also clipped up the top section – this part I did not want any colour on at first so it wouldn’t get in the way

I split my hair from the centre straight to the back on my nape and bought the hair round so it hung evenly on my shoulders like 2 ponytails. It was at this point I mixed the Smart Blonde up. You have to find your own tint bowl I’m afraid although any bowl will do. I will say there was enough mixture to ombre the ends of my hair and my extensions, you would need more than 1 packed of Smart Blonde if you were to do a whole head and had below shoulder length hair.

The first section I did was 2″ long. This is the second section where I took it up another 2″ to a total of 4″ length. I did this in 10 minute intervals

Sorry for the chest shot! This is the part where I took the extensions out as I’d reached my own hair. I wanted to make sure I go an even result especially as I would be going at the back of my hair. I put the extensions on a baking tray covered with tin foil. As I was sitting in a room that was warm I decided not to wrap them with tin foil. However, if/when I do them again I would use tin foil to try and get a little more lift and a faster developing time.

After 45 minutes with the tint on my extensions and only 5-10 minutes of the tint on my ends I decided to take it off. Hindsight says I could probably have done with just a few more minutes on my own hair as its a little brassy although purple shampoo will sort this. I then rinsed my hair and conditioned it. The extensions I rinsed, applied the toner (This comes with the kit) too and left for 3 minutes (This is like a conditioner based toner its a little odd) then rinsed them again. I was impressed as there was no hair loss what so ever! Once they were done I then sprayed them with heat protectant and dried them gently with my hair dryer on a cool heat and my Tangle Teezer.

This is the lift I achieved with the extensions against the natural colour of the extensions near the clips (As I was doing an ombre look not all the hair had the tint applied to it)

Now considering I have applied bleach to extensions (Twice to the same set if you can remember my post – its here) I never expected to get better lift with a bleach again and have them in better condition. I would say I have got about 3-4 shades of lift here in 45 minutes. Also the condition of the extensions is much like those that have just had 1 colour applied too them so pretty good.


These 2 pictures are of my extensions clipped in with my own hair so you can get an idea of the lift. As I said my ends are slightly brassy although I don’t find them terrible and to be honest are quite liveable with. The ends of the extensions are around a base shade 7 – a dark blonde. They fade quite well too and in some lights seem to have an almost low light effect and can look slightly multi toned – but in a good way.

I then did my hair curly as this is how I often like to wear my extensions, I knew this would really show the ombre effect of that I’d achieved.

Side on close up of my curls and the colour, as you can see this is in natural light from the window

Finished result

So 3 days; 2 bottles of Colour B4 Extra, 1 clairol nice’n easy non permanent medium ash brown, 1 Smart Beauty Smart Blonde Honey Blonde, LOTS of water (For rinsing) and plenty of conditioner to keep my hair soft. Was it worth it?

Actually I think it was. I really like the colour although this isn’t the end. In fact I’d love to do it lighter yet but we shall see. I’m going to see first where my hair goes over the next few washes with the non permanent. I am going to add another load of the Smart Blonde Ash Blonde this time too the ends of my hair and also the extensions as I would like them a bit lighter .

So now when someone asks me if you can lighten hair extensions with tint I’m going to say yes you can. It was no more damaging than when I’ve darkened mine before with tint and the result was pretty even too. I think as long as you aren’t trying to lift them from black or dark brown to medium blonde you’ll be ok, but to lift them a little is possible. Please remember though that this is done at your own risk and I can’t accept responsibility if you chose to copy what I have done. They will not be as soft as they were when you first bought them and over preference, I would suggestion to buy extension lighter and use a semi permanent to darken them if you must. But if you are desperate, then there is a way to lighten them.

One thing I will add before I leave this colour journey; MAKE SURE YOU DO A SENSITIVITY TEST WITH SMART BLONDE!!

I have never had reactions to colours, well not bad ones but did notice a burning itching sensation (Like bleach burns) in some places I got the smart blonde. It would make me think twice about using this directly on my skin (Highlights cap or foils I would consider). I wouldn’t want anyone to have any undue pain so for the sake of 48 hours be safe and not sorry!!

Like I mentioned before the review of Smart Blonde will be going up in a day or 2, keep a look out for it.

What do you think? Where should my colour journey take me next?

Lots of Love,

Mel xxxx