Best Tools For Mixing Hair Color

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When it comes to coloring hair, mixing the color properly is a very important step.  Improper mixing can result in a variety of unpleasant consequences, such as unsatisfactory grey coverage, premature fading of color, and a final result that may be off-tone.  There are several different tools and methods of mixing color, which will be described in this article.  As you will see, each tool and method has its advantages and disadvantages.

Bowl and Brush

Most professional stylists prefer to mix permanent color in a plastic bowl using a tint brush.  The tint brush, which has a plastic handle and nylon bristles, is the same brush which is used to apply the color to the client’s hair.  This is the preferred method for most stylists because it is quick, easy, reliable, and convenient.  The disadvantage to mixing color with a tint brush is that a rushed or sloppy stylist may not thoroughly mix the dye, resulting in a formula that lacks the creamy consistency necessary for smooth and even coverage of the hair.


A wire whisk is also a popular tool because it mixes color quicker than a tint brush.  There are two disadvantages of using a whisk, however.  The most obvious drawback is that whisks are more difficult to clean than a tint brush, as dye or bleach tends to collect between the wires of the whisk.  The other drawback, which is less obvious, is that whisking puts a lot of air into the formula.  This is why using a whisk to mix cake batter or egg yolks results in a mixture that is “fluffy”.   The “fluff” is the result of air being mixed into the ingredients inside the bowl.  With hair dye or bleach, this can result in a change in processing time.  Since bleaches and dyes require oxygen in order to process or develop, the additional oxygen whisked into the bowl of color will cause the hair to process faster.  If a stylist is not paying attention to processing time, this may result in hair that is damaged and over-processed.


A mixing bottle is the ideal method to mix semi-permanent and demi-permanent colors.  Unlike permanent color and bleach, which tends to be thick in consistency, semi and demi colors are usually more liquid in consistency.  Mixing these types of dyes with a brush or a whisk can be both difficult and messy.  A bottle, on the other hand, can be shaken and as a result the dye will be mixed easily and quickly.  This method is also convenient because most stylists prefer to apply semi and demi colors to the hair using a bottle with a pointed nozzle on the lid.

These are the three most popular ways to mix hair color, and each tool and method has its proper place in the salon.  Ultimately, choosing the right method and tool will depend on the type of color being mixed (permanent, semi-permanent, or demi-permanent), as well as convenience.   


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