foiling over black box color, lightener turned to liquid and foils got extremely HOT what happened?!

The scariest thing happened to me yesterday at work.  I had a client come in with level 1 jet black hair.  Of course it had to be box color!  She said the last few times she colored it herself she pulled the box color through the ends.  She wanted caramel highlights.

 

Well I tried using a color remover by Kenra and it did NOTHING to the back but the front and sides lightened up very little, maybe 2 levels at most.  I proceeded to foil the back with Schwarzkopf lightener 40 vol. (not a fan of 40 vol but the hair was still BLACK).  I noticed the lightener kept feeling runny so I thought I mixed it too runny and added a little more lightener.  As I began the sides I looked down and saw the mess of white stuff all over the floor, the lightener liquefied and was oozing out of the foils.  I touched a foil to check it (trying not to panic) and it was extremely hot, almost too hot to even touch.  The client never even noticed anything.  I told her the back was ready and started rinsing her right away, by this time my 2 co-workers were there with me trying to figure out what went wrong.  There was some breakage, but nothing like what I had expected.  I thought it'd be a lot worse.  Somebody else told me that they'd heard of that happening where the foils actually started to smoke! 

 

After googling some last night, (and suspecting this) it said that with the build up  of metallic from box color, especially in the form of copper, applying ammonia on the hair will cause a chemical reaction and in most cases destroy the hair.  This was the scariest thing that has happened to me in my short 4 year career!  I'm ASSUMING this was the cause of it since she had layers of black box color but I've done highlights on people with box color before and never had it happen.  Has this ever happened to anyone else or do you have any clue as to why else this could have happened?  I did also read that when people have well water, the mineral build up can cause a reaction. 

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I have seen this happen to someone before. I always use Pravana Color Extractor, you can use it up to 3 times in one service and is amazing. I would def recommend using something like that. Also, doing a strand test will prevent this so you may have to do several appts of color extracting before you can lighten it. 

In my 20 years of hairstyling this has happened to me twice. It is because of certain metallic dyes that come from build up of box colors as far as I could gather from information I collected. The trick next time is to ask a lot of questions in the consultation to prepare you for what could happen. Also, if you feel foils getting warm on a client, sometimes it's a hormonal thing, just clip them away from the scalp so that they don't lay on top of each other. That will keep them cooler and stop from over processing. Hope this helps.

I have a few recommendations for you. In my 30 years of doing hair this has happened to me on a few occasions. Home hair colors haven't used metallic dyes for a while. Most  permanent and demi permanent are PPD dyes even in the home color market. Metals can enter the hair from our water sources, old pipes in our homes and even medications a client may be taking. I recommend doing a cleans with MALIBU products first as these are designed to remove metallic build up in the hair before using a color remover. In my experience this cuts down on the reaction of metals with colors, lighteners or color removers. If you live in an area that has heavy metals in the water system this may be a service to offer clients pre color/highlight services. I hope this information helps.

Thanks for the advice!  It's very appreciated.  I didn't know that home box color didn't use metallic dyes anymore, I'm guessing there has to be something else in them that separates it from professional color!? Other forums I read said that some box colors contain copper and that is what stays in the hair.  One forum I read said that when this happens (what happened to me at work) the hair is almost always destroyed.  Well she did have some breakage, but I expected the hair to come out with the foils completely.  I was trying so hard to stay calm.  This is the only forum I actually posted my question because I've known about BTC for a while.  I did another highlight yesterday and kept checking the foils, I was so paranoid after what happened! Like I said, I have only had my license for almost 4 years and still feel like I lack a lot of confidence sometimes so I appreciate any and all advice! 

 

Also wanted to add that our salon gets a lot of clients that live out in the  country with well water, but most have water softeners.  I have a client who lives out in the country as well and she does NOT have a water softener, I have never experienced that with her, the only thing I ever encountered with her was her hair not lightening enough because of build-up. 

Hi. It sounds like you handled the situation very well! It can be scary when this happens as there are so many factors and the client sometimes expects us to have all the answers. BTC is wonderful as so many talented pros can share what has worked for them.

I really recommend checking out the Malibu product for those clients who have water issues. I'm originally from New Jersey and the water in my area had massive amounts of iron and copper in it. My clients with really porous hair had the most issues with mineral build up. I recommend my blondes and delicate hair clients invest in a showerhead water filter. It helps to filter out some of the nasty stuff.

Home hair color doesn't have the same quality of conditioning agents and the colors are very commercial and all pre mixed. The biggest difference  between the two is the professional, our knowledge, experience and creativity. No one can do at home what we can do in the salon :)

I'm curious. How did you finish her? Glaze over and send her out? How did it look? Sounds like you didn't get a chance to highlite the rest of the hair.

This kind of thing happened to me on monday, although idont have box dies on my hair and itwasnt half as bad. My hair is dip died and my natural colour on the top, I wanted my blonde just higher after the foils were all in my hairi noticed thehair thatwasleft out was wet and sticky and dripping on me. It was like water but slightly sparkly and didnt feel or dry like water on my hands. Once I washed the bleach off my hair was just really knotty compared to usually and was more hair than normal in the basin. 

Does anybody know what this could have been? 

The only styling products I use is morocan oil 

Well water... hard water with metals

aisha may towle said:

This kind of thing happened to me on monday, although idont have box dies on my hair and itwasnt half as bad. My hair is dip died and my natural colour on the top, I wanted my blonde just higher after the foils were all in my hairi noticed thehair thatwasleft out was wet and sticky and dripping on me. It was like water but slightly sparkly and didnt feel or dry like water on my hands. Once I washed the bleach off my hair was just really knotty compared to usually and was more hair than normal in the basin. 

Does anybody know what this could have been? 

The only styling products I use is morocan oil 

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