This question is derived from the fact as to whether the hair (prior to use) was orange or in fact red. Colour Restore Cool Ash is designed to neutralise gingery tones in brunette hair, or orangey tones in blonde hair. So, the kind of tone I refer to in ‘blonde’ cases is peach. If your hair is traffic light amber, Cool Ash will not be able to neutralise, because that shade is too dark and intense for a neutraliser to do anything. If someone has got bright orange hair before use, the question really is: where did you want to be? Were you looking to be blonde or brunette? Bright orange hair near enough always indicates the hair is not lightened enough, so if you apply Cool Ash to very orange hair, and no neutralisation is seen – it simply means this described ‘orange’ tone is actually red based and a) has too much depth and b) cannot be neutralised by an anti-orange product. This last factor is important to understand in hair colouring principles. Many bright oranges are derived from red pigments. Cool Ash contains pigments that neutralise orange but not red. To neutralise red, you need a green pigment and the result would only ever be brunette as both red and green are depth colours.
If you have the correct depth and warm hue in the hair to tone (so gingery, orange, warm hue, rusty tone, a peachy-blonde orange), as we recommend the product be used on, and you still see no result, this is nearly always attributable to the barrier factor. Barriers are on the hair will prevent Cool Ash from entering. Remember, if you have just coloured or lightened the hair (prior to use of Cool Ash), did the product used to lighten feature an after-treatment conditioner? If so, this would have created a barrier on the hair.
For good neutralisation and effectiveness of Cool Ash, use Precolour Clarifier several times to clear these barriers and then use Cool Ash again at a 20-minute development.
You may feel you are seeing no result, when the product has in fact worked and neutralised warmth – but is not displaying the desired ash shade. Ash tone is a more intricate hue to display on hair that previously had warmth, simply because the ash tone infused will attempt to cancel out the warmth. When it does this, both the ash tone and the warm tone vanish, and the hair appears neutral. Therefore, to display Cool Ash as a tone (in such bases) the consumer must apply two to three intensive applications of the product to load the ash pigment in their hair. Once they have done this, they should only use a blue shampoo and Cool Ash as their two-minute conditioner. These aspects will ensure the cool ash tone is retained in the hair.
Remember one application of Cool Ash will counteract warmth and create a ‘neutral’ shade. But two to three applications would be needed to overload the hair with cool tone to create that ash shade.