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QALI Diaries

From Black to Boho | A Colour Journey vol. 4

From Black to Boho | A Colour Journey vol. 4

We Made It!

After many months, countless bowls of lightener, endless Olaplex treatments and a global pandemic - I am officially wearing Boho extensions! I spent the lockdown with my hair coated in treatments and tried to avoid heat styling as much as possible. This gave my hair a much needed break and time to repair. Once we were ready to reopen, we did one last session to get us over the finish line!

Black to Boho hair transformation

The Final Session

Since my hair had a solid break, we knew we could safely do one more lightening session to reach our end point. Ivette did a few foils to break up my roots and brightened a few sections of my ends to make sure the light pieces in my hair matched the lighter tones in the extensions. She used BlondMe lightener with Olaplex to preserve the integrity of my hair. 

Using Redken Shades Eq, we toned the extensions before installation with the same toner we would be using on my hair to ensure a seamless match. We used a half head of extensions (60g) in the colour Boho and kept most of the length.


From start to finish the job took 6 months (which probably could have been 4 without the lockdown). These types of transformations can be done in less time and fewer sessions, but the risk of really damaging your hair is much higher. My hair did feel healthier when it was dark, but we managed to avoid excessive damage for such a drastic change. I give credit to Olaplex (I literally use every single product in the line) for keeping my hair strong through all the chemical processing.

It should also be noted that extensions can make a huge difference in achieving a drastic colour change. They can create a more dramatic balayage look without having to over process your ends.   

Here is the cost breakdown for the full transformation:


Final Session
Quarter Head Foils - $110
Olaplex Add On - $30
Cut with Colour Service - $50

Half Head Extensions - $540
Extensions Tone - $70



 *not including taxes + gratuity

If you're wanting to take on a major hair transformation, I hope you've found this blog to be helpful in clarifying the process! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us here

xo Janelle

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From Black to Boho | A Colour Journey vol. 3

From Black to Boho | A Colour Journey vol. 3

OVERVIEW - Colour Corrections Are No Joke

I can officially state that my hair is definitely not black anymore! 3 lightening sessions later and I'm *that* much closer to matching our Boho extensions. The last month has been quite labour intensive for our stylists and it really made me realize how much work colour corrections can be. Let's break it all down...

Vancouver Hair Extensions 


For round 1 we did a full head of foils using Redken Flash Lift lightener with 20 vol developer. Kim did back to back babylights to lighten as much of my hair as possible, while still leaving some hair out to avoid over processing. She then toned everything with Redken Shades EQ in a level 7.

QALI Vancouver Hair Extensions Blog

We didn't quite get as much lift as Kim expected but overall we managed to avoid a really awkward colour. Typically when you lift black you'll have to live with reddish/orange hair for a period of time while you're in between lightening sessions. I was grateful that we managed to get to a shade that I could live with!

My ends were a bit dead and actually lifted slightly green due to the blue colour that was in my hair. After we took the photo below, we trimmed the dead ends off and I lived with Olaplex in my hair for the next few days. 

QALI Vancouver Hair Extensions Blog


One week later we dove into round 2. It required a full head of foils using Kevin Murphy Color.Me lightener (which is a bit more gentle) with 30 vol developer to try to bump more of the colour out. Ivette used the same approach as Kim - back to back foils to try to lighten as much of the hair as possible. 

              QALI Vancouver Hair Extensions BlogQALI Vancouver Hair Extensions


Finally, a couple weeks later we kicked off round 3. Ivette just colour corrected a few areas that were uneven and continued lifting specific areas that were getting closer to our desired tones. We're hoping that we can achieve our desired look with just one more lightening session!

QALI Blog 


I truly don't think my hair would have survived all of these lightening sessions without Olaplex. At home I've been using Olaplex shampoo & conditioner, plus the No. 3 treatment 2 times per week. I apply the Olaplex oil to my hair after styling and before bed each night.

Ultimately my hair is more dry than it was when it was black, but with ongoing treatments and trims, I know it will be completely fine in a few months!


Session 1
Full Head Foils - $250
Olaplex Add On - $30
Extra Lightener - $30
Extra Olaplex - $10
Cut with Colour Service - $50

Session 2
Full Head Foils - $250
Olaplex Add On - $30
Extra Lightener - $30
Extra Olaplex - $10

Session 3
Half Head Foils - $190
Olaplex Add On - $30



*not including taxes + gratuity 

As you can see, colour corrections can be time consuming & pricey. We should also point out that this is almost a best case scenario. Often colour corrections can go sideways, especially when box dye is involved. There is always the chance that there will be odd colour shifts, banding and uneven lifting. The key is patience and realistic expectations. 

We still have another lightening session to go, plus extensions. Stay tuned for the final blog post with the end result! 

xo Janelle

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From Black to Boho | A Colour Journey vol. 2

From Black to Boho | A Colour Journey vol. 2

Well here we are - the first official processing stage of transitioning my hair from black to a lived in blonde! As mentioned in the first post, we want to maintain the integrity of my hair as much as possible through this process. A few things to note:

- We are using Olaplex through each stage of the journey, including take home treatments in between

- We are leaving 1-2 weeks between processes to allow my hair to recover 

- Everyone's journey will be different & will likely require a slightly different approach


I've been using classic Head & Shoulders every shampoo to lift the colour when we kicked off the journey. This lifted it from a pure black (or level 1) to a black with brown tones. The next step: gently lift a few more shades with what we call a 'Bleach Bath'.

A bleach bath can be used to lift colour or freshen/brighten blondes. It's gentler and more monitored than foils, but can have uneven results. 

Emily mixed Kevin Murphy Color.Me 20 vol. developer with ammonia-free lightener  at a 4:1 ratio (typically it's a 2:1 ratio) and some Olaplex No. 1. The service was performed at the basin to make sure the lightener can be washed off quickly to minimize any unnecessary damage. She worked through my hair one section at a time, applying the lightener and monitoring it until the colour bumped a shade or 2. The lightener is then rinsed and she moved on to the next section. 

We followed the treatment with the Olaplex No. 2 treatment to rebuild any broken bonds so it's strong for the next phase of processing. 

QALI Blog 


The bleach bath actually lifted more colour than we expected! We went from a 1-2 to almost a 4! My hair wasn't damaged or dry and it was a great way to get us through the first stage of lightening without over processing. 

         QALI BlogQALI Blog

Colour corrections are never the same and each step has to be carefully executed to protect the integrity of the client's hair. We have turned away multiple clients because we felt their expectations were unrealistic given their budget and/or timeline. It's not about dramatic results, it's about healthy hair that looks amazing. It's a gradual process that requires patience and a few awkward hair colours in between (lol). 


Bleach Bath - $70
Olaplex Treatment Add On - $30
Olaplex No. 3 Take Home - $36



Next up: Foils! The next stage of the journey is to use foils to lift the majority of my hair more strategically. Stay tuned - it's probably going to get messy!

Don't forget that you have a few days left to save on all Olaplex products using the code QALIPLEX in our online store.

See you next week!

xo Janelle

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