Fanola No Yellow = No Hair

Fanola No Yellow Toning Shampoo burst into our lives via online videos showing hairdressers creatively squirting squiggly lines over untoned hair at the basin. We were mesmerised. Hairdressers chanted "It can't be true!" How could a shampoo do as good a job as a toner? The public was in awe and Instagram was full of videos and pics. Everyone wanted this miracle shampoo. Even the Vegans got their own versions. The miracle that is Fanola No Yellow looked revolutionary. This changed the game in toning shampoo. It turned warm hair white, cleaned up old blonde and toned better than most toners. It achieved the sceintifically impossible for what a shampoo can do.

That is because it isn't a shampoo. It looked liked a shampoo bottle, it has the word shampoo printed on that bottle and it is marketed as a shampoo. But as we know in the Hairdressing Industry, marketing can't be trusted.

Current Australian Standards state that all ingredients must be listed on cosmetic products and unless those chemicals are banned in Australia, it is up to consumer choice whether the purchase the product with those ingredients. A hair product can be classed as cosmetic if it is used on any external part of the body to change it's odour, apperance, cleanse it, keep it in good condition, perfume or protect it. Shampoos, conditioners and styling lotions come under the same cosmetic category as hair dye and bleach. Along with skin whitening products. This is why these products are allowed to be sold on a supermarket shelf even if they do contain ammonia and hydrogen peroxide. This is how the producers of Fanola No Yellow can market this product as a shampoo.

I was told early on by one of my product company reps that Fanola No Yellow contained peroxide. This comment led me to investigate further. I had a few clients who were using Fanola No Yellow and had unexplained breakage. The only way any product could remove gold tones and lighten hair is if it contained products that acted as a bleaching agents.

Analysing all the ingredients, I came across one called Guar Gum. Guar Gum is added to shampoo and other beauty products to thicken the consitensy. It is also a derivative of ammonium. The other ingredient that I red flagged was Citric Acid, as in Lemon Juice. The stuff we put on our hair to lighten it in the sun.

So I then asked a Scientist client if a derivative of ammonium when mixed with citric acid could lighten hair. The answer was a stong YES!

Just like Sun In contains Hydrogen Peroxide and Lemon Juice, Fanola No Yellow is made up of ammonia and lemon juice. This combo will lighten hair and then the strong purple tone will tone this lightened hair to clean, icy blonde.

Together the ammonia and citric acid acts like a mild bleach, lightening the hair everytime you wash it. So if your hair is already light blonde, this continual lightening will cause the hair to become dry and brittle and then break. It will also lighten any natural hair, causing it to turn orange or yellow and giving highlighted hair a solid look.

I have seen this myself online and in salon. Please see the pics below.

Fanola No Yellow Breakage

My client who used Fanola No Yellow twice a week for 6 weeks.

'Chewed' was the word she used to describe the condition of her hair. We had to cut a fair amount off to even up the length. 6 weeks later she discontinued the use of Fanola No Yellow and has had no more breakage and the condition of her hair has improved dramatically.

Just to be clear, I am not against this product. I think it has a purpose when used correctly. Once a month as a toner is ample with a moisture treatment applied afterwards. What I do have an issue with is the marketing of this product as a shampoo. One that is recommended to be used twice weekly in place of your regular shampoo. It is sold online and marketed to the masses with no warning or correct instructions.

Currently ther is very little regulation in Australia when it comes to hair and beauty products. As long as the ingredients are listed, it is up to the consumer to make their decision. When a product causes this much damage to the hair, there needs to be better regulations and more information available.

Until then, this article has hopefully given you the info you need to make your own informed decision in your future hair purchases. Choose wisely. If it seems miraculous then it may just be too good to be true.

Why your Supermarket Shampoo is Preventing you from going Blonde

The latest and hottest hair trend at the moment is all things Blonde. Scalp Bleaching, Balayage and Beach Blonde are all highly desired and sitting on most people’s Pinterest Boards, but you have tried and tried and still can’t seem to find a Colourist who can get you to that certain blonde you desire.

But did you ever think it may not be all about your Colourist but more about what you put in your hair, with your main culprit being your shampoo and conditioner.

You have heard hairdressers en mass proclaiming how bad these products are yet the top 4 Supermarket shampoo and conditioner brands make up 50% of the total sales. So we know they are bad but convenience, lack of education and just not being recommended by your Colourist could be all reasons why we reach to the Supermarket, full knowing what we are doing is not the best option for our hair.

But when it comes to being Blonde or going Blonde, could all those little nasties you read about that hang out in your Supermarket (or Priceline, Chemist Wharehouse etc) shampoos and conditioners actually be preventing you from achieving the blonde you desire.

Let’s run through the main culprits and their affect on your Blonde:

Ammonium- Ammonium is derived from Ammonia which is present in hair colour to help lighten hair. It opens the cuticle to let the colour penetrate into the hair shaft. The more ammonia, the more open the cuticle. If the colour is a blonde or bleach, this allows it to penetrate in further, therefore lightening the hair faster. In shampoo it is used as a foaming agent to give the shampoo lather but can also open the cuticle causing damage long term such as tangling and knotting. It is also known to be harsh on the scalp and make you more prone to scalp irritations and burning during the lightening process. An open cuticle means more damage to the hair when lightening and a faster blonde lift which results in more warmth and an uneven result. This lightening is also harder for your hairdresser to control and the uneven nature of lightening can cause breakage in areas with weaker hair or hair that is finer such as the crown and front hairline. This faster lightening can also cause the hair to become warm and heat up, creating more scalp sensitivity and possible burning of the skin. When teamed in a shampoo with Citric Acid or Alcohol this can also have a ‘lightening affect’ on the hair the way lemon juice in the sun does and not only cause your natural hair to lighten but your colour and toner to fade quicker. Avoid any shampoo with the word Ammonium in the first 4 ingredients. Other culprits are Guar Gum and Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium.

Silicones- Silicones have been known to be a big ‘no no’ nasty for a while and is used in shampoos and conditioners to give shine, detangle the hair and stop frizz but basically form a ‘plastic like’ coating over the hair making it feel and look cosmetically great but offers no nutrient values to the hair. Over time the hair starts to disintegrate internally as it isn’t receiving moisture under that coating. This coating prevents the bleach or lightening product from penetrating into the hair shaft, causing uneven and inconsistent lightening. A chemical reaction can occur causing the bleach to heat up, turn to liquid and slip right off the hair. This liquid then becomes dangerous if it comes in contact with the skin. If you have ever sat at a salon with foils in your hair and you have felt the foils heating up or expanding, you can blame the silicone in your hair. Again the chemical reaction can make the colour lift faster, creating a higher risk of breakage. Avoid any shampoo or conditioner with silicone present in the top 4 ingredients. Click here to see a list of the 29 Different Names for Silicone

Sodium Chloride- Yes that is run of the mill Table Salt and they use it in shampoos as a thickener so that big blob you squirt out can sit neatly inside your palm. We all love the way salt water at the beach make our hair feel…at the beach, but we also know the long term damage that salt water has on the hair such as lightening and eroding the hair. This Sodium Chloride is absorbed into the hair when you wash it and long term build up can literally eat away at the hair causing fine, brittle hair. This hair type is particularly dangerous to lighten due to it’s already weakened state and may cause the hair to snap very easily Avoid any products containing Sodium Chloride, including some Sea Salt Sprays.

Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA)- These two nasties are known to destroy the keratin in the hair. Keratin is what hair is made of and it the foundation to how strong and dense the hair shaft is. Basically without keratin, hair will crumble. As hair strength is a key component when going Blonde, these 2 nasties are essential to avoid.

Other known Scalp Irritants- The last thing you want when having bleach or lightener applied is an irritated or sensitive scalp. This can cause discomfort and burning while the product processes. The following ingredients are known causes of scalp irritation: Lanolin, Petroleum, Mineral Oil, Propylene Glycol, Synthetic Colours and Fragrances and Alcohol.

So if you are already Blonde or thinking of going blonde it is time to bin those cheap, synthetic products and speak to your Colourist about their recommended products. Please let your Colourist know if you have been using Supermarket products before your colour service because it will affect the way the colour processes and reacts. It’s better to give them a ‘heads up’ first for the safety of your hair and skin. They may recommend a couple of washes with a Deep Cleansing shampoo to remove these impurities prior to colouring.

Either way, now is the time to start prepping your hair. Give it all the love it deserves and your gorgeous Blonde hair will thank you.

Written by Bleachdoll

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8 rules to follow before going blonde

Blonde is everywhere you turn. So many trends, so much Instagram inspo, so many choices. Balayage, root stretch, platinum, pastel, sunlights and babylights. The choice is yours and any service in which the hair is lighted comes under the banner of blonde services in our books. Each service needs to be tailored to the hair and each look requires preparation to get the best out of your service.

So we have compiled a list of the 8 things your hairdresser would love for you to do before your blonde service.

1. Thou shall flip through Pinterest.

No matter what you have been told or assume, us hairdressers love photos, as long as the expectations are realistic. Pinterest is the hub where you can browse photos of colours that you like, things that make you cringe and the looks you aren’t game enough to try. It’s the place where you create the board of your Hair Inspo where you end up with a common theme, hence the look you are after. As long as the looks are realistic and the models have similar hair type, skin tone and texture to you then most looks can be achieved or a plan put in place.

2. Thou shall do my research.

So you have found your blonde icon and now you need to find the right person to help you achieve this look. Get online and research. Pick up the phone and research. Send an email and research. This will help you get a vibe for the salon, their blonde knowledge and how comfortable you feel putting your hair in their hands. Check out the salon’s Instagram. Before and afters are a great way to see how experienced the salon is with the look you are after. Don’t put your dream look in anyones hands. Make sure your time and effort is not wasted on the wrong hairdresser.

3. Thou shall save up enough cash

The golden rule here is never pick your blonde specialist on price. In this case, cheap does mean nasty and a less experienced stylist with lower quality products. If you choose to go blonde you need to be willing to spend the money. Most blonde services will cost you between $150 and $350 depending on how detailed the service is. Not all products are created equally and the colour range your stylist uses on your hair can determine how light your blonde is lifted and how well your toner works. Cheap colouring products can cause damage and leave the hair brittle and dry. Make sure the salon’s blonde colour range contains either Olaplex, Fibrelex or any other plex which helps re bond the hair back together after a lightening service.

4. Thou shall throw out my supermarket products

Supermarket and cheap shampoos, conditioners, treatments, protection sprays and oils do nothing to strengthen, repair, nourish, add shine or do whatever else the bottle promises. Again cheap is cheap and supermarket products are mostly detergent and water. It’s like washing your hair with dishwashing liquid. The excess silicon in supermarket products builds up on the hair over time and can react with the bleach. This build up can cause over heating of the foils resulting in unstable processing and it the worst cases, the foils to steam. It makes it hard for the colour to penetrate through, reducing the ability to lift the colour light enough. After care with supermarket products is not recommended either as they will strip the toner out of the hair resulting in brassiness sooner than expected.

5. Thou shall put my hair irons away….or turn them down at least.

Typically hair irons heat to 280 degrees and you are subjecting your hair to the burn of such high temperatures. Anytime extreme heat is applied to hair, the cuticle breaks down resulting in split and broken hair. If the hair has minimal cuticle then it is extremely hard to colour as the hair is so fragile. These shredded ends will also soak up toners more as the damaged hair is searching for pigment to help it rebuild. Overuse of hair irons cause alien antennas, spiky crowns and broken hairlines. They can also burn out your toner quicker, dry the hair out and give you dull, scarecrow locks. If you want long, blonde and shiny hair then we suggest not using the irons at all. If you must use them due to your addiction to poker straight hair, then we suggest turning them down to 180 degrees (if your iron has a dial), using them only once a week and running them over each section of the hair once and slowly to get maximum results. It makes us cringe when I see people ironing their hair how they would brush it. I can literally hear the hair breaking.

6. Thou shall do treatments, treatments and more treatments.

Yes people, treatments are real and they do work. They are more than a glorified conditioner. Treatments are concentrated nutrients and should only be used once a week. We suggest once a week for 4 weeks before you decide to go lighter. This fills the hair with goodness and preps it for the lightening process. Buy a good quality blonde hair treatment and if possible from the salon that will be lightening your hair. This way the product is tailored to your hair and the upcoming service. Do I need to repeat that a supermarket treatment is not a real treatment so don’t waste your time and money. Pay a bit extra and your hair, and hairdresser will thank you for it. Now if you don’t have time to do the whole hot towel, leave on for 20 min deal, just do the treatment in the shower for 5-10 min. I always say that something is better than nothing and the treatments these days are designed for our time poor society. Alternatively, put the treatment in your hair before going to bed and sleep with it overnight. Make sure to put a towel over your pillowcase so as not to make a mess.

7. Thou shall stop my purple shampoo addiction.

We are not saying don’t use purple shampoo. There is a time and place for it and it helps keep the brass at bay longer. By the time you are due to get your blonde redone, the brassiness will be hard to kick. That is the normal cycle of hair. So soaking your hair daily in purple shampoo until it forms a dull grey colour is not doing it any favours. Remember, purple shampoo is pigmented and designed to be used once a week for enhancing your colour, not changing it. All that purple build up is then a colour that the bleach needs to break through, resulting in less lightening ability making the hair throw off a warmer tone. We suggest not using your purple shampoo for a week before your blonding appointment and let the ashiness fade out on it's own. This also gives us hairdressers and indication if we need to tweak the toner and the fading ability of your hair.

8. Thou shall get a decent trim.

No, Rapunzel didn’t have 4 long, frizzy, split hairs hanging at the ends of her hair. If you want long locks then they need to look thick and shiny. There is nothing worse then when people tell us they want to keep all the length and that length is about to break off on its own anyway. If your hair just won’t grow then you need to read above and see tip numbers 4,5 and 6 to look after your blonde hair, then believe me it will grow. But until then, we cannot save those strings and they just need to be cut of. It might mean a trim or losing 2 inches but your hair and colour will look better if you let us get those ends off. This prevents future breakage, tangling and knots and preps the hair for a fresher, cleaner blonde.

No one said going blonde was easy and it takes time. The care of the hair is essential and if you are not willing to put in the hard yards, then maybe blonde just isn’t for you. You wouldn’t spend a fortune on buying a Lamborghini to then wash it with dishwashing liquid or leave it out in the elements to fade. Your blonde is the same. It is an asset to your look and can make you feel younger, more tanned and stand out in a crowd. So please show your blonde hair the respect it deserves. Follow us on Insta @birdiesalon

Why Toner is so Important to your Blonde Hair

What does a toner do?

This question definitely comes in to our top 5 questions that clients ask. All you know is your hair is lightening in those pretty little foil packets, it then gets rinsed out and your hairdresser says, “I’m just going to mix up your toner.” You smile, nod and agree, all the while having no idea what she is talking about but every hairdresser does it so it must be a thing. So peeps, it’s now time to take control and finally know what happens when we place that weird, cold solution on your head at the basin.

Basically, any time we lighten hair it throws off warmth. That’s what hair does and that’s the way it was designed and has done so since the dawn of time. It lifts through red, orange, yellow and finally palest yellow, which is where you want to be if you are wanting platinum, ash blonde or silver. No we don’t lift to white, as this is the point when hair breaks so we like it to hang out at pale yellow and remain on your head. This is where the toner comes in.


Basically a toner is used in most cases to counteract any warmth in the hair and create a more neutral colour as this is a much nicer look on your skin tone. It can also enhance or be used to create fashion colors but in the case of this blog we will concentrate on the neutralizing part of the toning process.

Say you were wanting platinum blonde, we would have to lift you light enough to get to pale yellow. We then would ‘tone’ or neutralize the pale yellow colour with a violet based blonde toner. This is because violet is opposite to yellow on the colour wheel. Remember grade 2 colour wheel activities where you mixed purple with yellow to make brown, or as we call it in hairdressing, neutral. This colour doesn't show up as brown but a neutral, clean, vanilla blonde.

Now let's just say your hair could only lift to orange, due to tint build up or your hair being darker naturally to start with, then we would use a blue based toner creating an ash brown colour. If we used a blue based toner over yellow hair, this would create a green or murky colour as blue and yellow make green. Again see Grade 2 colour mixing. This seems to be a common problem when people get toners in their hair as a lot of hairdressers only see ash (blue) as a universal toning option. This leaves the dull blonde look where hair lacks brightness and lightness. Another common toning faux pas is called ‘breaking the base’ where the toner used has a high level of ammonia which ends up lightening the natural hair around the foils, creating a warm or orange tinge to the overall look of the hair.


Toners can also be altered to create different tones on blonde hair. There are many ways hairdressers can manipulate toners to intensify fashion looks like greys and pinks, produce depth at the roots using a darker toner called a ‘root stretch, blend out balayage by using 2 levels of toner and using toner to initiate levels of fade when the hair is washed.

Toners should be soft, never burn and never make the hair look dull. A toner should look like a cellophane on the hair, neutralizing the colour and complementing your skin tone. They are an important part of the colour process and if done correctly, can give you your perfect blonde.

Here at Birdie we will always tone our clients blonde at the chair in front of the mirror as apposed to the basin. Firstly this is an easier process for us and cleaner to apply but we also do this to educate our clients as to what their hair colour looks like when freshly lightened and then to visually see what the toner does to their hair colour after application.

Please remember that toners fade from the hair like all hair colour does, but being a lighter tone, they are designed to last about 4-6 weeks. You may find that you need to visit your hairdresser around this time to get the toner refreshed. A violet based shampoo or conditioner will also help the colour from looking brassy.