Beyond the Live

Phone rings….
“Hi, I want to make an all over color appointment.  I want to go blonde” says a potential new guest.

You proceed to ask a few basic questions to get a general idea of what type of service you will be scheduling. Come to find out, this is going to be a  “Corrective Blonding” session.  What now?

We interviewed Independent Educator Katie Novak who owns Hair Nerd®️ Orlando in Apopka, Florida regarding her extensive experience with corrective blonding.  Katie recently offered a live education class on OLAPLEX Users regarding corrective blonding.  She was kind enough to answer all of our questions regarding corrective blonding and even shared some awesome tips and techniques that might help you on your next “Corrective Blonding” project.

“Corrective blonding can be overwhelming. Allow yourself to set realistic goals for your client & you will set yourself up for success.”

Katie Novak / HairNerd ®️


“60-65% of my clientele is platinum blonde including maintenance and clients wanting to change it up and go blonder during certain times of the year”


We all know just how stressful and time consuming corrective blonding can be. However, it is a growing request and I believe we will continue to see a rise in corrections and corrective blonding due to the pandemic and shutdowns we have all faced.
We spoke with Katie in length about her experience with corrective blonding and we have some great information to share with you.

So where do you begin? What is your very first step when a client requests a corrective blonding session?

“Corrective blonding can be overwhelming. Allow yourself to set realistic goals for your client & you will set yourself up for success. I start with hair history if they are a new client that I haven’t done before. I have them come in for a consultation 1-2 weeks before their scheduled service date. I go over what they are trying to achieve, what can be done and in how many sessions. If needed I will do a strand test during the consultation. You have to know what you are getting yourself into. From there I send them home with Olaplex No.3 and have them do at least 2-3 treatments before the correction and advise them to not wash their hair 48 hours prior to their appointment.” Katie says.

I love the recommendation for a strand test.  Knowing where they might have potential banding, color that won’t budge (I’m talking to you black box dye) or color that lifts funky (Why is this green?!?)

Doing a strand test can give you some inside information and ideally will help to ensure you are setting up the best game plan.  Alterations to your game plan are much easier to make after performing a simple strand test vs during a blonding correction with hair that refuses to budge past a level 6-7 in the midshaft. Being proactive and prepared can save a lot of stress and frustration down the road.

Getting an idea of exactly what your guest is looking for as the end result is SO important.  “Blonde” means something different for every person.  So we asked Katie if she specifically requests photos for inspiration when guests are scheduling? What about photos of their hair currently?
What do you request and why?

“Prior to their consultation appointment I have the client send me information on their hair including:

    • history of coloring services(home & salon)
    • picture of there hair in a natural state
    • inspiration pictures

With the inspiration photos I also ask them to list 3 things they like about the photos they are showing me. That allows me to understand what exactly they like about the photos. It might be the tonality of the blonde (warm or cool toned), the shadow root or how shiny it looks. I need to see what they see so that I can explain how that look can be achieved. I love to educate clients on the whole process. It makes them feel involved and makes them understand it’s not a “quick fix”.  I do my work in the salon to create beautiful hair for them but they have to do their part at home to maintain it.”  says Katie.

Asking them to list 3 things that they like about the photos is such a great tip! What we see and what our guests see can sometimes be two totally different things.

So you and your guest are on the same page.  How do you proceed with scheduling? How do you gauge the time that you think will be required for your appointment? What other factors (if any) do you take into consideration?


“At this point in my career and with my experience I can gauge my time pretty well. I prepare my client with an hourly time and rate with knowledge of it possible running over. For more difficult corrections a strand test comes into play. It allows me to see what the hair wants to do so I can better gauge my time. I tell my correction clients to bring snacks and wear comfortable clothes. Corrections on average run 4-5 hours but I have done an 8 hour correction and I’ve done a 2 hour correction.It all depends on the hair and desired goal.” explains Katie.


Appointment day is here.  Everyone has their own preparation methods for these types of days.  How do you prepare?

“I prepare for a corrective blonding session with a good breakfast and big cup of black coffee.  I’m an organizer. I have to go in feeling rested and organized. I like to work clean and efficiently. If you go in overwhelmed it shows in your work. I prepare my clients with the amount of time it will take (4-5 hour) per session. There will be breaks (restroom/stretch) if needed… and that goes for me as well. I make sure to drink water, keep my station clean and keep focused on task at hand.” Katie says.

It is so important to stay hydrated and to get a good night sleep before an undertaking like a blonding correction.  I love that you take the time to focus on maintaining organization and efficiency- it does really help with staying focused, calm and helps to prevent chaos!

So your guest walks in the door…..comfy clothes and snacks in tow.  Can you give us some tips on how you proceed from there? 

“New client consultations for a color correction can be extremely stressful for them. They are reaching out to you to fix something that they don’t like or that is extremely damaged. I recommend when they come to meet you, refrain from putting your hands in their hair right away. Introduce yourself.  Sit eye to eye level with them and just get to know them. Once you have discussed some of the main concerns and what they are looking to get out of the appointment then ask them if you can take a closer look. I recommend taking notes on everything while talking to them at first. You have to build trust with them. Even if you know their concern is a little fix, it can be a big thing to them. The more comfortable you make them feel, the more comfortable they will be. They will open up to you about their hair history and they will trust you. I normally block out 20-30 mins for the consultation depending on the correction.” says Katie.

That is highly insightful tip.
It is important that we build a relationship and make our guest feel comfortable while they are in our chair.  It can be very stressful for the guest to come in for a correction and to give trust to someone they have just met.  Patience, understanding and respect for the guest is extremely important.


So the consultation portion is complete.  You have discussed their desired goals, hair history, and fully outlined what the process will look like to start.  Both parties are on board and ready to begin.  But you mention something else that you do before grabbing the lightener.  You educate.   Can you tell us a little more about that?


“Education is key!” advises Katie.  ” I discuss the process of wanting to be platinum or blonde and what it takes to achieve it….both in the salon AND at home. I ask them realistically how much work and time are they willing to put in so I can tell them their best option. If they want to be platinum, they must have an understanding they have to be in my chair every 4-6 weeks for maintenance and treatments. They also must do weekly treatments at home and must use products that are recommended based on their specific goal. This goes back to a trust factor…They will open up and tell you how much work they want to put in. Never make them feel bad. If they want to come in every 8-12 weeks, give them more color options to fit that maintenance time line.  Get them to do treatments every 2 weeks at home. Educate, educate, educate! I have built my clientele off of giving them color advice and hair prescriptions that fit their lifestyle with no pressure.” explains Katie. 

Thank you so much for explaining this. We should be educating every guest that sits in our chair. I love that you give options to your guests based on their lifestyle and maintenance routine.


How do you know what products are going to be best for the lightening service you are performing? Do you prefer “low and slow” or “lightning fast”?

“When deciding formulation I go low and slow. I rarely pick up 30 vol. mostly 10 & 20 vol are my go to. I will use 30 vol for a lift & tone retouch with less of a inch regrowth to power through the yellow.  Other then that I keep the developers low.” Katie says.

A big fear when doing corrective blonding is uneven lift/banding or other unexpected issues.  What do you do if you run into an “issue” during the service?

“Don’t panic!” exclaims Katie.  “Be patient.  I learned early in my career to double check my work. To this day as soon as I’m done foiling for a correction I will go back to where I started and check the integrity of the hair, the lift and saturation. Never promise your clients the world. I prepare them for the hair to not lift evenly and to make sure they understand this is a correction for a reason. Keep them in the loop. I will explain how their hair is doing. Mix fresh lightener to reapply to keep the hair saturated and keep everything organized so no one is stressing out. In a perfect world I’d have a wand and could just make everyone blonde but that’s not realistic.” explains Katie.  

Amazing advice!

If there was one thing that you could recommend for corrective blonding, what would it be, and why?

“Olaplex, Olaplex and More Olaplex!  I will never do a correction or a color without it. It allows me to have extra peace of mind that their hair will be supported throughout the color correction.” Katie states.

She’s right! Healthy, beautiful hair does make for a happy (and returning) guest. Every client deserves that!


Katie, this has been very informative and educational.  I would like to thank you for speaking to us today and sharing your experience and expert advice.

I have just a couple more questions for you.

If you could give us your best tip regarding Corrective Lightening services, what would it be?

“My best tip regarding corrective lightening is don’t be shy with using Olaplex No.2. I utilize Olaplex No.2 in so many ways throughout the correction process. Apply it to hair left out of foils or hair that isn’t being processed at the moment. Do not skip your Olaplex No.2 treatment after rinsing out your lightener. I do a 10-20 mins treatment once all the lightener is rinsed out.” she explains.

One final question….why do you love OLAPLEX?

“I use Olaplex because it works!” exclaims Katie.
“It’s science and I have seen the power that it has in the hair. I have been able to give my clients color they have dreamt of with gorgeous shine and health. Olaplex sold itself to me the first time I used it on myself. Being Puerto Rican with natural curly hair at a level 3-4 and wanting to be a level 9-10 blonde Olaplex changed my own hair and allowed me to achieve what I wanted while keeping my hair strong. I never looked back! I tell everyone about it whether they are my client or not. Olaplex can do so much for every type of hair. It truly has changed the hair game and I’m so grateful to be able to share it with everyone.” says Katie.


Check out some highlights from Katie’s recent “Corrective Blonding” class.



Katie Novak

Katie owns Hair Nerd Orlando in Apopka, Florida.  She is an independent Educator and OLAPLEX Advocate with over 12 years experience.  She is known for specializing in: Color corrections, Dimensional Color and Hair Extensions.  Fun fact, she owns the trademark – HairNerd ®️

When asked to describe herself, Katie says:

“I would describe myself as hardworking, creative, determined and giving. I’m a Florida girl who loves the nature and being a little trippy hippie.”

You can follow Katie on Instagram, Tik Tok
or visit her website.


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