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  • Lisa

let's get shady.

What is redken shades eq?

One of my biggest lifesavers and favorite tools behind the chair is Redken Shades EQ. They are so versatile and have many different uses to up your game as a hairstylist. There is just simply no other product like them.

Shades EQ is a gloss liquid formula, demi-permanent professional hair color. Demi-permanent haircolor is a form of non-permanent color that gradually fades over the course of a few weeks. This type of haircolor is perfect for those who don’t want harsh root regrowth, are looking to try out a new haircolor, or who are interested in coloring their hair for the first time. As hair glosses are a gentler form of haircolor, they are a great way to change up your look without the total commitment.

My favorite ways to use shades EQ are:

Gloss - natural or color treated hair.

Tone - down or intensify natural or color treated hair

Smudge - add depth at the base for a lived in blended highlighted look

Correct - uneven, brassy or overly vibrant tones.

Refresh - faded haircolor

Shades EQ has an acidic pH. They provide outstanding color and shine. They have a liquid consistency which spreads easily and allows a quick bottle application. They process quickly, maximum time being 20 minutes.


When lifting hair, ash lifts out first leaving some residual warmth, the point of toning is to work with the warmth left in the hair to create your desired tone. Its almost like a math equation.

The desired end result = raw lightened hair (warmth) + toner shade (cool)

Pigmented present at a lifted level 9-10 is pale yellow, so you must have a violet base.

Pigment present at a lifted level 7 is yellow orange, so you must have violet blue base.

Pigment present at a lifted level 4-6 is red orange, so you must have a green blue base.

Crystal Clear

Crystal clear can be used to dilute any formula to keep existing blonde bright. I love using crystal clear on level 10 blondes so that my toners don't dull down the brightness. I also like crystal clear to create more versatility in my color cabinet. Instead of buying every level of each series I can dilute darker levels to a lighter formula with clear.

SHADES EQ series breakdowns

T series

Gray base + blue

T = 4 cools + 1 warm

GN series

Green brown base

GN = 2 warm + 1 cool

B series

Blue base

B = 1 cool

NA series

Black to gray base + blue/violet

NA = 3 cools = 1 warm

If 09NA is used on a 9 yellow base you will pull green. Add V to formula to cancel yellow

P series

Gray base + blue/violet

P = 3 cools + 1 warm

N series

Brown tan warm base + blue/violet

N = 3 warms + 3 cools

If you use straight 09N on a yellow 9 you will still have yellow. you need to add V to neutralize

NB series

Brown tan base + red violet

NB = 4 warms + 2 cools

NW series

Brown tan base + gold

NW = 3 warm + 1 cool

GI series


GI = 4 warms + 1 cool

When used on a level 9 yellow the violet cancels out yellow and you are left with a warm buttery finish.

Add V to GI for a beige effect.

GB series

Gold beige base

GB = 3 warm + 1 cool

G series

Gold yellow base

G = 1 warm

GG series

Double gold base

GG = 2 warms

WG series

Warm gold base + yellow/orange

WG = 3 warm

C series

Copper base + orange

C = 2 warm

AA series

Auburn base + orange/red

AA = 4 warm

CB series

Copper brown base

CB = 4 warms + 1 cool

RB series

Red brown base

RB = 4 warms + 2 cools

CC series

Double copper base

CC = 4 warms

CR series

Copper red base

CR = 3 warms

R series

Red base

R = 1 warm

RR series

Intense red base

RR = 2 warms

RV series

Red/violet base

RV = 2 warms + 1 cool

V series

Violet base, red/blue

V = 1 cool + 1 warm


Sandy Blonde = 09NB + 09N + 09V

Pearl Blonde = 09V + 09P + 09GI

Buttery Blonde = 09NB + 09GB + 09P

Beige Blonde = 09NB + 09V + 09GB

Cool Beige Blonde = 09NA + 09V + 09N

Champagne Blonde = 09N + 09NB +09P

Icy Blonde = 09V + 09P + 09T

Vanilla Blonde = 09V + 09NB + 09T + 09P

Warm Blonde = 09GI + 09N

Honey Blonde = 08V + 08GI

Copper Blonde = 09AA + 07C + 09RB

Caramel Bronde = 08V + 07NW + 09NB

Cinnamon Bronde = 08T + 05NW + 04 NB

Rosy Bronde = 05RV + 08GG + 08C

Here are a few of these toner examples in action!

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