Unit of competency details

WRHCL406B - Solve complex colour problems (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to SIHHCLS406A - Solve complex colour problemsUpdated and equivalent to WRHCL406B Previously contained the following prerequisites: • WRHCL302B Colour and lighten hair • WRHCL303B Design and perform full and partial highlighting techniques • WRHCL304A Perform colour correction 19/Jul/2011
Supersedes and is equivalent to WRHCL406A - Solve complex colour problemsEmployability skills added 19/Apr/2011

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 18/Apr/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110303 Hairdressing 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110303 Hairdressing 18/Apr/2011 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit Descriptor 

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to design and perform corrective hair colour services, and/or provide advice to other operators performing those services, to resolve complex colour problems.

This unit of competency will apply to experienced hairdressers playing a technical leadership and/or support role in the workplace.

Application of the Unit

Application of the Unit 

This unit requires the operator to communicate with clients regarding their colour problem and desired hair colour finish. It involves analysis of the characteristics of hair, including hair condition, existing chemical damage, natural base colour, artificial base colour/s and the selection and application of products that remove and correct unwanted colour, colour undertones or bleached effects from the hair.

Knowledge of the workplace hair colour/lightening range and colour correction products, along with a knowledge of relevant local health regulations and the workplace approach to colour services, with particular emphasis on client and operator safety, are also required.

In the context of an assessment-only and/or a training delivery and assessment pathway, units of competency that relate to this unit are identified in the evidence guide of this unit.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the level of performance required to demonstrate achievement of the element. The variables for the bold italicised  text are outlined in the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria




Develop advanced product knowledge and application techniques.


Colour correction product knowledge is developed, maintained and conveyed to other staff members as required.


Technical solutions , techniques and application procedures are researched, developed, applied and conveyed or demonstrated to other staff members.


Consult with clients and prepare for colour correction services.


Existing hair colour  and hair condition  are analysed through physical and visual examination.


Client history  is referred to and previous colour is discussed with client  where applicable.


Client dissatisfaction with current hair colour is established through questioning and active listening.


A desired finished result and corrective colour treatment program , including risks, time and costs are discussed and confirmed with client.


A range of relevant products are selected according to the planned treatment program.


Perform colour deposit/lifting service.


Strand test is applied where indicated by the client analysis before a decision is taken to proceed.


Colour deposit /lifting products  are applied and removed according to manufacturer's instructions and where indicated by the colour correction plan.


Application methods and techniques are applied where indicated by the colour correction plan.


Client and operator comfort and safety  are ensured at all stages of the service according to relevant legislation , manufacturer's product safety data sheets, and workplace policies and procedures .


Perform specialist colour corrective service.


A variety of colour corrective techniques and services are applied without damage to the hair or scalp.


Client and operator comfort and safety are applied throughout the service according to workplace procedures and manufacturer's product safety data.


Final colour result is achieved consistent with predetermined colour result and client satisfaction is confirmed.


Client after care products and further appointments are recommended and confirmed.


Client history is updated to include colour problem analysis product selection, application techniques, processing methods and timing, outcome of service and home hair care products recommended and purchased.

Required Skills and Knowledge


This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level , required for this unit .

Skills may include :

  • pre-corrective colour treatment/s analysis
  • communication techniques, including:
  • using open and closed questions
  • speaking clearly and concisely
  • using appropriate language
  • non-verbal communication
  • client consultation
  • high level consultation with other operators
  • using a range of manufacturer's colour charts
  • colour correction treatment product selection across major manufacturer's product ranges
  • colour deposit removal using a range of products
  • pre-pigmenting hair from light to dark
  • selection of cool and warm tones
  • time, risk and costing of service
  • language, literacy and numeracy skills relevant to the role and workplace requirements
  • colour selection and application method.

Knowledge may include :

  • action of peroxide with bleaches and powder lighteners in colour deposit removal
  • the relationship between porosity, texture, condition and the success of corrective colour services
  • levels of peroxide and their applications in colour correction
  • the chemical and physical effects of pre-pigmenting products
  • the colour wheel and its application in colour selection to achieve warm and cool tones
  • a range of manufacturer's colour chart systems
  • key manufacturer's colour product ranges
  • the provisions of relevant health and hygiene legislation and regulations
  • the provisions of relevant occupational health and safety legislation and regulations.

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide describes the underpinning knowledge and skills that must be demonstrated to prove competence. It is essential for assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, the range statement and the assessment guidelines of the relevant Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

A person who demonstrates competency in this unit of competency must be able to apply knowledge of the use and application of a broad range of products to solve complex colour problems on different clients. This will take the form of working in a team to provide technical advice to other operators on colour correction strategies and techniques. Knowledge of and skill in applying relevant legislation and workplace procedures that ensure client and operator comfort, health and safety must also be demonstrated.

Specific evidence requirements 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

  • knowledge and consistent application of workplace policies, procedures and safe work practices in relation to colour services
  • consistently applying effective questioning and active listening techniques to consult and negotiate with clients and to ensure client comfort and safety throughout the service
  • recognising and managing contraindications
  • reading, accurately interpreting and consistently applying manufacturer's colour charts and product instructions
  • consistently safe selection, preparation, application, processing and removal of colour according to manufacturer's instructions and workplace procedures
  • consistently developing specialist product knowledge and techniques
  • consistently providing sound information and advice to clients and relevant workplace personnel, based on the consideration of time, and cost and risk factors associated with possible corrective services
  • consistently applying specialist colour corrective services.

Context of assessment 

For valid and reliable assessment of this unit, competency should be consistently demonstrated over a period of time and observed by the assessor and/or the technical expert working in partnership with the assessor. The technical expert may include the hairdresser and/or an experienced person at the workplace.

Competency should be demonstrated in the workplace or a simulated workplace environment in a range of situations that may include client interruptions and involvement in other related activities normally expected in the workplace. For further guidance on the use of an appropriate simulated environment, refer to the Assessment Guidelines in this Training Package.

Specific resources for assessment 

Competency for this unit should be assessed through access to:

  • relevant documentation, including occupational health and safety legislation and regulations, workplace policy and procedures manuals and manufacturer's product safety data sheets
  • a salon or simulated salon environment
  • products and information from key product manufacturer's colour ranges
  • clients with a variety of complex hair colour problems.

Relationship to other units 

This unit requires an assessment outcome that includes evidence of advanced technical knowledge of the chemical and physical effects of hair colour and lightening colour products on the hair. In a workplace environment, solving complex colour problems requires significant experience in colour and lightening services and the application of colour correction practices.

Prerequisite units :

  • WRHCL302B Colour and lighten hair
  • WRHCL303B Design and perform full and partial highlighting techniques
  • WRHCL304A Perform colour correction.

Co-requisite unit :

  • WRHCL305B Perform on scalp full head and re-touch bleach services.

Method of assessment 

The following assessment methods are suggested.

  • Observation of the learner performing a range of tasks in an actual or simulated work environment, over sufficient time to demonstrate his/her handling of a range of contingencies. Tasks may include:
  • the conduct of pre-service analysis and consultation with clients and other operators
  • the development, safe application and documentation of complex corrective colour case studies, including colour deposit removal and pre-pigmenting techniques.
  • Technical questions regarding peroxide levels and their applications in conjunction with complex colour correction, safe product use and application methods.
  • Third-party reports from experienced hairdressers.

Evidence required for demonstration of consistent performance 

For valid and reliable assessment of this unit, evidence should be gathered through a range of methods to indicate consistent performance.

It can be gathered from assessment of the unit of competency alone, through an integrated assessment activity or through a combination of both.

Evidence should be gathered as part of the learning process.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that will affect performance.

The following variables may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts. Bold italicised  text from the performance criteria is detailed here.

Technical solutions  must include:

  • working with different peroxide levels
  • stripping
  • bleaching
  • pre-pigmenting hair
  • neutralising unwanted tones
  • a range of techniques.

Existing hair colour  may include:

  • natural base
  • artificial base/s
  • bleach base.

Hair condition  must include:

  • dry, oily or normal
  • porosity
  • texture.

Client history  must include:

  • client reaction to skin tests
  • contraindications
  • previous pre-service analysis
  • previous services' brand and colour selection
  • previous services' application techniques and processing times
  • recommended after care products.

Clients  may include:

  • men, women and children
  • people who present with virgin hair or a range of pre-existing colour treatments on the hair
  • people from a range of social, cultural or ethnic backgrounds and with a range of physical and mental abilities.

Corrective colour treatment programs  must include:

  • multiple treatments
  • removing unwanted colour deposits
  • identifying raw pigment undertone before adding pre-pigments
  • pre-pigmenting hair from light to dark to develop a desired undertone
  • selecting warm and cool colours
  • products to equalise porosity
  • selecting and applying tint products
  • refresher colours
  • between-service colour care and conditioning products.

Colour deposit /lifting products  must include:

  • stripping products from a defined manufacturer's colour product range
  • bleaches
  • powder lighteners
  • hydrogen peroxides.

Client and operator comfort and safety  must include:

  • following workplace procedures
  • following manufacturer's product safety instructions regarding the preparation and application of corrective colour products
  • following manufacturer's product safety data in the event of an accident and seeking medical advice
  • appropriate gowning of client
  • application of anti skin stain product
  • application of colour stain removal product
  • wearing operator protective clothing and equipment when mixing and applying products
  • monitoring client scalp comfort and condition at all stages of the service.

Relevant legislation  may include:

  • federal, state and local health and hygiene legislation and regulations
  • occupational health and safety legislation and regulations.

Workplace policies and procedures  may include:

  • client comfort and safety
  • operator safety
  • health and hygiene.

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.

Competency field

Competency Field