Beauty and the Best

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Want to put to rest those bad hair days?

When coloring your own hair, doesn’t it fall short of how you want it to look? Some TV “experts” recommend doing it on your own to conserve your already stretched budget. To get the preferred color–and best in hair maintenance–you may want to check out the following helpful suggestions:

1. Don’t be mislead by a label reading “Shampoo-in.”

Shampoo-in does not mean it shampoos out. This is probably the most common mistake that is made by consumers of home hair color. Additionally, shampoo-in does not mean that this method of application is an effective method of producing desired or consistent results. What it is good for is getting consumers to think they can easily do it themselves. There is a proper method of color application and shampoo-in is not it. In producing sales for corporations of home hair color, however, it does work. Don’t believe the label!

2. Hair color is not like paint.

The color you choose it not the color you get. The color you get is a mixture of the selected color and your existing hair color. This part, the formulation, is part science and part art.

3. Even in the colorist chair, clients can’t see the long-term picture of the choices they make.

Where will this decision lead 6 or 12 months down the road? Again it’s not like trying on clothing in the store that can be removed if it doesn’t fit expectations-there are limits to what you can do if you change color frequently.

4. We are not good judges of when the hair has had enough.

This may sound dubious at first, but emotions cloud everyone’s judgment. Just look around at all the distressed hair; it’s all around us. A reputable colorist will be very protective of the health of the hair which has been entrusted to their care.

5. Because hair color problems tend to compound,

it is important that one seek professional help at the first sign of difficulty. In other words, at this point it is imperative that each step be handled correctly as each action now facilitates or complicates the next. The hair, like the body, has a complex history. This is particularly true of long hair because of its long history. For this reason it is critical that one be honest and not omit anything. Come clean about your hair’s history-this may have a direct bearing on present results. (I once witnessed a “simple” highlight go awry because the client withheld information about what preceded the service then in process. She was embarrassed to tell the truth about what she herself had done before coming in.) Remember, hairdressers, like bartenders, have heard it all. Don’t allow embarrassment to cause you to withhold what may turn out to be vital information.

6. Keep in mind, even though color corrections are often perfected the first time,

sometimes it is a step-by-step process that gets accomplished over 2 to 3 visits. This is especially true for hair that has been badly damaged. Hair that has come to be severely distressed over a long period of time may also take time to correct. A colorist who is protective of your hair’s health will always generate ongoing, consistent improvement in both the health and coloration of your hair.

7. Everyone admires long, vibrant, healthy hair.

Nothing compromises that beauty like damage. For long hair, a competent colorist is your hair’s best friend. Salon color in competent hands is “controlled damage”. The key word here is “controlled.” A certain amount of “damage” from hair color creates additional body, thickness and manageability. Uncontrolled damage is…well you get the picture. Protect your long hair’s health. If it’s not beautiful, why wear it long?

8. Finally when considering the choice of doing your own hair color at home,

do your homework, don’t act impulsively. Corrective color is labor intensive which is why it is the most expensive kind of color. This is also where a good colorist really demonstrates their value. My most loyal color clients have been those who came to me initially as the most distressing of home color disasters. They now regard me as a bargain for a life of continuing good hair days.