We’ve all had bad hair color experiences, right? You walk into the salon, you finally sit down for your consultation with your stylist before your appointment, and you’re prepared with pictures of the color you want to get! However, pictures and references are just not enough sometimes.
For all of your efforts to communicate what you wanted to your stylist, when your hair is dry, it’s clear that something got lost in translation… So, you tell the stylist you love it, pay for hair you don’t like, and walk out the door. That’s the worst feeling ever! So, how do we avoid this kind of tragedy?!
Here are some tips on how to communicate with your stylist and guarantee that you get color that you’ll love!
Steps to getting the perfect hair color, every time…
1.- Picking a “nice” salon is not enough.
For certain service industries, picking a “high quality” place is not going to guarantee a great experience. When people ask me about how to choose a hairstylist, I often compare it to searching for a tattoo artist. When you decide to get a tattoo, that’s a very permanent decision, and coloring your hair can be too!
It’s always best to look at an artist’s portfolio before making an appointment to see if their work is something you’d like to wear. If you want to be copper and see a stylist that normally works with blondes… You may not get the desired result.
It’s also imperative that you trust the person who’s doing your hair. Nothing is worse than a client who’s so nervous that they make the stylist nervous! Hair color is very intricate, and a client/stylist relationship is an important part of getting you the perfect color. Read through your stylist’s bio on the salon website if it’s available, and read through the mission statement of the salon too; that might help you decide which salon/stylist will be right for you.
2.- Healthy Hair = Beautiful Color
One of the most important factors in getting the exact hair color you want is to keep your hair healthy! If you come into the salon with damaged and unhealthy hair, your stylist is a lot less likely to even consider putting color on it. Use those deep conditioners, limit shampooing to two to three times a week, and lay off the hot tools as much as you can! (If you live here in AZ, feel free to use the sun as a blow dryer.)
3.- Find some photos!
With social media networks like Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook, finding inspiration for your next hair color is super easy! You’ll want to choose your inspiration photos carefully, though. Pick looks you REALLY love, and be prepared to tell your stylist why you love them!
There are also a few questions you should be asking yourself while choosing pictures:
- Do I have this person’s hair length?
- Do I have their hair thickness?
- Do I have their hair texture?
- Do I have their skin tone?
- Do I have their features?
- Do I style my hair like this?
It’s important to make these distinctions so that you have a realistic expectation as to what styles will really work for you! It’s also important that you bring some pictures that you DON’T like to show you stylist as well. This will help you and your stylist have open communication, and help your stylist understand more about your style!
4.- Hair color language is complicated…
There are endless shades and hues to choose from when you want to color your hair, and stylists have all kinds of lingo to describe them. Honestly, it’s for the best that you don’t try to speak their language unless you’re 100% sure you know what you’re talking about!
There are a couple of terms that you should know to avoid, so here’s a couple inside tips:
- I would stay away from phrases like “warm tones” or saying you like gold, because if you request them it could be dangerous.
- Basically, warm means orange. If you don’t want to see yellow in your hair, you won’t want to see “gold” either. If your fear is seeing green in your hair, just tell you stylist you’d like to avoid drab or dull-looking color.
- ALWAYS BE KIND TO YOUR STYLIST AND OTHER SALON STAFF.
- Because they’re human, and they deserve your respect in the same way you deserve their respect.
- Do you prefer a solid color look, or dimensional color?
- Dimension refers to highlighted looks where there are some pieces that are lighter or darker throughout your hair and help the color look more natural. A solid look is more like dying your hair black all over; it’s the same throughout!
- Know the fads, but know that the fads aren’t for everyone! (“Trendy” is not right for everyone!)
- If you wander into a salon and ask for mermaid hair, tortoise shell hair, or opal hair… That’s awesome! However, those are bold trends that DO NOT look great on everyone who tries them.
- Gauge if you’re someone who prefers a natural look, or someone who likes things a little more on the wild side!
- Feel free to ask questions!
- Your stylist should be knowledgeable enough to answer any questions you might have about color or processes, so ask away!
5.- Let’s be down-to-Earth.
Don’t be afraid to be REAL with your hair stylist. Ask for what you want, and give your stylist a brief history of your hair! The stylist will want to know if you currently have color on your hair, how long it’s been since you last colored and cut it, and what products you use. Then, be sure to be realistic about your budget and you hair’s health!
When the stylist asks you questions, give honest answers! During your consultation your stylist wants to get all the details they need to ensure that you leave loving your hair, so don’t be shy! Come into the salon as you are, and let the stylists help you elevate your look. Your ideal color should go with your skin tone, eye color, and lifestyle!
6.- Come to the salon with clean hair for your highlights!
Normally, a hairstylist would discourage you washing your hair before an appointment because they’ll probably wash it again at the salon, but highlights are a little different! When you know you’re going in for highlights, it’s good to wash off some of the natural oils from your hair as they can prevent your hair from lifting (or lightening) evenly.
If you’re coming in for a single-process color like a root touch up, it’s okay to come with dirty hair! Leaving the natural oils on your scalp will keep your scalp from getting to itchy while your color is processing.
7.- Making the perfect appointment!
The first step in making the ideal appointment for hair color is scheduling a consultation. Ideally, your consult should be scheduled for a DIFFERENT day than your color appointment, and you should schedule your color appointment with your stylist during your consultation. This ensures that you get scheduled for the right services and the right amount of time! If you get booked for the wrong service, you risk not getting the service you want.
Don’t trust your conversation with the front desk 100% of the time! As much as we love and appreciate our front desk folks; THEY DO NOT DO HAIR. (They’d tell you that, too.)
If you know you have a lot of hair, be sure to let your stylist know so that they can book out a little extra time for you! If it’s your first time at the salon, or you want a more relaxed experience, don’t book for a Saturday. Saturdays will always be a salon’s busiest day, and if you want to be sure you get 100% of your stylist’s attention, try making an appointment during the week! Relax and trust your colorist; they WANT to give you the best looking hair ever!
8.- Take your stylist home with you!
No, you can’t literally pack your stylist up in your purse and take them home, but you can ask them for tips that you can use at home! Your stylist can show you easy and fun styles that you can do yourself, provide you with products that work well for your hair texture and make your color last longer, and give you more inspiration for your next look!
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for reading our 8 tips for getting the exact hair color you want!!! We hope these tips were helpful, and we hope you get the hair color of your dreams! If you’re an AZ local, you can book an appointment with us online, or call us at (480)-840-5542! Feel free to come see us at our Chandler, AZ location anytime! ‘Til next time, friends!