A blog chronicling the adventures of a Chicago-based hairstylist and makeup artist!

December 1, 2008

Important things to know about haircutting/color!

  • It is a good thing when a stylist is honest about the limitations of your hair. Don't be discouraged. (ie, Dark-medium brown hair will take 2-3 services/processes to get to light blonde. If you were to do that in one sitting, your hair would most likely break off.)
  • When you color your hair you are chemically altering it. Period. If it is permanent color your hair WILL be damaged to an extent.
  • Getting a haircut every 6-8 weeks is crucial to maintain a hairstyle. It also helps keep your hair from being damaged.
  • Ammonia, an ingredient in window cleaners, is an ingredient in all permanent hair color but drug store color can contain up to 25% ammonia! On the other hand, professional hair color (that can only be bought by a professional and costs more) contains about 2% ammonia. A huge amount of ammonia WILL dry out your hair. Having your hair color done professionally will decrease your hair damage tremendously.
  • If you are spending your money on coloring your hair then please don't waste your money by using drug store shampoos and conditioners. They are not formulated to protect your color, often contain a lot of alcohol (which dries hair), are highly diluted with water so you don't get as much lather and often contain wax which makes hair hard to style and dull looking (ie, Pantene).
  • Don't buy professional products from Target, Walmart or a drugstore. Hair professionals refer to this as "diversion". These products could be counterfeit (not really what you think you are buying), old (don't work anymore) and could contain hazardous chemicals. (See the following link for more information about "diversion": http://haircareproducts.suite101.com/article.cfm/counterfeit_hair_care_products)
  • Stylists use hair products to get the look you leave the salon with. Often times that look cannot be achieved without the use of products. If you are frustrated that you can't achieve the same look then ask your stylist about a good product for your hair type.
  • It is best to bring in a picture of the hair cut or color you are wanting. Terminologies can mean different things to different people. What may be "honey brown" to you maybe suggest "auburn" to someone else.
  • I would suggest taking pictures of your hair when you leave the salon. That way if you love it, you can get it again.
  • If you have long/very thick hair, tell the person setting your appointment so that you can be scheduled accordingly.
  • If you are pregnant or are on medication it alters your hormones and this effects hair color. If the hormones are off, color might come out darker or not work at all. Please tell your stylist ahead of time. They will feel like they are being too intrusive to ask.
  • If you are not happy with your hair, please let your stylist know immediately. You are paying good money and you should be getting what you are paying for. The hair industry is a customer service based profession and we care about our clients. However, please understand that there is a difference between miscommunication and the actual limitations of your hair. (ie, Black hair may never be platinum white and thin hair may need extensions to obtain sexy, loopy curls.)
  • Do not bounce from colorist to colorist. There is no telling what has been used on your hair before. Create a relationship with your stylist and work together to get your desired color.
  • Chain salons are a gamble (ie, Hair Cuttery, Great Clips). Yes, sometimes you will find a talented stylist but there is no telling. If you want good, healthy hair it is worth paying for.
  • The difference between permanent and semi-permanent hair color could be compared to the difference between lipstick and lip gloss. Permanent completely covers the hair, while semi puts a veil of color over it.

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