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Advice From a Hairdresser

If you love your hair, you need to read this.

I graduated beauty school in 2016. Between doing hair at the student salon to doing hair in people's houses to a salon, I get asked A LOT of questions. At every holiday I am asked by everyone so many questions—not just family, but clients ask me. Here are just few things that I think would benefit you and your hair.

Platinum Hair...You really need to care.

If your natural hair is dark, PLEASE DO NOT expect to be platinum in a single visit. Putting your hair through that much will damage your hair even more. Hair goes through a decolonization process. Lightener (bleach) causes the melanin (natural color) of the hair shaft to break down or dissolve. The darker the hair, the more there is to lighten. Now I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm saying that it will take time. Talk to your stylist about your hair and the process of how to achieve the look you're going for.

Give us a hint.

One time I had a client who wanted "champagne"-colored hair. I showed her swatches from our blonde color choices. She didn't like any of them. I went back to our color room and looked at our blondes again and picked out ones that I thought were "champagne"-like. I brought back that one and she didn't like them. I called my teacher over and she picked a few swatches, and you guessed it, she didn't like ANY ONE! We handed over all the swatches and she picked out a swatch that (to me and my teacher) looked NOTHING like "champagne." And yes, it came out good. The moral of the story is: if we had a photo, the whole thing would have been way less stressful. Bringing a photo makes it easier for a hairstylist to formulate color. It's doesn't just go for color; hair cuts, updos, prom hair, bridal hair, and styles—it gives us a clear idea of what you want and how to make you happy.

Box Color BEWARE

Box color, oh box color. Box color is the wall of boxes with hair color at the supermarket or drug store. Box color is affordable for people versus going to a hair stylist. There are many problems that come with box color:

 1. You don't know what your hair will look like. The rule is color on top of color equals darker color. The only way to get a lighter color is to use a proper formula (via a hairstylist) or lightener. So you think your hair will look like the little swatch chart on the side, but most likely it won't. 

2. Metallic salts are in box color and can damage your hair, and if you're doing your roots and decide to put it on the rest of your box-colored hair, your hair will be more damaged.

Conversations Do's and Donts

Like a first date, there are certain things you don't bring up. Those rules still apply for the hair salon. Never bring up politics, race, religion, your sex life, salons that have done you wrong, war...basically ANYTHING negative that someone else can hear and could start a fight. Keep conversations light and happy. If the conversation starts to go that way, I ask a question like, "Do you have any kids? Grandchildren? Pets?" Stick to positive things that happen. Talk about a concert you went to or that movie you just saw. My favorite is any funny story. Keep it positive, but remember, WE. ARE. NOT. THERAPISTS. Don't bring up family problems or problems at work. The salon is where you escape from all the stuff that is happening and you giving yourself  "me" time. 

Hair care is important.

After you get your hair done, it is super important to get good hair care products. Most salons use, carry, and sell products that are only sold to professionals. The salon will sell it at discounted price. I like to think of your hair like a car; if I had an super expensive car, I would only want to put the best gas in it. Splurge on your hair care, ESPECIALLY shampoo and conditioners. I know this brings the whole "luxury vs. drugstore" debate here. If you are going to buy from the drug store, look at the ingredients. Avoid things like sodium laurel/laureth sulfate, isopropyl alcohol, and proplyene glycol. All of those can strip color, cause your hair to dry out, and become brittle. Go for ingredients like oils from avocados, argan, jojoba, olive, and shea. Talk to your hairstylist about your hair care and what should do to care for your hair.

Never say the following:

One of my biggest pet peeves as a hair stylist are rude clients. 

"Can you go faster? I need to leave in ten minutes." If I'm giving you a full head of highlights, a hair cut and blow dry, expect to be in my chair for a while. Your color needs to process, and that can take up 30 minutes. So if you're in a rush, it might not be the best idea to come in that day. 

"Sorry, do you mind if I eat? I didn't have lunch." Most stylists don't really get a long lunch break. Sometimes we just have a bottle of water and a small bag of mixed nuts while your color is processing. But it's very polite you asked. 

"My old hairstylist did my hair and every time he/she did it, it was amazing! He/she did my color in like ten minutes." PLEASE, for the love of god, DONT COMPLAIN ABOUT ME IN FRONT OF ME. If you praise this hairdresser so much, why aren't you going to him or her?

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