If you've dyed your hair at least once, then you're well acquainted with the whole new world of hair care you have to submit to in order to keep your locks looking healthy and undamaged. But there are still some things you should do when you color your hair that your stylist wish you knew, ensuring that your next hair appointment won't be derailed with them trying to bring your dry, fried hair back to life. Or worse, trying to fix an accidental color that was so not what you envisioned.
While we might use our best efforts to deep condition and shower with purple or red shampoos at home, beauty care is sometimes rough — and expensive. But there are simple steps and measures you can take before coming to the salon that will ensure your coloring process goes as smoothly and stress-free as possible. You don't have to keep your fingers crossed underneath the hair cloak that your hair actually turns out blonde and not brassy, or brown and not ashy. If you follow the steps below, you'll leave the salon looking just how you imagined. Ahead are tips straight from stylists and colorists on what to do when you color your hair at a salon.
1. Get A Water Filter For Your Bathroom
While many of us obsess with getting color treated shampoos to keep our hair healthy and primed for color, we might overlook the actual water running out of our taps. But according to Meredith Morris, stylist, colorist, and owner of MAVEN Beverly Hill, that's a huge oversight.
"Before you do anything, invest in a water filter for your shower. The water from the shower contains many minerals and it can deposit onto your hair. These minerals cause buildup and can discolor your hair, so purifying your shower experience is an absolute must," she says.
2. Wash With A Detoxifying Shampoo
In order to get the cleanest color, you have to make sure you don't have any buildup in your hair before you sit in your stylist's chair. "A few days prior to your hair color appointment, clarify your hair with a detoxifying shampoo. This will clean and rid your hair of any buildup from both the environment and products," Morris shares.
3. Wash Your Hair The Day Of The Appointment
"It's best to go to the salon appointment with your hair as your normally style it day to day. This will help tremendously in the consultation portion of your appointment. Your stylist/colorist will be able to better accommodate your needs when seeing what and how you do your hair on a daily basis," Morris points out.
In fact, coming in with dirty hair will throw your colorist off her evaluation. "Dirty hair is stinky and the excess oils can dull and visually darken the natural color of the hair preventing the stylist from being able to make a proper assessment of the situation," Morris stresses.
4. Be Honest About Your Hair Coloring History
This isn't the '50s anymore and we shouldn't be embarrassed for being bottle blondes, red heads, or what ever color you chose. Because of that, be upfront with your colorist when they ask about your salon past.
"It is a very common misconception that once you can no longer see colour visually, it means that the colour is gone completely. Color does not dissappear, but fades or is covered with the truth laying underneath," Jaymi Van Horne, a hairstylist at Toronto's Good Day Hairshop explains in an email interview with Bustle. "I frequently hear clients say 'it’s all my natural' when in fact they coloured it 4 years ago and I will come across it about 10-15” down. It is imperative that you mention any and all color or relaxer services that have been performed in the past to ensure the best outcome," Van Horne stresses. That way different sections of your hair won't turn a different shade because they absorbed the color incorectly.
5. Brush Your Hair Out
It can be tempting to throw your hair into a ponytail and leave for your day of pampering, but be sure you brush it out properly before you go. "Sometimes I spend 20 minutes just brushing out a messy bun when I really should be focusing on my formulation," Van Horne says. "Services are based on time and adding steps like straightening or brushing can intervene with how much time is spent actually doing your colour." Be courteous to your stylist and do that little step!
6. Come With Plenty Of Research Ready
While not many of us say "do whatever you want" when sitting in the chair, trying to describe the color with your words is just as vague. Instead, do yourself and the colorist a favor by coming in ready with pictures.
"Since no color can be exactly recreated (as everyone’s hair varies in texture and thickness — and we’re artists, not robots) I like to tell a client that we will personalize their look based on the three they have shown me. A customized combination that suits their look and lifestyle," Van Horne explains. This way, you'll be able to get the color you've been daydreaming about in your head.
7. Chill On The Softness
If you're a serial hair dyer, chances are you're diligent with treatments and masks to keep it soft. But, Van Horne points out, there is such a thing as overkill.
"People often come to me with overly hydrated hair — that is, their hair is breaking and won't roundbrush because the hair is so bogged down with moisture. Like skin, too much of a good thing in your hair can cause inflammation and leave you with the exact opposite of what you were trying to achieve. Just because it’s colored, doesn't mean it needs a moisturizing treatment seven days a week," Van Horne shares. Instead, stick to a hair mask about once a week and let your hair breathe.
8. Stay Still
While it might be tempting to look around the salon or down at your phone during a long color job, fight the urge. "You don't have to be a statue, but nothing is worse than trying not to overlap (and over-process) bleach while your client is looking in every direction. We know it’s hard to sit there for hours on end, but asking if you can grab your coffee before actually doing it can make the difference between bleeding tiger stripes and the sun-kissed (healthy) blonde of your dreams," Van Horne points out. Try to stay in one spot.
9. Pay Attention To Your Hair Texture After The Appointment
Everyone's hair reacts differently to color, so keep an eye on your texture to see what your locks need after the process. "If your hair is feeling limp like an overcooked spaghetti, you need protein. If it's dry and and flakes off when you brush it, you need moisture. Look for products that support each role for ideal results," Van Horne explains. That way you keep your hair looking healthy for longer.
Keep these simple tips top of mind next time you book your next color appointment — your hairstylist will love you for it!
Images: Antonina Bukowski/ Unsplash