I am writing this post hoping, but not keeping my fingers crossed that some of those people who are very indecisive will read it before they go to a hair salon and ask their stylist to decide what they should want to look like. -Because that never works.
Having a general idea of what you want and asking your hair stylist for input is one thing. Being entirely clueless about what you want and expecting your stylist to give it to you, whatever it is, is another.
If I had to define a client from hell this would be it; a client who wants something done, not quite knowing what it is and have their hair look different, but exactly the same as when they walked into a hair salon at the same time. Sounds crazy? Welcome to my world.
As a stylist, I love advising clients on what look they could wear well, what products to use, how to improve condition of their hair etc... However, if a client doesn't know what they want and isn't sure of what they want even after receiving stylist's recommendations, they are bound to not be happy with the look they got even if it's not much different from what they walked into the salon with, because they didn't know what look would make them happy in the first place.
Then they panic and decide that they want a redo. -For free. Here's what I would like people to understand: hair stylists provide a service not a product. You cannot return your hair color or haircut the way you would return a T-shirt or a pair of shoes. You need to know what you want before you get into the hair salon. Flexibility is very important too, -being open to recommendations. Changing your mind about the color you got that you asked for does not mean your stylist is obliged to redo it for free. We run a business not a charity.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are really unsure about what you want, do yourself and your stylist a big favor: stay home until you figure it out.
It has happened to everyone. You go to a hair salon to get a haircut. It is your first time. You stylist wants to wow you and make you his/her regular, but instead of wowing you with a great haircut they proceed to trash the last haircut you got. I have witnessed this kind of a cheap sell on the part of the stylist many times and even more times I witnessed a client gullible enough to believe the nonsense coming out of the stylist's mouth.
Let's clear this up once and for all. Any time your hair stylist ever criticizes your previous haircut and talks about the stylist who gave you that haircut as if they don't know their job, that stylist a) has no class, b) is most likely lying through their teeth and c) has poor ethics and is not worth your business. If your stylist is trying to win you over in such a cheap and dishonest way, what else is he/she dishonest about?
Consultation your stylist has with you should include such questions as What kind of a haircut would you like? and When was the last time you got your haircut? It should include questions about how you like to wear your hair, what kind of products you like and such, not insulting another stylist's work. At best, the haircut you have right now grew out, which is why you need a new one. At worst, the last time you got a haircut, it was one of those styles that requires more maintenance.
Most importantly, you as a client should be able to recognize a cheap sell when you see it. -Or should I say hear it.
I have clients in my chair almost every day who complain about their previous stylist, and even when they complain, I do not join them. Today I had a client whose previous stylist created a hole in his hair on the left side of his head. Even in a situation like this, as a professional I think it is my job to create solutions for my clients instead of exaggerating problems they have, real or imagined.
If you loved your previous haircut and even more so, if you were complimented on it and if a few months down the road you decide to go somewhere else for whatever reason, why would you believe a stylist who insults your other stylist's work? Is your haircut suddenly that terrible and is your new stylist psychic too to be able to get into another stylist's head and know what kind of hair was in front of them before they cut it and what the reason is why they cut it the way they did?
It puzzles me... Unprofessional stylists and naive, easily influenced clients. ...And no, your haircut cannot possibly look exactly the same a few months down the road as it did when you first got it. This kind of unethical behavior of many stylists (yes, many) makes serving clients harder for those of us who choose professionalism and dignity.
...Bridging the gap between hair stylists and clients one blog post at a time.
I have no expectation of never getting another request for changing someone's color from jet black to platinum blonde in one shot and under 2 hours if possible by writing this article, but if this post helps eliminate an unrealistic expectation of even one client and prevents a possible color disaster I will consider it a valuable contribution.
Celebrities drastically change their hair color seemingly overnight. It is easy to assume that because Rihanna's hair is black one day and blonde the next yours can be too and effortlessly.
Dark colored hair can never be turned into light blonde hair in one shot without it becoming really brassy and extremely damaged. If your hair has been repeatedly colored or exposed to heat or chemicals like relaxers or perms, not only will it become brassy (read orange) from bleaching, it will melt off too.
Is it possible to lighten the hair from dark to blonde without it becoming brassy? No. Dark hair is loaded with red pigment, that's what makes it turn orange. Toners which are used to neutralize orange hair have only limited ability to help when hair is stuck in the orange stage.
The safest way for you to go from dark to blonde is to get highlights. Even then, your highlights may turn strawberry blonde at best and copper red at worst.
In situations where a client relaxed their hair, permed it or exposed it to heat repeatedly (flat irons, driers), they will have to slowly grow their virgin hair out before they can safely touch it with bleach.
Another factor to consider is that once you decide to bleach your hair, it will be so damaged that you will have to spend a tone of money on conditioning masks and leave-in conditioners. The entire process will probably cost you more than you thought it would.
So how do celebrities do it? They rely heavily on hair extensions. Celebrities do a lot to their hair because of the nature of their work, but they can also invest in the highest quality hair extensions to mask their damaged hair. Also, they spend a lot of time in the chair when undergoing a color change, way more than you would be willing to and they can easily afford to pay for a pricey service like that.
Do your hair a big favor: listen to your stylist's words of caution and never lie to them about your hair history. Do not omit any information, because chemicals don't lie and your dry, broken off hair will testify to everything you have ever done to your hair before you had it bleached.
If disaster already struck, here are some products I would recommend to help bring your hair into a better condition: Loreal Nature's Therapy Mega Moisture Deep treatment combined with Mega Smooth Unfrizz Taming Creme. Also It's A 10 Miracle Hair Mask combined with It's A 10 Leave In Conditioner. These products will not make your hair feel like it did before it got damaged by bleach but they will improve the condition of your hair significantly. There are many other products on the marked for damaged hair, but these two companies I recommended make great products at a reasonable price.