The relationship we all have with our hair colorist is one of the most intimate we have outside of our family and friends. We trust them to conceal our roots or gray hair, and fix our bad at-home dye jobs (more on this later).
At the end of the day, your hair colorist has a job to do, but there are some key things you can do to make his or her life easier. Here’s a couple of bad habits your colorist wishes you’d break — after all, this is a relationship worth saving.
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1. Don’t be late for your hair appointment. “Five to 10 minutes late is understandable,” says Kyle White, the lead colorist at Oscar Blandi Salon in New York City. “Life happens, there’s traffic or the babysitter was late. I totally get it, but when you are consistently 20 minutes late for your appointment, it says one thing to me. You think your time is way more valuable then mine, and every other client that will be kept waiting because of you.” The pro’s advice: If you are more than 15 minutes late, apologize profusely and reschedule.
2. Don’t be dishonest about your hair history. “If there’s color on your hair or it’s chemically straightened, we need to know,” White says. “I promise we won’t think any less of you if your hair is not 100 percent natural or you had to see someone else while you were summering in the Hamptons.” A colorist may get angry if they use the incorrect dye formula because a client fibbed about their hair being “virgin” or using a box color the week prior, White explained. “Always be honest,” he says. “It could be the difference between beautiful hair and head full of straw.”
3. Don’t wear white or an expensive designer outfit to get your hair dyed. L’Oréal Paris celebrity colorist Kari Hill says, “When people come for hair color application dressed completely in white — makes me nervous!” White adds, “Also, I’m betting that you won’t care what color your hair is if we get a huge glob of bleach on that Birken!”
4. Don’t forget to bring a picture. “You know the saying ‘A picture says a thousand words.’ Well, that’s never truer than when it comes to color,” says White. Pro trick: look for a photograph of someone with a similar skin tone, eye color and natural base hair color as your own because those shades will probably work best and be the most achievable.
5. Don’t show up with wet or dirty hair. Hill notes that you can’t color wet hair, so it wastes time having to blow dry it first and then apply color. “There’s also a false belief that it’s better to color on very dirty hair [but] an excessive amount of hair product residue on strands can impede color application,” she says.
6. Don’t move around while you are getting your hair colored. “I swear sometimes I think the clients are more interested in reading magazines and sipping cappuccinos then they are about getting their hair done right,” says White. “If you’re a moving target, things get messed up, highlights get placed incorrectly or a spot may be missed.”
7. Don’t distract your hairdresser by talking non-stop. “There’s no denying that there is a strong social aspect to a hair appointment, and many of my best friends started out as clients,” he says. “Keep in mind that intricate haircuts and color are complex procedures that require a reasonable amount of concentration.”
8. Don’t have unrealistic expectations about the outcome. Having black hair with a desire to go blonde in under an hour is impossible, according to Hill. “It doesn’t work time-wise, and you will never be totally pleased with rushed results,” she says.
9. Don’t forget to protect your fresh new hair color from the sun. “I’m tired of hearing clients tell me that they spent time in the sun and then complain about their color changing,” says Hill. “Hair oxidizes without the proper protection! I always advise on wearing hats or headscarves, limiting sun exposure and using products with UV filters.”