Who among us hasn’t sat in a salon chair and thought (as the hair stylist spun us around to see all angles): Oh F#$*!! Who among us hasn’t sat in the car and cried. No, wept, over a disastrous hair color, hair style or highlight. If you’re like, Huh, that’s totally never happened to me, then we give you a medal and also side eyes, because we don’t believe you.
Last weekend Jody, in a commendable effort to get a sexy new do, ended up with stripy highlights. She reported to me (and I haven’t seen it yet) that she looked like Kelly Clarkson, who is pretty but definitely has rocked the striped hair. It was so bad, Jody said, she would have to go get it fixed. I can relate. Once, an incompetent stylist put foils in my hair haphazardly, causing them to slip as they were processing leaving me with what can only be described as leopard spots. And because this was back when I was too meek to march back there and demand some help, I lived with it until it grew out. I have a long sad history with hair disasters starting with that rite of passage Sun-In and I’m sure I’m not out of the woods yet.
So, how do you avoid a hair disaster? We did a little research and talked to some hair stylists. And here are their pointers for never crying over your hair again.
- Find a picture. You’ve heard this before. But it’s worth repeating. This is especially important if you are trying something very different. Keep in mind that you’ll want to be sure that the picture (of the celebrity for example) has a similar hair type. It’s not going to work if you have super fine hair and you’re going for.
- Talk to your stylist before they get started. Ask them if they think you can pull of the look you are going for. Tell them a bit about your lifestyle. In my case, I can’t go so short that it can’t go into a ponytail on occasion. I need it off my neck when it’s hot. If the reality is that it’s rarely going to get styled once you leave the salon (maybe you have a new baby or you simply don’t have the time) tell them that too. You don’t need a high maintenance hairstyle if that’s not you.
- If you are coloring, be sure to set expectations. Do you want a dramatic look with bright, noticeable highlights, or are you looking for something more subtle. Again, think about your lifestyle. If getting back to the salon every 4-6 weeks is out of the question, then you probably want something more subtle. Also if this is the first time you are coloring your hair, you may want to ease into it and go more dramatic later. Like most things, it’s easier to add than take away.
- If halfway through the hair cut, you start freaking out, speak up. There may not be much they can do, but if you’re not liking how something is starting to look, as it’s happening, say so. Same goes for the styling afterwards. How many times have you left the salon and gone home to wash it out and style it yourself? That defeats the purpose. If they are over-styling and you’re going to walk out of there looking like Barbie, tell them you’d prefer to skip the beauty queen blow-out
- Be specific about what you don’t like. Let’s say it’s all over and you hate it. Like it’s all you can do to hold it together. Speak up. Hair stylists are nice people and they don’t want you to leave unhappy. If you’re not sure, maybe ask if you can come back if you can’t get used to it. If you know you don’t like what you see in the mirror, don’t leave without a follow-up appointment. It’s rare for a stylist to charge for a follow-up “fix it” appointment.
There you have it. We expect none of you will ever have a hair disaster again. And if you do, you’ll at least share pictures.