In a recent Wella Professionals survey it was revealed that 42% of women have never had a consultation with their colorist prior to dyeing. What’s more, 45% of women admitted they chat with their colorist about their personal lives, but only 13% actually discuss the products they’re using. So we enlisted Wella spokesperson Aura Friedman, a colorist at NYC’s fabulous Serge Normant Salon, to give us the lowdown on the best way to talk with your colorist to achieve the look you want.
Do Some Soul Searching
Take time to think about what you want and need from your haircolor before your next appointment. Ask yourself: What are my ultimate goals — to create a whole new look, to cover gray, or to enhance natural color? What is my budget for maintenance (some looks require more frequent salon visits than others)? How much time can I realistically devote to caring for my hair? These answers will help your colorist determine what type of color best fits your needs and lifestyle. If you’re still uncertain, visit a virtual makeover site that allows you to upload your photo and “try on” different hair colors
Bring Photos, But Be Realistic
If there’s a certain celebrity whose color you love, by all means, bring a picture with you as a guide. Just remain open to your colorist’s suggestions, since what looks great during a particular red carpet moment (or on someone with a different eye color), may not work for you. It’s also important to remember that photography alters color, so the hues you see in magazine pictures can rarely be duplicated exactly. Your colorist may also have a book of their past work for inspiration (and most will be happy to share it with you).
Arrive with your hair done as you normally wear it. This way your colorist can see the real you and get a better sense of what they’re working with and what you want to change. This is especially important when seeing a colorist for the first time. And if you have the type of job that requires you to wear your hair up or pulled back, be sure to let your colorist know.
Protect Your Investment
Ask your colorist how to care for your new hue so it continues to look gorgeous. Most likely, the products you need are right there at the salon. If however your colorist recommends products that don’t fit into your budget, it’s OK to ask for less expensive suggestions.
Cut First, Then Color
If you’re also planning to get a dramatic new haircut, do it first, since haircolor is often related to length. For example, women with short hair can go lighter and brighter, while longer locks should be warmer and richer.
Air Your Dirty Laundry
Be completely honest about your hair’s history, since anything you happen to have lingering on your tresses (like Japanese straightener, an old perm or grown-out highlights) can affect your new color.
Dress for Success
Don’t show up in your workout clothes. Although your colorist doesn’t really care what you wear (you’ll be changing into a robe anyway) getting an idea of your personal style (conservative, trendy, adventurous) can help when choosing a new color.