January: A time of positive change. You’ve probably been eating a little better and working a little out more (trying to, at least). These positive habits likely extend to your beauty routine. Perhaps you’re ready to splurge on new makeup shades, or even try a new hair color. The latter can be pretty intimidating. Should you go platinum or rose gold? Blorange or bronde? And what about your brows?! Deep breaths. Tre Wyrosdick, Color Director of Marie-Lou & D Salon, is here to help. Ahead, Tre answers our most pressing hair color questions and offers his priceless insider tips. Get ready for your best color yet!
- Choosing a new hair color can be so overwhelming. Where’s the best place to start?
There are so many choices these days when it comes to coloring your hair, and sometimes the things we think are amazing may not be the best fit. A consultation with a colorist will help you identify what will look best on you and fit your lifestyle.
- How can one determine if they’ll look better in warmer or cooler tones?
Believe it or not, there is a scientific formula for determining the best temperature. The most flattering hue will balance the shades of your eyes, skin and hair by creating a focal point. For example, warm skin tone and eye color can be balanced with a cooler shade, whereas fair skin and cool eyes can benefit from a warmer shade. Skin tone and eye color play a huge part in finding the perfect shade for you!
- Should a consultation be scheduled in advance of the appointment?
It’s helpful to schedule a consultation prior to any service, though it can be done the day-of in many situations. Some people have allergies to ingredients in hair color and they could benefit from a patch test at least 24 hours prior to the service. A consultation can also be helpful if you are making a major change, so you know how long the appointment will take and what the invest will be.
- What should one say/ask to ensure they’re on the same page as their colorist? Are there any words or phrases that should be avoided?
It’s so important to be on the same page as your colorist! Try to avoid using trendy buzz words. Often these terms and phrases can be way too open to interpretation.
- Is it OK to bring a picture?
Pictures can be a great starting point and serve as inspiration. Pinterest and Instagram have become a big source of reference for clients. I love using these platforms for inspiration and then tailoring the look to the individual. Pictures can also help clients understand exactly what’s involved in the specific service they’re requesting. It’s important to keep in mind that what we want and what will be flattering on us can be totally different things. A picture can help your colorist explain this.
- Is it best to get a haircut before or after coloring hair?
I love coloring a fresh cut! It allows me to bring out the best in the shape and really emphasize the style. This is especially true when highlighting or making a dramatic change. It’s not necessary to get a cut first if you’re just touching up roots or getting a gloss.
- Will makeup need an adjustment once hair color is changed?
If you are changing your hair color, chances are you will need to adjust your makeup and wardrobe. What looks great on a blonde will not always flatter a redhead or brunette. I like to mention this during the consultation and make suggestions. Ask your colorist for a recommendation before you run to Sephora.
- What about brows? Should they match hair color?
Think of your brow color and hair color as sisters, not twins. There should be a harmony between the two but identical coloring can make things look too artificial.
- How much maintenance is required for single process vs. highlights? And what is the difference in cost?
The maintenance of your color can vary quite a bit depending on what you’re having done. A single process typically lasts 5-6 weeks or sometimes longer (depending on how close or far from your natural color you go). Drastic changes call for more frequent salon visits.
Highlights typically have a range of longevity depending on the technique used and again, how far from your natural color you go. Foil highlights usually require more frequent visits than balayage. My foil clients usually come in every 6-8 weeks, whereas my balayage clients tend to stretch out appointments (12 weeks or more). The placement and degree of coloring will change the price quite a bit, as will the skill set of your colorist. I like to talk about budget and investment during the consultation so there are no surprises. Let your colorist tailor the technique according to your needs and everyone wins.
- Let’s say you change your hair color and you don’t love the result. Is it fair to ask the colorist to make an adjustment on the spot? What about a week or two later?
Professional colorists always guarantee their work. Speak up immediately if you are not happy so the color can be adjusted. If time allows, this can be done on the spot. I personally give a two-week grace period since schedules can be conflicting.
- Is there any at-home prep that should be done prior to the appointment?
It’s a good idea to prep your hair prior to the service, especially if you’re planning to go lighter. I recommend conditioning masks, as they help to strengthen hair and minimize damage. People often think they’re doing me a favor by not washing before color, but this can work against us. I recommend people shampoo their hair the day before coloring.
- What products should one have at home for post-color maintenance?
Those with richer, deeper hair color (like redheads and brunettes) benefit from color-preserving shampoos and periodic hair masks. Blondes tend to do better with moisturizing and/or hair-strengthening shampoos and conditioners. More frequent at-home treatments can make all the difference in the health and vitality of your color. Healthy hair equals vibrant color.
- How long should one wait after the appointment before washing and conditioning hair?
Waiting at least 24 hours is ideal, though many new technologies seal color in at the end. At Marie-Lou & D, we use Wella hair color and a post-color treatment to balance the pH of hair. This ensures the longevity and vibrancy of color.
- Anything to keep in mind as the seasons change?
As the weather warms, we usually get the itch to go lighter and brighter. Leave-in conditioners can help keep hair healthy during this time. If you’re going to be in the sun, make sure you use products that offer protection from UVA/UVB rays. Redheads and brunettes tend to fade out from the sun, while blondes can get bleached and brassy. For swimmers, there are treatments and shampoos that remove chlorine deposits, which can make hair feel dull and dry. I like Malibu C Swimmers After Swim Solution. An in-salon treatment can really boost the longevity of hair color and prevent fading. I recommend glossing hair around the six-week mark, to refresh tone and shine.