Brunettes Save Money between Color Appointments

I know I’m going to get flak from my own profession for telling you this. All of us hairdresser’s know that the client cannot color their hair at home and get “salon results.” Celebrities hocking the at-home color kits wouldn’t even dream of using the products they are getting paid big bucks to tout without their own hairdresser, at least, applying the hair color to them. But I’m going to tell you that, sometimes, it’s going to be beneficial, economic, and even professional to recommend that a client use an at-home color. You’re just not going to buy it in the grocery store. You’re going to get it at a beauty supply store, and you might even get the blessing of your hairdresser. I’ll try and convince your stylist with my words that you will be doing both of you a favor and that color touch-ups at home are part of keeping you happy as a client.
There is the new normal in the hair business. It doesn’t matter how rich or what economic bracket our clients are in, they do not book ahead like they used to. Of course, this is due to the economy. Every business is feeling the new norm there; the average sales being down 10%- to 30%. Another reason that clients don’t book ahead is that a lot of regular color clients are also of the age and income that they are having kids. The old axiom has applied here, when there is a recession, people have more kids. And kid’s schedules make clients walk around with “roots” a lot longer than before the little time-usurpers arrived.
In the salon where I work, there is another added reason that our clients can go longer between visits. We use new color lines that don’t fade and they keep their shine. [They have no PPD’s and are low-ammonia which keeps the integrity of the hair: better for your body & the environment. But that’s another article.] One of the major reasons people rush back into the salon to get there hair re-colored is the fact that older hair color lines have a shine shelf-life and will fade. Old colors used to get dull, and get lighter and warmer. Old colors always a huge contrast in the 4 to 6 weeks between the new growth and the colored hair. But now, if the hair color doesn’t fade and it is still shiny, clients can get a few more weeks of growth and they do not have to revisit us as much as they used to. Good for them.
Now, let’s us imagine, Ms. Brunette. She’s working and has two small kids and a husband who used to work for the banking industry, but now Ms. Brunette’s husband has been laid off. Ms. Brunette has been coming to me for ten years. I did her hair for her wedding and I do her husbands hair and I’ve even started doing the kids hair. Ms. Brunette feels that her hair makes her sexy and that her salon-colored hair gives her the mojo and youthful appearance to be competitive at work. But, she’s not stupid; she’s got a family and responsibilities. In the coming year, she’s got to tighten up her Prada belt. In fact, she stopped buying Prada when she got married and she’s been buying Banana Republic accessories. So now she’s bummed because she thinks she’s not going to be able to buy any new belts in the near future at all.
Ms. Brunette has brown hair with about 20% gray. Unless she gets more gray, say, 40% to 50%, she’s going to want to stay brunette. I would probably give her some lighter gold or caramel highlights where the gray was poking out, and then color the rest a rich brown. The highlight will distract the eye from incoming gray and soften a solid brown color. But after she leaves the salon, that gray hair starts screaming look-at-me! – around week three. So, is Ms. Brunette going to come in again in three weeks? Good for me.
The new norm for me is to tell Ms. Brunette to walk down to the corner beauty supply after her salon appointment. I tell her to buy a 3 oz. bottle of hair color. A color that is in-between the high-light color and the brown color that I’ve just put into her hair. I tell her to also buy a bottle of 20 volume peroxide that goes with that color line. (usually comes in 8 oz. or more) The last thing that I want to her to pick up is a bag of disposable mascara wands.
Note:The added benefit from buying products from the beauty supply is that you are buying more product for less. You are not paying for wasteful mark-up and packaging.
And this is how I tell her how I want her to use the products at home: at week 2 or 3 or 4… pour a quarter sized portion of each the peroxide and the hair color into a bowl. Fine china is fine. The color won’t hurt ceramic, porcelain or glass. Then cap both of the bottles for future use.
Mix the two products in the bowl with one disposable mascara wand and then apply to those cursed aging grays that seem to want to poke out in the part and around the face. Don’t worry, this is not an exact science here. You will overlap a little on my highlights and browns. But just try to do only the grays. The color quality will not be as good as my hair color application but you’ll be in soon enough to get the better quality color. The eye won’t be able to tell.
Now, if you are doing this in the morning before work or at night, let it sit on the hair for, at least, fifteen to thirty minutes. The hair colors that I recommend are never progressive. They just color the hair to the level I chose and then they stop and become impotent. Leaving it on past the time will not fry your hair. Leaving it on under 30 minutes just means that the color might not be as full-coverage as it could be – but it will stain the gray. And just remember to jump in the shower after, at least, fifteen minutes, and don’t get it in your eyes when you are shampooing it out. Please use professional shampoo from your salon! It will neutralize and keep the color from fading.
Ms. Brunette can do this again the next week and in two more weeks, up until the grays from the sides and crown really start singing. So, I’d say, she could probably visit the salon every 8 to 10 weeks now, like the blondes.
And what about blondes? What about red heads? Well, I really only recommend this for the brunettes because they have such a contrast between the gray and the browns. It’s such an economic and time hardship to try and keep on top of their hair color. I know I would loose my some of my brunettes to the box colors in the grocery stores if I didn’t share this information with them. They’d still come in for haircuts, but I’d probably get blamed for her color not being as beautiful as it had been and someone’s going to know that short cuts were taken. But blondes could do the same trick. And so could redheads. The only difference is that I cannot give you a general formula to buy like I can for brunettes unless I’ve seen your hair personally. Some blondes come out too warm if you use a level of color without added ash in it. And some red heads are blue-red or orange-red. Only your own stylist could tell you the exact touch-up colors to use between colors. Sorry. I’m still a hairdresser. But I do want to keep your business and I know that these are tough times. I truly believe that we are in this together and I hope this information helps a few people.
I blog about the same things that I talk to my clients about. Martini’s/Tips/Life/Hair.
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