Beauty Beat, Part 4: I’m a beautician, not a magician

Ashley Evert, Staff Writer

We’ve all had a disagreement here or there with our hair stylist or barber. You might notice your stylist is irritated with something you have asked her to do, but aren’t sure why. Here are some of the most common requests hairdressers hear and why these statements make their blood boil.
“I want to go platinum blonde!” exclaims the girl with hair blacker than the eyeliner she’s wearing.  Here is where your hairdresser resists the urge to raise her palm to her forehead and tell you to leave the salon.
If your hair is naturally dark, it’s not as hard to lighten it; however, if your hair has been dyed, there is so much pigment inside the strands that it is almost impossible to get it all out.  Bleach will take some of the color out, but you will almost definitely be left with either a burnt orange or ashy-green head of hair.
In addition to unwanted tones in your tresses, there is no guarantee that your hair has even lightened to the necessary level to look like Gwen Stefani.  This is why I caution anyone who asks me to color their hair black; it’s nearly impossible to go back.  Do yourself and your stylist a favor and wait for the colored portion of your hair to grow out before you explore lighter color options.
“I want something different! But I don’t want to lose any length, change my hair color, get bangs or get layers.” UM … WHAT? Just don’t ever do this. Ever.
Then there’s always the opposite of the previous statement, “Do whatever you think looks good.” If I think you would look fabulous with a vibrant red pixie cut and you have long, blonde hair right now, there is clearly going to be some differences in opinion.
A much better way to give your stylist some creative freedom is by giving her one or two guidelines like, “I like my length, but I want to explore some different color options.” Sometimes if you come in a salon not knowing what you want, talking it through with your stylist will give you both a clearer idea.
“You’re the professional; I’m not going to tell you how to cut my hair.  I just want layers on the top and ½ inch off the bottom and a slight angle toward my face …” Hairdressers don’t mind you telling us what you want, but don’t claim you won’t tell us how then preach at us the whole cut.
“I’m so sick today! I didn’t go into work, but can I come in for a cut?” Plain and simple, if you don’t want to spread your germs to your coworkers, please extend the same courtesy to your stylist.
The bottom line here is to respect your hairdresser and the knowledge she has acquired. Consider what you’re asking in order to achieve the right end result and keep a healthy relationship with your hair dresser.