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Precisely Formulated Care for color-treated hair
Let’s say it’s April, and you’re looking for a new accountant to help you manage your finances. (Okay, fine—it’s March.) You do your research, ask your friends for advice, check references, and then you settle on a smart, competent person to take care of business. Now, it’s time for the first appointment, and you bring with you all of your receipts, your past returns, as well as a detailed account of your financial history. Why do you do this? So the new accountant can do the best possible job for you.
The same advice holds for finding—and visiting--a new hair-colorist. Think of it as doing due- diligence in order to protect your valuable investment. Before you take even two steps into a salon, here’s what I recommend…
Book a color specialist: No, not someone who cuts hair but really, really likes to color…someone who only does color. I truly believe they are two entirely different kinds of people, and you want the most specialization you can get. A fabulous, passionate cutter sculpts hair with scissors—they look at the head in a three-dimensional way, much like an artist working with clay. People who color hair all day are a little nutty (like me!); think of them as crazy artists working with paint on canvas. It’s a growing specialty and one that you should seek out when looking for someone new.
Avoid wearing foundation or blusher to your appointment: A good colorist needs to evaluate your natural skin tone…and that’s hard to do when you have a layer of Base #23 and Casual Coral masking your real complexion.
Skip the turtleneck:
The neck is probably the very best indicator of your actual skin tone (which is why, when you buy foundation, you should always test it on your neck, rather than your chin or hand). Granted, at the time of service, you’ll probably be in a robe that reveals your décolleté…but during your initial consultation, try to reveal as much of your neck area as possible.
Be honest about your hair history: Didn’t pay your taxes last year? You tell the accountant. Jumped from blonde to ginger to platinum to chestnut last year? Please tell your colorist. We simply must know what’s underneath in order to make decisions that will work for your hair.
Bring magazine photos: As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. (Or in the case of a color appointment, at least $100.) What’s “buttery” or “caramel” to you, might be something entirely different to the professional looking at your hair.
Tote some of your favorite lipsticks along: Showing your colorist the different shades you wear gives us a big clue about your style and personality. One person might bring in seven different tame tones of beige and pale pink; while another person whips out ruby-red and a highly-metallic tube of copper.
Be open to making dramatic changes in stages: It’s not that you can’t go from brown to blonde…it’s that doing so over two-to-three visits is sometimes more effective than overworking the hair and trying to alter your color in one fell swoop.
Be daring…but not risky: What’s the difference? Let me play it out for you….Say a girl comes in looking like Jennifer Aniston, with blonde hair over a soft-brown base. She wants to go with a bold, deep chocolate. No problem. That’s daring (and fun, I might add). But in walks a woman who has bleached her hair to almost-white multiple times, and she’s telling me she wants to go with burgundy. That’s risky. Remember: Color is not a cure for bad, damaged hair.
Avoid being the last appointment of the day: It’s simple…we’re human and we get tired! Better to put yourself on the books in the morning, when your colorist is fresh and perky…and still enjoying the caffeine from her morning latte.
Times are tough. Believe me, I get it. The days of booking salon appointments every six weeks may not be realistic right now…but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality by resorting to a local walk-in chain and putting your head in untrained hands or having to settle for clumsy, at-home D.I.Y. kits – or as I like to call them, Ruin-it-yourself kits. I think it’s wiser to make just four visits a year to the high-end salon that you trust for its excellent work, and prolong your color with shampoos, conditioners and other products that promote a strong healthy strand of hair. Are you quaking in your boots at the prospect? Don’t worry…I’ll guide you through it with a few of my insider hair-color secrets:
• Don’t you dare think about heading to the drugstore! Please know that this is not the time to take any drastic measures like making any kind of color change—drastic or subtle. I’d rather you save that job for us and focus instead on maintaining your current color.
• If you want to give your coif an extra boost, I highly recommend you check out my Minardi Luxury Color Care Pre-Wash Treatment—it’s an amazing product that you apply to dry hair, and it’s designed to help moisture and nutrients penetrate the hair shaft. Think of it as taking ibuprofen before your intense work-out.
• Maintain your investment—and all that effort—by using shampoos and conditioners that protect brand-new hair-color. I love my Minardi Luxury Color Care Wash and After-Wash products because they come in three different formulations (for bleach, semi-permanent, and permanent color); this allows you to match them perfectly to the process you used at home. They’re available in salons nationwide.
• Remember, the healthier you keep the hair shaft, the better it is able to not only absorb the color when applied, but also retain the color and for a longer time. Using products like hair dryers and other thermal styling tools will strip your color, so try and curb your use of these, but if you absolutely can’t stay away from them incorporate a weekly regimen of deep conditioning along with health-restoring, color-preserving daily shampoos and conditioners.
• Keep those quarterly salon appointments! At-home touch-ups are maintenance is great, but making sure your color stays modern and gorgeous for the long haul requires regular TLC from us pros (she says, modestly).