FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is corrective color?
A few situations would require for a colorist to correct color. Most commonly when clients take it upon themselves to do in home color. Commercially sold color, aka ‘boxed color’, however practical and typically affordable is the cause of much trouble. Tones are not as accurate as advertised, there is too much color deposit even in the non permanent category and it oxidizes unpredictably. Home highlighting products aside from the danger of bad placement have some of the same issues as any box color. Often the developers that are part of home kits and dyes themselves have exceeded their self life, and in order to give them a self life there is quite a lot of chemicals evolved to keep the mixtures ‘fresh’. A colorist would also be doing corrective color for clients who are transitioning from foils to freestyle painting (balayage, hair painting etc) in order to slowly but surely diminish the look of bands vertical or horizontal that get created by foils. Also anyone trying to transition from permanent hair color or henna (vegetable dyes) to highlights or lowlights. As permanent color leaves a mark on the hair as roots grow to dissolve it will take several blending sessions, as well as efforts to equalize the in between tones (often red and yellows) that get unearthed when layers of permanent color are removed with some type of bleaching.
Corrective color is a process. Expecting a quick turn around from a “bad” color situation to the desired ideal may take more than one visit and an understanding that as with all chemical treatments we often need to compromise what is possible to maintain and protect the structure and health of the hair. Any serious colorist will thoroughly explain what can be achieved, how long it may take, and most importantly if they think your hair can and should be treated one way versus another.
How do I maintain my hair before/after hair color?
The basics work.
- Get haircuts frequently.
- Cut down the number of shampoo sessions you have in a week.
- Learn all you can about product ingredients and purchase carefully what you use.
- Unfortunately the majority of shampoos and conditioners, as well as styling products sold commercially are laden with not good for your hair ingredients.
- Heat styling is not our best friend. However, if that is the way you choose or need to style your hair using the right tools, heat protecting products and correct technique can assist in preventing some of the damage the heat alone can’t cause.
- Allow for at least 24 to 48 hours to elapse after a color appointment before you shampoo your hair.
- If you are about to get a Double Process (check our answer on what Double Processing is) not washing your hair for a few days prior will minimize the discomfort associated with having bleach on the scalp.
- Be gentle with your hair. Twisting, twirling, rough brushing or not brushing at all are bad habits we could all learn to drop. Invest in a good boar bristle brush to assist blood circulation at the scalp by massaging it gently when brushing dry and a wet brush for detangling when wet.
- Scalp health is crucial. Dry or oily scalp is an indication of an imbalance. First nutritionally/ hormonally then the result of bad hair hygiene: using detergent filed cleansing and styling products, over coloring, burning with heat styling etc.
I just colored my hair but some of the beautiful tone has faded away. What happened?
Any type of tone added to hair is in most cases a translucent layer applied over the previously highlighted/lowlighted hair. Some tones have by nature a tendency to fade a lot faster. If for example you added a soft peach tone to your highlighted blonde hair, unless you maintain it with pigmented color conditioner or an in salon gloss chances are you will only get to enjoy it for a few shampoos. The quality of the shampoos and conditioners used at home may be also at fault. So many of the products available on the market are heavily formulated with detergents and other ingredients that not only cause color to fade but they actually damage the hair itself. Shampooing every day or every other day as a lot of people often do has the same effect even in the cases that the products used are of superior quality.
Always ask your colorist and heed their advise on maintenance to prevent that from happening.
How often do I need to do my color?
Always ask your colorist before leaving for a recommendation. Follow up appointments depend on several factors from the type of color service you receive to the frequency you shampoo, and the condition of your hair.
Typically people who color their hair to cover gray need to return between 4 to 6 weeks.
Highlighted/Lowlighted hair varies from 6 to 12 weeks in some cases longer.
Fantasy colored hair tends to fade between one and four weeks. Some tones retain some of their vibrancy longer than others. The paler the tones the faster the fade. The more frequent shampooers will get their hair in need of a refresh faster than the ones who shampoo once or twice a week. The quality of the products used has an effect as well. We recommend our clients purchase a color conditioner we customize to upkeep their color or come back for a touch up once a month or so.
I don't know what process to choose. What do all those color terms mean?
It can be confusing especially since each salon uses slightly different terms for each service.
Here’s a breakdown to illuminate things a bit:
- Gloss aka Glaze aka Toner: The application of a translucent non permanent mixture to shift the tone, accentuate or deepen parts of the hair, seal and add shine.
- Single Process: The application of one tone, whether permanent or non permanent, to the root area. Used for grey coverage, or to refresh base color.
- Partial Highlight/Lowlight (aka Half Head): The application of bleach/color on usually just the top visible layer of hair to create dimension or in parts of previously highlighted hair to deepen the overall look or make the existing highlights contrast further.
- Full Highlight/Lowlight (aka Full Head): As above except dimension is created throughout the hair, so when styled, worn in an updo, ponytail etc the effect is visible throughout the hair. Also used when an overall color change is considered (i.e. when transitioning from dark to light, from foils to hair painting).
- Single process with Partial/Full Highlights/Lowlights: A combination of two processes (not to be confused with Double Process, easy error to make with it’s dual purpose) one tone (Single Process) is applied to the roots then highlights or lowlights are applied to part (Partial) or all (Full) of the hair.
- Double Process: Application of usually multiple layers of bleach from the roots to the ends to remove all pigment from the hair. This is the process commonly used to create a platinum blonde or to create a “blank” canvas before adding tone to the hair. This is a lengthy process that would most certainly change the texture of the hair not recommended for fragile, overly processed or thinning hair. Always consult with your colorist prior to booking this. Do not wash your hair for a few days prior to your appointment. The natural oils from the scalp can help alleviate some of the discomfort of having bleach on the scalp.
- Double Process Touch Up: For the platinum look devotees it is recommended to have a double process touch up no later than within six to eight weeks to address the new growth root color. Extending that time any longer usually means putting the hair through a harsh second Double Process.
- Fantasy color (aka Mermaid, Galaxy, Opalescent, Oil Sleek etc, etc, etc): Any tone of color created by applying various colored pigments in parts or all of the hair.
Can I get salon results using at home color products?
Box color has been a much celebrated and wonderful invention that many generations of women felt utterly grateful to have as an option. It still is a time and cost effective way to cover grey, play with color and make changes. Colors do not match what actually happens after application, there are many harsh chemicals, more so than in professional salon color, and they tend to deposit dyes a lot deeper. The longevity and quality of dyes and developers is questionable and no matter how talented, handy and precise a woman can be overlapping happens frequently. That creates visible bands of color through the hair, and very visible lines when new growth comes in as well as damaging further the hair when that happens. Maintenance is frequent and the vicious cycle almost unbreakable.
I am getting grey hair. Am I doomed to color my hair forever?
Obviously the inevitable arrival of grey hair is a sensitive and personal issue. For women with darker hair it tends to be more visible and if it becomes an aesthetic issue coloring is what happens. Before jumping on the permanent, opaque color bandwagon though, there are non permanent solutions whose purpose is to soften, blend the grey to the remainder of the hair. A less aggressive way to address the issue. Hair painted lowlights and highlights may be the other option to achieve similar blending, creating more dimension in the hair so the pesky grey are less visible. Maintenance for those two possibilities varies but is less demanding than coating the hair permanently with opaque color that will be visibly in need of a refresh within several weeks (every four to six weeks, sometimes a lot more often) for the rest of your life unless you choose to allow your silver fox look to shine!
I can’t make my appointment. Now what?
We have in place a 24 hour cancellation policy as most places of business. We respect your time as well as ours. Appointment reminders are sent via email two days and one day in advance of an appointment. You can email, call or leave us a voicemail the day before to confirm, reschedule or cancel an appointment. Rescheduling on the day is the same as not showing or canceling on the day. If we receive no cancellation from you at the very least the day before we charge 50% of the service. We understand that a medical/life emergency can not be predicted. We mindfully consider such occasions and have understanding when they occur.
How do I tip? Do I have to tip the owner if they are doing my service? How about the assistant?
In NYC it is customary to tip 20% of the service to a salon professional. Although not mandatory, tipping the owner of a business is recommended as a token of appreciation for their time and skill. It is especially important to tip any apprentice assisting with shampoos, rinses and often blow outs. In most cases your tip is what compliments their day rate which is usually minimal. Typically a minimum of $5 for a shampoo, $10, $20 and up if they were involved in the toning, rinsing and blow drying your hair.
Lost or Stolen Property
We are not responsible for lost or stolen property at the salon.