Know What to Ask for When Booking a Hair Color Appointment
Whether you are booking your first hair color appointment, thinking of trying a new look, or haven’t had your hair colored in a few months – this guide will help you be sure you’ve selected the service you’re looking for. After choosing a new salon, or planning this change with your old salon – you’re ready to call. You dial the local hair salon and the receptionist asks, “What service are we booking you for today?”. You stop and panic. Do you know what you truly need done to your hair? Are you guessing? At this point you may tell the receptionist that you “just need your roots done” or “just a few highlights” or maybe you think “a gloss will work”.
You wish you knew exactly what you need, but have no idea what to set the appointment for to allow adequate time for the stylist to help you look your best. Unfortunately, this often results in an appointment that doesn’t allow enough time to accomplish the look you may be going for. We hope to help educate you on hair color services so you feel confident the next time you call to book your appointment.
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What is a Color Retouch?
A color retouch is when a stylist applies a single color to your root area where the natural hair growth starts. This is the only place hair color is applied during a color retouch. It is common for hair stylists to charge for the use of extra color when natural regrowth is longer due to not being maintained with regular appointments.
Think You Need a Few Highlights?
A partial highlight service is when a stylist adds highlights that are visible around the face and on the sides of the hair. The stylist does not touch the back of the hair. This is probably not the look for clients that wear your hair half up and half down often. Typically, a stylist does a partial highlight for a client that is seeking color dimension. Dimension is a contrast of light and dark tones. An example of dimensional color might be created by adding lighter hair color to natural hair color creating a contrast and the “dimensional color” look. For even more dimension, clients will request lowlights to darken part of the hair.
Partial highlights and lowlights are often requested when a client is seeking even more contrast. Lowlights create a darker toner while the highlights brighten the look of the hair. This is perfect if you are seeking a dimensional color like the one shown in the picture.
What’s the Difference Between a Partial and Full Highlight?
Partial highlights are highlights visible around the face and on the sides of the hair. Partial highlight services do not include any color added to the back of the hair. Full highlights include color throughout the hair. This is the best option for clients that wear hair half up and half down. For clients with naturally dark hair but hair that is colored blonde this would be for a great alternative to the partial highlight for you. You wouldn’t want to be out in the middle of a windstorm with your hair parting, allowing everyone to see a huge line of new growth in your back of your hair do you?
Seeking Root Coverage and Dimension?
If your roots have grown in and you don’t want to see a line where your hair from mid-shaft to ends has been previously lightened, you will then need to book for a color retouch and partial or full highlight. If you’re unsure of what highlight you need look back at the last two paragraphs and they can help you decide what you’re looking for. This would color your new growth area completely and blend everything together.
What’s this Fancy Word “Balayage”?
Balayage is a French word that means sweeping. The technique performed in a hair color salon by a trained stylist that free-hand paints your highlights. A v or w motion on individual hair strands creates a beautiful natural look. This is perfect for the client that is seeking the look for their hair that they had when they were a child, less noticeable regrowth lines, or just seeking a natural soft look. This is often referred to clients that are looking for a small change and don’t mind underneath the hair being a little darker.
If you are looking for ALL of your hair to be lightened or darkened, you will need a full balayage so that the underneath has an even flow. Typically, almost every client getting balayage for the first time gets a full balayage.
How do I Know if I Need a Color Retouch and a Balayage?
When looking at the mirror at the new growth area, ask yourself, “Do I like how my hair is naturally ashy, warm, or neutral?”. A mousey, gold, copper, dull, loss of shine, or lifeless color look is often a sign that you need a root color (color retouch) and balayage.
1st Application of Lightener on Ends (Ombre with Natural Root)
2nd Application (Ombre with Natural Root)
If You’re Thinking Ombre, Consider This…
It may take a few visits to accomplish the color you are looking for. Generally, ombres work best for brunettes, but we have a few daring blondes who will do the reverse effect. Ombre is a style for the girl who doesn’t mind the extra maintenance. Most of the time people who want ombre have colored their hair before. Be aware that your stylist must lighten your previously colored hair and must go all of the way to the underlying warmth pigments in your hair. It may first be red, then copper and then pale yellow. It looks absolutely gorgeous once the final look is achieved, but you may need to be patient. Your stylist cares about the integrity of your hair and wants to make sure it stays healthy during the process.
Do I Need a Color Retouch as Well as an Ombre?
Similar to the balayage service, looking at the mirror at the new growth area, asking yourself “Do I like how my hair is naturally ashy, warm, or neutral?”. A mousey, gold, copper, dull, loss of shine, or lifeless color look is often a sign that you need a root color (color retouch) and ombre.
What is a Full Color?
Full color services area single color applied from the roots to the ends of the hair with no dimension and the color is fluid throughout all of the hair. This typically is for someone who is coloring their hair and loves the solid single color hair look.
Why Does My Stylist Talk to Me About a Toner After Lightening My Hair?
No matter who you are, everyone has an underlying pigment within his or her hair. This is based on ethnic background and color of the natural hair. So after lightening your hair, sometimes reds, coppers, and yellow tones appear. This is normal but your stylist is highly trained to cancel these tones out. It may take a more than once to cancel the colors out properly. It depends on the tone of highlights that will work best with specific colors. Occasionally we suggest a toner if you have previous highlights from another salon so that the highlights have an even flow throughout your hair. So when a stylist puts a toner on your hair don’t think that it is due to a mistake. Your stylist is simply assuring the underlying color you have in your cuticle is taken care of. The photos above show a full highlight with toner to take out the yellow-orange tone the client started with.
Now You Know…
Now you know everything you need to call and book your next hair appointment. The only thing you need your stylist to do is educate you on how many weeks to go between appointments. Typically, clients go between 3-5 weeks for a color retouch because their new growth (the hair growing from the roots) has grown to a noticeable length. Highlights typically last 6-8 weeks between next appointments. Ombre’ and balayage generally need to be refreshed between 6-10 weeks after the service depending on the hair growth and at home hair-care regimen of the client.