When bad hair dye happens to good people

6 years ago

I am one of those moms who can speak up for her kids when something goes wrong, but for myself--silence. Even worse, I have been known to say thank you for really bad service.

Last week I went to the salon for partial highlights. Somehow the partial highlights turned into full. The "a few brown highlights here and there" idea ended up making my naturally blond hair turn an ashy brown with a few blond highlights.

I think after the unveiling in front of the mirror at the end of the appointment, if the stylist had looked at my eyes with my total deer-in-the-headlight look instead of my awkward smile, she may have realized that something had gone terribly wrong.

Bad hair dye and hair cuts happen all the time. Figuring out what to say to your stylist is the tricky part. According to Susan Wagner in a BlogHer post, how you communicate your concern is key: 

Call the salon as soon as possible; be specific about what exactly isn't right about your cut or color, but keep your cool. It won't help to yell or cry, even though you might feel like doing both. If you need to, make a list of things you would like the stylist to fix and take that with you to your appointment. It's important that you communicate clearly with your stylist in order to prevent a second mishap.

Is my new hair color worth a do-over? Evidently using highlights to completely change your hair color is a no-no. According to 10 Tips For Beautiful Dyed Hair From Oprah's Hair Expert, Rita Hazan says: The highlights are an accent to the color, not a color themselves.

And my new haggard look isn't just a normal mommy condition. My new ashy hair color could be the problem. According to Hazan, "Colors that are too beige or ashy don't complement skin tones." Gold or warm tones give the skin a more youthful, healthy glow.

Well, enough about me. Evidently lots of moms feel guilty about going to the salon and then complaining later. 

Over at the blog The Laughing Stork, Candy says:

I was expecting to relax and revel in a much-needed ego boost from my fabulous new style. Instead, I sat down in the chair, and the stylist (whom we’ll randomly call Dick) tilted his head and pursed his lips at me. “Can we talk about your color?  It is SO DINGY,” Dick clucked.

Yep. We have all heard our stylists complain about our hair. And we just sit there and take the abuse because heaven forbid we make a scene.

Fortunately, good dye (and good cuts) can happen to good people. All it takes is good communication between you and your stylist. As Candy says at the end of her post:

The point is (yes, I DO have one, thankyouverymuch), when you are in customer service, you do not greet a new client by insulting her hair.  Everyone knows you’re supposed to start off by insulting something small, like lipstick color, then work your way up to hair color.  Customer Service 101. Duh...

I don't love my new hair color. However, I DO like my hair stylist. This episode is just a fluke event. So, what should I do? My good friend and mentor for all things style says I need to put on my big girl pants and tell my stylist that my new hair color is not what I asked for and ask her to fix it.

Sigh. Sounds easy enough. Three days later and I am still working up the nerve to do this. And I'm remembering my mom's advice, "even a bad haircut grows out."

Wonder how those blond roots growing in will look? 

~ Chris Olson
Freelance writer and illustrator
Momathon Blog: The 24/7 mommy marathon--on two feet or four wheels

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