Friday, September 11, 2009

Hair color---is it really that hard?

This is a non-sewing post because I need to vent. Just to keep it on the sewing topic, I have a new top and a new knitted sweater to show you in a couple of days. They are finished, but I want to wait until I have them with an outfit to photograph. Thank you for your advice on how you buy patterns. I ended up not buying any patterns. I am trying to go on a non-buying ban for awhile.

I went to the same colorist for 6 years up until about 4 monthsago. At that time I decided that I wanted to try out a little red in my hair and, then if I liked it, go a bolder red. When I showed her the color that I ultimately wanted, she told me she would not do my hair that red. It was like a friend of mines . She did not give any explanation. I felt I could not go back to her, so I went to someone new,and she did my base color a reddish brown and put in fine blond highlights. I loved it. The second time I went back to her I showed her a pic of what I wanted. The pic I showed her is in a magazine. I tried to scan the pic, but it did not show up well. The hair on this model is very close.






except the one I showed her has a few more highlights through it like this






I am not sure how this is showing on your monitor, but it is somewhat auburn-y looking. She said she felt that it did not look natural and wanted "her redheads" to look natural. She fussed wtih me over it, so I just let her trim my split ends and did not go back. Eight weeks ago, I went to someone else and showed her a pic of what I wanted. This person came highly recommended to me. She thought it was beautiful, but she said she wanted to be sure that it was what I wanted. I told her I was absolutely sure, and she said she was excited and went on and on about how much she liked to do red hair color. She even took the pic to the mixing room with her. I was very impressed with that. When she got through with my hair and blowed it dry, it did not look like the pic. My hair had really no visible red in it. I asked her about it and she said that she was really afraid to go too intense the first time someone got their hair colored red. She didn't tell me that before she did my hair. I don't feel like I got what I paid for. I hate confrontation, so I said thank you and left. My hair was really pretty, and I am thankful it was not a disaster, but it was not what I paid for. I cried all the way home. It had blonde highlights, a few reddish highlights (they really didn't show up unless you looked for them), and some brown streaks. I was just so frustrated that I had shelled out about $250 over the past three or four months and still didn't have what I want. I could have spent that on fabric and patterns.
Fast forward to today. I went back to my same colorist to give her another chance today. I told her she did not get my hair as red as I wanted it 8 weeks ago, so I showed her the same picture and she said she would do it. It was really hard to tell in the salon if it looked like the picture because of the low lighting. When I got home, I held the picture up to the mirror beside my face in the bright lights of my bathroom, and my hair looked brown upside the pic. I just took a deep breath and decided that I was going to have to go to someone else. I didn't really examine it closely. After getting out of the shower tonight, I looked at it very closely. Can you tell that I teach math and science? OH MY GOODNESS!!! There are some places where it this reddish burgundy at the roots, but brown below. It is a little splotchy. I am upset. When I calm down, I am going to go to her and ask her to fix it, but I don't think I can talk to her on the phone now without crying. However, part of me just doesn't even want to deal with this. Is a couple of shades of nice red in your hair with some highlights really that hard to achieve? I am beginning to think I can do my hair as well as the colorists I have been to. Have any of you had similar experiences? Do you have any advice? Thanks for listening (er, reading) to me vent.

18 comments:

Christine said...

IMO, doing your own all-over color at home is very easy, but I would really, really hesitate to suggest doing your own highlights, especially if you want very fine ones. I *used* to have highlights, but gave them up when I moved to Maine. Couldn't find anyone here willing/able to do the ultra fine sections I requested - they always came out chunky and noticeable (similar to the photo you posted).

Red is also very difficult to get right (been there, done that); you need to be careful not to go too warm or too cool for your skin tone. Also, the splotchiness may be due to how the color "takes" on your hair, especially with since you've been to more than one colorist - they're probably all using different products. Color treated hair is more porous and will absorb color differently than untreated hair, so the splotchy effect may not be the last colorist's fault.

If you want to keep the highlights, I would go back to the last colorist (the one who just did your hair), and (as calmly as you can manage - I know, it's hard - I also hate confrontation!) let her know that what you ended up with is not what you wanted. Any decent hair stylist will be happy to work with you to get you the result you want.

Marybeth said...

I had the same problem with red - went to many places and always ended up with brown, except once I got ended up with a purply-burgundy color. I decided to try to color it red myself at home and I bought a Garnier product, and it turned my hair purple - I mean, Barney purple!!! I had to go to the hair dresser who had to dye my hair a really dark brown to cover the purple, and I've been brown ever since!!!!

Shannon said...

Wow! I'm amazed at the issues you (and others) have had with trying to get the right shade of red. I have never had major problems like this. When I originally wanted to go from my very dark brown hair to the red I have now, I described to my stylist the colour for which I was looking. She immediately said, "You don't want red hair, you want copper." At first, I used to leave the salon with a purplish tinge that would completely wash out after 2 to 3 days, leaving me with a gorgeous copper colour. Now, she has tweaked my colour to the point that from the moment I leave the salon, I have the colour I want. Occasionally, I will have her add blonde highlights in the summer or dark brown streaks in the winter and I never have any issues.

If it helps to know, my stylist is young (probably 24 years old) and when I started going to her, she was fresh out of beauty school. She seems to be up on the latest techniques and products. She also confers with a more seasoned colorist at the salon when I want to tweak my colour. Sounds like you need to keep looking for the right stylist for you.

gwensews said...

My hair is a deep, intense red. Intense. It does not look natural, and I don't care. I love extreme red. I get a lot of compliments on it. My hairdresser doesn't have a problem with doing it.

julia said...

I just color my own. As I type this I have color on my hair that needs to be rinsed out in a couple of minutes. I've never gone red, though. The closest I get to red is light golden brown. My mom and sister are red heads. Well, they were. My sis keeps going to get hers colored and they never get it right. Lots of reds in my family, but I was blessed (cursed is more like it) with plain ol' brown, brown, brown, boring brown.

Sew-Ann said...

Our hair is nothing alike but I do my own hair. When I lightened it I did it on my own. I'm sure you can find some online advice on some hair sites. Search ning.com, look on makeupalley (product reviews which would include at home dyeing), go to naturallycurly.com (don't know if you are naturally curly or not but the site maybe can give some info), long hair lovers, or a simple google.

I can say that I understand where the stylists are coming from and red hair is the hardest to achieve and keep. I have had bright, true red in my hair, red copper, burgundy, and plum (there was a bout with blondes around 1999-2004 but we are talking about red here lol). I did them at home but it was hard to choose the right shade, it mostly depended upon how light it already was. It faded fast unless I used special conditioner (I don't use shampoo but every blue moon or 3). Also I think they stylists are trying to protect your hair.

If nothing else I would choose one stylist to stick with if you don't want to do it at home and have them gradually build the color up to what you want. No matter if your hair is like mine or growing out of your scalp straight, hair is pretty fragile and coloring it can damage it pretty badly.

Also you didn't mention it or not, but unless you are a light to medium blonde, it will be hard to deposit red on your hair to get a consistent look and be able to get the shade you want. Like if you are putting red on brown or black hair, it needs to be lifted (blonde) first then have the red deposited on to it. If you don't want it lifted first then you will have to live with splotches and other foolishness.

Debbie Cook said...

As others have said, red on a non-redhead can be hard. But Shannon is beautiful proof it can be done.

I was born a redhead but the years have added strands of white I don't want. I used to have the salon color it, but I really didn't like the striped highlights or spending the money/time.

I use a Garnier color (#67) but unlike Marybeth, I have great results. At least I think so. ;-) My own hair still has natural highlights and the Garnier color keeps those so it's not a flat color when I'm done. The overall color matches my natural color pretty closely so when it grows out, you can't really tell I have roots ... unless you start looking for the grays. ;-)

Good luck, and hang in there to get what you want!

Christina said...

Just want to say that I empathize, I wish I had some advice to offer but I don't. I've never had issues with getting my hair colored, but getting the style/cut that I wanted - I've been there! Good luck...

Vinnie Toscadero said...

I love the photos!

My best friend has thick, blonde super-straight hair and can't do red highlights. The colour would repeatedly bleed. This wasn't a cheap discovery.

I recommend stopping nice haired strangers on the street for their stylists.

Londyn said...

Your post was an EXACT replica of what I've been going through the last 2 months!!! Check out my blog and you will clearly see that my hair is not vibrant red....

I finally got my hairstylist to admit to me that to get my hair the shade of red that I wanted, she would have to strip it of all natural color which is very damaging and unchangable once done. In addition red is very hard to upkeep and would have to be redone every 4-6 weeks.....

I think I've given up and may just stick with the box...

Jeni said...

I am surprised to see I'm not alone!

I've also shopped around through 6-7 stylists over the past year and a half, trying to get one of them to make my hair copper red.

The closest I came was about a year ago, with a bright plum color. At least it was noticeably red. The last two stylists have said they didn't want to "shock" me with a color too bright (of course AFTER they colored it).

Ugh.. tomorrow morning I am trying yet another new stylist, this one is young, and I am hoping she won't give me another barely red mostly brown with highlights that I seem to keep ended up with.

If this one doesn't work out, I'm just going to go back to blonde highlights on my dark blonde hair.

Best of luck with yours!

Rose said...

I can't believe how much trouble some of you have had with hair color!

Definitely go back and have the stylist fix your hair. You did not get what you paid for, after she gave you the impression that she could color your hair like the picture.

I have naturally light brown hair and have never had a problem with dying it rd, though it doesn't look exactly "natural." It looks good, though!

BTW, I love your sewing projects!

patsijean said...

As a now graying natural redhead/ginger/auburn. I can tell you that "red" is more difficult than any other color. Red hair is not a flat "red" color; it's a natural combination of brown, sometimes blond, auburn and orange. I tried using Preference hair color to cover my gray but it did not look right. You need to notice the base color of the dye the colorist is using. Is it flame, orange (the most natural) or a plum? Applying one base over another is likely to result in an unwanted color. An orange base is best as it is the most natural.

Also, be careful about going too red as the color is not universally flattering. That is also what your colorists are afraid of. They have been there. Many lovely complexions of darker haired women can look "dirty" against red hair. As a result, the results of a beautiful complexion and beautifully colored hair still do not look good. I know you want red hair, but your related experiences in your quest specify two times you had hair treated with just a little red and your hair was quite pretty. Live with that for a while, you may find that you will love it.

elily00 said...

Wow, I totally feel your frustration! I have exactly the opposite problem. Every time I go to get my hair dyed it comes out red. Even when I ask for ashy colors (my natural is very ashy and I am trying to get back to it), they refuse and it comes out red- it's ridiculous! I finally got it close enough and just decided to let it grow! I'm so sick of the mess I've been through.

I have learned one thing though- never ever ever dye your own hair! Seriously- those dyes are so bad for your hair. I'll try to explain my story a bit. I'm naturally an ashy blonde color. I decided I wanted to have fun and go dark. I went to a salon for help, and loved it dark, but just hated having to keep going back. I eventually dyes it myself, and when I went back to try to get back to my natural color, because of what I had done myself, it was very difficult to do a color cleanse and get it out. The salon dyes came out just fine, but I could tell exactly where I had last dyed it on my own. Anyway, good luck with all of this! It's so frustrating sometimes.

Oh yeah- thanks for the comment on my pants! I love love love your new skirt- it's gorgeous! I also love the green shirt- what a cute pattern. I may have to try that one out!

Robyn said...

you need to look at the color chart and understand the base color that the stylist is applying. for reds, it can be a true red, orange or purple base. i use ION from sallys, and they have a good chart here. it took me a long time to find my particular combination for a deep coppery brown.
your stylist should have the color chart for the brand she is using and should be open to showing it to you and allowing you to help choose the colors.

http://www.ioncolorbrilliance.com/Permanent_Hair_Color/Shades/

Tiffany said...

I am a redhead and I've died people hair red before. If ur hair is a darker color best bet would either one leave red in longer than it says on package. Or two dye it blonde first then red. And as for the blotching u had in ur hair its cus u went there twice in a row and probably didn't leave enough time in between dying it. Id recommend before going and getting it dyed put lemon juice in ur hair and leave it in for about ten to twenty minutes. It helps take out the buildup from dye which causes the blotchyness. O and second note lemon juice in ur hair like in strands and going outside in sun with it in hair can lighten up ur hair. N make kinda natural highlights. But ya try the lemonjuice rinse. And there is really good hair dye on sallyhansonbeauty supply on internet most salons get their hair dye there. U could do it yourself and save a fortune. Good luck. And if u need anything email me. got_2_luv_the_bunny@hotmail.com.

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nellyboricuamami16 said...

Wow, I am so sorry to hear that you are undergoing so many stressful situations. I know it's sometimes difficult finding that right stylist to perform the right shades of red on you, but don't give up. I am sure you will bump into the perfect stylist!! Unfortunately, I am a natural redhead. I have auburn hair with hints of natural highlights...however, in my teenage years I did dye my hair all sorts of colors. It was a MESS, but eventually I got tired of dying my hair and went back to my natural color. Being a redhead is a beautiful blessing. Don't ruin your red hair with dye...keep it natural. Cause this color doesn't come in a bottle. lol. Wish you luck in your search :)