I just had my hair color done yesterday, and now it’s turned pink/green. What should I do?
Michelle – Fort Lauderdale
There are two issues here, rolled into one question Michelle. Let me address each separately. Hair or extensions that have turned pink should be addressed ONLY by a licensed professional. Generally speaking, a chemical reaction has occurred as an outside substance has been introduced to, and bonded with, your hair — chlorine from swimming, or unsuitable shampoo/conditioners are the most common examples. A licensed professional has a variety of techniques and tools to lift the excess pigments from your hair, and reverse the reaction. It’s actually quite common and not terribly complicated….for a licensed hair color professional!
Shades of green are also quite common after receiving a hair color service. This could be brought about by something as simple as excess exposure to the sun directly after your hair color was applied. But, in most cases we’ve seen, it has been caused by the hair being exposed to pool water too soon after the hair color was applied. Copper in the pool water has been oxidized by the chlorine, which then binds to the proteins in the hair strands, producing a green tint. A licensed hair color professional can properly diagnose the issue to determine if you need a simple toner, or an additional high lift application. Once again, while very common, this issue should only be addressed by a licensed hair color professional.
Every time I get my hair colored, my stylist tries to get me to buy some hair product. Is that really necessary? Isn’t that stuff all the same?
Olga – Orlando
That stuff is NOT all the same Olga! At the lower end – the products you might find in a drug store or grocery store – it’s true, there may not be all that much differentiation between products…and those cheaper products may not be very effective at doing what they are supposed to. But for the more reputable brands, the professional brands sold in hair salons, the case is much MUCH different. These brands have put a lot of time and resources into developing formulas that do EXACTLY what they are advertised to do. Your stylist USES them on paying patrons because they are highly effective at doing exactly what they are advertised to do. If you have a good stylist, and they are recommending a specific brand or product to you, you should definitely give their recommendation serious consideration. Remember that your stylist has spent a great deal of time perfecting your hair color. They know your hair well. The last thing they want is having your hair color affected by inferior products. If they’re recommending something to you, it’s because they truly believe it’s what’s best for your hair. Your stylist has absolutely no incentive (and perhaps serious consequences) for recommending anything they don’t think you will absolutely love!
Should I bring a picture with me when I’m going to go get my hair cut or colored?
Erin – Miami Beach
Bringing a picture to a hair color or cut appointment is always a good starting point, but it should never take the place of proper communication with your stylist. Be sure to tell your hair color or cut stylist exactly what you like about the picture, as well as what you don’t like. In many instances, patrons who bring a picture don’t love everything about the picture, only certain specific elements of the picture. Be aware that if you show your hair color or cut stylist a picture, and you aren’t specific about what you like and don’t like, you’re going to get EXACTLY what’s in that picture. It’s great to start with a picture, but make sure that you also have a very detailed conversation about the specific end result you are looking for with regard to your hair color or cut.
The last time I went to go get my hair colored, my stylist asked me if I had used a home hair color kit. Is this an appropriate question?
Deloris – Apopka
Not only is this an appropriate question Deloris, but it’s a NECESSARY question. Your stylist isn’t trying to embarrass or shame you. They are trying to properly assess if the look you want is achievable. You have to remember that hair color is brought about by chemical reactions. If a patron has used home hair color before, there will be residual chemical and chemical bonds in the hair from that process. If the stylist isn’t made aware of the existence of these chemical bonds, everything could go horribly wrong. Letting your hair color professional know that you’ve used home color allows them to do the following:
(a) determine if the new hair color you are going for is achievable — the existing chemicals may very well prevent the hair from adopting certain tones
(b) determine what chemicals to use to achieve your desired look — for the very same look, previously home-treated hair requires VASTLY different color compounds than untreated hair
and (c) give you a more precise estimate of cost and time — as the time and chemicals required for home-treated hair can be much more intense, it’s better for everyone if we can get a proper estimate on the time and cost involved to deliver your desired look.
Remember, chemical reactions don’t lie. If you’ve used home hair color kits previously, your stylist is going to find out. It’s up to you if they find out the easy way, or the hard way. The easy way is to tell them during your consultation, so that they know precisely how to deliver your desired hair color, and can give you a reliable estimate of the time and costs involved. The hard way is to say nothing beforehand, and then have the chemical reactions in your hair go horribly wrong (which I can guarantee WILL happen). This will lead to dramatically different costs, and a lot more time, than you may have been previously quoted. The hard way is bad for everybody.
Having hair issues or questions? Email celebrity Master Stylist and Colorist Fallon Fitzgerald at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please list your first name and your city so that we can identify you when we publish your question with her response.