What Colorists Wish You Knew…



What Colorists Wish You Knew Before Your Hair Appointment


Photo Mar 20, 2 55 42 PM


How to best prep your tresses for transformation.

If you have a hair-coloring nightmare under your belt, you are not alone. But chances are, that “Ack!” experience was born out of a lack of preparation, whether that was a refusal to prep mentally (sadly, platinum blonde tresses will not magically transform you into Kim Kardashian’s clone) or a refusal to prep your actual hair for the process (spoiler alert: dirty hair is not the way to go). Here, expert colorist Allison Condon’s secrets for properly preparing your tresses before you head to your next hair-coloring appointment.


Don’t fall prey to the dirty-hair myth.

Despite the myth that hair color is best delivered to dirty tresses, having a bunch of buildup on your scalp and in your hair actually prevents the hair color from doing its job. That layer of build-up from products and oil acts a shield, meaning the color has to work double-duty to break through all that gunk before it actually gets to the real work: coloring your hair. So the first step in making sure your hair-coloring appointment is smooth sailing is to arrive to the salon with a clean mane. (And note: If washing your hair just isn’t in the cards, make sure to show up to your appointment a bit early so you don’t eat into your coloring time with a wash.)

.dirty hair



But be smart about how you wash your hair.

So you do want to wash your hair but, ideally, not on the same day as your appointment. (If you do have to wash your hair on the same day, avoid getting carried away with your at-home scalp massage — you don’t want your scalp to be sensitive when the dye is being applied.) While you don’t want to have a ton of buildup on your scalp, it does help to have a thin layer of natural protection. In order to give yourself time to build up a slight cushion, Condon suggests using a detoxifying shampoo (some are better than others — a safe bet is the Architeqt-recommended ColorProof Clear It Up Detox Shampoo), a rockstar when it comes to cutting through oils and residue from styling products, and a hair mask the night before you head to the salon. If you’re trying to fix a botched box-dye job (been there), you’ll want to consult with your colorist first and most likely get the “Get Pure” clarifying treatment ($25) which prepares your hair for a chemical service by removing minerals and cosmetic build up so that your hair will be a clean canvas for your coloring service.




Don’t be afraid to go au naturale.

You wouldn’t go in for a facial with a full face of makeup, right? Getting all that foundation and blush and mascara off would cut into the time your esthetician has to actually, you know, perform your facial. So natural face it is. You want to think the same way when it comes to getting your hair colored. I know: The thought of walking out of your house without your usual styled-to-perfection locks might feel a bit scary, but all those “I’m so exposed!” feelings will pay off when your hair color is able to do its job more effectively, without your styling products creating a barrier that it needs to break down first. The same rule goes for using powders and sprays that conceal gray hairs — you’ll want to skip them for the day or risk them blocking the color from reaching your hair.



Know that, try as you might, you will not magically transform into Jennifer Aniston in the chair.

Condon says she likes for clients to show up with some photos for reference while also understanding that there is no way to guarantee that a color that looks flawless on someone else’s hair — let’s say Jennifer Aniston — will turn out exactly the same on your hair. The way color presents is tied in not just to the actual color, but also hair texture, style and how your hair reflects color. You also want to have realistic expectations when it comes to how light you can go in one sitting. As Condon says, ever since Kim Kardashian went platinum blonde, that’s been a popular request, but the reality is that it took more than 13 hours (really) to get Kim’s hair to that hue. Your hair can also only lighten so much in one sitting — you have to give it some time for the cuticle to close so that you can go in and color it again. So if you have a dramatic transformation in mind, just be prepared for it to take a few sessions.


Photo Feb 28, 3 25 20 PM


Don’t slack off in between appointments

This one’s for all my procrastinators: You don’t just want to squeeze in the prep work in the days leading up to your appointment — you should be using a color-safe, low-PH shampoo and masking your hair regularly in between appointments to keep hair healthy for future coloring sessions. At Architeqt, a L’oreal Power Mix, an add-in treatment to keep hair healthy, is performed during all color treatments and clients are recommended to purchase Olaplex #3 or Smartbond #3 to help rebuild the bonds in the hair that might became damaged during a lightening service. And after using those, Condon suggests using a mask once a week. The reason? Your color isn’t going to look great if it’s painted onto damaged hair, and it’s also more difficult to predict what color will look like on damaged hair. (Psst: You can also head into Architeqt for a reviving Power Mix treatment for $35 anytime your hair is feeling less Jennifer-Aniston healthy and more Courtney-Love hot-mess. There are different formulas for everything from keeping color-treated hair healthy to adding moisture to repairing everyday wear and tear)



olaplex_smartbondAnd there you have it! How to prep before you land in the chair for your hair coloring appointment.  Here’s to looking and feeling your best!


By Adjua Fisher