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1. Beauty in hair color is subjective. That means it happens in the mind. We all have a different definition of beauty. So when choosing your hair color, decide whose opinion is important because every opinion is different. Ultimately, you must like what you see BUT you should also find a colorist whose opinion mirrors yours.

2. Your colorist can’t read your mind. When doing a consultation about your color, be specific about your expectations. Have an open discussion about the realities. If you don’t know what you want then be sure to state what you don’t want.

3. All media photos are airbrushed, touched up, and enhanced for perfection. When you bring in a photo, realize you can’t look exactly like the photo. Hair color chemicals cannot duplicate what you see in the photo. Photographers spend enormous hours creating the right lighting and editors spend enormous hours creating perfection.

4. Your colorist is limited as to what he/she can do depending on your hair type and the processes you’ve already put your hair through. Things like previous color, quality of water you wash in daily, medications, diet, hormones, and condition of hair will make a difference in the outcome of your hair color.

5. You can’t always get what you want with hair color. Your colorist understands how hair color chemicals affect the hair. It is possible for hair to disintegrate. It is NOT possible for hair to fall out because of hair color (unless you have an unusual adverse reaction from the chemicals). But hair can be damaged beyond repair with chemicals. If he/she advises you against certain processes, trust him.

6. Permanent hair color is not permanent. All artificial dye molecules will leave over time. Shampoos, sun, and chlorine are the fastest way to accelerate the loss. The best defenses are using sulfate free shampoos (like color safe detergent for clothes), covering your hair in extreme sun conditions, and keeping your hair out of the pool water. So what’s a girl to do?

1. Give a colorist at least 3 opportunities with your hair (unless there is a personality conflict). Sticking together and working it out is worth it.

2. Stay within a couple of shades of your natural color. By doing this you will get the best results. If you insist on going lighter, then highlight. Hair color is artificial dye pigment and will look much more natural if you stay closer to your own color.

3. Condition, condition, condition. Your hair must be in good condition to accept the chemicals properly AND to look great longer. Investing in a good deep conditioner (not only a daily one) and taking the time to do it regularly is important.

Beautiful hair is our goal, not beautiful hair color. The hair color you choose should reinforce the look of your hair or style. Good communication with your colorist to discuss your expectations is required. But an open mind about your colorist’s opinion is also required.

A popular phrase, “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” is none truer than when it is applied to hair and color.

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