With the new season, comes new Starbs orders, busting out that box stuffed with sweaters that’s been hidden in the depths of your closet and a whole lotta Instagram action of gals in flannel at the pumpkin patch. And if anyone else is like me, Fall also means scouring Pinterest for a new hair color.
I recently decided to make a drastic (to me) change to the hair, and guys: It was kind of an emotionally exhausting process. I don’t know about you, but even committing to getting a new hairstyle was draining- like I scoured celeb pics for more time than I will ever willingly admit. And the doubt that grips you as they put each new foil on your hair?! I’m not sure I’ve felt that much pressure during that econ final I couldn’t get lower than a 98% to bring my C up.
So, as I decided to take my Not-Quite-Black-Brown hair color to a kinda-somewhat blonde having never really dyed it before, I was pretty much having a lowkey anxiety attack. And during the process, I picked up a few tips that I’d love to share for the next time anyone goes through the terror (but lesbereal, also the miracle) that is drastically changing your hair.
Do your research.
Literally scour the depths of Pinterest. Pin all the things that call to you, save different colors, hues, try to find pins with your skin tone and eye color. And when you have at least a faint idea of what it is you want – balayage, rainbow hair, a monotone color – and then turn to Instagram. Search actual salons in your city, and look into specific artists. See someone on the street whose hair is the thing of dreams? Stop and ask them where they get their hair done. Find an example of their exact work and bring it in with you to show your artist. This is exactly how I stumbled upon Demi at Chicago’s Spoke and Weal. Her Instagram blew me away and I knew I had to have her as my colorist- the rest was history.
If you’re kinda thinking about going brunette to blonde, the chances of you liking it after are slim to none. If you’ve committed and love the idea of doing something somewhat drastic, the chances that you’ll still like it a couple weeks post the hair dye are much higher.
Come with pictures.
When you’re explaining the the colorist what you want, adjectives will not cut it. Come with a picture. Actually, come with like 12 pictures. One of my favorite things that Demi did was go through all the different pictures that I liked, and she talked through which of them were feasible and which quite simply, wouldn’t work on me. I started my treatment feeling very confident with what it would end up as.
Do you have questions during the process? ASK THEM. If you’re feeling like something unexpected is happening, vocalize your concerns. Your hairdresser is equally as obsessed with your hair turning out because this is his or her livelihood. One bad review could really affect their business, so they want to know your concerns in real-time.
Prepare yourself for sticker shock.
Sticker shock probably isn’t quite the right term, but you get the idea. I don’t care if you’ve been thinking about going blonde for the last 12 years, when your brown hair is suddenly 12 shades lighter, it’s going to shake you. Give yourself some time to get used to it, style it yourself and figure out how it lays. However, there’s a difference between shock at first glance and actively disliking something. If the latter is the case, please refer to aforementioned step and speak up about fixing it.
Invest in some good products.
Often times, coloring your hair however drastically will leave your hair damage. Ask your colorist what products she recommends to help it stay as healthy as possible. If you just splurged on getting your hair colored by someone with extensive knowledge and practice, take their word and buy quality hair care products that will ease the damage.
Still don’t love your hair? Book another appointment with your stylist.
If you’ve waited a couple of days and your hair doesn’t look the way you imagined, seriously, call up your stylist and very politely tell her what you’re struggling with. 99 times out of 100 your hairstyles will help you fix it at no charge. Remember, they want you to be elated with your hair.
I actually ended up visiting Demi for a round two because something about my ‘do wasn’t sitting well after a few days. I honestly didn’t even know what, but I wasn’t as enthralled with it as I hoped. When I called her on the phone, she was unbelievably friendly and so vocal about wanting to fix it and get it where I wanted. After chatting about it, we figured out that after 26 years with my brunette locks, it was freaking me out that you could see some highlights along my roots where there had never been any before. She applied a dimmer (I think that’s the right hair term), and within 30 minutes, I was out of the salon and unbelievably happy with the results- you can asked my friends and the 18 “new hair, who dis” selfies they all received.
And if you’re looking for a reco, I had an incredible experience at Spoke & Weal in Chicago- check out Demi and Amanda on Instagram @donebydemi and @amandapaigeprice!