Monday, March 9, 2015

TRUE LIFE: So you want a Color Correction

Color Correction is pretty much the taboo of the hair world. Photos on Instagram & articles in magazines make them seem very simply and easy to do... (I HATE THOSE ARTICLES) ...  But in real life, they are EXTREMELY hard work and it is almost impossible to promise any specific result. The reality is that people come into the salon and drop a large sum to have their hair fixed by box color, bad professional jobs, reverting from something they thought they wanted back to something that resembles what they had previously... and the odds as a stylist to ever see said color correction client ever again... Zilch, nada, nope... at lease probably not.

You see, the client is usually scared away by the price tag, although it resembles nothing even close to the regular salon ticket. For example, my charge is currently $150 an hour. DANG!!! That is probably your reaction, your eyes probably just about popped right out of your head. But the truth is a ridiculous amount of product goes into this process, which I start by using the most gentle tool I have in my arsenal of weapons and gradually moving up the ranks in order to get the best, most even and healthiest result in taking your (probably black) hair to blonde without frying the ever-loving heck out of it... because some magazine led you to believe that I can do it, all in one day, and leave your hair looking in the exact same condition without even losing a centimeter! Right! ... Right? ... Probably not. Sorry.

We live in a world of instant gratification, which has left us with very unattainable expectations... most of the time. I say most of the time because we hair dressers do posses a few miracles up our sleeves! Every now and then a color correction results in B-E-A-utiful hair! Everything you (and I) wanted and more... Odds are, if this is you, that you have always had a top notch professional job and the stylist has done everything under the sun right. Truth told, even when working on one of my own clients after years of being blessed to call myself their stylist, I CANNOT predict what their hair will do. EVER. That really, really sucks. But guess what, some of us are highly educated and stay on top of our craft and can literally counteract much of what doesn't go our way...

And, you really SHOULD TRUST US! You are, after all, our walking billboard. Everyday, everywhere you go, our name is on that head of yours. If you don't like it, we don't like it... and for the perfectionists like me... we really don't like it more than you! You may even love it, but me... I already have a running list in my head of what I am going to change next time, because this art (yes it is art) is my passion. I live it, breathe it (choking on hairspray), sleep it (in my dreams and/or nightmares)... why? Because I love it! I am proud to be a hair professional... Say it with me... professional. That said, please don't come into the salon where I spend most of my life and tell me how to do my job. I understand that magazine you read told you what you should expect and how I might go about doing what I do, day in and day out... but you don't know the first thing about this art. Chemistry, color theory and the law of color, hair analysis, angles and why I may choose them, how many layers I put in your hair (the correct answer is NOT 3! ... if that's you, just please laugh along with my joke and know I am trying to make you laugh). Our goal is to make you look beautiful and hope that it makes you feel just a little more confident in a world of judgement and self esteem issues. Making someone feel good about themselves is why I began my journey into this industry, and hearing that you feel beautiful, sexy, confident, etc... is just about the biggest compliment you can pay us!

I digress... back to color correction.

Odds are you've seen photos like these on the internet or in a magazine with a headline that depicts the experience as a simple one. Now that I've probably scarred you for life, I should say that it is possible to have a beautiful finished result... But... big but... You really will get the best result if you are open to the end product and allow the stylist to take you where your hair will allow.

Here are some examples of beautiful color corrections

Last but not least, the most recent Kim Kardashian look. From long hair to bob... Then from dark brown to platinum, the on to the most recent... White. I already dread the clients walking in with her photo... not that it can't be done, but can you say head ache?

So, without further adieu (and further ramblings from yours truly)... Here is the tale of a color correction gone good. Last week I spent time doing a color correction on my wonderful coworker with a massive mane! Her desire was to take her level 5 hair (dark brown) with old highlights to a beautiful violet/lavender. Here is her inspiration photo:

These are our before photos... she had 3/4 inch regrowth

Here is the process in stages. I'm not going to share the process as I do not, in one million years, want any of you DIYers out there to think for one second that these are instructions on how to perform a successful color correction at home, for you to run over to Sally's and pick up anything that resembles my professional products and know how... to then send me hate mail because you melted every last hair off of your beautiful head. No thank you! Here are the stages:

You can see the finished result the first day... The purple took blue at the roots, there were different shades of lavender on the ends and areas where it did not take at all... sometimes in the exact same strand. I took my time and ended up with a beautifully even lightened result... even so you can see how color corrections are unpredictable.... Needless to say, this perfectionist was pissed! I told my coworker we would re-apply the lavender the next day and I went home and dreamt of her hair and what I would change all night. 

The next day I did my clients of the day and my coworker returned for round two... I took my time, once again, applying the two colors. This time it took, still not exactly to my OCD liking, but never-the-less she has purple hair. It will be an ongoing process. I just wanted to share these results. Her hair is in great shape, and even though this was done by the book and lifted wonderfully with no foreseeable issues... They still were there, laying in waiting to leave me disgruntled and frustrated. 

This is the reality of color correction. The ugly truth. I don't wish to scare anyone away from it, but rather to educate you on why they are so expensive, why it's best to be open to an outcome, and to understand that even though everything went right... it can STILL go wrong. 

** Here is a great example of how much lighting plays into your color! Natural light VS indoor lighting**

2 boxes of color remover,
1 container of lightener,
1 bottle of developer,
1 tube of color,
1/4 container of gentle lightener,
1/2 a bottle of developer for my smart lightener,
1 tube of toner,
6 bottles of pure pigment
9 hours in the first day of correction,
& 4 more the second day...
We don't have perfection, but we do have a beautiful multi-tonal violet result...

And hopefully you have an understanding of why a color correction is so expensive. 
Blood, Sweat, Tears.

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