Wednesday, August 17, 2011


A new client arrived for an appointment and the first thing the entire salon noticed was her very dark hair and her very orange ends.
As I started my consultation I could feel the extreme damage and fragility of the ends with my fingers. We talked about her haircut, then it was time for a serious color conversation. She instantly admitted she’d viewed some “do-it-yourself” Ombré color videos on YouTube, and this was the result.

For those of you who don't know, “Ombré” is a french word describing the transitioning of color from light to dark or from one color to another.Its generally used to describe the color on fabric but was taken up to describe hair color.

This look on hair has also been around forever, sometimes intentionally sometimes not. It was just made more marketable to get the attention of fad hungry fans.

Whose fault is it that this young lady ended up with broken orange hair? Is it the client for not realizing that a color technique like that is for professionals only? Or is it the person who made the do-it-yourself YouTube video promising perfect results? Sadly, I would say both. Perhaps the client was naive, but the “professional” in the video should have known better. Unfortunately, this merry little video mayhem maker was looking more for attention, rather than delivering great results for viewers.

Work with what you’ve got!

There are many things that can be taught in do-it-yourself videos. Hair coloring that requires a professional is simply not one of them. Understanding color chemistry and the reaction to color on hair is one of the many vital keys to achieving good results. Not only is the chemistry of color important to know, the correct application cannot be self-applied. Even if you ask someone else to apply it, if they have no knowledge of hair or color, this still remains a formula for disaster.

The lesson to be learned here is to work with what you have and can afford. If you see a hair color that you must have then save for it. It may mean not going to the bar on Friday or buying those new shoes. It may even mean you are better off without it and leave your natural color. As a hairstylist, I can assure you that color correction one of the biggest tickets to get written in any salon. When a client walks in with an "at home” color job gone wrong, it can cost her $300 to $1,500 (yes…fifteen hundred) to repair a $10, and in this case YouTube video, mistake.

Speaking of the Internet…

During a live online interview recently, I was asked to assess someone's hair and make a decision on whether they should relax it or do a Keratin treatment. I quickly admitted I was in no position to answer the question. It is impossible to assess someone's hair when you can't see it, touch it and have a meaningful conversation about the person’s expectations, lifestyle and interest in maintenance. In all candor, I will admit to violating this rule. In the past I have had readers ask for recommendations on hair color, but only after they've provided extensive information on their hair, color and current color formula, did I respond. However, I always have included a strong disclaimer: “Unless I can see your hair in person, there are no guarantees Honey!”

Antonio Gonzales


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