A Fashion & Lifestyle Blog by Monica Beatrice Welburn
"Next time you are tempted to look sideways at anyone else's journey, catch yourself and look straight ahead at your own." - The Elgin Avenue
How To Get Exactly What You Want At The Hairdressers
With the new season approaching now is a great time to think about revamping your hair; but with three colour changes under my belt in as many months, I am sharing my cautionary tale on how to get EXACTLY what you want from your next visit to the salon . . .
The tale of Monica’s hair . . .
Not so long ago I decided to lighten my locks to reflect the Summer season; I already had a grown-out caramel balayage from the previous Autumn, but was convinced that I needed to lighten up! Knowing that finding a good colourist is like finding Sophia Webster sandals at 95% discount (read: THE HOLY GRAIL) I decided to bide my time until I returned to Menorca where I had first had my hair coloured.
Yes, I waited to go to another country to get my hair dyed. Ugh the patience! But here my friends is where it all went wrong . . .
Visit 1: I love Pinterest, yes, yes I do. In fact I love it so much I can easily get lost in the tumbling waves of beautiful blondes, fantasising that the exact blonde of this image will suit me just fine. Despite the fact I am naturally a brunette. Hmm. Credit to the colourist in Menorca – she highlighted, and lightened until my natural locks matched those of the image I had shown, then painstakingly blow-dried and tonged my hair. From the back it looked beautiful; from the front . . . it just didn’t suit me. Oh dear.
Visit 2: After a sad post-hair beer with Oli, I agreed to return to the salon, tail between my legs and explain – in Spanglishtalian– that I didn’t feel the bright blonde suited me. At all. My colourist pointed out that she had matched the image I had shown her – to which I whole heartedly agreed – but thankfully booked me in to return the next day and put an all over toner over the colour. I left the salon much happier with more natural locks. Although . . .
Visit 3: I knew from the get go that I wasn’t leaving Menorca fully happy with my hair; yes it was blonder and beachy, but the highlights which had been woven through still looked block-like and too contrasting for me. What to do?! I texted over an image of my stripy locks to my good friend Jade who assured me it wouldn’t take much to blend through some of my natural colour to break up the blonde. For the THIRD time in as many months I had my colour done. By this point I was convinced I would have to grow out my hair and start again (for oh, about four years) but then . . . voilà! Jade wove magic through my hair and took it back to my natural brunette colour, whilst leaving Summer flecks of caramel through the ends. YAY YAY YAY.
From the above I have learnt three CRITICAL lessons:
Nature Knows Best.
99% of the time, you will look best with a colour which is a version of your natural hue. This is not to say that as a brunette your couldn’t go blonde, or red or vice versa, but that there are ways of weaving in colour which will naturally suit you.
For instance, if your natural colour is quite warm – like mine – then going for a very cool blonde – think Scandinavian – will likely jar with your skin tone. By opting for a caramel shade you can get a lighter colour, but one which will flatter your appearance.
If you do wish to completely change – awesome! There are women I know who look stunning with platinum hair, or jet black or purple – however this is a commitment – and goes hand in hand with rocking a look. Think Nicole Richie’s punk vibe, or Rooney Mara with blunt glossy black bangs.
Communicating with your hairdresser or colourist is CRITICAL. You need to have a good relationship and be open to their advice and input. Most salons will suggest a consultation ahead of your appointment which is a great test for compatibility. Be honest about the amount of time you have to style your hair, this will affect everything. For example, if you want a tousled bob but have naturally straight hair, you will have to style it. Your hairdresser will be able to advise on how best to cut and colour within your styling means.
ALWAYS come armed with images. Use your phone or Pinterest to collect visuals ahead of your consultation, then whittle them down to one or two pictures. You hairdresser should be able to advise on how to best weave the look you want into what will suit you.
Side note: if you are dying your hair darker you will need to get an allergy test done at least 24 hours in advance.
If It IS broke – Fix It.
Oli has always told me that if a client doesn’t feel comfortable with their hair, he 100% wants them to say so that they can fix it together ASAP. If you are not happy with the end result of your cut or colour – just say! That moment of embarrassment will last a lot less time than the pain of not liking your hair. Be honest, and say something. The salon may not be able to fix it on the day, but it will likely not be long until they can.
Here are some of my favourite resources for hair inspiration:
Population Salon, San Francisco, on Instagram – for the BEST colour, in particular balayage, and amazing finished results. I am living vicariously through their gorgeous images until I can visit San Francisco and have my hair done by them. One. Day.