February 8, 2010

Color Me Brass:Unqualified Hair Stylists’ Numbers Grow

My Stylist Screwed Up … Now What?

badasshair177 A rarely talked about subject; but a necessary one. After a recent conversation with a poor soul who walked out of a Salon in tears with orange hair, I just have to talk about this. I hope you understand my hesitation, I am breaking open a field I loved and worked in for 16 years. While there are many qualified and good stylists/colorists out there… unfortunately in my current situation I listen to a LOT of horror stories of Hair Color gone wrong at the hands of professionals. People are forced to take their hair color into their own hands and the place they go to is the Internet. So, by default, they are dumped into my lap.
With hundreds of people having destroyed hair, come knocking at my door…we have become the home for “repairing your own hair color”. If you ask me for one rule to fix this problem the only thing I can think of is: Common Sense. Every single head of hair is different. Knowing that one fact I hope I can impact just a couple people to ‘think’ before you color your hair. If every single head of hair is different then purchasing 1 box of color, that assumedly is made to work on everyone, surely could not turn out properly. Common Sense. The % of success is small with boxed hair colors, but what other options are there? Well, all by myself (with help from all my newly trained crib colorists) I am trying to teach the masses the Level System of hair color. I hope to give you the tools by teaching you “HOW” hair color works so you may either fix the mistake on your hair, or color your hair from the get-go yourself.badasshair178
Unfortunately many of you live in a town or city where you have not found a qualified Colorist. Let me reassure you that is not rare. When I was first diagnosed with my bone disease I was forced into taking almost 2 years off, then I returned to living in Santa Barbara near my daughter who was in college. I slowly began to do hair again, my disease was first in my right knee (now its in both) so I just stood on one leg to do it. You can’t believe how strong you are when the chips are down. My point being, people started coming to me in droves because in Santa Barbara ( home of Oprah,Rob Lowe, Ellen, and a million other super wealthy people) there wasn’t ONE Colorist that didn’t destroy hair. I only went back to work because people would see my daughters hair, and ask her who did it. I will admit though, having people beg me to do their hair color was very good for my ego when I had NONE. Chemo/Radiation/ and multiple surgeries really wreck havoc on your psyche. I believe all that adoration was responsible for me “not giving up”, whatever works! My point being . . . Bad Colorists are rampant, they are everywhere in this big country. But in my opinion they no longer have an excuse. As much as Hair stylists don’t like my BLOG, if they are lousy colorist, at least now SOMEONE has taught hair color out in the open. I have taught hair color the Vidal Sassoon method on this blog, something that was never made accessible to the professional or private world prior to my Blog. They can study my Blog, and become a great colorist….so NOW – they HAVE NO EXCUSE. As a matter of fact, why don’t you ask if your hair colorist has read KillerStrands? What’s wrong with that question? If they are qualified, they should have no problem with it. If they are not, then I would cancel my appointment. That shows you the type of Stylist you have. Writing this was always a 2-fold solution to me. To teach unqualified Stylists what and how to do it right and to teach you, the public, how to properly color your own hair.
badasshair181  badasshair182
Corrective Hair Colorist is the name of the Specialist you want to look for, if you recently left the hair salon in tears. However, most small towns + cities across this land I’m finding, don’t have one. . .it is a very specialized field that scares many Hair Stylists.  There really are no land mines in hair color, no undetectable elements that will sabotage a stylists efforts. It is a very mastered field, I promise. If the color result surprises the Colorist  then the Colorist missed something.To be honest I don’t know how you can properly do hair without knowing corrective hair color, it should be a mandatory part of hair education in receiving your License . If a Stylist cannot fix their own mistakes, why should they be left to do hair color on people ? It makes no sense to me. For those of you that are looking for a new stylist I highly recommend you make that a requirement in anyone coloring your hair. I’m very serious about this, think about how strange it is that people are coloring hair by just ‘guessing’. . . when I discovered that in taking my first Salon job I was so astonished, I remember (still) calling my mentor and asking her if it was legal that these people were allowed to color hair. She told me, to get used to it, it was the most common type of hair stylist out there. I had always used one of the people who started Sebastian products back in the 70’s-80’s to do my hair, so I had never known bad Stylists existed - - til I became one myself.
Chemicals don’t make mistakes - - PEOPLE   DO
Being trained at Vidal Sassoon Academy everyone that comes out of there fully understand hair color correction, no they have not had a lot of experience as brand new grads, but they will know more than Stylists working 10-20 years, from the hair color education one receives there. But, I will never understand why the education is not the same for everyone. Why can’t there be an across the board knowledge base that everyone must know prior to getting their license that involves being a color correction specialist. I promise you there is plenty of time in the year you go to school. I can’t imagine what they do in the other schools with all that time ? ? ? Sounds like a little too much screwin’ around is going on.
Types of Hair Color Mistakes
  •  Miscommunication - Not asking enough questions, or the right questions I feel is the number 1 reason for mistakes. Without getting all the proper information, the odds of getting it right are slim. Always tell the Stylist EXACTLY what you want – as much as some of them will act bothered if you whip out a magazine photo, remember its YOUR HAIR. “YOU” are the customer – they should be thrilled you brought in a photo, so much is lost with explanations. I figured this out when I wasn’t exactly perfect at the beginning of my career. I figured out that when I said “level 6A” they had NO IDEA what I was talking about, and when they said , “I want layers” . . . they meant they wanted the hair to be “tapered” which means framing the face….MY solution to this was my famous Hair NOTEBOOK. It became the thing I was most famous for (well – that and my candy jar) …It was 5 inches thick and every 2 months I had the Assistants refresh the photos..So they were plopped on the sofa with sticky pads. Were told to mark 4 “loves” and 4 “hates”. I learned as much about what they hated as I did about what they loved. I suggest YOU do this if you are going to a Salon. Take in 4 LOVES, & 4 HATES. That way it is not left to her interpretation of the words you say. That just doesn’t work, trust me on this.
  • Insufficient Analysis – Neglecting anyone of the 5 key factors spells trouble. If a Colorist does not pay attention to 1) Virgin hair Level  2)  % of Gray  3)Texture of hair   4) Porosity of hair  5)Present Tint.  If a Color result surprises her OR you, she has most likely not taken all 5 of those points into account. If the virgin hair level isn’t taken into account the mistakes are too numerous to mention here, although the most common one is too much warmth (probably the most common mistake). If the amount of gray is ignored, the result may be too light or off-tone or the formula may simply not cover the gray. Overlook texture, and you may be surprised when coarse hair pulls more warmth or a fine hairline goes dark. If overporosity is overlooked the color result may be drabber or deeper than expected. If you miss that a person has previous tint on their hair (what most clients fib about) the result may be uneven, too dark, or less intense than expected on top of NOT working at all!
  • Improper Application --
  • ………….improper RE-TOUCHING – overlapping
  • ………….putting too much bleach/color in foils
  • ………….improper virgin application – applying to roots first instead of LAST
  • ………… too thin application – not enough color used
  • …………Not long enough
  • …………Bleach over-processed or under-processed
Corrective Hair Colorist is the name of the Specialist you want to look for, if you recently left the hair salon in tears. However, most small towns + cities across this land called America I’m finding, don’t have one. . .it is a very specialized field that scares many Hair Stylists.
If that is the case for you, your answers are here at Killer Strands. Join our group http://groupspaces.com/KillerstrandsHairClinic/  you will get a lot of support in there. Begin reading the archives in the group and the posts right here in this Blog. Yes, reading all the posts sounds overwhelming, so if you only want to fix your particular mistake do a SEARCH for the subjects that pertain to your problems – if you don’t even know what those are . . . then go to the group explain your problems and ask what you should SEARCH for. We are glad to help with that question. Remember if you have a huge mistake going on with your hair color, you most likely need me to help decipher it. Being as we have thousands of members now it is not possible for me to help every single person . . . so you will have to do some reading to solve your problem. But at least the information is here. Before my BLog, there was no where to go. So be happy you have this resource, and proceed with purchasing a brand new Kit called the “UP-IN-THE-AIR  Kit “. What that does is purchase 2 tubes of color only it doesn’t choose the colors. You then answer the 3 questions and I will pick out the colors you need to fix your situation. hellforhair104
All Colorists have made mistakes ; it is part of the learning process. My goal was always to never make a mistake, I took Hair Coloring very seriously. Knowing that hair is extremely important to people always made me respect the art. No Colorist becomes 100% infallible but many do come close .The ones who are close to infallible are the ones who have learned from their mistakes, accepted them learned how to improve next time and moved on. If you can’t find one in your town, take up the hobby, many women/men are doing it….having fun and becoming very accomplished at it.
Killer Chemist
9 comments on "Color Me Brass:Unqualified Hair Stylists’ Numbers Grow"
  1. Why is it that whenever I`ve brought in pictures of the hair color I want they always say "that`s not really the color. Pictures don`t show true color. This is what the actual color is...." And they show me a swatch that isn`t the same color as in the picture! This drives me crazy. re they right? They may be but I wanted the color in the picture that the picture is showing :(


  2. That is a tricky issue.
    First off, it seems everyone now knows what PHOTO SHOP is. For years no one knew what it was, now its in everyday vernacular.
    With Photo Shop they change the color of hair, I will have my daughter do an example for us when she gets back. So I can show you with photos. She is a very accomplished photographer and is a PHOTO SHOP Wizard...But I don't know if your hair stylist would know that much.
    I've said many times that I had this infamous HAIR PHOTO NOTEBOOK that was 6 inches thick, had photos of everything possible in it. People were required to look through it and mark 4 loves & 4 hates - when they were brand new to me.
    Told me a lot about what they truly wanted, so much gets lost in 'word translation'.

    But if they showed me a photo of a color and I didn't know their hair yet, I would never tell them what your stylist said. That's an improper answer. You also have to realize that not all people can be ALL colors.

    Remember if you have a different DURP than the person standing next to you with the exact same Level 6B hair(for example)....you will have different results, if you both have different elasticity. If you have straight hair and she has curly hair it will be a different result.

    I can make you any color in the rainbow for 1 day.
    If you want it to last 6 weeks it has to be based on the Dominant Underlying Remaining Pigment, which was put there by God... he has a huge hand in your hair color now and your hair color AFTER it is colored. I used to tell my clients when they would bring me some 8 hour color project-from-Hell...........now, the last step is: for you to PRAY TO THE HAIR GODS UP ABOVE
    .......as I would set them down to process.
    All the skill I had and I still prayed.

    Every single day of my life.
    Every single day of my career.


  3. I want to thank KC for her love and dedication teaching us more about our hair and in doing so empowering us. The time you spend on your blog is much appreciated.
    I just happened upon this article in San Francisco Chronicle, where a color process went wrong with the actress Emma Roberts.
    Here is the link:
    Happens....we should not beat ourselves up too much about it.
    Just follow KC's instruction to a T and all will be well.
    Thank you ever so much.
    Anne - St Maarten

  4. I have completely given up learning haircolor in cosmetology school. It is the absolute worst. I have learned more here than in my almost 15 months of school on the subject of haircolor. Cosmetology in itself is a broad subject, covering hair,skin,and nails. BUT you would think you would get the basics,yeah? Not so much. I can say that what I have read thus far is straight out of the textbook. However, the instructors nor the textbooks don't explain completely:

    ~What is DURP? How is it determined?
    ~Hair Math-Oh man, did a light bulb go off when I read that!
    ~What the number of the developer means
    ~What is the real difference between semi, demi, and permanent color
    ~How to color gray

    Yes, a student of cosmetology, set to graduate next month learned all the above right here on this amazing blog. Where would I be had I not found it? Right along with the masses of stylists who don't know or understand sh*t about hair color!

  5. KK,

    Come on girl, if you want to be good Colorist, you have to be willing to use your head...
    The answers to all your questions are in the last 10 posts, read them.

    It will do you good, I can't count how many places DURP is explained. . . come on girl, get involved and do some reading...the answers are all right here.
    I really like to live by the theory that it is much better to teach you all to "LEARN TO FISH", instead of fishing 'for you' and giving you the fish.

    I hope you agree.


  6. I have read and that's what I intended to imply. I have learned way more here than in cosmetolgy school on the subject of haircolor.

  7. Women have been using hair colors from many centuries to define their idol beauty, in eastern culture women using traditional herbs to color hair as well as on skin tattoos.

  8. Do you have any advise for licensed cosmetologists to further our education on hair color? I intend to read your never ending blog, but besides that? any classes I can take or anything like that? I really want to become a great colorist!

    1. That is great to hear.
      They have extended education there and I used to teach the Coloring classes with my mentor.
      The very best thing you can do is to save your money all year and once a year take a week long course at Vidal Sassoon Academy here in Santa Monica....this used to be the one and only U.S. Academy, but I heard they added 1-2 more, do some research.
      Going to Sassoon is like going to Harvard of Hair Education. When people hear you went there for school, most times you don't need anything else, they will hire you just if you have been educated there. They do things differently there....... its very strict, but don't worry - just be a sponge and you will learn soooooooooooo much. Take a Weekend course until you can afford a week long class, they even have 4 and 12 week. Because everything there is split.....They have the Colorist side of education and the "cutting" side of education.... The 2 do NOT MEET. Oh and Sassoon has had nothing to do with the man for over 40 years, its just his name.....The top Colorist and the Top Cutter in the WORLD ---YES, owned it for 20 years......after I left I heard they sold it but you will never EVER spend better money....it is a tax write-off....and worth every single penny.

      They have all the info online of course.....pop over there everyone.....I hope every single person interested will follow you....please spread the word....



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