More Than Skin Deep: There's a grey area in hair color

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To color or not to color, that is the question.

I’ve heard people say a million times, “I’m keeping my grey hair. I earned every one of ’em!”

Well you guys can have it. I would rather not have everyone know about my earnings.

This is not to say that all grey- haired people of the world look bad. If you look good with grey hair, you are going to look even better with some sort of color.

With my male clients, I like to brush the color in and leave some of the grey. Some of my female clients like to have a touch of grey, too. Usually I try to make the hair believable, unless you are a client that couldn’t care less about having it look believable. Extreme color is a blast.

There is nothing cooler than a girl with red-hot hair who can pull it off.

I have spent a lot of extra time on the color end of my education, so of course I think everyone should have color in their hair, even when they don’t have grey. There are a lot of fun things to try once you get over being scared. The possibilities are endless and fun, and can bring a touch of freshness and excitement to your outlook.

A stain or glaze is a nice way to test the waters for the squeamish. Subtle highlights are a great way to ease into things, and an excellent way to add definition to ethnic hair. And, yes, there are more colors than blonde to highlight the hair with. Asian and Latina clients of mine love the change. They get bored with having dark brown hair all the time.

I have always said that hair is hair. It doesn’t matter what country the person came from. Certain ethnic groups have hair similarities as far as color, thickness and diameter, strength, and so on. But it is still all hair. The first challenge for the stylist is knowing what color is going to look good on someone. The wrong color highlights in dark hair can look grey or they might not show up at all without enough contrast. Knowing how the hair will respond is the other big thing. Breakage, brassy undertones and coarse, dry hair can be the results of an uneducated stylist. A good colorist can recommend a color that’s just right for you.

Dear Scott: What is the difference between salon color and grocery store box color?

Answer: There have been some big advances in the grocery store box brands. The main difference is the volume (strength) of the peroxide. Most of the box color has a low volume of peroxide, making the home job more difficult. The reason the makers of the products do this is to prevent lawsuits. Higher peroxide volume is a greater threat of risk for lawsuits because of medical problems.

The biggest mistake home jobbers make is looking at the color on the box and, because it may look brown, thinking it’s going to turn out brown. Color rarely comes out looking like the picture on the box. How much grey, how much white, and how much of the natural color is present makes a huge difference in end results.

With a little knowledge, and some trial and error, you can probably get a decent color. I have seen some very nice home jobs. But on the way to learning what to use, you might want to try it on someone you don’t like very much.

Keep in mind that correcting a bad color job is difficult, so stylists typically charge more to fix the results of the kitchen beautician. It can sometimes take many processes to correct.

Dear Scott: My daughter wants to have a few pink pieces of color in her hair. How could she do this herself?

Answer: The best way do this effect is to go to Sally Beauty Supply and get some hair extensions and glue them in. The little pieces of hair can be bought in a variety of colors. You can also go to the salon to have this done with a much better result. Be sure to have the stylist use the extensions instead of coloring the hair. To make the hair color permanent, the stylist will need to bleach the hair out and then add the color over the top of the hair to make it work. Not only is this procedure very damaging to the hair, it is also extremely hard to cover back up.

SCOTT TERWILLIGER, AN AIKEN SALON OWNER AND MASTER STYLIST, CAN BE REACHED AT SCOTT.TERWILLIGER@HOTMAIL.COM.


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