As fall approaches, it brings with it some anxiety due to all the requests to darken our clients’ sun kissed hair. When done conservatively, this can be a wise and beautiful move. After all, it gives our hair a break from the fun and playful, but sometimes harsh, lightening we do in the warmer months; it usually needs less maintenance and is, therefore, more cost conscious for our budget; and, the darker shades and warmer tones are usually more flattering with the season’s fashions.
But, a word of caution: Too often this service ends in dissatisfaction from the client because some basic information was conveyed (from the client to the stylist or vice versa) incorrectly, unclearly or was never even covered in the consultation.
So, after years of booking follow up services to fix or amend a darkening service, I offer a few suggestions to avoid these darkening disasters.
- Come to the appointment with a clear vision of what you want. Pictures are a fantastic means of conveying color/shade/tone where words will fail. (Multiple images are best to show exactly what you like and even what you don’t like.)
- Make certain to describe what it is about each image that strikes you. There is ambiguity in showing an image of a whole head of dimensional highlights. Be specific about WHICH shade you’re seeing. (Your stylist may be focused on a low-light while you’re seeing the highlight.)
- If pictures are not available, a stylist may show you color swatches. Be aware that, whatever shade you chose, will have a completely different effect en masse on your whole head than what you think you’re seeing in a 1×2 swatch. (Have you ever painted a wall at home with a color chosen from a 2×2 paint square only to discover that, over the entire wall, it looks completely different?) I recommend going at least a shade lighter than the swatch you like.
- Be mindful that everything you wear from clothes to makeup will now look different on your new shade of darker hair. Make sure to factor that into your decision to darken. It may be time to update makeup or key pieces of your wardrobe.
Whether you ultimately decide to baby step into darkening with a full or partial head of lowlights or to go bold with a darker one step all over color, it can be an exciting way to reinvigorate your image for the new season. Have fun with it! And make sure you feel beautiful in EVERY color!
Happy Coloring! ~missy