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How to get the color you want from your stylist

Getting your hair colored can be a stressful experience, especially when it’s your first time ever trying it or your first time at a new colorist.

Whether you’ve been covering your grays yourself for years or it’s your first time getting highlights, there is always some level of anxiety involved in relinquishing all control of a very critical aspect of your appearance to a stranger. You may have one idea in your head for how you want your hair to look, but even the most talented colorists are not mind readers – especially when they don’t know you at all.

Taking the time to learn a little more about hair color and steps to take before the foils go in can make a huge difference in whether you walk out of the salon feeling divalicious or disappointed.

Have an idea (and a visual)

Instead of trying to describe a color and your colorist trying to read your mind, bring in several pictures of women – whether they’re celebrities, your friends or even you at another time in your life – that have the hair color you are aiming for. Show these to the colorist and ask her opinion – would that shade work on my hair? Does it work with my skintone? My eyes and eyebrows?

Don’t be too stuck on one picture, though. Lighting, time of day and even the quality of the photo could create a color that is not achievable in real life. Plus, if your colorist tells you that shade won’t work on you, you’ll want to have a backup. Showing her several similar shades will give her a better idea of the range to start with for you.

Go for a consultation

Many salons will schedule a consultation appointment before you come in for the actual dyeing so you can discuss exactly what you are looking for. Even if your “consultation” is just a short chat at the beginning of your appointment, there are ways to make the most of it.

Ask for color swatches when you’re at the salon, so you and your colorist can have a tangible visual to discuss. This will also give you a better idea of how colors look in real life.

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing