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What I Wish I Knew Before I Spent $500 Trying to Fix My Brassy Highlights

We have all been here.  We have an idea of how we want our hair to look, have a service done and it’s nothing like we imagined!  What do you do?  Here is a story of one woman’s nightmare and how she found the fix so that she could get back to her life.  We never intentionally send you out our door not looking your best and we hope that anyone who comes to our salon and spa will tell us if they are not fully satisfied so that we have the chance to make it right!

My last highlight job was the perfect storm of Mercury-retrograde misfortune. My first mistake was going to a new salon and placing my hair‘s fate in the hands of a total stranger without doing a consultation—and my second mistake was not saying anything the minute I saw the outcome. I was hoping for light blond; instead I got brass. And a hell of a lot of it. I left the salon, held back tears, and sent an email a few hours later asking for corrective color.

They agreed and asked me to come back the following Tuesday evening, but when I showed up 10 minutes late (from a doctor’s appointment—but we’ll count that as mistake number three) they apologized and told me they didn’t have time for my appointment. I tried to salvage my session by telling them I was flying to Mexico the next morning—on a group trip where my ex would be present—and I didn’t exactly want to show up with orange roots. Still, they didn’t budge, and I actually saw my colorist see me and bolt in the opposite direction. Enter my living nightmare.

In my blurred judgment, I decided to run down the street—now in a full-on ugly cry—to another salon. Mistake number four was asking another colorist to try to fix my situation, again, without a consultation. She warned me she wouldn’t be able to do much because of my previous botched job, but I left it up to fate and said the only prayer I remembered from Hebrew school.

It didn’t work. After getting two highlight treatments and a ton of exposure to sun and salt water, by the time I came home from Mexico, my hair was damaged and my hairline could have easily been mistaken for a carrot. Despite people telling me otherwise, I didn’t care. This wasn’t my hair.

I bought purple shampoo after purple shampoo and even threw in a platinum blond root concealer to spray all over my entire head—after it was all said and done, it cost me around $500 and my hair was no closer to the beautiful bright blond I’d set out to get.

Then I was referred to Rita Hazan, the woman who saved my life. (I might have a slight flair for the dramatic but bear with me.) She promised to turn my two-toned brassy highlights into a sun-kissed blond, and when Beyoncé trusts someone to color her hair, so do you. She started the process with a first round of highlights to lift the color since the problem with my last two treatments was that the lightener wasn’t left on long enough to take my dark roots into a light blond. She used a teasing technique to highlight my entire head and left me in foils for 10 or so minutes. After washing out the color and drying my hair, she applied more lightener using the standard weaving-comb technique to correct the color closer to my roots. After a few more minutes of foil, I had a new head of hair—and new bouncy layers, because why not?

After spending the day in Hazan’s chair, I learned that I’ve been far too nonchalant about being a blond. I could have easily prevented my disaster of a highlight job by simply following some basic guidelines: 1. Do your research (one way: look up colorists’ portfolios on Instagram to see who does a great job at the color you want), and 2. Get a consultation. I’m embarrassed to admit I did neither—especially considering my breathing to Insta-stalking ratio.

If you make my mistake and don’t do your research, there’s a right way and wrong way to ask for a corrective color. “If you don’t like your color, just say you don’t like it,” explains Hazan. “If you start crying or get aggressive it makes the colorist not really want to help. It’s best if you simply state, ‘I wanted it a little lighter, would you mind making it a little lighter?’ If you come at a person in an aggressive or dramatic way, you lose the sense of wanting to fix your hair and get caught up in emotion.” Seems pretty obvious, right? Not if you’re like me and get riled up in the moment, but Hazan pointed out that I could have told the manager of the salon if I didn’t feel comfortable telling my colorist.

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