Confessions of a Stylist


Yesterday I had to “fire a friend/client”. Regrettably I handled it incorrectly. In my defense though it is year end and I am tired. I have also made apologies. Hopefully I will have the privilege to keep loving this person as I do soooooo much.

THIS EVENT HAS INSPIRED THIS BLOG.

Although we live in an instant gratification society; the reality is NOTHING happens instantly. 

Thank goodness…. can you imagine being born and then having arthritis before you can crawl. Eish.

THE HAIRY TRUTH: (Google it…you will see if I am lying)

1) ALL hair has Eumelanin  (pigment that makes hair light or dark) and Pheomelanin  (pigment that makes hair go red/orange/yellow) Ask God why this….not me? SOOOOOO. ..the trick of colour is to dissolve those pigments or enrich them to make a new colour. Colour on top of colour goes darker. Even though colours may have organic botanicals in them they still need a catalyst to make them work. Even Henna has mineral salts to make it sit on hair and those salts can make hair melt if you try colour with anything other than henna. Some colours have +charges to make them stick…which make it nearly impossible to get them out of hair. 

2) Colouring &  Decolouring can break up to 12% of your disulphate and cysteine bonds. (These are the bonds that hold hair together) Which is why changing your colour too regularly or chemical overlapping causes breakage.

3) Olaplex/ B3/ Fiberplex/Nioplex/ Smart bond etc are all the same thing with varing minor differences. The best way to describe these additives is that they act like Roman Gladiators fighting against the effects of colour. HOWEVER they cannot prevent all of the effects which is why one still can have hair snapping. I am not saying they are ineffective, but dependant on the Hair technician can be stretched beyond what they are designed to do. Rather colour with than without!!!

4) If hairdressing were to be done ABSOLUTELY correctly this is how it would work:

a) pre-treatment to eliminate any deposits in the hair from water/ air pollution/ stuff people do at home like cocout oil/ Amla/ box colour/ cheap haircare/ alcohol/medication/ gym supplements etc. EVERYTHING IS DEPOSITED INTO YOUR HAIR VIA YOUR BLOOD. FORENSIC SCIENTISTS CAN MEASURE YOUR LIFESTYLE BY YOUR HAIR…..FACT.

b) a treatment (like mentioned above in #3) during the colour process.

c) Permanent colour to cover grey and Demi/Semi ( the least aggressive on hair) permanent for virgin hair. OR on previously coloured hair Tinting the grey root and Demi the ends. {THIS COSTS MORE AS DEMI COLOURS ARE MORE PROTECTIVE} Highlighting hair should not go under heat as this creates a more volatile chemical reaction on the keratin. BUT US STYLISTS DO IT WHEN CLIENTS DON’T WANT TO SIT FOR THE FULL 1HR OR 1 1/2. Look at hair under a microscope and you will see how compact your hair is….getting colour in or out is a very complex process. It is worse than trying to navigate a shopping cart at month end grocery shopping….trust me!

d) Permanent colour on top of colour makes the hair darker/ more porous and weaker….DO NOT DO IT TO SAVE A RAND….YOU WILL PAY IN THE END. Also it creates colour bands which when trying to lift out makes orangey patches and very serious COLOUR CORRECTION procedures.

e) Grey hair can be resistant to colour. So don’t be hard on your stylist if it doesn’t work the first time. All that it means is more “hair foreplay” has to happen to get the cuticles  (the layer of scales that keep the stuff inside your hair in place). This is called pre-softening.

f) If you are blonde and want to go darker you need to first put in the missing Pheomelanin  (those warm tones you hate so much) and then put your colour over….this is called pre-pigmentation. Because blonding eats into your keratin we have to fill those gaps first before we put colour on. Otherwise your colour just washes out. This is also why regular toning on blonde is necessary as these soft tones have little to hold onto.

g) Once colour’s are processed; de-swelling (colours make hair swell) shampoos/ treatments and conditioners should be used. THE GOLDEN RULE IS…WHAT YOU TAKE OUR OF THE HAIR YOU HAVE TO PUT BACK IN TO PROTECT IT.

h) Use only PROFESSIONAL HAIR HOME CARE (YOU WILL ONLY FIND THOSE IN PROFESSIONAL  SALONS AND NOT AT PHARMACIES/ GROCERY STORES) The reason that true professional products don’t advertise like others do is because: ALL THE MONEY GOES INTO USING THE BEST A-GRADE INGREDIENTS AND PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT. It is like this….would you let your child walk on glass without protective shoes. Professional haircare/skincare etc allows you the protection while you express your look. 

i) Direct heatstyling your hair dehydrates it. Which is why proper treatments EVERY 3-5 SHAMPOOS is essential. Consider this….your hair is 85% protein and only 10% moisture and 0.3-0.5% lipids (essential fats.) THIS IS WHY DOING ONLY MOISTURE TREATMENTS DON’T WORK…YOU NEED TO ALWAYS FIRSTLY ADDRESS YOUR PROTEIN BALANCE TO HAVE SOMETHING FOR THE MOISTURE TO HOLD ONTO….FACT!

j) Any Master colourist/educator will advise you to avoid flat irons on blonde hair…you are only creating weaker hair that splits more. But if unavoidable PLEASE USE A PROFESSIONAL HEAT PROTECTION THAT PROTECTS UP TO 230°c. Aaaaaaand do treatments every second time you flat iron. ..you will see and feel the difference.

k) When using hair extensions…clip ins are best…If you want a more permanent result it is CRUCIAL that after every third set to give your hair roots a break. Excessive weight/ tension/ pulling on the hair can cause ALOPECIA TRACTION. (this is hair-thinning caused by the above mentioned stresses on hair) DON’T PANIC….alopecia traction is seldom permanent…..but to avoid the situation don’t scrape your hair up tightly often…don’t wear your hair longer than your bra strap for too long and let your delicate hair roots recover in between sets of extensions.

l) Cut your hair EVERY SIX weeks with proper professional hair scissors ( paper scissors will just create split ends) A split end if not removed properly keeps splitting up the hair until you basically have to cut it short and start again.

m) Having LEGAL  Brazilian treatment’s post colour is the best way to strengthen after the effects of colour in hair.What makes a Brazilian legal is….0.002% binding agent/formalin per litre. Anything above that dehydrates the hair and can cause breakage.

n) Using eggs/ unrefined cocout oil/ beer etc only coats your hair temporarily and does not address issues inside the hair…YOU ARE WASTING YOUR MONEY!

o) Yes organic botanical products are amazing but also need a preservative to stop them avoid going off. Brand manufacturers use extracts ( the stuff that works in plants) and leave out the rest….SOOOOOO don’t buy into ALL the Organic hype. Botanicals= plant based vs chemical based….Organic= grown without pesticides etc….Naturals=a clever way of saying man-made synthetic’s. …So yes organic botanical will always be more expensive as they are highly expensive to grow/ harvest and produce to keep them pure and Earth friendly. 

NOW THAT YOU HAVE THE TRUTHFUL FACTS DO YOU STILL WANT TO COLOUR YOUR OWN HAIR AT HOME WITH LESS CARING PRODUCTS WITH WHO KNOWS WHAT CHEAP GRADE INGREDIENTS ARE USED TO KEEP THE COSTS LOW SO GREATER FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE ELABORATE TV ADS….THINK ABOUT IT!!!!!!!

I HOPE THIS BLOG WILL EDUCATE. 

CUTTING CORNERS TO SUIT BUDGETS & TIME EFFECTIVELY TAKES YOU OUT OF THE PROTECTION OF THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT WHICH STIPULATES (and I paraphrase that if you the client chooses to not follow the correct procedures stipulated by a professional you cannot then hold them accountable. Professionals it is therefore then essential to get clients to sign indemnity forms to avoid legal consequences.)

BUT BECAUSE WE PROFESSIONALS DON’T WANT TO GET ALL HECTIC AND MAKE EVERY CLIENT SIGN AN INDEMNITY FORM AND TRY KEEP HAIRDRESSING A FUN AND EXCITING EXPERIENCE WE TURN A BLIND EYE TO TRY KEEP YOU HAPPY. 

As an example if we as stylist had to follow all the above mentioned procedures exactly most colour services would start at about R5000. So the next time we quibble over R2000 just remember we are shooting ourselves in the foot to meet your financial needs because we care….perhaps more than we should…..lol.

HAIR COLOUR GRAPH ESSENTIAL FOR UNDERSTANDING COLOUR

HAIR TEXTURE GRAPH….COLOUR REACTS DIFFERENTLY ON DIFFERENT HAIR….SO STRENGTHS AND FORMULAS CHANGE ACCORDINGLY 


A HAIR STRAND MAGNIFIED….see how compact it is…now Pheomelanin lives right in the center of it….can you see why it is so hard to get out of hair without snapping your hair off.

A SKINTONE CHART TO HELP YOU SEE THAT COLOUR IS NOT A ONE SIZE FITS ALL…

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