Being a color client can be tough, especially if you do not have a relationship with your colorist. You are scared that your hair is going to turn out to be some unimaginably odd shade and paying all that money to leave the salon unhappy. I know because I was a color client for a long time before I became a colorist; but after becoming a professional, my perspective changed, and there were a few things I wish I knew before I donned the apron and the gloves. My perspective may help you give your stylist a break every once in a while. Click the notes for more. –– Kelly Rowe

Being the colorist of an unhappy client is worse than being the unhappy client. I thought an unhappy client would be easy to handle. Not true. The most stressful thing about doing color is that after hours of work, it isn’t until the end that you know your client is unhappy. The whole starting over is not only stressful, but exhausting and your best work does not come from those two things. As a client, know that color is not an exact science, and things you’ve done to your tresses in the past may aversely affect your latest salon appointment. So if the big reveal isn’t perfect, don’t make the situation worse by getting angry with your colorist; instead, be calm, and consult with them about what needs to be done to make it better. Your colorist will appreciate your understanding and work extra hard to make it right, rather than calling it a loss there and then and not caring about what they do to improve it.

You will have a mini panic attack at least once at the shampoo bowl. There is a reason there aren’t mirrors near a shampoo bowl; sometimes when the color is rinsed out you get a surprise that you completely weren’t expecting. I had a fair share of lavender and gray blondes, green brunettes, and pink redheads. A five second panic attack is allowed but then get down to adjusting the hue right there. It’s an easy fix, so if you feel you’re being glazed rather a lot, or have spent an inordinate amount of time at the backwash, it means your colorist is working hard to get the color and tone just right. Rather than getting antsy, relax, it’s a sign your colorist has the wherewithal to know when something isn’t quite right, and is taking the time to perfect it.

You won’t always know what to do. There have been times where I just looked down at the clients hair and thought, “How am I going to achieve or fix this?” This is when working in a salon with other great colorists comes to save the day in a big way. Asking another professional’s opinion can help yours. If you book an appointment with someone new, don’t panic if they bring another colorist over for second opinion –– again, it’s a sign of consciousness.

By Kelly Rowe. Kelly Rowe is a professional hair stylist in NYC and a regular contributor to Style Noted.

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