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As our style noted blog is closely connected to ARROJO NYC, one of the world’s premier hair salons, we can lean on the experience and expertise of a world-renowned team of master stylists. This week, we got to talking about the most common questions heard from clients with regard to hair color. The answers will help anyone with applied hair color better care for their dye, and provides a range of insights for those who may be considering a dynamic new hue. Get the questions and answers in the style notes.

Question: What effect does well water have on my hair?

Answer: Because well water is better to drink, clients believe it’s also better for their hair. If you have hair color, that’s not the case. If you wash your hair in well water regularly, the extra minerals it has can cause color to fade out. It can change the hair texture a bit too, making the hair dryer and more brittle or softer and flatter, depending on what minerals are in the water. Don’t worry too much about your salon having well water. If they do, they’ll know about it and they’ll account for it in the color process. If you have well water at home and are concerned that showering in it is going to weaken your hair color, a good idea is to buy a shower-head filter that takes out the minerals. These cost between $50 and $100.


Question: I’ve had highlights and I when I comb my hair I can see uneven stripes at the roots and on my scalp. Why is that?

Answer: These stripes often look like tiger stripes of uneven color, technically they’re known as bleed marks. There’s a few ways this can happen: The color may not have been mixed correctly, the highlights may have been applied too close to the scalp, the foils or packets may not have been applied properly, or, if you wash your hair in well water, the minerals may have caused uneven fading. The best way to combat this is to go back to the salon and ask them to weave in some subtle low-lights. This will blend out any mismatched highlighting.


Question: Why does my hair color turn green and what do I do if it does?

Answer: The most common reason for hair color turning green is if the water you wash your hair with contains copper. You’ll know because any metal surfaces in your bath, shower, or sink will also turn green if the water has copper in it. Another way is if your colorist used the wrong formula when taking your hair from light to dark. Going light to dark involves using ash tones, which can turn green in time. To combat this, a good colorist will use tints of red to balance it out. The red won’t be visible (unless you want it to be) but it will stop the hair turning green, but if your colorist fails to add in the red, then going green is a possibility. Finally, if you’ve been swimming without protection, salt or chlorine can also turn colored hair green, especially if you’re colored blonde or bleach blonde. If this happens to you, getting a new salon color is a sure fire route to success, but deep, clarifying shampoos, available from salons, beauty supply and drug stores, will also help. Better yet, most salons offer clarifying treatments, which will be more effective (but also more expensive) than the at-home clarifying shampoos.


Question: How many colors could/should I have in my highlights?

Answer: It is a good idea to go for multiple color level highlighting, commonly referred to as multi-dimensional highlights. These tend to look more natural, and as the hair and the highlights grow out they will continue to look good. Single color highlights can look a bit harsh as they grow out. Going for three different color levels is a good bet. You could go for one highlight that is just one level lighter than your natural color, then another two or three levels lighter, and another three of four levels lighter. Otherwise, go for one level of low-lighting and two levels of highlights.


Question: What should I expect when going from a light to dark hair color?

Answer: Often when a client has colored their hair lighter and they then want to go back to their natural, darker hair color, they find the new dark color is too strong and a bit of a shock. This happens because as clients generally just look at the ends of their hair, they forget how dark their natural hair color is. It’s easier to take baby steps and go halfway towards your natural color. This won’t be such a big shock and then, should you want to, you could go back to the salon a few weeks down the line and complete the job. This is better, as going from light to a bit darker and then a bit darker again is a much simpler process than going from light to dark and then back to light again, which is a lot of work and places unnecessary stress on the hair.

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