There are two kinds of people at the hair salon: Those that consider subtle highlights drastic, and those that don’t flinch about totally changing up their look. If you fall in the latter category — or have finally worked up the courage to get a mane makeover — there are a few crucial things to know beforehand. After all, going from one end of the shade spectrum to the other isn’t as easy as celebrities make it look. It requires planning, a trusted stylist, and a whole lotta TLC. Check out these four questions any budding color chameleon should ask themselves before getting into the salon chair:
1. How Healthy Is My Hair?
“Your hair needs to be healthy enough to handle drastic color change,” says Eddie Rubinov, colorist and co-owner of Eddie Arthur Salon. If your mane is severely color-treated or damaged, it may not be able to go through a serious shade switch. Be transparent about any chemical treatments (like a relaxer or a perm) and ask your hairdresser about what your strands can safely handle.
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2. How Long Will It Take?
For severe transformations, it’s normal to lighten or darken your hair in phases. According to Rubinov, most hair makeovers take one to three sessions to get to your desired look, considering your hair’s history and its health. Go into your first appointment knowing that it probably won’t be the last time you’ll be in salon before walking out the door with a completely different hair color.
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3. What Maintenance Is Required?
While it may look pretty, certain hues, like having white blonde hair al la Marilyn Monroe, requires serious dedication. “If you're a brunette who wants to go blonde, or a blonde who wants to be brunette, it's a lot of maintenance and a big commitment,” explains Rubinov. Not only does a new hue call for more touch-ups, but it also effects your at-home haircare regimen.
4. Am I Willing To Change Up My Daily Routine?
Speaking of your haircare regimen: “Home care is extremely important,” furthers Rubinov. “Hair is an investment, so you need to be using the proper products to maintain the new look you just paid for.” Ask your stylist to guide you on what’s required to keep your color looking fresh. Another thing to keep in mind: You may have to purchase different makeup products since certain shades may no longer look flattering.