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  • Writer's pictureTammie Holt

How to get exactly what you want from your stylist

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

With all the terminology that's ever changing, it's hard to keep up with how to tell your stylist what you really want. I understand and I'm here to help you with your end of the consultation to get exactly what you want. I'll be going over some of the most popular color techniques, what they are, and how you would ask for them. You'll want to have pictures, lots of pictures to get you both on the same page. I personally have had experience with clients knowing what they want but really not sure how to express it or even google search it since they don't know what they are asking for. I always suggest making a Pinterest board and start collecting styles and colors you like. It's amazing how you'll find the similarities when you look at the board as a whole.

Highlight/Lowlights: Back in the 80's everyone had a cap used to pull through hair to make highlights, we've come a long way and I'm so happy for that. I do confess, I use caps in my business, but it's only on hair that's really short so it's virtually impossible to put in foils. It still gives a beautiful highlight, but it does have it's downsides. When using foil or mesh to highlight, we have so much more control on where the highlights are placed. With a cap, we use the hook to pull through hair without the ability to pick up exactly what we want. Traditional highlights start closer to the root area so you have a look with an overall appearance of lighter hair. Pair a traditional highlight with a root tap, and viola, it's a perfect combo in my opinion.

Balayage: This is a technique that is free hand painting to give a sun kissed look. The word itself means "to paint". I've been utilizing this technique since the 90's in some form so it's not new, we just have social media now so you are hearing All the things in the beauty industry. If low maintenance is what you're after but still having highlights, this may be for you. You'll have a few things to decide when thinking about this look. Do you want your highlights to start closer to the scalp or further down the head. You'll have to decide how much blonde or lightness you'd like to see. This technique may not be for you if you have really dark hair to begin with and would like to see bright blonde. You may have to be in the caramel range at least the first visit.

Babylights: Oh babylights, they're pretty much what they sound like. The highlights are spaced closer together on the head in foils and the weave is much finer. They create a look like when you were a child and had those tiny little pieces of blonde around your hairline when the summer was over. Babylights can be used to create a very blonde look that appears to just be growing out of your scalp. This technique is very time intensive and will always be more costly but the results can be absolutely stunning.

Platinum Card/ All over Blonde: A platinum card is a technique where we put every piece of hair in foil on a clients head to achieve a platinum or all over lighter color with no dimension left in between. A platinum card may be used in a corrective color service to aid in the process of removing color. The process is very time consuming and if not done properly, can cause damage. Done correctly, it's a perfect service to get you to a beautiful blonde.

Corrective Color: So you've decided to try your hand at a bayalage at home and your hair is spotty and orange. Well my friend, when I fix it in the salon, that's a corrective color. Say you went to a salon and they weren't very experienced and things went wrong.... again a corrective color. Whenever the process we use in the salon is to "correct" something, we deem that corrective work. Unfortunately for you, this mistake will end up being very costly, but with the right stylist, you'll find that even if they can't get you to your exact end goal in the first session, you'll get there eventually and look fabulous in the process.

Root Shadow: A root shadow or root smudge is when your stylist goes back over your highlights just on the root area with a fresh color close to your natural color or a shade or so darker to blend out any lines from the highlighting process. This technique gives the ability to extend the grow out as well as add beautiful dimension. The end result is a seamless highlight look. I am a huge fan of root shadows, and really, just try it once and I think you'll be hooked too.

Ombre: Ombre focuses on lightening your hair from mid-lenght to ends. Think of it as a color gradient, your hair starts out darker at the scalp and gradually gets lighter towards the ends, most ombre looks are a solid lighter color at the ends.

NewGrowth Touch up: So you have grey and want to blend or cover it. A touch up in my salon is considered 1 to 2 inches of new-growth that will be colored and blended into the previously colored hair. These are generally done about every 3 to 6 weeks depending on how fast your hair grows. Try not to wait longer than 6 weeks, that's when you'll find it can be a little more difficult to blend the colors.

Gloss: A gloss is techiqually another term for a toner. Now we've come a long way from the old Wella T18 that some of you may remember, and the technology in glosses have evolved. I use a gloss on about 98% of any lightening service I do to get the raw lift from lighter to the exact tone you're looking for. A color melt and root shadow are also a couple more times when I may use a gloss.

Hope that helped demystify some of the terminology stylist use on a daily basis to describe what we're doing to your hair.

Now that you know, let's get you booked for whatever you've been dreaming of. You can access my booking site HERE.

Lots of hair love,


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