Just like any other profession, hair stylists have their crosses to bear and secrets to share – here are six of them…

1. About that bargain…

On my last visit to the salon my hair stylist and I shared stories about hair colour gone wrong – in this case balayage specifically. When done right, it’s a super low maintenance colour technique that looks amazing and gives you 4-6 months between salon visits. When done wrong, it’s a mess.

Shelene Shaer (co-owner of Tanaz) explains that customers don’t always understand that you not only pay for the products used, you also pay for your stylist’s time and skill level. On a recent international roadshow even experienced stylists had trouble mastering the balayage technique, Shelene says.

Often with hair colour, you get what you pay for – and ‘bargains’ can sometimes end up being even more expensive (because you have to fix them afterwards).

2. A decent cut is everything

Did you know that a good haircut can revive your hair colour? Adding texture and layers accentuates highlights and can breathe new life into dull and tired-looking hair.

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3. Yes, you really should use a heat protector…

Every single day, whether you’re planning on using a heat styler on your hair or not. Heat protection for hair can be compared to SPF for your face – it should be an everyday essential. It protects your hair against other elements as well – think sun, wind, pollution and moisture loss.

It’s important to find a formula that works for you, since you need to want to use it. I prefer cream- or oil-based formulas, as I find sprays sticky on my fine hair. My all-time favourite is Kerastase Nectar Thermique, R435 (find it at salons).

4. No, you can’t bring your own box colour

Just like you can’t take your own food to the restaurant to be cooked, you can’t expect a professional to work with a non-professional product. They provide a complete service, and they do so with products of a certain standard.

Copyright: schan / 123RF Stock Photo

5. Please bring pictures!

Pictures help your stylist to understand what end result you would like to achieve, and it is a good starting point for a conversation on how to get there. You should be prepared for a conversation though – your stylist may very likely point out differences in hair type and texture or face shape.

6. Sometimes there’s a process

Colour techniques and the products they’re done with have advanced significantly in recent years, but still, some changes can’t be made in a day. Again, be prepared to have a conversation about the process and decide whether you’re willing to commit the time and expense to get to the end result that you’re after.

While specific home care products aren’t always required (and you should never feel forced to take on expenses you can’t afford), it may sometimes be part of the process. Raise the question during your consultation and consider it part of your planning.