Q: Hi. I hope you can help. My mother is in a nursing home and is unable to talk since her stroke. I asked to have her hair
colored and cut every 5 weeks, as she was doing at home. Her haircolor is a very light blonde - not brassy. Her roots are gray. I went
to see her, and the hairdresser colored her hair a light to medium brown! I want the mistake corrected. They told me they are hesitant
to fix it and that I should bring a color in. Well, if you put blonde on brown hair, it will turn red or orange. Besides, she's supposed
to be the professional. I am not a hair professional. Do you have any ideas?
A: The premise that putting blonde on top of brown hair will turn it red or orange is only true depending on the base colors of the
haircolor formulas used. A good colorist can lighten the hair and use a toning color that will prevent the unwanted color tones.
You donít specifically state that the nursing home where your mother resides has an on-site hair salon,
but I assume that from what you have said that there is at least a passable facility there and that the person with whom you made your
arrangement is (or is supposed to be) a hair professional.
The simplest solution would be to take your mother to an outside salon and have someone you trust
correct the problem. But if your mother is unable to make such a short ďday tripĒ due to her medical condition, then you will want to
speak to a professional and arrange for him/her to come and perform the correction for you.
This could require that you speak to the nursing home management and explain the problems you have
encountered and that the hairdresser on their staff was unwilling to correct what was obviously her mistake. Again, I donít know what
the rules and restrictions may be at the facility in question. Be reasonable, but be firm in your wishes. Most cases will result in the
management making reasonable accommodations to keep you happy.
If the end result is that you have to rely on the staff hairdresser to correct the haircolor
issues, then you should talk with him/her about the situation and bring in an example of the haircolor your mother used to use on her
hair (this will allow them to know the precise color you want your motherís hair to be). This means you will have to trust them to be
able to correct any color results that are unwanted (red or orange tones), but by discussing with them carefully what is desired, they
should certainly be able to resolve the issues, and in fact should be able to prevent the problems from the outset.
If you continue to have problems with the hairdressers on staff making errors in what you want for
your motherís hair, be sure to file a complaint with the nursing home management, and you can even lodge a complaint with your stateís
board of cosmetology. The authority which licenses cosmetologists is very strict regarding the conduct and quality of service given by
its licensees, and will suspend or revoke licensure if there are continued problems.