Q: I got a body wave on Monday. I color my hair (darker blonde to a lighter blonde) at home, and was planning to color it
on Friday or Saturday -- before I thought about getting the body wave.
The stylist recommended that I not use at-home color, since it would "take the curl out too
quickly" and I'd be unhappy with the result. Given the cost of the perm, I certainly would be unhappy to lose the curl quickly --
but I don't know if the "don't use at-home color" advice is based on reality of multiple chemical treatments or her preference that
I go back to have her color my hair on the salon.
None of the perm or color questions on your site seem to address this specific issue, so
I'm hoping you'll find this one worth adding to your list!
A: The question is certainly worth adding to the list, and I will be very candid with you. Before I decided to enter into the field
of cosmetology, I used to be very cynical of the people in this profession as a whole. As a talented amateur, I had a lot of
experience doing hair services for my friends and family and within school organizations and community theater groups. I knew a
few professional stylists growing up. My motherís hairdresser was a major inspiration for me, and was a wonderful, honest person,
but some of the people I knew were less so.
Many salons force their stylists to ďupsellĒ (encourage the client to add services) and push the
products the salon carries (retailing), so itís easy to assume that everything the stylist tells you has a selfish motivation behind
it. And for years, I thought that all many salons and stylists were after was to get as much money out of you as possible.
Then I started my own career and training as a cosmetologist. I learned more about the chemistry
behind the products and processes, and I learned the true nature of what happens in certain services, why things work, etc. And
more importantly, I learned what can go wrong. It isnít necessarily that it WILL go wrong in some cases, but that it can.
In your case, specifically, you might be able to go and grab the hair color you usually use and
do that ďtouch-upĒ on your color at home without any noticeable effect on your perm or your hair. I donít know what perm formula was
used, or what hair color you usually use, so I canít say anything about known problems in compatibility between these products or
what specifically might happen.
I can tell you truthfully that all chemical services affect the texture and porosity of the
hair, generally making the hair more porous, and that porous hair can react more quickly and more strongly to a further chemical
process. Using a lightening hair color on permed hair can cause the hair to lighten further than previous experience has shown and
can further dry and potentially damage and weaken the hair structure because the lightening formula acts faster and penetrates more
deeply into the hair shaft.
Stylists encourage clients to come back to the salon for professional services just as much to
prevent some unfortunate result as to ensure more income. It is a sad truth that if a stylist told a client in your position that it
was okay to use an ďat-homeĒ lightening hair color and the client experienced some unfortunate result from doing so, then the client
is probably going to blame the stylist for not warning her against doing it.
The bottom line is do you trust your stylist to be honest with you. If you think the stylist is
lying to you in order to make you come back and spend more money, then why would you go to her? And if you donít think she is lying,
why would you risk damaging your hair? I canít really tell you whether or not your stylist is trying to gouge you over this, but I
can suggest that if there is an issue over trusting the stylist to be honest, you should look for a stylist you can trust.