General chatter - Advice please, salon hair color style not what I expected

08-15-2013, 11:12 PM

I am not sure what to do at this point. I saw my hairstylist yesterday who I have been to a few times. I had a lot of regrowth from highlights growing out so she colored it quite a bit darker, I actually feel a bit shocked with the result, it covers my roots and my old highlights but it is close to four or five shades darker and that is a bit well, overwhelming.

I thought that the stylist and I talked about not going quite as dark as my natural color when we spoke on the phone. This is definitely as dark as my natural color if not darker and it has some hues which I am not crazy about. She said that I could come back for highlights if it was too dark.

Sigh, I just feel frustrated. Up to this point, which was only two other times, I liked this stylist but quite honestly I don't know what she was thinking making this color so dark!! I don't know what to do! I tend to obsess about my hair sometimes so I have bounced around to different stylists and salons, and I would really like to stick with her but this hair color is definitely too dark!!! I don't want to highlight it, that is so drying on my hair and I don't want to put more chemicals on my hair, not to mention the endless maintenance that comes with highlights.

I feel very frustrated, disappointed and a bit sad. I called her tonight just to leave a message for her to call me. I'm not angry, just annoyed and frustrated. I don't know why she made it so dark. I don't know what my options are so it doesn't look so shocking. I would like to stick with her, she is a nice person and did a great job until now.


08-15-2013, 11:33 PM
Ok first DON'T PANIC! And I say this as a professional - been a licensed stylist for 10 years.

First, just to go over what happened. You mentioned having old high lights and pre-lightened hair pulls MORE pigment when color is put over them. They also release more pigment, generally speaking (there are exceptions), and if you do nothing, you would notice in about 2-4 weeks a gradual lightening over the previously highlighted areas. The only ways I know that won't do that are if she filled your highlights (used a red or orange to add a base back for the darker pigment to hold onto) or if she used a type of color that pulls more intensely (think one step highlights or bold reds that don't require pre-lightening) even though you went darker, there are formulas like that for resistant hair, usually labeled as "for grey hair".

Second, not that it will help but high lights give the overall appearance of lighter hair so even if she went to a shade near but lighter then your natural, the overall affect will appear more intense. Professionally, I would have erred on the side of it pulling too much as old highlights definately exaturbate wear and tear on hair and I would have picked a mid tone and possibly done low lights to ease you back into the darker color.

Third, go back for highlights and ask that she do them more around your face and some on top so they "fade" toward the back. It will look more natural and break up the darkness that's so striking. I would also ask her to use a more mild lightener if she has one or mix it more mildly as you will be putting it over color AND old highlights. The goal should be 2-3 levels lighter then your current color.

If possible, invest in a protein rich conditioner and use it 2-3 times a week depending on how much you heat style unless you use protein enriched styling products, then get something for moisture (or vice versa). Too much protein is bad for hair, the goal is to strengthen weak spots and keep moisture in the ends which don't get enough natural oils from the scalp.

I hope this helps. If you need any other advice, ask away!

08-15-2013, 11:34 PM
Try prell shampoo ... it has stripped dark color from mine once ... perhaps though another time dont rely on her to remember what was discussed on a phone call. That would be hard with how many clients they have. Good luck!

08-15-2013, 11:36 PM
Skip my response...hadnt seen the pro reply until I posted! Sorry.

08-15-2013, 11:57 PM
nationalparker - not a problem, I've never tried prell however I keep a bottle of Sauve Clarifying shampoo under my sink just in case. It has so many detergents in it that help strip out a lot of the new color but it isn't drying. I don't swear by salon product just because thats what it is - some of it is crap with a high price tag. The way I explain it is understand that the cheaper something is, the less expensive it was to make so the ingredients may look similar but there will be a lot less of the good stuff in the cheaper product. There is more to it then that - like the salon generic brand from Sally's is actually pretty good, the trade off is the company spends next to nothing on advertising. Your dollars help pay for glossy ads in Cosmo too when you by from a salon. ;)

Now, I wouldn't recommend doing this before you have a stylist correct it and give her or her salon the chance to make it right before you take things into your own hands. Most pro's want people to be happy because happy clients come back and bring their friends. If you were to get resistance from the salon about a fix or a charge for a fix (there shouldn't be any in my opinion, unless they ask you to just cover the cost of a tube/bowl color). Personally, I tell everyone to argue if they try to charge full price for a fix - if they made the mistake, they should spend their time fixing it. Insist and ask if it will cost a thing up front - you aren't being rude and should know how they handle it.

08-16-2013, 02:21 AM

Thank YOU so much for your advice! :) Just being curious here, whereabouts in PA are you? I am in PA too, in Central Bucks.

You gave me some great advice, thank you! I just feel overwhelmed by everything with the color, I feel a bit shocked. I don't really want to get highlights again because I wanted to go to my natural color, which I did with this color, but I am just not happy with this color because of some of the hues in it and it looks way too dark. Would that be a lot of maintenance for me to have the highlights around my face? I am guessing that it would be less maintenance than a full head of highlights. To my stylist's credit, my hair does feel softer and healthier now, so I think that the color that she used is making my hair a bit healthier? I think that highlights can look very pretty, I have had them on and off for years but I find that they can be quite drying.

Do you think that she would be offended if I want to get some highlights? She had said that she wouldn't mind if I get highlights with this color. I was thinking I didn't want to but I think that you have a good suggestion about getting a few around my face.

That would be cool if we are near each other in PA.

Thanks again! :)


08-16-2013, 09:54 AM
Well, you're panicking. Here you say "I don't know why she made it so dark." I'm pretty sure your hairstylist was not trying to annoy you or frustrate you or trying to make you look and feel ugly. She thought she was doing what you asked her to presumably. You have to call her, tell her that you're not comfortable and I'm pretty certain she'll ask you to come back in and address your concerns. Nobody in the beauty industry intends to make you feel bad, I hope you know that. It's often a miscommunication glitch and besides, if this can be fixed then why so much worry?

08-16-2013, 10:02 AM
I feel for you! Please update and let us know how it goes if you go back to the salon for highlights, etc.

I had a home coloring oops that was so awful I assumed I would have to live in my bathroom and never come out again. I think I was actually crying and texting gibberish to my friend while freaking out. Let's just say my hair looked like a new variety of My Little Pony, and not in the rad, hip, awesome alternative color way.

I ended up going to a salon for a color correction. And my hair turned out DARK. I mean waaaaay dark. I ended up a very dark brunette with some unusual tones, to put it diplomatically. They explained beforehand that to correct the color they would have to go darker, but I was not prepared for what I ended up with. The color was not flattering to my fair and freckled skin.

To make the situation more liveable, I did two things: washed with clarifying shampoo daily (conditioned daily as well,) and I bought new shades of makeup. All my former makeup was warm and coppery. To compliment the new color I got cool dark brown tones and even switched up my lipstick to a light mauve. I completely switched color palettes! It was not the hair color I wanted, but basically I rocked it as best I could. Maybe you could try switching up some makeup to see if that helps in the interim.

I have not colored my hair since the correction at the salon. My current profile pic is 4 1/2 months out from when the salon colored it that uber dark color. It lightened up tremendously; it faded to a natural looking auburn very slowly over time.

08-16-2013, 10:27 AM
A relationship with your hairstylist should be one where clear communication is critical. If it isn't, he/she is not the stylist for you. Its YOUR hair and YOU need to walk out of the salon feeling happy & satisfied. As Katzepatra said, "happy clients come back and bring their friends".

Luckily, I've never had an issue with hair color because I do my own color at home and have for years. But...I recently had an issue with my hairstylist and wasn't happy how she handled the situation:( I had gone to her 5+ years and really expected a different sttitude than the one I got.

I suffered a back/leg injury that kept me home bound for 7 months. During that time, I wasn't able to care for my hair as I normally do. To make a long story short, my butt-length hair became matted. My Mom, who goes to my stylist when her stylist goes on vacation, told her of my situation. Her reaction was "oh don't worry, there is plenty I can do and things I can put on it, I can take care of it". About a month later, I emailed my hairstylist and told her I would like to come in and was planning to get a short cut (like Kris Jenner). I got no response to the email. I thought perhaps she didn't receive it, so...I sent a 2nd email. Again, no response. I wrote a note and sent it to her home. No response. I wrote a note and sent it to the salon. Finally, about a month & a half later, I got an email. The first line of the email was "I don't think I can help you". She went on to say (mind you, she hadn't seen my hair), the only solution would be to "shave it all off and start over"!!! Needless to say, I was mortified!! Thankfully, I decided to go to my Mom's hairstylist and he gave me a beautiful cut, just what I wanted!!! This was about a month ago and I am planning to go back to him for my haircuts. I am very disappointed in my hairstylist and don't feel she handled the situation professionally. She did email me a 2nd time saying "I'm sure you got your hair taken care of by now but, if you'd like me to look at it let me know". I responded with an email explaining I had taken care of it along with a photo of my new cut. I haven't heard a word from her since.

Communication is essential to any relationship but, especially the one you have with your hairstylist!

Good luck to you. I hope you will express your disappointment to her and she will handle it in a professional manner that pleases you!:)

08-16-2013, 05:27 PM
seabiscuit - You're welcome! And I'm in Chester county - my parents are from bucks county.

I wasn't really talking about highlights in the very noticeable sense. I meant it to be more of a tone on tone - it looks a lot less drastic, specifically when you stick to 3 levels lighter or less. I worded it that way so you could tell your stylist and she would know what you were asking for. It would brighten around your face and when going back to their natural color some people do refresh color as it fades, you could always cover them up when you felt ready.

I dug around to find a picture and give you a better example of what I was suggesting. Since I don't have enough posts to put links on the forum, I'll try to PM you the link.

You don't have to get highlights - you can buy clarifying shampoo and try to let it fade over the next month and then go back to have a demi permanent (still permanent, its deposit only color) done to add a different tone and refresh your overall look with a very minimal volume developer. They also usually have glossing agents in them to add considerable shine to hair. Just another idea.

08-17-2013, 04:42 AM

Thank you so much for all of your support and ideas. Yeah, I don't know what I am going to do from here. Thank you for clarifying, I think that subtle highlights could look very pretty yet still lighten it enough to make me feel not so dark, good idea. Hey, if you ever want to do my hair, I don't know how far you are from me, but let me know.

I was just hesitating to do highlights because I don't want to put tons of chemicals on my hair, I want it to get healthier but it it was a subtle change, that could look pretty.

Anyways, thanks and let me know if you are ever in Bucks.


08-17-2013, 05:49 PM
If you like the color other than it being too dark wash your hair once or twice with Dawn dish soap and then leave conditioner on your hair for 20 minutes after then rinse out. When it's dry, If you still hate the color, go back and let her do some highlights. It's really not something to panic about. It's an easy fix.

08-26-2013, 12:45 AM
So, my hair color has lightened about a shade and a half in the past 10 days! WOW! I am glad that the color isn't as dark as it was when I left the salon but I am surprised that this color hasn't lasted any more than it has. I am actually a bit concerned because this hair color was covering up old highlights and I don't want my hair to be really light, like the highlight color in another 10 days or few weeks. My goal with getting my hair colored was to get my hair to be all one color, not darker at the roots and lighter where the highlights grew out, and now it is two colors, the roots and the old highlights darkened. I also didn't actually realize until after I came home from the hair salon that I have a few grey hairs. Why wouldn't the salon hair color cover them?

I am a bit unsure as to what to do. The hairstylist who did my hair is a very nice lady and her prices are reasonable but I am having second thoughts about going back. She did a great job the other times that I was there, I don't know why she didn't explain to me about the possibility of my hair lightening up so quickly. The only products that I have used on my hair are the Rusk shampoo and conditioner which I bought from her salon, NO stripping shampoos.

I really just want my hair to be all one color and to get the few grey hairs covered. I don't think that is too much to ask from a hairstylist. At this point, I am unsure as to whether or not I will go back because of the issues that I mentioned. I don't like to switch between salons but this is really not sitting right with me.

I don't know what to do.



08-26-2013, 01:37 AM
Hello again seabiscuit!

Well it sounds like she used a standard permanent color formulation (not something formulated for grey hair) and she didn't fill the highlights first. I'm not sure how light they were in the first place or how well she did them so I can't say whether it will keep lightening or stay somewhere close to where it is. I can say that when you wash your hair next, look to see if the water runs clear on a white tub or dry with a white towel. Even if something faint shows up, the color is still coming out to the point you will notice a change. If your water runs clear and a white towel still looks white, the fade out will have slowed down and you can expect to keep what you have for several weeks before you may notice another shade difference over the old highlights.

I would still suggest the demi-permanent at this point just to put more pigment back into the hair shaft and to be more gentle on your hair. I can say that the grey hairs wouldn't truly cover with demi, instead they would take a lighter shade of the brown. Grey hair won't completely cover unless you formulate for resistant hair and I can tell you that would give you a line of demarcation or the line between your 1 color hair and the regrowth that has grey. If you have only a few grey hairs, it won't be terribly noticeable however, if you are like my mother, she has a 1 inch streak on her front hair line and it is horribly noticeable after about 3 weeks.

You could also try a tinted glaze if you like the color you have now - it would add a small bit of pigment and coat the hair shaft which would help preserve the color you have. It won't cover any grey hair though.

08-26-2013, 09:18 AM
Katzepatra has given you some great advice about what you should do about the actual color, etc., but as far as what else you should do, I think you need to talk to the stylist.

I doubt the stylist would think you were being "mean" for calling and telling her your hair is not what you expected/wanted. Just be polite about it. I'm sure she would much rather have the chance to help you fix your hair than to lose you as a customer. Hair is such a personal thing, I'd be shocked if you were the first person to ever be dissatisfied with her work, even if she's great.

Here is what I would say, "Hey X! I am just a little concerned about my color. At first it was really dark, and now it seems to have faded very quickly and looks like it's already ready for a touch up! What am I doing wrong? Also, I am concerned it's going to continue to lose color! Can I come in and have you take a look at it?"

This is as big a deal as you make it.

08-27-2013, 12:05 AM
I absolutely agree Marjorie! I completely support giving a stylist the chance to make it right and I can only hope clients who aren't happy would make the request the way you worded it.
I do tell anyone if your aren't happy with that stylist or would feel uncomfortable going back to her, ask for the manager and ask the manager to look at it and discuss your options. On the off chance she is the manager, ask to come in to her and let her look and then ask if one of her senior stylists at the shop can give a second opinion.

08-28-2013, 08:17 PM
Hi :)

Thank you for the advice, everyone. I wanted to reschedule my appointment for October so I was able to reach my stylist on the phone tonight. I wasn't upset, I simply expressed my concerns in a friendly and curious way. She explained that my hair is more porous now because of all of the highlights and that hair coloring on top of highlighted hair can fade quickly because the hair is so porous and that continually 'filling' and coloring the hair will make it less porous. I told her that I had a few gray hairs and we laughed, she discussed with me how we could deal with that next time.

I am really glad that I was able to talk with her and express myself in a kind hearted way. She is a great person and I want to stick with her.

Thank you all so much, especially Katzepatra! ;)

I greatly appreciate all of your replies. To be honest, I was kind of afraid to voice my concerns because I didn't want to come across as being difficult. I agree though, that it's important to have an open and honest relationship with one's hairstylist and that is a good rule of thumb to live by.

Thanks again! Take care.


10-25-2013, 08:47 PM

I thought I would update this, I appreciate all of the support.

So, I have an appointment with this same stylist next week, I like her and a part of me really wants to stick with her, I just feel that the last visit wasn't so great, it came out too dark. I know that highlights grab more color, or at least I know that now but I am nervous about going back to her. I just don't want to end up with really dark hair again and then I feel frustrated right before the holidays.

There are some other salons nearby, a few of them aren't far and the one that I am thinking of is rated very highly on Yelp. I have spoken with them a couple of times, they seem very kind and friendly, I chickened out and got nervous so I canceled a few months ago but this has been a crazy year and I gave them plenty of notice. I am thinking of calling this place up and trying to get in. I think at this point I need an all over color or a color correction. I don't want to bounce around from salon to salon, I feel though that I have given the other stylist quite a few tries, she did a good job except for last time.

I don't know, I definitely am having second thoughts though about going back to my old stylist. Thanks for advice and for listening...