"I had the same colorist for almost five years. Nothing fancy, just a single-process rinse that I did a few times a year to brighten my red hair. Then, all of a sudden, my color 'changed.' One time, it had a pink tint (had to have it redone), another time, I had a strip down my part (another redo), and on the most recent visit, I came home and my fiancé said, 'Wow! You colored your hair brown!' In a cowardly text, I asked her if she could fix it. She replied that clearly, I was looking for something she could no longer provide and that I needed to find a new person. No fix, no explanation — I was now a sad brunette, dumped via text by a crappy colorist. Help!"
On-Call Beauty Doctor:
Kyle White, lead colorist at the Oscar Blandi Salon
"There are a multitude of things that can cause hair to change color, even though the colorist is using the same formula. A good colorist will analyze the hair, see that it's in a different state, and adjust the formula accordingly to produce the same results as the first time.
Consistency in a hair colorist is a rare and wonderful thing. If you have to go back for more than one re-do, then your colorist is not getting it and never will. You should be dumping her. Everyone deserves a second chance, but that's it, in my book. You need to find someone who gets you, your hair type, and what you’re looking for, so stop wasting your time (and theirs). There is also a strong chance that they can make it worse, or might damage your hair with more chemicals. You should not have to pay for a redo and I doubt they would expect you to, but if they do, just politely ask to speak to the manager, and explain that you have tried twice to get the color you want and you don't feel comfortable going for a third. Any decent salon will refund your money and you'll be on your way."
Trying a new colorist is like going on a blind date: If you get a bad vibe, or they don't seem to understand what you’re asking for, DO NOT book an appointment with them. You shouldn't have to spend twenty minutes explaining the hair color you want. If you do, that's a big red flag."
Illustration by Ammiel Mendoza