The Case For Not Breaking Up With Your Colorist After The First Bad Dye Job

Ahh, the vicious cycle of dealing with color-treated hair. Initially, you went for a subtle highlight, which your stylist insisted would look even better as it grew out. That wasn't the case. And then you got stuck booking touch-ups six weeks out, for as long as you can remember. Your wallet isn't happy with you, but it's a hard habit to break, because life as a brighter-than-natural blonde or brunette... it’s just better.
But what do you do when our colorist veers off-course and you leave your $100+ appointment with hair you kind of hate? Your first thought might be to text the group chat for a quick recommendation for a new colorist, but resist the urge.
According to A-list colorists, you really shouldn’t immediately jump ship if you’re unhappy with your hair color; in fact, someone new will likely make things worse.
Why You Should Be Loyal To Your Colorist
The main reason is intuitive — your colorist knows your hair, and thereby knows how to keep it healthy. "Colorist jumping leads to bad color and terrible damage — you will never get the color you want," says celebrity colorist Rita Hazan. Your colorist knows how much your hair can endure — and how far they can take your hair without risking damage.
Based on previous services, your colorist will know exactly what products and formulas have been used, and they will know how to work with what's been done to maintain consistency and continuity in your color, while also making sure it stays healthy. "I’ve noticed that my clients that have been loyal to me for many years do have the healthiest hair and that's because I make sure the hair is kept in great condition," says Shai Amiel of Capella Salon in Beverly Hills.
Communication is key. "If you are looking to switch up your look, talk with your stylist about it," says Erick Orellana, stylist at Cristophe Salon Beverly Hills. "They already know your hair — how it’s going to lift, what it is going to do; they know what you expect. When you stick with a stylist they really learn your hair and know what will look best on you," he explains.
When It Makes Sense To Break It Off
If hair health and manageability are your prime concerns, you should talk to your colorist and allow them to fix what's upsetting you. But if your happiness and your wallet are being stretched thin due to continuous color disappointment, it's probably time to move on. Celebrity colorist Cassondra Kaeding recommends giving it three unhappy appointments, or six months at least, before making moves to look for someone new.

A post shared by Rita Hazan (@ritahazan) on

How To Find Someone New
Do your research online and find a few stylists whose work you admire. Then go to them with a picture of a look you love that they created. "If you're specifically looking for someone to do something you liked in a photo, it's more tangible to pick a colorist for their work versus showing them someone else's work," says LA-based colorist Cherin Choi.
And when you first sit down with a new colorist, the best thing to do is to over-share — for the sake of your hair. Any information you can provide is important, says Kaeding. "Tell them the processes you've have done, tell if you've had permanent or semi-permanent color, if you've used box dye, and if you've recently permed or have a keratin in your hair — it's all helpful," she says.
In the end, loyalty is important: Don't run at the first sign of trouble and break off the relationship until you're positive the damage can't be repaired. It's good hair color advice — and maybe even better relationship advice.
Read these stories next:

More from Hair

R29 Original Series