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Hairstyling/Color/ highlights... what to do now


Hi Dana!  I have an involved question~  In July of 2012, I had a hairdresser fry up my hair.  She put BOX color in (yes, in a salon), and got me orange, plus left an intense line of bleeds on top of my head.  I'm naturally a brunette, but want to put lots of blonde in.  She also put me under the dryer, and pinned some of the foils up with barrettes.  She also foiled with wax paper.  Naturally, I did not go back there.  The next hairdresser I went to, in order to get it fixed put a lowlight in, which was supposed to match my natural color, but instead turned pitched black.  I even went back to the stylist, and we started with a Malibu treatment, which did nothing.  I tried for several weeks, washing my hair, sometimes 3 times daily with Palmolive, which barely stripped anything out.  I then went back to the salon, and said I wanted to get more intensely blonde.  Even with the bleach they put it, the lowlight was still there, dark as ever.  Finally a few months later, I tried a new stylist.  I explained everything that was done to her, and she seemed to understand.  Well, with her first foiling attempt, nothing lifted; she did not use bleach.  When I went back the next day, she used bleach, and most of her work was awesome.  The only glitch was that she missed like three spots, one on the side, and one underneath, so I went back.  Still the foils she put in did not lift.  At that point, she was not comfortable doing any more.  I had to be in a wedding, so I had to find a salon where they could blend those spots for a reasonable price.  I went to a salon, which is considered "elite" around the cities.  The stylist did a good job blending.  Here is the question:  Would you advise me to go back to the stylist who did most of the foils, or the one who did the blending?  I love my blonde hair, and now need to update it, as the dark is growing in; I just feel at such a loss, as I don't want to bother the first one again, if she would miss a spot, but I don't know how good the one who blended the missed spots is, as she did not do the full foil.  Please help; I don't want anymore disasters!!!

Hi Katie Rose,

Hmmm...this is tricky. It seems to me, that the second one would be a good choice, but the fact that she tried to highlight you with color with all the other stuff you had already done concerns me a bit. Color will not predictably lift color. It may affect it, but once you're hair has been colored, lightener is the best choice.

Here's the thing; your re-touch is going to be on virgin, new hair so you shouldn't have too much trouble getting the highlights. They won't be going through previous color attempts by previous colorists.

One option would be to schedule a consultation with both of the last colorists that did your hair. After you've talked to both of them, you should have a feel for which one you feel more comfortable with and that would be who I would recommend making the appointment with for your follow up. You can certainly ask to see some of their work or go to the salon a bit early and get a peek at another client. See if you like their work in general.

My big concern with the one that did the major part of the foiling and then missed spots, is that she didn't use lightener right off the bat and she missed several spots on the second go round. The last stylist, even though she didn't do 500 foils, seemed to know what she was doing. Corrective color is much harder than it looks. The fact that the last one did a good job matching up someone else's work makes me think she may be a bit more qualified than your previous stylists.

By the way, there are many ways to highlight hair. I like the foil, I also like the paper or mesh. I wouldn't hold that against the colorist. That stylist, however, made no concessions for the porosity of your hair, which is why it went too dark, so I agree. I wouldn't give that one a second thought.

Hope that helps and good luck. I guess I vote for the last one. LOL


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Dana Sear


I can answer questions on all types of hairstyling, cutting, designing, coloring, corrective color, perming techniques,product knowledge, and in general, anything that has anything to do with hair. PLEASE NOTE: I am a professional designer and trainer. I do hair and teach advanced classes to licensed designers. I do not, under any circumstances, recommend doing chemical services including but not limited to relaxers, perms, color, highlights, or any other chemical service at home. I will not tell you how to use professional products nor will I tell you how to do your color at home. What I CAN do is arm you with current and accurate information and help you to be able to better communicate with your stylist/designer. I can also help you with what you need to do at home to maintain, protect, and treat your hair.


I have been a designer and educator for 31 years. I have been a salon consultant for Redken, affiliate trainer for ABBA Pure and Natural, Director of Education for my own salon and am currently a member of the design team and advanced trainer for my company. I specialize in corrective color, perming and style support, and image updates (make overs)

I have been actively licensed for 31 years. I actively participate in and teach cutting, perming, coloring, and business building classes. I am a REDKEN Certified Haircolorist, and REDKEN Specialist. I also have extensive training in Structure in Motion Cutting Techniques and Tigi Cutting.

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