Beauty blonde girl. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
_ Today I would learn humility in hair coloring as well as allowing a newly acquired customer to be blond as she sees fit, and that was an ethical struggle for me. Let me paint the picture, in walks this women with very dark new growth (level 4 for hairdressers) and about 1 inch of copper orange hair extending from that and the rest of length down to her shoulders was very light blond. The hair didn’t scare me as much as what came next.
The beautiful woman began to explain to me how she wanted me to color her hair, “I want you to touch up my roots but keep the yellow-orange ban and I want you to use bleach and add a bit of color to the bleach because that’s what they usually use on my hair and it works”, me mouth open because she was so specific and I knew she was not making this up.
Now for anyone that knows me from experience, I cannot hide my facial expressions from and they tend to be reflective of what I am feeling, but I was in total shock and had to pause in the moment. After about a good 5 minutes of sharing her color formula and dropping some serious industry names of which I will not mention because I know that somewhere down the line in her encounters the color gods message was lost in translation.
How was I going to explain what I know for what I believe for what the customer wants and what the customer has previously experienced in hair color servicing? In my mind I was thinking this had to be some sort of moment when someone jumps out and says “surprise”!
So I told her just what my face was feeling, “I cannot do that”. I can touch up your hair but I cannot add color to lightener”. At this point I had to explain why, because she clearly was baffled as to why I couldn’t do it “the same” way as her previous colorist. Of course I used the speech “we are all artist and we paint pictures as hairdressers in different ways”, when I really wanted to say “what the hell”…lol. So then I began to give her a scenario to further explain why I couldn’t add “a little color to the bleach”. I told her “if you have a piece of fabric that was dark and you wanted to lighten it up you would try a decolorizer or bleach, something that was going to extract color, right?” then I proceeded to say “would you then add dye to the bleach that you were using to extract the color from the fabric?”.
Well I don’t know if this was the straw that broke the camel’s back but she then walked out of the salon to horn blowing in the parking lot and I literally thought she had left and I was okay with that because I wanted no parts in interrupting the earlier haircolorist scientific theory on color. Maybe it was something new I hadn’t heard of but I couldn’t wrap my hands around it. A few minute goes by and in she walks with computer and phone and ready to try my way, but she adamantly expressed her wish to keep the yellow-orange band and only bring the new-growth up to that level of lightness….lol. I love this women already, she was keeping me on my toes and grounded in #dharma. I had to compromise because I knew she compromised her training in hair color and her experiences for my humble color experience, but she then requested that I touch up her roots on one condition “keep the yellow-orange ban” from the previous touch up, she didn’t want it to look too perfect.
I smiled and compromised, and as much as I wanted correct, enhance, equalize or do it my way she gave me the biggest lesson in compromise. But I had to share this from my chair because this is as real as it gets. I would never down any hairdresser or colorist but I do think that we all speak the same language when it comes to the laws of color. If there is a method to the adding color to the lightener please share with me because I really want to know. Anyway she allowed me to color her hair the only way I knew how and she was happy and so was I! She taught me the greatest lesson of compromise and in allowing things to just BE!