Those of you who saw my Instagram post with the ‘before and after’ of getting my hair colored know that this is the first time I have been 100% satisfied with the way my hair turned out. The first time I got it highlighted, it came out much lighter than I wanted, and I had to get it fixed. The second time, it came out so dark that it basically just looked like my natural hair. This time, I was determined to get it right, and Salon J made that happen! Today I’ll be sharing with you my recommendations for getting a color treatment that you are totally happy with, as well as recapping my experience at Salon J.
So first off, here is my before and after:
It’s a pretty big change! My hair before was pretty much one color, and the ends were starting to get lighter because of the sun. Jen, the owner of Salon J New Haven, was my stylist for this subtle balayage look, and she was simply amazing! Besides putting me at ease and just generally being really friendly, she was a total expert on how to transform hair!
We started off the appointment by talking about what I wanted. That’s where the tips for getting a color treatment that you are completely happy with come in:
- First off, before deciding on a salon, look at their Instagram page to see what kind of color treatments they normally do. If you see only fine blonde hair on the page, then maybe you should think twice about visiting the salon if you have coarse dark hair. Whatever salon you are considering, see if they’ve done a good job on your color and type of hair in the past. Salon J has plenty of photos of darker haired ‘before and after’s on their page, so I felt like they would definitely be able to handle my hair.
- Talk through what you want in the beginning, and make sure you don’t rush through this part. It’s always a great sign when your stylist takes out the time to figure out what you are looking for, and when they ask you questions to make sure they understand. I didn’t feel rushed at all when Jen and I were talking about what I wanted, so I was confident that she understood what I was looking for. She took the time to explain the difference between how a balayage would look compared to how highlights would look on me, and that was really helpful as well.
- Have some photos of what you want in terms of color. In the past, I’d find a picture and say to my stylist “Just like this, but a little darker” or “Just like this, but less of an orange tone”. That doesn’t help the person who will be doing your hair. It may take a long time to find a photo that is 100% what you want, but just do that.
- Also, make sure you find a photo with your hair texture/type. A lot of the photos of highlights and balayage floating around on the Internet are with wavy or loosely curled hair. This might be because the highlights are more noticeable that way. But if you have straight hair or tight curls, for example, and if you usually wear your hair naturally, then find a photo of what you want on your hair type, since that is what your hair will look like most of the time. I showed Jen a photo with straight hair, since my hair is naturally straight.
- It’s also helpful if you can find photos of the hair style you want on someone of your skin tone, just so you have a better idea of what it’ll end up looking like on you. Even if the stylist does exactly what you wanted, you’ll end up disappointed if it doesn’t suit your skin tone.
- Talk about what you DON’T want also- something too brassy, something too orange, something too blonde? Make sure your stylist knows what your worst nightmare is, also, just so they stay away from anything in that range.
- Ask your stylist what they think of your ideal look, and whether that will be possible for you. For example, I said I didn’t want any red tones, but the photo of what I wanted actually did have some red tones, so Jen had to explain that to me. She made sure I understood that there would have to be some red in order to achieve the look I wanted. It’s also helpful to hear if your stylist thinks the look you are going for will suit you. Jen was an expert in this area, so I knew she wouldn’t give me a color that I couldn’t pull off.
After the color treatment was done, Jen also gave me a blowout and added some loose curls to my hair, which was great! I curl my hair pretty frequently as well, so it was nice to see what it would look like when I do that, and it just gave the entire look a fresh feel. Suffice it to say that I was really happy with my look, and that I’ll be going back to Salon J as long as I live in New Haven. I highly recommend Salon J to my Connecticut family, and definitely reach out to me if you have any questions!