When Your Hair Color Goes Wrong, Very Wrong

Hair color can be risky business, sometimes even an expert stylist can make the smallest mistake and an ombré can turn into orangé. This happened to me recently and I wanted to share how I handled the issue. This can be somewhat of a tricky situation – walking the fine line of getting the error rectified, yet being cognizant of your stylist’s feelings.

First of all, I have to say, I am not overly concerned with my hair. I know it will grow back and most bad haircuts can be corrected with the right styling. Even with my lackadaisical approach to hair, I draw the line at orange!

I typically go to the same stylist and she is beyond amazing. I have let her take quite a few liberties with my hair and she has never let me down. We have tried ombré, balayage, four color process – you name it! My main goal is to cover grey and to give my face a bit of warmth with the color.


After a successful color-correction

I showed my stylist a photo of an ombré-type color which was dark at the roots and then a blondish/brown at the ends. Since I have very dark eyebrows, I wanted to make sure the color was not light near my eye area. My stylist and I had plenty of dialogue about what I wanted.

The color and foils went on, and I sat for forty-five minutes. After a thorough wash, she began to blow-dry. The color looked bright blonde all over (even near my roots) and not in line with what we had discussed. I remained calm. I let her finish blow-drying and then had a closer look.

I rationalized and thought perhaps it was the harsh fluorescent lighting in the salon. I did not mention anything about liking the color, however I did politely mention it looked quite brassy. Trying not to overreact, I decided to sleep on it, literally, and see if it was indeed lighting or a snap-judgement.

In the morning I was still not impressed, and the color was still quite orange and blonde, not ombré like I had requested. I decided even though it was just hair, this color wouldn’t fly unless I was auditioning for a part in Willy Wonka.

I called up the salon as soon as they opened and asked to speak to my stylist. She was with a client, so I told the receptionist I needed to schedule a correction as soon as possible. I explained the color done the previous day was a bit too brassy. I made sure to mention I appreciated all the time that went into the color, however I wasn’t happy. The receptionist was very understanding and booked me for later in the day.

My advice is to be polite, thank the stylist for her time but be honest and share why the color isn’t quite right. When I went in for my appointment, I did just that. She was happy to make the correction and see me leave with a color I loved. As I said, my stylist is an exceptional artist and I’ve never had an issue. These things happen and it is best to be gracious, honest, and remain classy. I was not charged for the correction and I left with a renewed appreciation for all it takes to produce great hair color!

Has anyone else experienced this or something similar at a salon?


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