How often should you color your hair? How often is too often? What cuts and colors are hot right now? Find out the answers to these questions and more in our exclusive Q&A with the skilled Sassoon Salon specialists who gave us ‘do-overs.
East Coast Regional Color Director for Sassoon Salon
BX: What is the first thing you look at when considering color for a client?
RR: Skin tone, eye color and the condition of the hair, i.e., analyzing what color is currently on the hair, what type of color has been applied previously, how the hair feels, etc. I also take into account lifestyle suitability, such as how the potential color will fit into my client’s professional life and how much the client wants to be in the salon for touch-ups.
BX: What do you think are the newest/hottest color looks?
RR: For this season, rich browns, vibrant reds and biscuit blondes have been very popular. At Sassoon, we have been focusing on interior color and placing it so that it subtly peeks through the hair. This type of application creates a wonderful fluidity of movement with a warmth and burnished richness that brighten up the dullness that’s synonymous with the cooler weather.
BX: How can someone spice up their color without making a drastic change?
RR: By requesting highlights or panels to add slight variation, but still complement their natural color. For example, for a client with blonde shades, I may suggest subtle highlighting to add lightness to the hair. Whereas if I’m working with a brunette, richer tones, such as those in the red palette, can be used to develop depth.
BX: How often is TOO often to color your hair?
RR: On average, a single process client should have their hair retouched every four weeks– anything sooner than that is too frequent. For highlights, once every 12 weeks is ideal.
BX: How damaging is it really to highlight and then add color again several times throughout the year?
RR: With the correct knowledge, hair color is completely safe, and it is up to the Colorist to make sure their clients know all the facts. For one, clients that color their hair several times a year must be educated on how often they should be in the salon for touch-ups (no more than once every 4-6 weeks for tints and once every 12 weeks for highlights). Second, all color clients need an appropriate at-home regimen for their hair type that protects and prolongs their color. Once clients have this info, they can rest assured that their hair will stay healthy, shiny and soft, even with regular color application.
BX: Is there a cutoff point as to how many times you can do this without severe damage like break-offs?
RR: At Sassoon, we NEVER allow hair to get to this point. All colorists are taught in the Sassoon method of coloring, which stresses preserving the integrity of the hair. Essentially what that means, is that the colorist will always take into account the condition of the hair and not apply anything that will be potentially harmful or damaging. For example, if a client comes in with brown hair and wants to turn it platinum blonde, a Sassoon colorist will gladly do it; however, it will most likely be a gradual process (typically three appointments) to make sure the hair stays healthy.
BX: What is your favorite coloring technique (e.g., all-over color, highlights, “color from within,” etc.)
RR: My favorite technique is combining single process application with some foil work because you are able to create variation that can either result in a very natural look or a bold statement!
Assistant Creative Director for Sassoon Salon Boston
BX: How did you get started?
ET: I started when one of my college roommates on a whim asked me to give him a cut one day. I kind of just jumped into it head first, and surprisingly, it came out ok! As a result, my other roommate wanted a cut, and then their friends and so on. I soon decided that cosmetology school would be a better fit, and the rest, as they say, is history.
BX: How long have you been with Sassoon and how did you begin with Sassoon?
ET: I’ve been with Sassoon for nearly four years now. A few months prior to finishing cosmetology school, I started going into the Costa Mesa, CA (Orange County) salon and asking questions about becoming an assistant. Knowing how tough it is to get a position with Sassoon, I was very persistent. I think they soon realized how much I wanted to be a part of the salon, so much to my excitement, they gave me the opportunity! I worked for about 2 years in that salon, and then transferred to Boston in 2007.
BX: What is your favorite thing about your job?
ET: Definitely being at the forefront of hair education. Every season, Sassoon releases a new collection, and it is my job to teach this knowledge and the new techniques to the trainees in my salon. I love growing in my craft every day, leaning more and expanding my repertoire.
BX: What types of cuts do you enjoy doing the most?
ET: I love cutting all types of hair, it keeps the job interesting and inspiring. Also, I love detailing! Whether it’s a short crop on a man or a woman’s graduated bob, it’s so gratifying to see a shape develop- sculpting and refining it to perfection. It is the attention to detail that makes a Sassoon cut unique, and that’s easily my favorite part of my job.
BX: What are you noticing as hot trends for the upcoming seasons?
ET: The great thing about hair right now is that there are so many styles that are popular. However, I’m definitely noticing a lot of shorter styles on women, such as Michelle Williams on the cover of the new Vogue. Also, the Sassoon team is playing with a lot more texture and working with concealed layering to soften shapes, which gives hair plenty of movement. Think a contemporary reinvention of the undercut.
BX: Where do you find inspiration for your styles?
ET: Living in the city, I find inspiration just walking around, observing Bostonians, and looking at the architecture and various storefronts. In addition, I’m always looking to Helmut Lang for ideas. The heavy layering with loose asymmetric collars and draping leather jackets are always inspiring. I’m also constantly taking in my surroundings when I’m working. I’m fortunate to work alongside so many talented people, and their work inspires me every day.
BX: Are there any hair trends –past or present– that you think should never be brought back?
ET: Hmm… sorry Jennifer Aniston, your hair in the “Friends” years is something I never want to see again.
BX: Are there any styles that are always ‘in’?
ET: There will always be some variation of the bob that is in style. Whether it’s the classic one length or heavily layered and textured, the bob will always be a contemporary classic.
BX: What do you do if someone ends up crying/upset about his or her haircut?
ET: Fortunately, I haven’t had any tears in my chair, but if I ever detect some unease, I always reassure the client that they look amazing and ask them to call me or come back in if they decide they want something changed. Though I have to say, usually my clients just need to hear opinions from their friends and loved ones. More times than not, I will receive calls the next day with these clients telling me that they love their new looks and that all their friends love it as well.
BX: What do you do when your customer doesn’t see your vision? How do you handle situations when your customer has an extremely outdated haircut but can’t seem to part with it?
ET: All you can do is show them the way…if they want to go down that road with you, awesome. If they don’t, you try to find something in the middle. And if they really can’t part with their dated style, I give them the best mullet/ comb over they will ever have!
Photo Credits: Sassoon Salon