Hair advice please!

Tricky one this, since I don’t include photos of myself here 🙂

I’m dithering about a) changing hairdresser (which will be more expensive) and b) getting – gulp – highlights. Does anyone know anything about this? Any advice?

My current hairdresser is fine – she trims my hair perfectly (though I have long hair with a few layers in it so not exactly complicated) and it costs me the staggeringly expensive price of £10. Including a 20% tip! It’s been very budget friendly and my hairdresser is really nice. Thing is. It is a very odd little place. Probably more for the, er, older lady. I’m not convinced how well they might do colour or what kind of quality ‘stuff’ they would use. Or is it all the same? I literally don’t know. Help! Living in a small town your options are fairly limited. A few years ago I used to drive to my nearest big town/small city to get my hair done but it got too expensive. I definitely want to keep it local.

Maybe I should be explaining the why…

I’m blonde. I’ve always been blonde. As in, not just light but really blonde. Naturally. And now I’m not. I’d heard that you can ‘lose’ your blonde after having a baby but I honestly thought it was more of a gradual thing with age. It isn’t. It is as though someone has flicked an ‘off’ switch. I have what look exactly like roots. About 3 inches of them. My hair is always darker in the winter and lighter in the summer but this goes way beyond that. It looks mank and I hate it. All last month I tried to get used to it. ‘It’s not so bad’ I thought. ‘Don’t be shallow’, I told myself. ‘Why add a regular expense to your budget?’ another voice taunted me. And it seems my answers to the above are ‘Yes, it is that bad, I look bloody horrible’, ‘I don’t care’ and ‘So?’. I’m fine with not looking exactly the same as before I had Baby. I didn’t expect to (not being the gym bunny type). But this grim mousy hair appears to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I can only remember snippets of co-workers comments on getting their hair coloured. Stuff about vegetable dye (or something), foil, T bar (?), half-head/full-head. I don’t know what any of this means?! What should I ask for? What should I avoid? What about strand tests?I don’t want anything that looks too obvious when it is growing out. I could probbly afford to get it topped up every 3 months at most.

ALSO, should I stick with my current hairdresser and risk living with bad highlights (my hair grows very, very slowly)? Should I try the new salon in town that looks, actually, quite stylish but hasn’t been open long enough for anyone to be able to recommend it? Should I go with a salon that a friend recommended but is about a 24 mile round trip and a bit of a pain to get to?

If anyone knows about any of this please help me!

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Categories: Budget beauty | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Hair advice please!

  1. Rachael

    Before you take the plunge and go for permanent dye, it might be worth trying the John Freida Sheer Blonde shampoo range, the one that is meant to lift your colour and brighten dark blonde hair. But if you do go for highlights then t-bar is probably the best and the cheapest. The colour is only placed around the parting and hairline (in a T shape!) I hope this helps! I am a long time reader, first time commenter 🙂

    • shoestringalley

      Hi Rachael – thanks for stopping to say hi! I bought some of the Sheer Blonde stuff last month (you might remember me mentioning buying some slightly more expensive stuff – this was it!). Sadly the results have been…ginger. I really thought it was going to save the day!

  2. thefrenchchick

    I used to be a hair stylist years ago, but here in the U.S. The U.K. should use similar products to what we use. I googled hair color in the UK and found many of the brands that I’m familiar with from back in the day. The hair color companies are very stable places that just tend to introduce new products from time to time.

    Foils would be the way I would do your hair since you want highlights (or in this case, here in the US, we would call them lowlights since they will be darker than your pre-baby color but lighter than the new roots). Foils, btw, have been around since before I was in beauty school back in (dare I say it?) 1984 (gasp), so the ladies in your current salon should be able to do your color without worries.

    I would not recommend doing it yourself with an over-the-counter color kit. The sectioning of the hair and using multiple tools at the same time; foil, comb, brush with the color on it, can look easy in the salon when done by people with training, but in the home it becomes another matter entirely. Plus there’s always the chance of drips, so better on their floor than yours.

    If you were going from dark hair to blonde highlights, there is also the problem of home colors not being strong enough to pull your hair through the “red stage” of color. All dark hair has to pass through the red stage before becoming blonde, but the strength of the peroxide used in home color kits isn’t enough to do that properly so home kits tend to leave one with red highlights instead of the blonde that was hoped for.

    The good news is that hair can be colored safely, without causing major damage, once every two weeks. That means if they do mess up (and I really don’t think they will), you could go back for a re-color fairly quickly. Here in the States, if a professional messes up a hair color, the client generally gets the re-do for free. So they work very hard to get the color right for the client the first time. Check with your stylist on their salon’s policy. It’s one thing to not like the color after the fact, but if it turns out nowhere near what you were told (like red when it should be blonde), then that’s a problem that needs fixing.

    Wordy answer, but I hope it helps!

  3. thefrenchchick

    And in all that, I forget to add that I would also do more than one color, usually two, with the foils. And alternate the colors in each layer of hair. Why? Because your natural hair has more than one or two tones in it, so by adding two colors you’re really getting three tones: Light, Medium and Dark, of the color you would like your hair to be. Make sense?

    • shoestringalley

      Yup, my previous hair colour had lots and lots of colours in it. Actually people often used to think I had highlights and lowlights because it had so many different shades of blonde in it. I didn’t realise how pretty it was until it stopped growing like it!

  4. I echo some of the above.. maybe get it done at your normal place and if it’s a nightmare, then go somewhere else to get it sorted.. I’ve had enough ‘attempts’ in the past at dying my own hair, only to rush to the hairdressers the next day shame faced at what I had done! x

    • shoestringalley

      I think I’ll give my usual place a go since two of you have said it will probably be okay. There’s no way I’d attempt it myself (I would if I were going darker instead of lighter). I’ve had too many friends crying on my shoulder after bad dye jobs! x

  5. Avis

    I left a posting, it seems to have disappeared, I am new to blogging, but my thought is if you can have your hair done at a hairdressers, frugality should be taken so far…..you wear your hair all the time, everywhere, every day, it deserves to look its best.

  6. My hair did the same thing after both of my kids, except I have brown hair, and my roots became lighter. The first time I thought maybe the natural shampoo I used messed up their formula and it dyed my hair. But when it happened with the second baby, I figured it must have been hormones.

    I know I am a little late to this conversation, so you may have already made this decision, but I would go with the far-away highly recommended salon. There is just something to be said for a really good stylist. And once your hair color gets back to normal (it will), you can resume your regular salon.

  7. ‘cheap’ can be a false economy especially when it comes to how something makes you feel about yourself. I had some awful hair cuts when I was younger so for years avoided hairdressers all together. I started going to ‘older lady’ salons because it felt safer and was cheap. But the haircuts weren’t great and they knew nothing of new techniques that help to tame naturally frizzy hair like mine. In the end I realised I was worth more than £10!
    Anyway, now I pay £30 and only need it cut 3-4 times a year because my hairdresser cuts it so well. As my short hair style grows out it morphs into a different kind of longer look for a bit but still looks nice.

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