Color Tips & Tricks: Hair Rehab

They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said, ‘No, no, no,’” sang Amy Winehouse. But here’s why you need to get your clients to say yes, yes, yes before their color service. Creating beautiful color requires a good canvas. And these days, more and more clients are coming into the salon with damaged strands from at-home hair color, hot tools abuse and repeat excessive lifting. Poor hair quality leads to poor color quality. So don’t let it happen in your chair. Read on for our experts’ tips and tricks for getting clients into the program. 

Q What kind of rehab regimen do you prescribe? 

A. If a client has very damaged or compromised hair, I’ll do a B3 Demi Permanent Conditioner treatment in salon and then send them home with a B3 wash and care regimen along with scheduled visits for additional in-salon treatments beforehand, so I can see the progression of what’s going on before a color service.—Aura Friedman, celebrity colorist and B3 Ambassador 

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Q What if a client doesn’t have the time to go through hair rehab? 

A. First, determine how bad the damage is. There will be cases where the client’s hair is so extremely compromised, they may not be able to get through color that day and still maintain the integrity of the hair. But more often than not, I know adding a bond-building product like ColorpHlex will allow me to repair the hair during a color or lightening service. And a ColorpHlex stand-alone treatment may be needed before a color service is performed.—Jennifer Negron, ColorpHlex Education Team

Q What should colorists always do pre-color?

A. Before any chemical service, it’s imperative to remove the buildup from hard water minerals, medication and/or other color blockers to ensure you’re always starting with a clean canvas. With any client that walks into the salon, especially those who have hair that’s already compromised, it’s essential to prepare your color canvas with Malibu C Professional Crystal Gel Wellness Remedy. If you’re not starting with a clean canvas, it’s impossible to guarantee your results.—Anthony Barnhill, Malibu C Professional Platform Artist and Master Color Educator 

Q When do you refuse a client and how?

A. If a client doesn’t have time to go through hair rehab, then you need to explain what’s achievable and the risk of going forward with the color service. There will always be clients that want what they want, even if it goes against your professional opinion. In these situations, maintaining your professionalism and credibility as a colorist calls for a service refusal. Say something like “I’m sorry, but I’m not 100 percent confident your hair can handle this service and I only want to give you the absolute best result.” It might lose you some dollars, but you’ll maintain your integrity as a reputable colorist.—Natalie Elias, Goldwell Colorist at Prema New York