What is it about the hairdresser’s chair that sends even the most confident women into submissive silence? I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve sat down in an unflattering black robe completely tongue-tied and too afraid to tell the hairdresser that, “No, actually I genuinely did just want a trim”.
Apart from meekly showing them a photograph that I had envisioned would look good, I let the various hairdressers I’ve visited take the lead, doubting my own knowledge of what I wanted and agreeing with whatever they said.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never left with a purple mohawk or anything, but it was never quite what I was after – because I hadn’t successfully communicated to them what I wanted.
Other times I’d get a nasty surprise when I went to pay after discovering that what I thought could cost no more than $300, was actually more like $500. I had myself to blame because I was too afraid to ask them for a quote at the start. Watch: Mia Freedman asks her hairdresser how to get the perfect cut every time. Post continues after video.
This time I decided to do something different.
It helped that I was at my wit’s end with my hair. Over six months since I’d had a bad DIY hair dye decision fixed, my hair was still not where I wanted it. The highlights had turned brassy and my regrowth made the top half of my hair look dull, dull, dull. With an important event on that weekend, I booked in at my local hairdressers to get it sorted out.
Before I went, I sat down in front of the mirror for a good t10 minutes to work out exactly what it is that I wanted, and I wrote a list. I wanted the regrowth sorted out but not using an all-over colour as I wanted to eventually grow out my natural colour.
I also wanted the top of my head lightened with some highlights that would look naturally sunkissed and the previous highlights toned down to look fresh again. Not much, right?
Dull at the top, brassy at the bottom. Halp! Image: Supplied.
I could do this!
Gowned and in the chair, my palms were sweating. As my hairdresser sat me down for the consultation and asked what I'd like, I felt the compulsion to just say "What do you think I need"? But I thought of the time the colour wasn't quite what I wanted or the bill nearly gave me a heart attack. I wasn't going to let that happen again so I got out my list and reeled it off.
Turns out hairdressers are experts for a reason. With a clear idea of what I did and didn't like about my current hair, my lovely hairdresser Laura was able to offer for some better advice on how to lighten the top of my hair without a full set of highlights that would also ensure I wasn't left with bad regrowth again.
She recommended adding layers to my hair to help with the shape (which I hadn't thought of) and gave me a number of options to brighten the colour. (Post continues after gallery.)