Top Three Tips To Having a Successful Salon Visit

I went through the line at Starbucks the other day and asked for a large, sugar free coffee and guess what I got? A tall, skinny vanilla…basically a little cup of latte. What I wanted was a large, regular coffee with a splenda. I know, I really should know by now exactly how to ask for my coffee with their fancy terminology right? My point is, there is “coffee talk”, fancy words to communicate what kind of coffee you want. Salons have a language of their own and even though salons are just as common as the Starbucks on every corner, we get our “orders” mixed up all the time.

A salon visit can be one of the most exciting, stressful, and scariest experiences out there. It doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips, three exactly, to get the most out of your salon visit and bridge the gap between client and colorist.



It is safe to say that you may not know all the terminology or “salon speak”. And how do you pronounce that french word…boo-liyage…bali-ige….balayage? Save yourself a lot of trouble and bring a photo of what you want. Take it a step further and even provide some pictures of what you do not like. Bring a photo of yourself on a good hair day that you love. This helps the colorist gauge your preference in color and bridges the gap in communication and salon language.



Showing a photo isn’t a consultation, ask for a game plan. Be realistic and informed about how much time & money you and the salon can dedicate to your hair transformation. Will the results you want take one visit or possibly more? This is also where you should be honest about your color history. We are not gonna judge but we DO need to know what we are up against to formulate properly. Bleach doesn’t lie and eventually the truth comes out and when that happens the colorist has to reformulate and that renders your first game plan obsolete. Open communication about the time, money and hair history helps tremendously to start the color process on the right foot.



Speak up! You can’t hurt our feelings, we promise. How else will we know if we are doing things to your liking & we value your opinion. Ask questions, how else will you learn what to ask for. A beautiful color is a collaboration between client and colorist. If you don’t agree with a tone or placement, I promise there are some really easy fixes to correct them NOW instead of making another trip to the salon. It could be as easy as adding a quick toner or smudging some color into the hair to tweak your results.


It is safe to say that you may not know all the terminology or “salon speak” but if you follow these three steps, you are sure to speak the universal language of good hair.

By the way, if you want a regular cup of Joe at Starbucks, it’s called a “Pike’s Place”.

You’re welcome.


Happy Painting!




P.S. Here are a few pics with the technical descriptions.


Baby lites with a balayage



Base color with a heavy highlite and a balayage




Color correction! Lots of color over color in the hair. In the second pic you can see the bleach reveals the natural hair without color on it and the middle to the ends are stubborn to bleach lifting. 5 hours later you can see some beautiful, realistic results. It would take another visit or possibly 2 more for more blonding on the ends.hair6


Several weaving techniques with Highlites and a toner to eliminate the coppery tones.


A base breaker, which I love to use on blondes. Then a heavy highlite.


Root retouch and highlite/lowlite…..Take off bleach right away to reveal a more caramel tone and no need for toner.



To visit me at my salon go to The Oxygen Room & Beauty Bar website.

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