I haven’t found the courage to color my own hair altogether. I am, however, brave enough to undertake smaller, lower-risk color-adjacent jobs myself. Like glossing, toning my highlights is a perfect example of a low-risk, usually professional procedure I’m willing to undertake myself.
Until last July, I hadn’t explored, “proper,” toners or heard of Wella Color Charm Demi Permanent Hair Color. I’m risk averse, so I had been employing purple toning shampoo to tone down brass with this method.
About five months after my last balayage appointment, I decided to take a stab at toning my highlights properly. After several hours of research, I decided to try toning my highlights with the Wella Color Charm Demi Permanent Hair Color line.
Fortunately, Wella Color Charm Demi Permanent Hair Color and other Wella products aren’t all pro-only and any ol’ person can buy from Sally Beauty or Amazon.
Selecting the Correct Toner Shade
First, assess your toning goal. My goal was to cool down the brassiness/warmth that my balayage highlights had accumulated over time. Depending on your hair, you might seek something with neutral or cool/ash tones to achieve this goal.
A peek at some of my balayage highlights.
Excuse my comically bad lighting that does not fully showcase how awesome my hair is.
After lengthy consideration, I decided to go forward with balayage highlights. I went for a consultation on September 13, which is where I gathered my information on how to prepare for my balayage highlighting appointment. Balayage isn’t something new, even if it is a new-ish trend in the United States; but I could swear, of all the haircolor techniques out there, this one was made with me in mind.
I did extensive research and chose a charming salon in my area, had a really positive consult, and was ready. By my September 20 appointment, I was rarin’ to go.
So, Tell Me What you Want
To my consult, I brought the following three photos, found on Pinterest, for inspiration:
Clients get caught up in trying (and failing) to describe what they’re looking for. Pictures help. But you know what else really helps? Explaining and or showing what you definitely, under no circumstances, do not want. Most balayage highlights create a lovely, ombre effect on the hair – but not all ombre hair is balayage. For me, “ombre,” leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Search Google Images for, “Ombre hair,” and you’ll see what I mean. Severe, harsh transitions. Lines, even. I want nothing about my hair to be harsh, and I grew out a misguided hair choice once before and dealt with awkward lines. Never, ever again. Balayage is french for, “sweeping,” and damn it, that’s what I want. Lines of demarcation are the enemy.
Armed with those three photos my colorist and I made some decisions together. Notice how I said together? It should be a joint effort. Most of these decisions took place during my consultation. But if you and your colorist don’t agree on the course of action – say, you want X and she thinks you ought to do Y? You’re going to have a bad time. As a client, you should have realistic expectations and asks for your colorist. She or he may well seem like a wizard, but it isn’t magic.
Based on those photos, my expression of my #hairgoals, my habits, and prior aversion to color we decided:
As far as color goes, the third option made the most sense to emulate. After all, it’s easier to make more changes down the road than to go, “Shit, I don’t like this as much as I thought I was going to!”
Overall placement somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd photo.
To place more product at the ends to concentrate a little more blonde color there (like the 2nd photo).
…But to overall play it a little safe.
It can be a little intimidating to be in the chair, but when you’re spending money on these services, it’s worthwhile to be 100% sure you’re on the same page. If your stylist or colorist is worth a damn, she or he WANTS to produce results you’re happy with. If the salon you’re working with is not eager to work to that goal, find another salon. Seriously.
I thought I was pretty steadfast in that decision. They’re growing out alright, and as it turns out, a nice curling iron can cover a multitude of touchup-absent-related sins. But man, I really enjoyed having light hair.
I happened to see that my salon corrected its wildly crazy price structure. My birthday rolled around. We spent less money in general than I anticipated we would, recently, and I decided, “Treat yoself!”
So I made an appointment and refreshed my highlights! They plied me with margaritas made with lime sherbet (!) and balayaged my hair. They were running a promotion, too, where any service was accompanied with a complimentary brow sugaring. Yeah – sugaring! It is neat.
It’s been a while since I shared a chatty post with no major, overarching theme. Maybe Monday Musings should be a thing.
How many people, in real life, put highlighter on their shoulders, anyway? I mean even people going clubbing. Is this a thing? What if you need a jacket outside? Why?!
Consider for a moment that there are folks out there who execute DIY brazilian waxes. Bravery or insanity?
Wet Brush owners – have you used one of these? Both my mom and I have been eying them up. It’s easy enough to clean our own hair out of our respective brushes, but occasionally fuzz and whatnot makes its way onto the damn that is nigh-impossible to extricate without infinite patience and…tweezers.
I’m taking today to recharge as much as one can recharge while still going to their day job.
Here’s a quick round-up!
Nix it, NYX!
Why does this exist, NYX? I have plenty of black eyeshadows (too damn many) – any and all of them can be used for this same purpose.
A Sense of Community
Sephora launched their new Beauty Community recently. It has a ton of groups and sections, but I haven’t really explored it yet. I’m not sure how I feel about a retailer hosting a community. My knee-jerk reaction is the risk for censorship of critical discussion (of product which Sephora would be in their right to execute, don’t get me wrong); but if that’s a risk, why not go to a less-fettered platform?
I got the portable washer that I mentioned in a recent post! It’s completely off topic but it is super neat. Like most sane humans, I loathe the laundromat – so its a welcome appliance even if it does take up a wee bit of my tiny apartment’s precious space.
Lighter Hair, Do Care
My balayage appointment was Saturday before last. Overall, I’m happy with my lighter hair but my old colorist left and the new one didn’t really approach balayage as it is intended to be approached; I have one spot on the left that is a bit abrupt (and high up) so it is fairly obvious and odd. It isn’t a crisis, but it does have me reconsidering my approach. Do I keep the same salon but just ask for a different (more experienced) colorist? I didn’t realize I’d have a different person until I was there.
Just… Damn, so Pretty!
Hourglass’ third Ambient Lighting Edit has been released. I’m not sure if this is worth it, but god is it pretty! I probably wouldn’t buy for myself, but I think it would make a great gift.
The Bottom Line
What beauty-related (or, you know, not – like my washer!) stuff have you seen or done lately?