What you should ask for at your next hair color appointment

Getting the most from your next hair color appointment

Back in September, I traveled to Nashville, Tennessee with a few girls from my salon to attend the biggest hair color educational conference in the United States. In the 18 hours of color education, we learned new trends, and technique from some of the worlds best hair colorists and I want to share those secrets with you.

Winter is usually a hair colorists nightmare, it’s the busiest seasons with crammed books, no lunch breaks and the damage that winter can not only take its toll on clients’ hair, but on our inspiration as well. So inspire your hair colorists and share these ideas so you can have the best hair color for the holidays from your next hair color appointment. You will NOT be able to create these looks at home, so save yourself the headache and ask for recommendations from your friends to find a good skilled hair colorist.


You can never be too Rich

The key word for hair color for winter 2013 is Lux, hair color should look expensive, even if it wasn’t. It should scream 5th Avenue, not main street. Think of furs, cashmere, silk, jewels and leather, all these things remind us of luxury goods that you have the natural instinct to touch. Your hair color should be so luxurious that people want to touch it.

Lux Hair Colors

Black, Brunette, Reds, and Blondes oh my! Everyone has their preference on what they want out of their hair color and no matter which way you swing, Take your inspiration from the great things about winter like food, coffee, furs and jewels.

Black Hair Color


Most clients and hair colorists have a hard time spicing up those who walk on the dark side, take inspiration from pea coats, black fur and Onyx gems, Have your hair colorist add a blue or violet gloss to those raven locks to get a high shine and expensive look.

Brunette Hair Color

Brunette Brown

Many would argue this is the least exciting palette, but if your hair colorist takes inspiration from Caramel, Espresso Beans, Mocha and wood grain you’ll be brewing a beautiful and rich hair color that anyone would drool over.

Red Hair Colors


The loudest shade of all. Beautiful reds scream confidence whether they are of the natural or crayon variety. This season if you’re on the natural side, play with coppers, and golds and for the wilder at heart, take a dip in the cosmo glass, ruby, raspberry, or add a slight amount of violet to make that red stand out.

blonde hair colors


Blondes can get very one dimensional, very quickly. If you are still rocking the over highlighted beach look, it’s really time to get off your flaxen horse and add low lights. I know, when us blondes think of the word low-light we think of brown streaks on blondes that is so hard to achieve in the first place. Ask your hair colorist for a level 7 or above lowlight in shades of vanilla bean, pearl, honey or light gold.

Cap frosting

Skip the foils

Remember cap frosting? It’s an archaic method of highlighting, which is about to be joined by foils. Aluminum foil allows for separation of sections but did you also know that it heats up the color? The majority of color companies recommends their products not be used with heat, which means that your hairdresser should stop putting you under the dryer as well.

But what do you do now, you heavily dedicated highlighters out there? Ask for Balayage instead. Balayage is a French word that means “to sweep” hair is painted piece by selected piece to create a signature pieces of color, customized for the individual.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Jessica Biel are great examples of Balayage.

Ombre vs. Sombre


Who thought that a trend that started 2 years ago and probably by a starlet who missed her color appointment would still be going strong? This season ombre has kept its mass appeal in different ways. One way is for the accent color to be placed in the middle of your head, giving the illusion of light from within. Or for a very subtle light accent around the face and perimeter of your haircut.


Want that super shiny magazine cover or hair model worthy shine, but don’t want to look like a grease ball with loads of shine serum? Ask your hair colorist for a double gloss treatment and to be shampooed in cold water. Yes, it costs more and cold water isn’t always comfortable, but your hair will reflect more light than a mirrored tree ornament

At home maintenance

If you’re spending money at a salon for a professional hair color appointment don’t wash your money down the drain with cheap shampoo and conditioner, your salon should be stocked full of great hair color protecting products and your hair colorist should be recommending them. Since most hair care companies make hair color, make sure you’re buying a brand that makes hair color.

My current Favorites for in salon and at home shampoos and conditioners are:

Catwalk’s Fashionista Sulfate-free Violet shampoo and conditioner for blondes for adding shine and eliminating unwanted warm tones from blondes.

Bed Head Colour Goddess Oil Infused shampoo and conditioner, which is filled with coconut and sweet almond oils to keep hair color vibrant and long lasting.

Kalvin Pugh
Contributing author Kalvin Pugh has been a licensed hairdresser since 2007. After advanced training at Toni&Guy in Dallas, TX, Kalvin became an educator and shared his love of hairdressing with thousands of salon professionals around the US. In 2012 became an ambassador for TIGI. In 2013 Kalvin fulfilled his dream since beauty school opening up his own hairdressing space Kalvin Pugh Hairdressing in Overland Park, Kansas.