If your hair habits are in a rut, or if you're noticing changes like your hair thinning, it’s time for change. There are options you may not even know about.
Faster, More Precise Color
You may have given up on coloring your hair when it meant spending the entire day in the salon. But with new color techniques, you’re no longer chained to your stylist’s chair for hours. "New techniques for foiling and balayage are much quicker than the one-hour wrapping time we were used to years ago," says Rowena Yeager, stylist and owner of Salon Wish in Streetsboro, Ohio. "The products we use to color the hair today are also far more gentle than in the past."
"Balayage" means "to sweep" in French. The stylist paints colors directly onto chosen hair strands, using a sweeping motion, sparingly at the roots and heavier towards the ends. It takes less time than traditional color techniques, and it also looks much more subtle. It’s more complicated than traditional approaches to color, so if you want balayage, ask about your stylist’s training and experience.
Many salons now offer what they call a "shine shot" added to your color. "It aids in the condition and shine of the hair and in the longevity of the color," Yeager says. "Once our guests have a shine shot, they ask for it again and again."
New hair lighteners can now be used without heat, says George Gonzalez, stylist and owner of George-The Salon in Chicago and a former freelance stylist for TheOprah Winfrey Show. "Added heat can open the cuticle, which can leave your hair dry or looking brittle. Therefore, processing your color at room temperature could be beneficial in maintaining healthier hair when you get blonde highlights."
A big trend in hair care products is the move toward organic choices. "People care more about what goes on their hair and their skin," Yeager says. For example, many organic lines offer sulfate-free shampoos and other products, which are generally milder and more moisturizing, and particularly beneficial for people with damaged, dry, or frizzy hair.
Paraben-free styling products are another popular option. "Parabens are chemicals used to preserve the shelf life of your shampoos, conditioners and styling products," says Gonzalez. "I feel the more that we can avoid using chemicals, the better."
Many salon conditioning treatments ause nanotechnology, meaning that the protein or moisturizing molecules are small enough to penetrate the hair without using heat. "That means you don’t have to sit under a hot dryer to get all the benefits of conditioners," Gonzalez says.
Your products, style, and preferences can also be customized to a degree that wasn't possible in the past. "Technology has allowed us the ease of saving formulas, hair care, and skin care notes on the computer so that we can give you precisely what you want," Yeager says.