More and more men are turning to the hair salon not just to cover greys, but also amp up their look by choosing a new hair color. Fellas, don’t try this at home. Yes, you could do it at home, but going to a professional stylist will increase the odds that you get the exact color you want. (We didn’t think orange tips was the look you were going for, either.) And don’t underestimate the importance of a consultation before booking an appointment to change your hair color.
Shockingly, guys tend to pull the trigger and book appointments without a consultation first which could lead to post-‘do regret. We spoke with colorist Ricardo Santiago, of Bumble and Bumble, a salon and hair care line known for its creativity and connection to the editorial and fashion world, for the key tips every man must know before hitting the stylist chair.
1. Know how to get the right hair color for your skin
“Ask your colorist to match the color something close to your eyebrow color and something that will complement your skin tone,” says Santiago. Regardless of your complexion: “Cooler or ashier tones tend to be more flattering on men and usually fade better between appointments,” he adds. If you’re feeling antsy about the extra time you’ll be spending in the chair at the hair salon, pack a few magazines in your bag (or grab ‘em at the salon) or view it as a time to disconnect and meditate. Or better yet, we hear hair stylists make pretty darn good life coaches. Yes, you should tip well. They probably helped you solve your Case of the Ex-Girlfriend and set you up for some serious Tinder destruction with your new ‘do.
2. Be sure to ask the right questions to your stylist
Santiago advises arriving at the salon with the following questions to ask your stylist: “‘What kind of maintenance will this require?’ ‘What might this look like between appointments?’ ‘Should I be using a different shampoo/conditioner to keep my color looking good?'” offers Santiago. “Our Color Minded line is great for preserving your work!” Santiago says.
3. If you’re covering greys, approach the hair color process strategically
“Combing the color through the hair instead of applying all over with a color brush allows some grey to shine through, which gives a more natural effect and helps prevent the ‘shoe polish’ effect,” says Santiago. If you’re doing your own color at home, be sure to follow this advice, or if you’re at the salon speak up to make sure they follow this process. Whatever you do, try not to stray more than a few colors from your natural hair; the results can unnatural and harsh-looking rather than subtle and appearance-enhancing.
4. Time your appointments appropriately
Curious about how frequently to schedule an appointment? “Four to six weeks is pretty standard between retouches. The more opaque your coverage is, the sooner you’ll need to retouch, and the more blended it is the longer you’ll be able to push it,” says Santiago. Time to set up that recurring iPhone reminder.
5. Use demi-permanent color to make hair maintenance a cinch
“Using a demi- or semi- permanent color will often make maintenance easier, as it will fade off the hair over time and make root regrowth less harsh or obvious,” comments Santiago. Trust us, that look isn’t flattering on anyone and can make your scalp look greasy.