What color will your hair be this summer? People are starting to bypass balayage, the highlight-painting technique because it’s a little tougher on the tresses. “I think the trend is going into more natural, buttery, sunnier blonds. Ash blonde isn’t so flattering on most people. People are looking at it and saying, ‘I want to feel younger. I want to feel brighter.’”
That’s master stylist Rita Hazan, the solution to your hair-color problems. Flubbed, fried and dyed your hair Bozo orange, or damaged it seemingly beyond repair? Her arsenal of techniques can summon your strands back to radiant health. Too good to be true? Just ask her clients Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, and Jessica Simpson.
Here’s her advice for the rest of us:
Get a Filter for Your Shower
“The minerals in your water make a big difference,” says Hazan. “Some people have a mineral buildup in their water. Well-water or whatever is happening in their city water can affect the hair coloring chemical processes.” Hard water can also affect your hair’s smoothness and curl quality—New York magazine has a good round-up of filters to try.
Don’t Follow Instructions from Just Anybody on YouTube
“A lot of kids now are bleaching their hair at home following instructions from someone they’re watching on a YouTube video. It’s a total mistake,” says Hazan. This warning also applies if you’re coloring your hair pink or another pastel. That process usually involves removing all pigment from your hair before re-depositing color—the added heat from blow-drying, flat-ironing and other processes can cause further damage. “Most of these kids don’t know what they’re doing and fry their hair. Chemicals have different reactions to different people and different bodies. It’s very dangerous. They’re following instructions that aren’t necessarily reality. It’s actually a little scary… Color is not just something to fool around with and try and say, ‘What’s the worst thing that can happen?’ Well, bad things can happen. It’s not like it’s a handbag. It’s your hair. It takes years and years to get it back to health. So, you really want to be careful and treat it with respect.”
DIY Highlight Tips
First, style your hair the way you wear it so you have a clear idea of where you want your highlights to fall. Then do a strand test and make sure it’s the color and intensity you want, says Hazan. Many DIY fails are often because people “either use the wrong products or don’t leave the product on for the right amount of time,” she says. Some people have mastered the art of the drugstore highlight kit, but if you venture out and try a new kind, strand it to be safe.
How to Find a Good Hair Colorist
A good haircutter isn’t necessarily an expert colorist. One way to find out is to research professionals on social media and YouTube, but also ask well-coiffed people in your neighborhood who does their hair. “Look for someone knowledgeable in hair color, your hair texture, who is skilled and has been doing it a long time … A person who knows what they’re doing will give you color that will last three or four months. Your hair will be healthy and it always looks good.” Even if it’s more expensive, it’s worth it; just go less often and use a root-cover tool if necessary during the in-between times.
Products To Try
Hazan says it took a long time to perfect her products, but now they’re out in the world. They include Rita Hazan Root Concealer, Rita Hazan Weekly Remedy Treatment For Deep Hydration & Superior Shine, Rita Hazan Lock + Block Protective Spray and Rita Hazan Triple Threat Split End Remedy. “I hear people’s hair-care problems daily. If I can’t create solutions to those problems, then I don’t think any man behind a desk at L’Oreal can do it. They can copy us, but they don’t know enough about it to create it.”