7 Steps to Get Your Hair in the Best Condition for a Hair Color Appointment

How to Prepare Your Hair for a Color Appointment

Your hair color appointment is made with your favorite stylist. What's left to do, but count down the days and show up, right? Well, you can take that stance if you'd like, but if you want your hair color to take better, last longer, and have more shine there are a few things you can do before your appointment to make sure that happens.

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Get Rid of Build Up and Clarify Your Hair

Young woman having hair washed in the hair salon
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About a week before your hair color appointment, take some time to put a clarifying treatment on your hair. I like to use a mixture of shampoo and baking soda, but you can use your favorite clarifying shampoo (this is my favorite) or you can even use beer or apple cider vinegar. After your clarifying treatment, condition your hair normally.

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Got Damage? Just Add Protein and a Haircut

If your hair is damaged, a regular protein treatment for a few weeks prior to your hair appointment can help replace the strength in your hair. Damaged hair should also be trimmed a couple of weeks before your color appointment to get rid of the split ends. Seriously damaged hair shouldn't be over processed, so be sure to discuss your hair's condition with your stylist before you color your hair.

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Deep Condition Your Hair

A few days before your appointment, a deep conditioning treatment is essential for restoring moisture and balancing the pH of your hair. Making sure your ends are moisturized will help to make sure that your hair takes the color evenly. Hair color (hair dye) can be drying to your potentially already dry hair, and a deep conditioning treatment can mean the difference between dull mousey looking color, and beautiful shiny color results. You don't have to spend a ton of money on a salon deep conditioner, my favorite is available at your grocery store.

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Shampoo and Style Your Hair

To get the best hair color results, shampoo and style your hair the day before your color appointment. Freshly washed hair isn't the best pallet for hair color, and super dirty hair can be ​too greasy and oily. Besides that, freshly washed hair can dry out and rough up the surface of your scalp, increasing the chances of the color causing irritation.

While it's not completely necessary, showing up to your color appointment with your hair styled the way you wear it most often will help your colorist understand how you typically like to wear your hair, allowing her to place your color and highlights in a way that will best compliment your personal style.

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Show up with Ideas and Bring Pictures

God bless Pinterest, right? While you can't always get the exact results of a photo, having a few ideas of what you like can help your colorist understand your personal preferences and prevent you from ending up with unwanted tones in your final color results. Even if you're not sure of the specific color you're going for, photo ideas can speak volumes about your likes and dislikes. Besides that, we all define "red", "warm", and "neutral" hair color terms differently, so being specific with photos can make sure everyone's speaking the same color language.

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Honesty is the Best Policy

One of the best ways to get the best color results is to be completely honest with your colorist about everything going on with your hair, including past coloring and highlights done on your hair, at home color kits, perms, smoothing treatments, straightening treatments, medications you may be taking, recent surgeries you've had, if you're pregnant, and even simple things like lightening your hair with lemon juice. She's not going to judge you, but the color formula, type of color used, and most importantly your final result can depend heavily on your complete disclosure.

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Show Up

Last, but not least, show up with a positive attitude and a small sense of adventure. Give your stylist enough creative freedom to do what she thinks is best for you and your hairstyle, but give her enough information to get your color right in the first place. Remember, at the end of the day, it's hair color and it can always be fixed, toned, or otherwise altered if it doesn't turn out how you envisioned.