Worth Their Weight In Gold

Applying highlights

Karen getting highlights in our kitchen

As much as we tend to agonize over our hair, Karen is right when she says a really good hair stylist/colorist is “worth their weight in gold.” She explained that for some months now she’s really wanted to achieve the same light blonde color I have, and after going to multiple colorists and not being satisfied with the results, she decided to come to the source. I had a color appointment scheduled with Brian for this last Sunday chez moi. I asked him whether he’d have time to do some highlights for Karen too and he was happy to accommodate.

I really enjoy our appointments. While he works, we catch up on what’s been going on in our lives, I make us cappuccinos, and we look at stuff on Pinterest. 🙂 Every other visit or so he also cuts le Monsieur’s hair, which is very convenient for us. Between our work schedules and not always having weekend childcare, trying to get to a salon regularly can be tricky. It was so much fun to have Karen join in! We had a blast.

Karen has a beautiful head of thick hair, and needed a lot of sections done. She mentioned that she especially wanted the highlights around her face, so Brian focused on that area first…

hair 2

Doesn’t she have the most gorgeous bone structure??

Once all of the sections were done, it was time to let the color “bake” for a while under a portable heat bonnet.

So Retro!

So Retro!

Brian explained to us that the base color is critical. The overall effect will be a result of the interplay between the base and highlights. If the base color isn’t harmonious with skin tone, the highlights and overall color can look “off”. It’s also important to get the levels of contract between base and highlights just right: too much contrast can look harsh, too little can wash you out. It really is an art as much as a science. (Some women are able to get great results and are quite satisfied with coloring hair themselves; I’ve not been one of those. I tried it for a while but after a some truly disastrous results that required a colorist’s correction, I’ve left it to the pros.)

hair 4

My base color (wet hair).

After my color and highlights were done, Brian trimmed and shaped the cut.

hair 6

Fine hair can be tricky…Brian knows how to cut in layers for volume and movement. I have to be honest: after decades of fighting with my hair and mostly being–if not entirely unhappy–less than thrilled with how it looked, I’m now happy with it. Happy with the color, happy with texture and style. Sure, I sometimes wish for thicker hair that would look better when grown out longer, but this is what I have now, and it’s good.

After five hours of Hair, we were pretty hungry and dashed off for a late lunch. Next time I’ll have more snacks on hand. 🙂 But on the way out, we stopped to snap a few quick “After” pictures on the front porch…

California Blondes

A couple of Southern California Blondes…Better Living Through Chemistry. 😉

Stylist Selfie!

Selfie With Stylist!

Brian is also an accomplished makeup artist. He created and runs Makeover Workshop, where he teaches makeup tips and techniques, as well as offering makeup products he’s personally developed. If you’d like more information about Makeover Workshop, the makeup or his styling services, you can contact him at info@makeoverworkshop.com .

Karen also brought her Beauty Bag Of Tricks (some favorite products and finds) to share with me, and I’ll share those with you tomorrow. She always picks some winners!

Do you have a regular hair stylist? Or are you a DIY’er? Have you reached a point where you’re happy with your hair color and style?

Stay in touch.

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47 Comments

  1. July 16, 2014 / 3:12 am

    Oh what gorgeous colour he has given both of you, I would love to try this but I’m not sure it would work with my colouring, I do look better if I hold up the darker colour strands beside my face and hair but I really love this shade and I am really just white underneath now.

  2. July 16, 2014 / 3:12 am

    It is so important to trust your stylist! I have gone to the same one for ten years! We are in the process now of gently lightening my hair so that the gray is not as evident in between color and so that one day I can either go blonde or gray easier. You both look fantastic and make a great case for blonde!! He is talented at color…just beautiful!

  3. July 16, 2014 / 3:15 am

    In fact, I have the same colouring as Brian, ask him next time if any kind of dark blonde ( sort of Elle Macpherson shade) would work with that shade of skin/eyes/natural hair colour.
    Who knows – I might come back a new woman some time!

  4. July 16, 2014 / 3:51 am

    I love the photo of the three of you! I have been going to my hairdresser for twenty years, I have been every colour under the sun and now I’ve gone natural — grey! Iris cuts my hair the way it wants to be cut and it finally has body and some weight. I love it, all I have to do is wash and condition it.

  5. Sue Nations
    July 16, 2014 / 4:53 am

    I like both tops that you and Karen are wearing, and her necklaces are great!

    • Karen
      July 16, 2014 / 8:12 am

      Sue the top is just a tee shirt from Joe Fresh, and the necklaces are from French Kande.

  6. July 16, 2014 / 5:11 am

    What a fun day. I miss Karen’s online presence so much—is she blogging anywhere these days?

    • Karen
      July 16, 2014 / 8:11 am

      You wouldn’t believe how perfect Pseu’s color is. The effect with her fine hair is positively angelic in person.

  7. July 16, 2014 / 5:31 am

    So right about hair stylists and colourists. My hairdresser, Carmen, happens to be one and the same. And she is an artist. She places low lights to work off of the highlights and darker bits around my face all of which will work with my cut. I’d never attempt to colour my hair myself.
    Funny I was just thinking yesterday about a hair post….because when someone says they like my hair, I want to thank them on Carmen’s behalf. Really..I did nothing to deserve the compliment.
    BTW your looks great.

  8. July 16, 2014 / 5:47 am

    My colorist is truly worth her wight in gold too. You both have glorious hair color and cuts! And how great to make a party of it.

  9. Ellen
    July 16, 2014 / 5:49 am

    As I reached 60, I suddenly developed an intoleance to most hairstyling projects. Unfortunately this occurred just at the time that I, like many women of my age, began to develop finer, thinner hair (It happens to 30-40% of us, I am told). I used to always feel good about my hair which was fine but thick, and had a lot of natural shine. I wear it much shorter now, and with out the ability to use styling products, it’s acceptable, but just that. I understand now why women turn to short “sensible” haircuts at my age….we begin to lack other options. I am a natural silver gray, and I’m content with that…I acually get a lot of compliments on my own color,
    I’ve been to the same hairdresser for over 20 years. Like most of his clients, we are all aging together. He’s gradually become an expert on the issues we (of a certain age) face, and thats been very helpful. I’ve come to terms, but only because its my only choice!

  10. pink azalea
    July 16, 2014 / 6:17 am

    You both look great! Your stylist has a real gift for color. I’ve been going to the same stylist for about 5 years. About a year ago, I started having keratin treatments which makes it so easy to style my hair. It’s the longest it’s been in many years, one length, and just below the collar bone. I haven’t colored my hair since my early 40’s and now it’s white/silver. The keratin has to be re-done about every 3 months.

    • Karen
      July 16, 2014 / 8:09 am

      Pink Azalea, I clearly need a Keratin treatment. My hair is so unmanageable. I have done YouTube tutorials on getting a smooth blow dry and have practiced and practiced. But it’s exhausting. Does your treatment leave any body in your hair to work with? The one time I tried a treatment my hair was poker straight.

      • pink azalea
        July 17, 2014 / 7:01 am

        Mine is poker straight on the day I get it done and flat-ironed. After that it is less flat, but still looks sleek. I live in a humid climate, so it makes styling much easier and it doesn’t frizz! I blow it mostly dry, put in about 3 big velcro rollers on top while I am putting on make up and then just remove the rollers and lightly brush it. That’s it. PS – it is necessary to use SLS free shampoo. Apparently SLS causes the keratin to wash out sooner than it should. (sodium laurel sulfate)

    • Karen
      July 16, 2014 / 8:10 am

      Oh hello dear Mater!!

  11. Linda
    July 16, 2014 / 7:22 am

    You both look fabulous! I do have a regular hair stylist who does my cut and color. I’ve been using him for over 13 years! Now I think of him more as a friend than a hair stylist. I’d be totally lost without him. I wear my hair very short, so the cut is essential. Even though I’m of a certain age, I don’t have any grey in my hair, but my color has become darker through the years, so my hairdresser lightens it up around my face. It’s so nice never to suffer a “bad hair day” and even though I pay a fortune for the cut and color, it’s really worth it to me to have hair that is fuss-free and looks good.

  12. KPL
    July 16, 2014 / 7:51 am

    Both of you look great – he does a beautiful baby blonde color.

  13. July 16, 2014 / 7:53 am

    Fabulous picture of you all together! Love that your hairdresser makes house calls….I think that us a rare treat. Nice to see Karen again too.

    • Karen
      July 16, 2014 / 8:09 am

      Hi Hostess!

  14. July 16, 2014 / 8:12 am

    You look lovely, but indeed I associate that (salon) colour with Southern California and endless summer. Or, if natural, with Nordic girls with endless legs. Great to have a stylist who makes home calls!

    My hair was very dark, so that colour wouldn’t suit me at all, though I do have blue-green eyes. I let it go grey and fortunately it is a very nice silver with dark streaks and undertones. I do use a product on it though to counteract yellowing, though I can apply that myself. It is an Italian product called Kromask Ice Cream, and of course I use the “argento” (silver-argent-plata) tone. http://www.inebrya.it/en/news/news/ice-cream-kromask/

    I have lost hair with respect to my youthful days, but had so much of it that I still have a full, thick head of hair and don’t have to cut it short (which would make me very unhappy). Perhaps some day I’ll have to, fortunately not right away.

  15. Sisty
    July 16, 2014 / 8:35 am

    I remember when Pseu first changed her hair from red to blonde. I loved it in red, but was completely bowled over by that beautiful baby blonde. It’s gorgeous. I agree — Brian is definitely worth his weight in gold, and then some! What’s your cutting/coloring schedule like?

  16. oldhamchristina@gmail.com
    July 16, 2014 / 9:01 am

    Funny you should ask. Just this Monday I had my regular (and much loved) hair dresser cut off all the still-colored parts of my hair into a very short all-gray(almost white) style. It feels incredibly liberating to me to no longer be a slave to regular color maintenance, and I don’t feel I look older (somewhat to my own surprise actually). I’m so glad I made the move to natural after a lot of dithering and indecision. Pinterest pictures of some very sharp gray styles on truly beautiful ladies helped me make up my mind.

  17. Gayle
    July 16, 2014 / 9:06 am

    I have been thinking your blonde hair looks great (it looks REAL) .. so for me this is a timely article. Would you please turn sideways so I can see how the back is cut??
    I have a great colorist .. she too is “gold” .. even got me thru chemo hair-loss and back .. bless her!

  18. Kris
    July 16, 2014 / 9:08 am

    You both look absolutely wonderful. Well worth the five hours of time. I love my stylist and trust her implicitly. I actually told her that if someone scheduled a surgery for me on the day of my hair appointment, the surgery would have to be canceled. I have my priorities.

  19. July 16, 2014 / 10:10 am

    I have an awesome hair dress in my home town, but have been looking for another hair dresser in the desert when I’m there and I’m soon to be on my third one – so yes, a good hair dresses is worth their weight in gold <3

    Monica.

  20. Firecracker
    July 16, 2014 / 10:42 am

    You two look beautiful! This post is so informative, too. I haven’t had color on my hair for quite a while, but I would definitely leave it to the pros, given all that’s involved. I feel that way about a lot of things that I’d rather not have to become an “expert” on to do it myself. 🙂

  21. Lady of Style
    July 16, 2014 / 12:42 pm

    You both do look pretty, lovely and natural looking summer colours!
    In all those years I have still not found a hairstylist whom I trust and see regularly. I have my hair occasionally trimmed but always do the colour myself.

    Annette | Lady of Style

  22. Babette
    July 16, 2014 / 1:13 pm

    You both look beautiful!!! I just came from my stylist today and I feel and look great! I trust her completely. As a matter of fact I make my appointments 2 months in advance and wouldn’t consider seeing anyone else. The products she has suggested are perfect for me. I found her after visiting 2 other mediocre salons which really lacked customer service or business acumen. Shout out to Kate in Mira Salon Bloomington IN!

  23. Noel
    July 16, 2014 / 2:02 pm

    I’m so jealous of all who have and love their hair stylist! I had the same guy for 8 years in Minnesota and he not only did an awesome job with my fine, thick hair – he doubled as a shrink, shoulder to lean on and good friend! Since I’ve been in Colorado, I’ve been to 4 people so far and while no one has been a disaster, I also haven’t gotten the fabulous cut and color I had before. I’m still looking!

  24. July 16, 2014 / 5:03 pm

    I have started recently with a new stylist for the same reason … my old one as wonderful as she was couldn’t master my colour. I think it may be easier for brunettes to do home colour but for blondes it is such a fine art. Both you and Karen (who I am hoping to meet when she comes to Australia in August!!) look gorgeous. Hang on to your colourist, he is good!

  25. Maggie
    July 16, 2014 / 6:01 pm

    Both of you are gorgeous. I let my hair go grey when my twins are toddlers and trained them to call it “platinum”. Talk about re-marketing…..

  26. Kris
    July 16, 2014 / 7:40 pm

    You both look great. Couldn’t agree more about the value of a good stylist/colorist. Hair is the only accessory you have to wear every day, so to me, it’s the most important. And I love having my hair look decent every day, right out of the shower, thanks to a great cut & color.

  27. July 16, 2014 / 9:37 pm

    Both of you ladies look gorgeous with your new color/cut. My stylist is my girlfriend that only trust. I could never go back to a box – my hair is so resistant to grey so I it’s best left to the professional.

    Alice
    http://www.happinessatmidlife.com

  28. nowthatiamfifty
    July 17, 2014 / 4:47 am

    Beautiful and very natural looking! My hair is naturally dark brown but with loads of grey so I get it done professionally. Unfortunately it fades on the ends so quickly 🙁

  29. Elle
    July 17, 2014 / 5:42 am

    I’m in the NYC suburbs & in dire need of a new hairdresser for cut & also a colorist. If anyone has a recommendation, in the city or Anywhere from Westchester to Greenwich, please share.
    Great post & 2 gorgeous results, perfection!
    Thanks so much,
    Elle B

  30. sybes1
    July 17, 2014 / 6:09 am

    This is so cute! I love seeing you and Karen getting your hair done together! Brian seems like a great stylist and all-round nice person. What a treat to have your stylist come to your home! You and Karen are both beautiful women and your bone hair looks great. I have absolute silver hair and would only be able to do platinum or light blonde if I colored my hair. On the one hand I feel like the silver ages me but my stylist has given me a fabulous cut.
    The light blonde looks really good on you two! What fun. Sally

  31. July 17, 2014 / 8:24 am

    Finding a good colourist and stylist is crucial. Luckily I have both and so my hair is now fairly low maintenance. I have certainly had my disasters in the past. Blonde hair can so easily go brassy. Both yours look great .

  32. Sandra
    July 17, 2014 / 9:56 am

    I second Elle’s request for a great stylist/colorist in the Westchester/Greenwich area. Sue, you and Karen look great.

  33. July 17, 2014 / 4:37 pm

    Wow…California blond babes! It’s so difficult to get color just right. Your colorist nailed it for both of you!

  34. July 18, 2014 / 2:02 am

    Your colorist is fabulous! I would color my gray if I could visit him on a regular basis. Your hair is beautiful!

    • July 18, 2014 / 9:21 am

      Susan, your silver is SO pretty, though!

  35. July 23, 2014 / 10:49 am

    Did Karen keep a blog called “Of A Certain Age?” She looks so familiar to me for some reason.

    • une femme
      Author
      July 23, 2014 / 11:26 am

      Lisa, yes she did.

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