Q: I’ve had long hair all of my life, and I am now about to turn 40. I really want to cut my hair short, but my husband really likes my long hair. Can you give me any suggestions so that I can update my hairstyle and keep my husband happy? – Mandy – Snellville
A: Just because you’re turning 40 doesn’t mean that you must cut your hair short. For some reason, as women age, they fell they need to cut their hair and it’s simply not true. You should wear a hairstyle that you are happy and comfortable with and the best suits your lifestyle and tastes. If you want to change the length of your hair, discuss it with your stylist and come up with a new length that will make you happy. If you look and feel great about your hair, I’m sure your husband will be happy with it too.
Q: I am curious about the differences in color and highlights. When I call my salon to schedule an appointment, I am never sure what to request. Can you help me understand what are the differences? – Patty – Virginia-Highlands
A: If you are interested in changing the color of your hair from its natural color, then you should ask for a single process hair color. When you get your hair colored, your stylist will use a color that is best suited to your skin and eye color and apply it to your entire head of hair. When new hair grows in with your natural hair, you should make an appointment for a color touch up. Your stylist will only apply color to your new growth to maintain your overall hair color. Highlighting is a completely different process and is mainly done using foils on selected strands or small sections of your hair to brighten and enhance your hair’s overall color.
Q: I am allergic to all color products, but I have gray hair and want to conceal it. Is there any technique that can help me, or must I live with my gray hair forever? – Joelle – Roswell
A: I have many clients who are allergic to hair color products, and without going through a litany of allergy tests, it’s hard to tell what is causing an allergic reaction. There is a safe, natural product that I use to replace color called henna. It’s a wonderful option. It comes in many different colors and when applied, it leaves your hair silky soft and shiny.
Q: My daughter is in her late teens and is interested in becoming a hairdresser. Lately, she has been talking about becoming an apprentice in a hair salon. My husband and I are unsure about this choice and feel she should go to cosmetology school first to learn her skills. Can you give us any guidance about the options available?
A: First of all, I am pleased that your daughter wants to become a hairdresser. The industry is always looking for new talent. There is a big difference between an apprenticeship and going to cosmetology school. As an apprentice, you are hired as a regular employee – usually for minimum wage or slightly higher – and typically work in a salon for two years. You are assigned to a hairstylist who is responsible for teaching you everything from hair color techniques to cutting and styling, to helping you pass the State Board exam in order to become a licensed hairdresser. It’s a lengthy process, but there is tremendous value in getting many hours of hands-on training. Attending cosmetology school to become licensed takes about nine months. It is an extensive training program, teaching all the necessary skills to pass the State Boards. There are many great schools out there, but the downside is that there is less on-the-job training and there is not a job promised once your get your license. Your daughter may have to work as an assistant until a salon feels she is ready to work on her own. If your daughter does choose to go to cosmetology school, make sure she selects an accredited institution.