Damien Bacarro: Hair Color Specialist

Damien Baccaro

Hair color is all about preference and style. The hairdresser you choose can make or break your look. So how do you communicate with them to get what you want? Damien Baccaro is an American Board Certified Master Hair Colorist from Southern California. Sharing his experiences with many clients, he gives us insight on how to talk to hairdressers, and gives us a bit of advice on hair color.

Communicating with Your Hairdresser

LoveToKnow (LTK): If a woman's hairdresser does the same color and style, how should she ask for a change?

Damien Baccaro (DB): What has worked in the past does not always work in the present, and won't always work in the future. Hairdressers know the formula of your cut and color that has satisfied you in the past. So in fear of a re-do, loss of money (or worse), losing you as a client, they play it safe. I recommend the next time you call, ask for a consultation appointment - that will let your stylist know you are serious about change. I also suggest bringing in pictures of styles you are craving. During the consultation using the words "whisper", "shout", "scream" to describe how you want your hair to talk to others. Sound silly? These words work better than you think.

LTK: If a woman's stylist tries to talk her out of a certain style, what is the best way to handle it?

DB: As the client, you are one of our many valued bosses. If you ask for something, a hairdresser should give it to you. I recommend that you do some investigative work. On one hand, perhaps the hairdresser is outdated or aloof. Hairdressers need to keep up with the trends and continue to get education in order to give clients what they want. On the other hand, your hairdresser may be looking out for your best interests. Sometimes they may feel that what you are asking for may not be complimentary to your hair, skin tone or facial features. Often times, hairdressers try to steer you in another direction because they are looking at the amount of damage certain styles or colors can do when compounded or layered on one another. If this is the case you should listen to your hairdresser.

LTK: What is the best way for a woman to "break-up" with her stylist or colorist?

DB: Clients usually leave quietly. It's always a treat when the "not so nice" clients move on in this manner. However, in the past I've had some favorite clients leave without saying goodbye. In truth, I'd have preferred them to tell me they were moving on in a letter, phone call or email.

Expert Hair Color Tips

LTK: If a woman wants to change her color, but is concerned about residual damage from previous colors, do you have any suggestions for her?

DB: Your best bet is to trust the expertise and opinion of your hairdresser. Your hairdresser can guide you in the right direction to find a color that you want, without compounding the damage. A hairdresser will have options for you. Should you so desire, you could do the "sink or swim" test at home. This involves filling a clear glass with water, snipping off two strands of hair including the root, and dropping them on the top of the water. If the hair floats, the fiber is in good condition. If the hair sinks quickly, this is a sign that your hair has been exposed to too many damaging elements (ex: color, perm, blow dryer, flat iron, etc.)

LTK: Do women who color their hair brunette shades need to be concerned about chlorine like blondes?

DB: Good question! With darker shades, "chlorine-green" is not much of a concern. On the other hand, mineral build-up IS a concern. For most people and most situations, I know wearing a swim cap isn't an appealing option. In lieu of that, I highly recommend soaking your hair with bottled or tap water and maybe even some conditioner before jumping into that pool!

LTK: Does a woman need to change her makeup if she goes with a darker or lighter color?

There is no blanket answer - but not necessarily. Often times the solution is just to switch your eyebrow color accordingly. Some stylists will adjust your eyebrow color at the time you have your hair done, while others will not. Another easy option is to find the right brand and shade of eyebrow pencil to bring your look together.

More About Damien Baccaro

Damien Baccaro has been doing color and cuts for over nine years. Over the years he has also taught classes for hairdressers across Southern California and assisted in hair shows, working with many world-renowned hairdressers. For more about Damien, or to contact him for color or styling, visit his web site, www.dbhairdo.com.

Damien Bacarro: Hair Color Specialist