Six Things To Know Before Stepping Into The Salon With Asian Hair

In a world of internet influencers and Instagram, you don’t have to look far to see gorgeous hair of all colors, cuts and styles. From layered do’s with multicolored highlights, to short, pastel bobs, if you can imagine it, someone has tried it.

But finding a stylist with enough experience and artistry to work with Asian hair, which is notoriously thick and melanin-rich, can be difficult. But it’s not impossible—with a little research and planning, your fantasy hairstyle  can be a reality. Here are six things you need to know before going to a salon to treat your Asian hair:
1.Check Out Online Reviews and Reach Out to Friends

Even top rated salons have stylists with varying levels of experience working with Asian locks. Seek out friends who might have visited the salon you’re considering to get a more comprehensive picture of it. When checking reviews online, remember to investigate who’s writing the reviews, when they were written, what the most popular treatment at the salon is, whether the stylist you’ll be working with is chatty or prefers to relax and how reviewers describe their overall experience.

2. Be Prepared for Multiple Bleaching Sessions

Although it’s fun to watch the chaos of a 12 hour bleaching session unfold on YouTube, those long bleaches can really take a toll on your hair’s health. If you’re not in a rush for a dye job, consider taking extended breaks (days or weeks) between bleaching to let your hair rest.

“The first bleach takes dark hair to orange, the second to yellow, and for platinum, hair often requires a third bleach,” says Lianne Leong (@beautybylianne on Instagram), a hairstylist of over ten years based in Los Angeles.

East Asian hair in particular tends to have “low porosity,” meaning that hair will have to be bleached multiple times to break down the fatty acids and pigment molecules that make up natural hair color. South Asian hair faces a similar problem. It tends to be more coarse, and requires extra care and even longer waiting periods between bleaching to avoid brittleness.

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this is the best day ever 🌿🍃🌱

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3. Bring Reference Picturesh

Even if you think you can describe your desired look to a T, it’s always good to bring along a picture for your hairstylist to reference. A photo is always easier to consult than a memory. Plus, you and your stylist can always discuss how to further personalize the cut and color for your unique hair texture, face shape and style.

4. Consider Length and Thickness

The length and thickness of your hair and whether it has been dyed before will determine how much bleach and dye your stylist will need to use, and how long you’ll end up sitting in the salon chair. If your hair is short, bleach will develop faster thanks to the heat from your head. If you have short hair, you might even consider saving money by having a friend help you bleach your hair at home before hopping over to the salon for a finishing color dye. If you have long hair or just want to experiment with colors, you might consider going to a salon for bleaching and trying some semi-permanent hair dye at home.

Not everyone wants or needs to bleach their hair, so Leong suggests that people “find a stylist with similar hair thickness and texture” to their own. This ensures a level of familiarity with a specific type of hair.

5. Check Out Beauty School Options

If you’re working with a tight budget, visiting a beauty school for your next hair transformation is a good option. Stylists and colorists at beauty schools are up to date on the most recent treatments and techniques. Though it might seem like a gamble, keep in mind that professionals with more experience are there to mentor students every step of the way.

6. Aftercare Tips

After all that time in the salon chair perfecting your ’do, brassy, yellow hair is the last thing you want. “After the color is lifted past orange to yellow, it won’t turn orange again, but the toner (to tone down yellow hues) will fade in a few weeks or less, so toner is needed at least every 3 weeks,” Leong says. Toner during treatment and purple shampoo after are a must for Asian hair maintenance. Before leaving the salon, be sure to ask your stylist about brand recommendations and when to come in for root touch ups.

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The reality of going blonde if your hair is currently dark. Do not sit in your stylists chair with dark hair expecting to leave a perfect platinum, ashy, silver, natural blonde color. It takes multiple sessions+a lot of time, patience+money to achieve. Also AWKWARD PHASES!! Especially if you want to fully bleach out the majority of your hair. If you have had previous color put on your hair expect banding it’s going to happen. Even if your hair color has faded out of your hair it is still there! The only way hair color fully leaves the hair is if it’s cut off or if it’s bleached out. Previously colored hair, especially dark colors do not lift to a pretty blonde in one session. Embrace the warmth. Now with my client her goal is a dark shadow root into silver blonde all over. Going into this we both knew it was going to be a process. I prepped her hair with 3 olaplex treatments (once a month for 3 months she would come in for just an olaplex treatment). Once I felt her hair was healthy enough to go forward with bleaching we started with one session of bleaching (which is what you see in the picture above) This is a 3 hour process of just bleaching+washing+blow drying her hair. Taking extremely thin sections+taking my time applying so I do not overlap and cause breakage on her ends. I was on my clients head for nonstop 3 hours. I then stopped to take this picture to educate clients+stylists that it’s not easy going from dark to blonde it takes time. It’s a process. This is what her hair looked like after one bleaching process. That band of brass in the center of her head is from the previous 2N that was applied on her hair at a different salon. Now with banding there’s not much you can do. I did everything that I could to avoid it but even with my thin sections and applying a higher volume where the previous color was+taking my time to reapply…this was the outcome. After I was done taking this picture I then mixed up more lightener to just bleach the band of brass she had. Even after two sessions of lifting she still is hanging on to this band. The color didn’t want to budge from her hair. I then toned her to cool down everything so she could function for 6 weeks.

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