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The Secret to Getting Exactly What You Want at the Salon Is So Simple

Some women are born with insanely awesome hair (yes, it's true and yes, it's annoying). You know the ones: their thick, frizz-less strands have natural highlights that seem to glow even in poor lighting. We can dream about having perfect hair all day long or we can get it by going to the pros.

We're no strangers to leaving a salon appointment less than satisfied, especially when it comes to our hair color, but luckily it's now 100% avoidable. Two women at Who What Wear HQ recently returned from visiting different salons happier than ever with their hair color, and we found out that the common denominator was Wella Professionals

Both of their stylists used new Wella Professionals Koleston Perfect hair color, which is a pure, balanced product that creates a natural depth and shine throughout your strands. It also causes significantly less hair damage, color after color*, which is a major plus as far as we're concerned. Learn why these women—with very different hair concerns, by the way—discovered the importance of asking their stylists to use Wella Professionals color.

Sharon considers herself a salon regular and yet hasn't found The One until her most recent appointment. She went to AD Hair Studio on the Upper East Side, knowing she wanted to touch up her roots, but having no idea she'd leave having found her new go-to stylist (and the underlying problem to her discolored hair).

It turns out that the "bands" in her hair were a result of overlapping colors from formulas that weren't true to her natural tone. "Wella creates something that keeps the color true from scalp to ends," her stylist tells her. The results? Rich color that will last.

I would describe my hair as: Long with lots of volume, oily roots, and dry ends.

How often I frequent the salon: Every two months for color, but much less often for trims.

My relationship with my hairstylist can best be described as: Noncommittal. I go to the same salon every time, but I haven’t found a stylist I love yet. Apparently this is why my hair became the hot mess that it was when I walked into Alice’s Salon for my Wella Professionals color treatment. 

My greatest hair annoyance: Blow-drying my hair and styling it, which is why I do neither. I need a hairstyle that’s wash-and-go ready.

My biggest hair regret: Not going to the same colorist every time I went back to touch up my roots. Apparently I've been walking around NYC wearing THREE distinct colors in my hair unintentionally. I had two large black bands going straight across my hair that were from uneven past colorings. I can't believe I didn't see it until Alice at Alice Salon pointed it out to me, but I couldn't not see it once she did!

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Location: AD Hair Studio, 1324 Second Ave, New York

My dream hair looks like: OMG, Pepper Potts from Iron Man. Is that weird?

My tip for getting exactly what you want at the salon: Google the correct hair terminology, and bring three pictures. When it comes to hair, you typically go after a look and a feel, which is why multiple pictures can help form a common denominator. 

The key thing I learned from my stylist at my salon visit: That I had two dark bands in my hair caused by overlapping color and formulas that aren’t true to tone.

After my salon experience with Wella Professionals, my hair is: ALL THE SAME COLOR! Alice decided to take me a bit darker to help cover up those bands, and gave me a chocolate brown that had a cool, warm tone. She actually used three different colors to add “vibrancy and richness with dimension"—essentially the salon touch and not the "kiss of death" of using an at-home box color, as Alice would say. Overall, I’d say to do your research and see if the salon carries Wella Professionals, and then ask for it! The formula does matter, and not all formulas are created equal.

Elizabeth, on the other hand, suffers from early graying, that's surprisingly quite common. Her original plucking method only lasted so long, but her past box coloring method wasn't serving her well either.

After visiting Salon SCK, Elizabeth says: "Dallas did a really great job of explaining why my hair color had become so imbalanced. People who aren’t trained in coloring techniques build up color around the face to cover grays, as that’s often where most of them are. In reality, this just lays the color on top of itself making it far darker than it was originally intended to be." She's now back to her natural pre-gray hair color (and is proudly flaunting it around the office giving everyone else hair FOMO).

I would describe my hair as: I have very fine strands, but a lot of them, so fortunately it looks like I have thick hair. It’s also stick-straight. I’ve never been able to keep a curl in my hair longer than an hour, no matter how hard I’ve tried.

How often I frequent the salon: This is a little embarrassing to admit, but since my hair has gotten long (again), I’ve been getting it cut every four to five months. I’ve been using a subscription box color for about two years now to cover my increasingly gray roots.

My relationship with my hairstylist can best be described as: Nonexistent. I’ve never had a stylist I’ve gone to consistently.  

My greatest hair annoyance: My grays are growing in at what feels like a quicker rate each month. I remember finding my first gray when I was in high school, plucking it out, and continuing to pluck through college. It got to the point pretty quickly post-school where that tactic wasn’t sustainable. I’ve resorted to coloring them every four weeks or so, but I swear every month I see more of them, and they come in more quickly. It’s a bit of a losing battle, but one I’m committed to fighting.

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Location: Salon SCK, 1845 Broadway, New York

The key thing I learned from my stylist at my salon visit: I’ve been told by stylists that they couldn’t lighten the front of my hair to match the rest unless they bleached it, so they’d have to make the rest of my hair darker until it all blended together more seamlessly. I didn’t want to bleach my hair, so I just went along with darkening my natural color, which I thought looked a bit stark, especially during the winter. However, Wella Professionals has a clear color product that can lift the dark color to help make the color more congruent without bleaching. That was an amazing find for me after being slightly depressed about how my color was looking.

After my salon experience with Wella Professionals, my hair is: Soft, shiny, and balanced. It brought my hair back to its natural state, which is exactly what I wanted.

My biggest hair regret: I’ve been using a personalized box coloring service, and it was great for a while, but I’ve found the color gets more and more imbalanced, with the hair that frames my face ending up far darker than the rest.

With 136 colors, Wella Professionals offers something for everyone. But, as Sharon has now learned, "not all formulas are created equal," so asking for Wella Professionals color at the salon is key.

For more hair color inspiration, follow Wella Professionals on Instagram at @wellahairusa.

*Versus previous Koleston Perfect. Valid for Koleston Perfect with Pure Balance Technology.