"Balayage" Gone Wrong: Stylists its okay to say no.

Updated: Feb 27

Last week while my assistant and I were foiling away our client we couldn't help but over here a hair story that happened to our Nail Techs Client. Now every hairstylist loves a good hair story but this one made me bummed for this girl.

lets be clear im all for stylists GROWING and I am not writing this to "shit" on anyone. Im hoping to educate future clients/stylists.

Long story short.. it was her 16th birthday and she chose to get her hair coloured for the FIRST time professionally.

I asked her how she chose which salon to go

She went into this salon, it was nice and they figured they knew what they were doing. They had a consult on the Sunday and got in that Tuesday for a 5 hour appointment. To me thats a red flag right away.. An experienced stylist wouldn't have a 5 hour slot within two days most of the time.. but who knows maybe there was a cancellation?

They booked the appointment

Hair prior (for hairstylists talk)

grown out highlights and she wanted a drop root to a smokey balayage ends. (not hard to do but isn't suitable for beginners either)

She sat in the chair for over six hours and the left was the end result. The right result was a fix attempt from the same salon.

Left Photo: Broken Ends that resemble straw, not blended and essentially looks like her hair was dipped into a can of paint. Now this stylist that did this was probably frazzled the entire time and probably went home feeling sad/mad/discouraged. Thats the WORST feeling in the world. She probably didn't know how to approach this color job but didn't know how to project that.

Right Photo: still not blended but they toned down the over bleached look with a darker muted tone. Better but not good...

Before 1 & 2

My point to this post is that if you are a beginner stylist or maybe you have been in the industry for a long time but you aren't up to trend. THATS OKAY. Just say no to a color job if you aren't 100% confident that you can execute it. It is okay to say no and if your scared to say no then you aren't working in the correct environment for your growth.

Salon Owners: It is NOT worth it to jeopardize someones hair /hair experience just to make a quick dollar. INSTEAD take the time to train your stylists, Assist your stylists, send them to education, sign them up for online education. There is 100s of videos out there.

Would I ever give my apprentices this job ? absolutely not.

This girl was going back the following week for another attempt to fix her hair. This would be her THIRD appt at the same place in two weeks. Usually salons will do "redos" for free and in this case this is why she was going back there again. 100% understandable. However I knew her hair wouldn't be fixed to what her goal was.

This stylist also told her that "balayage" is for long hair only and cant be worn straight.. If you cant wear your hair straight and it doesn't look blended... thats a problem. Again stylists if you dont feel comfortable doing something that is totally okay!! but dont lie to your clients. As you can see in the video below her hair looks blended AF straight.

So after we heard this story for about 20 minutes I looked at my upcoming schedule and I had some days off that lined up with my assistants.

We offered to fix her hair for her at no cost.

I LOVE color corrections, it gets me out of my comfort zone and it was a good learning experience for my assistant. I also didn't want her to end up scared of going to hair stylists and going home to box color her hair. I hear this every week. Someone had a terrible experience and they don't trust any hair stylists again. Total bummer

Total Appointment Time: 3 hours

Cost would have been: $336

Perfectly Blended

Color Correction After

Stylists: practice practice practice and have an open mind to learning from artists that may have less experience than you. I see so many stylists who have 20 years experience but refuse to learn anything new yet still call themselves a "master stylist" .. Who exactly gives you the title master stylist is my question.. Honestly that term has always stumped me.

In the end she was pumped. She immediately went home and posted some bomb selfies. That was worth it for me and I'm glad we were able to save her hair.


Foilayage + babylight the entire head

Schwarzkopf Vario Lightener with blue additive. Started at 7 vol and ended with 20 vol (I rarely go over 20 vol. We want healthy blonde not dead)

I sprayed her roots with Unite Texturiza to allow her hair to back comb better for the foilayage.

Processed: 25 minutes or so

Tone at the sink:

Roots: 5-1/5-0 Igora Vibrance (processed 10 min total)

Mids: 8-11/7-0 Igora Vibrance (processed 8 min total)

Ends: 10.11 (nook), Ice (Schwarz), 8-46 (schwarz) and 2 inch of 5-99 (Schwarz) with 10 vol. Yes I mix lines all the time. (processed 5 min total)

Processed/melted together.


Loma Fortifying Tonic , R+Co Waterfall into wet hair

Curled with the Bio Ionic 1 inch long barrel

Finished with Unite Texturiza and Neon Lights.


Thankyou to @salonmusebymeg for the assist!

Thanks for the read!


Owner of Salon Muse and West Beauty Collective.