Unpleasant memories of dealing with over straightened hair in Class 12 and a PCOS diagnosis meant that I had steered clear of hair treatments, include highlights and colouring, since the age of seventeen. You see, I had both rational and irrational fears that ranged from walking out of the salon with unflattering golden highlights to waking up completely bald.
Now, in my mid-twenties, I realise technology has changed considerably and my hair has (luckily) never felt better. Desperate for a change, I booked a hair colouring appointment at Jean-Claude Biguine in Mumbai’s Pali Naka, and found myself sitting in for a consult with the salon’s senior hair stylist, Shadab Ansari, on a sunny Sunday in May.
Shadab was incredibly patient—he answered all my questions, went back and forth with me on the colour and gave the most incredible head massage while washing it off. I walked out of the salon with sun-kissed highlights that looked great (even if I do say so myself) and a little bit more confidence in these treatments since my hair felt pretty good as well.
Before and after
If you’re looking to add some colour to your hair, here are a few things to keep in mind before you make that appointment:
1. Start slow. It can be tempting to opt for a dramatic global (all-over) hair colour or Instagram-worthy glittering grey streaks but those require serious commitment. If you’re colouring your hair for the first time, you want to allow yourself the time to get used to the change. Shadab suggested balayage or the technique of free-hand painting highlights on to the hair for a softer, more natural look. As far as colour goes, he recommended soft, golden highlights for me, but make sure you get a colour that complements your skin tone.
2. Block out at least three hours for the whole procedure and carry a book with you. There’s a lot of watching and waiting.
3. Shadab recommended the Moroccanoil Colour Continue shampoo and conditioner for post-treatment care. You’ll also want to pick up a hydrating mask; I got the L’Oreal Paris Deep Nourishing Hair Mask and use it every week (fine, every two weeks. You caught me.)
4. Book yourself an Olaplex treatment about a month after your hair colour appointment to protect your hair against damage from chemicals. The one-hour long, three-step process takes about an hour but leaves your hair looking healthier, shinier and feeling much softer.
5. You’ll want to get a touch-up after a couple of months, depending on how fast your hair grows.