The expert guide to keeping your hair salon fresh at home


A makeover only begins in the barber’s chair, because with a new hairstyle comes responsibility. It’s great to leave the salon with a shine – whether it’s a new cut, a head of highlights, a new set of extensions or all three – but the way your hair is doing facing the future is a collaborative effort, and the customer has a big role to play in what happens next.

Conor James Doyle is an educational hairstylist. Its mission is to “break down the walls between the professional and the consumer, by educating in both good hair techniques and maintenance”. His social media (@conorjmd) is full of content that is both entertaining and informative, and he has plenty of tips to share on how to handle salon hair.


We’re probably all sick of hearing how a great makeover starts with a good thorough consultation, but never mind. “The time to decide your life change isn’t in the stylist’s chair just before a five o’clock appointment when you have the kids on the farm for the day – it’s way too much pressure for anything the world,” says Conor. “A much smarter decision is to book 15-30 minutes a few days in advance so the stylist can get a feel for the client’s personality, hair and aspirations. This gives the process a much better chance of success, as sometimes we might need to do a bit of research or order special products. The optimal solution may not be the first idea, so it’s good to have time to discuss and reflect. It also takes the pressure off the client and/or the professional to move on if they are not satisfied.

“As far as color is concerned, customers should remember that permanent hair coloring irreversibly alters its structure, especially when it comes to intense lightening. It’s like taking a solid piece of fabric and refining it into something much more delicate, so you can’t expect to be able to process this new material the same way you used to. You can’t constantly wash it, apply heat to it, style it, and expect it to thrive. Likewise, you can’t throw a darker color on it and expect it to go back to what it was. We must respect the new integrity of this delicate material and go slowly.

hair extensions

Just as a fresh color can bring a whole new perspective on life, so can a change in length or thicker hair, which also gives a style more body and hold. Over the past decade, hair extensions have evolved from specialist hairdressing to traditional hairdressing and there are many options. Karen Fraher, owner of The Hive salon in Dublin, is an authority on beautiful, very natural looking extensions and has tried every type of tie, bead and tape. “As with color, choosing the right type of extensions for a client is a very individual thing and determined by many factors, such as hair thickness, curls, propensity to frizz, color, result and budget. The amount of time a client is willing to spend on follow-up and refilling is also a factor. I love bonds because they can be tailored very specifically to the client and the drop is very natural, spreading well from the root Tapes have appeared significantly lately and have a wide variety of color choices They can be applied quickly the first time, they don’t require heated glue, and the same hair can be used up to four times.They are great for filling in the sides where hair may be thinning or broken.However, they need to be changed more often than obligations, and that is a process that takes longer than the client thinks. As with Conor, Karen recommends a consultation beforehand so both client and stylist are confident in the final decision.


Whichever course of action you choose, the makeover doesn’t stop when you walk out of the living room. In terms of monitoring, there are lessons to be taken into account. The first lesson is selecting the right products for the job. “To be honest, I don’t care if a customer buys products from me, but I want them to get the best and longest results from their style,” says Conor. “So I always encourage the customer to take a picture of the products I think would work best and then they can do their own research. It’s also a handy way to remember the different steps and solutions involved.

In terms of at-home extension management, Karen suggests clients treat their hair type, not the extensions. “I often hear customers ask if a product can be used with extensions, or if it will affect the bonds or tape. The truth is, hair is far more valuable and harder to replace than extensions, so always take caring for your hair I am a big fan of the Nioxin system as it treats the scalp and hair follicle as well as existing hair which means when the extensions come out clients are often pleasantly surprised at the texture and feel of your hair. state of their own hair.


Regardless of tracking, there are a few key things that apply across the board. Washing less frequently is going to help for a number of reasons, as it also means less blow-drying, styling, product build-up and heat. “I suggest for light clients to try and stick to a maximum of twice a week, unless their scalp is otherwise screaming,” says Conor. “Also a lot of people are surprised to hear that we have very hard water in Ireland which affects hair color so washing less often will help prevent funky things from happening with your locks. .” Likewise, and very unpopular news, is that fake tan stains hair…think those orange sections at the base of your neck. (I say.)

People are surprised to hear that we have very hard and acidic water in Ireland which affects hair color so washing less often will help stop the funky things happening with your locks.

On hair color changes, Conor points out that the currently popular platinum shades will always change to gold. “It’s for a number of reasons, but it’s going to happen. But before rushing to a bottle of purple shampoo, it’s important to properly diagnose the problem. For example, if the hair has become dull, darker, maybe even a little green, the problem is likely hard water or some kind of buildup. Adding purple shampoo on top can actually add more fuel to the fire, resulting in lifeless, muddy locks. A detoxifying treatment like Color Wow Dream Filter, anti-mineral shampoos like L’Oréal Professionnel’s Metal Detox or brightening shampoos like Redken High Bright might be the best solution. You might even need a shower filter – Co Cavan’s Vibe salon has started making a great, affordable one.

“If the problem is more about excessive yellow (think lighter, harsher tones vs. dull tones), then purple shampoo might be the answer. It’s important to use a high-quality one (Redken Blondage is adorable ) and only use a few washes as needed. You may need a combination of all the options mentioned above, which is where a professional can guide you.


Bonding treatments like Olaplex have been a game-changer when it comes to color, allowing stylists to push shade change further while maintaining hair quality. Conor recommends clients follow salon treatments by applying Olaplex No 3 (the at-home version of Olaplex No 2 Professional) to damp hair at night before a hair wash, the first three times after coloring. “Not following good home care is a killer,” echoes Neill Cooney, stylist at Brown Sugar. “It’s like going to a personal trainer to work out and then stopping at McDonald’s on the way home.”


Armed with the right tools and a bit of knowledge, keeping hair looking its best just got a whole lot easier. One of Neill’s key tips for a great at-home blow-dry is to not over-dry your hair before styling it. “A lot of times we hear that the hair should be 80% dry, but I suggest reducing that to around 50%. Once the hair is dry, you lose the potential to add volume. Lift the tensioned root and use a styling product to add dimension and hold. Remember that gravity will always pull the hair down, so be big and don’t brush out the curls until the last moment.


Finally, it’s about expectations…and those Instagram or Pinterest photos we all bring into living rooms. While it might be worth drawing inspiration from, remember that a static, optimally lit, and most likely heavily filtered image is very different from the real thing; so cut yourself – and your stylist – some slack and enjoy your new look, however it evolves. Perfection is as elusive as it is boring.

1 Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo, €27, Conditioner, €27, and leave-in treatment, €27. A three-step multitasking system for intense conditioning and breakage reduction while prolonging salon-quality color and straightening/relaxing hair.

2 Kérastase Blonde Absolu shampoo, €25.90. Banishes the yellow tones of icy blondes. Use Bain Lumière translucent shampoo regularly, then refresh blondes with a purple punch of Ultra-Violet as needed.

3 L’Oréal Professional Metal Detox Shampoo, €28. Removes compounds in hard water to dramatically refresh and brighten color. A new gamechanger with conditioner and mask also available.

4 Olaplex No. 3, €27.50. The home solution to keep hair strong and healthy after coloring. Apply to damp hair as a mask before washing.

5 L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Pli, €19. A good brushing consists in giving memory to the hair. Pli is a styling spray that protects, shapes, straightens and holds.

6 Color Wow Dream filter, €28. A clarifying pre-shampoo treatment to brighten and correct hair color. Apply to dry hair for one to three minutes before washing.

This article originally appeared in the summer issue of IMAGE magazine. Photograph by Jason Lloyd Evans.


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