"Let them be creative if and when it's safe and appropriate... I mean—why not?"
TEEN HAIR EXPRESSION
Watching Natalie's excitement during the process of expressing herself through a physical manifestation... was new for us and super fun! It was also a nice reminder of a time when I was more adventurous and proud to declare my own hair creations... =)
If your teen is thinking about trying something different with their hair, I say - hear them out, think about options that could work, and if you both decide to move forward, make sure you do some planning before taking the plunge (especially for drastic or permanent changes).
Is your teen inquiring about a significant artistic change with their hair and you're thinking about considering it? If so, keep reading below for information that could help you with the thought process and/or for the planning of it. =)
Questions to ask during the research phase:
Is it appropriate? (e.g., does the school allow it, does the style send the right message?)
Is it safe? (e.g., will you use a professional stylist or are you or your teen thinking of trying to a home DIY?) You should also research if the process could be too damaging to your teens' hair.)
How much will it cost? If you're going to hair stylist or salon, they may need to see and talk with you before giving you a solid estimate. Bleaching, dyeing, and many other hairstyles can get very expensive, so it's best to know what these charges are before diving too deep into this process. Don't forget to calculate an additional 18-20% tip for the stylist and for the possibility of having to purchase specialized after-care products (e.g., color-specific shampoo and conditioner).
What are the upkeep and maintenance? Make sure you're both thinking about what happens after a month or two. Is this something that you will need to repeat every 4-6 weeks? If so, are you both willing to fork over the time and money for it? If not, you may want to consider other options. Keep in mind that if a teen wants to do something to their hair that just isn't feasible, there's likely other fun and cool options that are could work. A few non-drastic hair changes could be learning and doing different hair braids, using hair decorations, or getting a different type of cut or style.
PERSONAL NOTE: I like that Natalie chose and ombré dye because it means there's little to no maintenance. Since there isn't dye at the root of the hair, I don't have to commit to any near future salon visits. Click here to check out Natalie's purple-to-blue ombré hair in 2015.
Once all of the research is done, it's now ready for some good ole' communication. :)
Ensure that you and your teen understand what you both agree to, especially regarding the maintenance moving forward. Personally, I think it's good to let your teen know why you even agree to any of this. My reminders to Natalie were that... she is an awesome daughter (in a billion ways) but to name a few: she puts forth effort into school and does well; she is kind and respectful of others; and because she's wanting to express herself for positive reasons (not because she's trying to impress or fit-in).
Okay - so all the above is good to go and now you're both ready to take the plunge. You're not in the clearing quite yet... well, not if you need to go to a stylist.
If your teens' hair expression includes a stylist... here's a checklist to help you through the process:
Choose a salon/stylist. If you don't already have a stylist or salon fit for the task, call a salon with good Yelp reviews and ask the salon receptionist to recommend the best person for what your teen is getting done
Schedule the appointment. Sometimes a trip to the salon can take 3, 4, or even 5 or more hours! Natalie has thick and long hair - for her purple to blue ombré process, it took about five hours.
Plan what needs to happen a day or two before the appointment. For some hair processes, it's better if the hair isn't washed for one or two days prior (e.g., bleaching and dying). Check with the salon about recommendations when you make your appointment.
Plan what needs to happen a day or two after the appointment. For some hair processes, it could be recommended that you don't wash your hair for 48 hours to let things settle. Check with salon about recommendations when you make your appointment.
Plan and prepare for salon day. If the process is going to take a few hours, here's a few things you want to think about:
- Make sure your teen has eats right before they go into the salon and it might also be good to have snacks too (e.g., almonds).
- Bring water.
- Have example photos of the style your teen is going for.
- Plan for the time spent waiting (e.g., have your phones charged, have a book, grab some of the salon magazines).
And, last but not least, HAVE FUN with whatever you and your teen decide... and hey, if the process invokes you as the parent or guardian to also do a little adventurous something for yourself, even better! :)
I hope this guide is helpful for someone... this is my first JLoves post and quite frankly... I'm not entirely sure what made me want to write it. I think it's because the process took quite a bit of thought for me so if I could help someone else think through and plan for it, I wanted to be able to help. =)
Articles regarding teen and self-expression:
Information regarding coloring your hair for the first time: The Virgin's Guide to Hair Color | BeautyBlitz