Today I wanted to talk about inspiration pictures and why it’s so important to be picky about them! As a hairstylist, I love the big transformations, but I also love just as much being able to set a super realistic expectation based on the inspiration picture! The worst part of my job is having to tell someone that their goal picture may not be suited for them! Every hair canvas is different- everyone has a different starting level, different density, and different textures! On top of that, every type of hair color requires a specific maintenance schedule, which is a huge factor in picking inspiration pictures! I’m going to outline some awesome tips for picking out your inspiration picture so that you’re set up for success next time you’re in the salon!
First, I want to touch on natural hair color! You want to begin by identifying your natural color, then choosing a goal photo that has a similar starting point as you! For example, if you have dark brown to black hair, and you’re wanting a bright blonde, look for pictures where the starting point is also just as dark. Same as if you have a dirty blonde and you’re wanting a bright blonde, you’ll want to find an inspiration picture with a similar natural color as you! This helps the stylist set a realistic expectation for what your hair will look like when you’re finished, and how many sessions it may take to get to your goal.
What Do You Really Like?
Second, it’s so important to really identify what you like in your inspiration picture. Put your thumb over the face of the model, and visualize this look on yourself! What do you like? What do you not like? Pay attention to the different tones in the picture, how the layers may be laying, and the placement of the color. Are you wanting higher coverage or lower coverage? Does this inspiration picture help you explain your end goal to your stylist? I always do my best to dive deep in conversation by asking what my guests love about their inspiration picture, to make sure I see it the way they are seeing it! Having a good idea of what you love about the picture going into the consultation will help it run smooth and help set the expectation!
Hair density, length, and thickness all play a huge part in setting realistic expectations, both for color and cut! If you’re someone with tons of hair, you’re going to want to find goal pictures with a similar hair density, so that you know the color or cut will turn out similar. If you come in with a picture of a cut or color on finer, more thin hair and want it lay like the inspiration if you’re someone with super dense, thick hair- it just won’t lay the same. This applies when the tables are turned as well!
Lastly, maintenance plays a HUGE factor in what’s realistic or not for you. Shags, bangs, pixies are all super cute, but they are absolutely something that requires regular at-home styling. Is this something you’re willing to put the time and effort into? Your stylist should always be coaching you on what products and styling tools are best for your haircut/color to recreate the salon look, but it’s your job to tell us how much time you’re really willing to spend so that we can prescribe the correct product routine and style for you! On the other side of this, how often are you wanting to be in the salon? Platinum blondes, grey coverage, and heavy highlights can all require a 4-6 week maintenance, whereas a subtle balayage or grey blending may only require 8-10 week maintenance. If you’re someone who doesn’t love being in the salon every 4-6 weeks, a realistic inspiration picture might be a warmer, rooted highlight or some subtle face-framing highlights!
Always remember to be super transparent with your stylist as far as likes/dislikes and inspiration pictures, as we are only here to make your hair dreams come true! Coming prepared for your reservation will always help set us up for long-term success with every hair goal!
Can’t wait to see you at Studio Be!
Cailey B 🥰
First image: @saloncentric
Second image: @forloveandhair