Hair crisis: when ginger goes bad

| by Lou | 5.10pm UK time |

This is a story all about how AM Beauty Salon in Knightsbridge ruined my lovely hair. If you've stumbled upon this post via googling them, take my advice: DO NOT GO THERE. I have aged 10 years in the last 24 hours dealing with the catastrophic result of their absolute incompetence.

Let me set the scene. This is me on Sunday - dyed red hair, with a bit of regrowth. (And new £5 sunglasses, which I love - aren't they hilarious? I found them in an emo teen shop in Edinburgh.)

I had wanted to get my hair refreshed for The Wedding Of The Year on Saturday, so jumped at this voucher offer from kgb deals:

£29 for a half head of highlights or a full head of colour plus a wash, cut and blow dry worth £235 at A.M Beauty Salon - save 88%

I went in and said "I'd like to dye it ginger". The hair-dresser expressed some reservations. I said I would be fine to keep it red if it wasn't going to work. He brought out colour samples and pointed at the vibrant ginger. I said that was what I was thinking, but that I would be okay with the darker ginger if it wasn't going to work in my hair. He said he was going to give it a go.

Here is where is starts to get a bit fishy. He made up the dye and applied it to my roots. Just my roots. And left it for at least 45 minutes. It might have been an hour. Then put it through the rest of my hair and left it for at least another 45 minutes. It might have been another hour. By the time it was washed out I had read 100 pages of my book and my scalp was starting to go numb.

They rinsed it out and sat me down in front of the mirror. My roots were a luminous peroxide-orange colour. The rest was a dark ginger. I was stunned. Mortified.

He seemed to say something about the lightness being brought down through my hair "next time". I didn't really know what this meant as surely if it was a two-stage process you would tell the client that at the beginning. I said he needed to make the roots darker. He said wouldn't I want to make the rest lighter to get the colour I wanted? I said I didn't care, whichever was easiest, I just needed to have one single coloured hair as I have a wedding on Saturday.

He took me back to the sink and spent approx 20-30 mins rubbing the hair dye in to the next section of hair. During this time I had rising panic that nearly led to tears. I can't go to the wedding looking like a clown! But I reassured myself that of course he would sort it out. He's an expert! He knows what he's doing!

He rinsed it out and took me back to the chair. And commenced with the cut (a bit of a trim really - I think it took all of 15 minutes). And then blow dried it.

The roots were still a luminous orange. The next section was just a little bit lighter to slightly mask the difference. He insisted that the salon lights were emphasising it, and that it really wouldn't be noticeable in all other lighting. And that next time the light colour would be pulled through the rest of the hair.

I was so convinced (or so wanting to convinced) that, having been there for 4 hours by this stage, I tipped him. £10.

This morning I woke up to this:

Not so bad, you're thinking.

But allow me to emphasise the difference in colours:


How did this happen?

How does an "expert" do this?

How does a salon let a client leave looking like this?

And how could this possibly be worth £235?!

Suddenly everything he did became clearly inept in retrospect:

  • Putting the colour into the roots so much longer before the rest of the hair. What the fuck! I'm no hair expert (hence trusting him), but even I know that untreated hair (ie the roots) reacts more strongly to colour than treated hair. When I or a hair-dresser has ever dyed my hair in the past the roots are done, and very swiftly followed by the rest. No 45+ minute gap. WHAT THE FUCK.
  • Telling me that in the "next stage" the lighter ginger would be brought through the rest of my hair. What the fuck! I asked for ginger hair, not an inch of ginger hair. Who in their right mind thinks that someone asking for ginger hair is saying "I want an inch of ginger hair"? And why on earth act as though it needs more time for the colour to work in the rest of my hair when he himself was the one who put it on the roots for so much longer? WHAT THE FUCK.

He had become progressively quieter during the time I was there. I realise now that he was probably panicking. He had been scratching at my hair when the dye was in to see how it was working. He really scrubbed that dye through the second time round after I'd expressed discontent. He knew that it was awful.

In blind panic I got two boxes of my trusty usual hair dye, thinking that even if it dyed my roots a bright red they would at least be the same colour as the rest of my hair. I enlisted a friend to put it through and she says that the "expert" hadn't even evenly fucked my hair - some roots were lighter than others, some bits at the back had been missed.

Thank god for Schwarzkopf Live Colour XXL Red Passion. I shall go to the ball.

Shame that even after five (5!) conditioning treatments my hair still feels like straw, and my scalp is very irritated.

I have sent a Very Strongly Worded email to the salon with a photo, have requested my money back from kgb, and am never trusting a British hairdresser ever again.

8 thoughts on “Hair crisis: when ginger goes bad”

  1. BRO! Get some back-up if needed and schlep your beautiful self back to that Salon and demand your money (I would also ask for the money you spent to rectify his fucking ridiculous mistake by buying hairdye from the super).
    That hairdresser...what a muppet.

  2. I had a similar experience. The lady first bleached my hair and turned it sunny delight yellow, and then dyed it turning it traffic cone orange and then dyed it again turning it this awful peach color. She could tell I was panicking and all of the women in the salon gathered around to tell me how great it looked. I left looking like a peach smoothie and on top of it had to pay well over 100 dollars as she charged me for the second dye.
    I was surprised that your color turned out a very natural dark auburn after you used the Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL in 43 Red Passion. I looked it up on the internet when another woman suggested it and the box looks like it would turn a burgundy red. I'm looking for an nice vibrant ginger red color.

  3. LiveColour Red Passion is definitely a bright red, and whilst not necessarily ginger, it is more towards the natural end of the red scale rather than an artificial fire-engine red. They do have a slightly more gingery one though I think - I haven't tried it though.