Ask Chuck: All I want for Christmas is my hair done right

By Charles Colson
Dec. 12, 2013 at 6:12 a.m.

I have started having a huge amount of trouble with my hair after having gastric bypass surgery. Before I had this medical mishap, my hair was extremely thick and bouncy. Now, it has lost a lot of body and is extremely fine and limp. Is there a miracle I could hold on to that would give me confidence and hope?

Believe it or not, there are still some great possibilities for your hair. First of all, without knowing your age, many times, hair takes a 360-degree turn as we get older. So surgery may not have been the only trauma your hair would go through.

This reminds me of when I recently had almost the same experience that happened to a new client of mine. I did see quickly that she had a somewhat natural wave to her hair and was not as thin as I have worked with. She desperately asked me for advice and some kind of assurance that her hair would have the chance of coming alive again.

As we talked about how limp her hair was, I found out she was leaving her hair conditioner on anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes while she showered. I immediately advised her to never leave a conditioner on but a few seconds. I explained how the only conditioning she needed for her hair was something that would act as a conditioning creme rinse.

I told her to just apply a small amount of conditioner to her already shampooed hair, comb it through the hair and immediately rinse it out. This will release all the soap curd remaining and will wind up giving her more body. She didn't need to relax any part of her hair.

She also told me how mousse used as a setting lotion would make her hair feel heavy and sometimes oily. I added that her hair would retain more body if she did not ever use a setting lotion other than water. It was important that she remember that her hair needed less weight on it.

The most beneficial thing I did at that time was to shape her hair to get rid of the split ends, which natural wavy hair tends to get. I was able to keep the length she desired but layered it more around the front, sides and crown. She was amazed along with me at the fascinating difference it was making. The layers created a perfect blend without destroying her length. She said this was her first cut since more than two years ago.

So you see, even with fine, limp hair, you can find great results with just a little bit of attention and tender, loving care.

I think Christmas is a perfect time for me to be thinking of changing my hair color. I just have to find that right hairdresser who will listen to me and not just take over and do as they please. My hair is now practically all blonde/ gray and looks quite drab. Is it silly for me to try and just color the roots and let the blonde shade show through as attractive streaks? Is this a ridiculous question?

I have never heard of a ridiculous question when it comes to a change that brings out your personality. What you are referring to is what they called in the 60s as minking and now referred to as reverse frosting. Believe it or not, this color change is becoming quite popular.

I recently worked with a client who was trying to make this exact situation come true with her hair. And when we finished it, the only word we could think of was "wow." We chose a light golden brown to blend with the solid gray she had.

The results were phenomenal since we let it all happen naturally. We achieved our goal without using a frosting cap, paying close attention to the roots and letting the color bleed through just in certain areas. She told me in the beginning to be ready - "I don't always like my hair when hairdressers get through with it."

This became quite comical as I told her of a short cartoon one of my clients brought me a few years ago. It was short and to the point when it showed a lady about to have a gentleman style her hair and he asked how she would like it.

She simply explained that it didn't matter. This alarmed the stylist because he was not ready for that response. She told him he could have at it. He asked her why was she going to be so easy to please.

She stated that was a simple solution because she said she had been having her hair done for more than 25 years, and she only liked her hair about three times. Sound familiar with anyone? This actually set him at ease, and I often wondered if he could have been lucky enough to accomplish the fourth miracle. I think this cartoon has now become reality.

During the holidays, feel free to discuss your hair imaginations with your hairdresser. You just might like it. Wouldn't that make for a merry Christmas for both of you?

I hope you all have the happiest holidays ever, and thank you so much for enjoying my columns.

Charles Colson is a local hair stylist and registered massage therapist. You may email hair or massage questions to or call 361-575-5331.



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