Colour Deserves to be a Specialism
“Colouring is a specialism,” says Iris Poldervaart, Creative Director of The Color, the rapidly-expanding new hair salon franchise, which is finally giving colour expertise the primacy it deserves.
“Nine out of ten hairdressers are very good at cutting … but they do colouring on the side,” she says. The concept behind The Color seeks to reverse the trend, recognising that high quality hair colour is very important and should not be an afterthought.
“Normally, colouring takes place through a small door in the back [room],” explains Iris. “We said, no, it needs to be in front; you need to know what they are going to do. We need to take the consumer into the whole process.” For this reason, every colour is tailor-made in discussion with the client and prepared in front of them.
Iris is a successful style blogger and an expert in identifying trends. She issues trend reports to the whole team twice a year, and the creative colour director and style director then create techniques around them. “We are so on top of everything that’s happening within the colour world. It’s changing a lot. The moment that a new technique arises … we train the creative team and it will go out very quickly to all our The Color specialists. We have a sort of natural seeding process within the company.”
All stylists are trained at The Color’s own The Color College, the first of its type in the Netherlands.
Colour melts, balayage, highlights, lowlights – they do it all, and with the latest techniques, products, and equipment. I was particularly impressed by a tool called the colour board, which gets the colour much closer to the roots, creating a cleaner look and giving you extra time before you need a re-dye.
Communication is Everything
I am lucky enough to be trialling the experience with the talented Shadée at The Color’s Van Woustraat branch, and I am loving every minute. We begin with a face-to-face consultation.
My brief is almost impossible: brown, but not too brown; blonde, but not too light; ash, but not grey; natural-looking, but not my natural colour … And could it please all blend in easily once my dark roots reappear? She does not raise an eyebrow.
We look at some pictures together. “Yes. No. Yes, that’s the sort of thing.” We’re on course.
Shadée selects three different colours, each a mix of three shades, to get the complicated effect we discussed together.
“Communication is very important within the salons,” explains Iris, speaking to me while my foils do their magic. You’ll find no bossy hairdressers here. The philosophy is all about understanding the client’s wishes: “We are the experts; we will advise, but we will always take your needs into consideration. It’s very important to listen very carefully.”
We are the experts; we will advise, but we will always take your needs into consideration. It’s very important to listen very carefully.
I admit to Iris that I can be nervous about getting my hair coloured, but I found the films in their online magazine and Shadée's detailed consultation hugely reassuring. “I know how important colour is,” she empathises. “You just want to know that you are in the right hands and that you have somebody specialised that knows exactly what is going to suit you and that also listens to your needs.”
There’s also a candid discussion about the cost of the different treatments. “You will know beforehand what the price is going to be, so that there’s no surprise when you go to pay,” explains Iris. A blow-dry is always included - so there’s no added cost there – and if you want a haircut, you get it at a great price if you have it done as part of your colour appointment. You can even book via Whatsapp, send pictures of what you want, and ask for advice and a price quote.
The team can advise on the best products for your hair but there’s no hard sell. The stylist simply notes down recommended purchases on a card for you, and you can check them out in your own time in their webshop.
A Place to Relax
The Color might be cutting-edge, but it is friendly and unpretentious. “This is something that’s very important to us,” says Iris. “We don’t want to be the salon where you feel like you need to have a certain outfit on or be stylish. Especially as a woman, if you have kids – we need our me-time. I just want everybody to feel relaxed and welcome.”
One curious way they have created this relaxed atmosphere is to take away the wall-to-wall mirrors. I am relieved. I usually go to the hairdresser with a full face of make-up precisely because of that permanent, imposing reflection.
Shadée explains: “You will be here in full head foils; I don’t think that’s something you want to look at for the next three hours.” Sometimes the colour has to go through purple or yellow on its way to achieving the final shade, she tells me, which can make the client anxious. It’s better to see the beautiful end result and not overthink the process. “It’s always nice to give people that wow,” she smiles.
The Color wants to care for you long term and keep your hair in good condition. Stylists make health plans for their clients called "The Color Care plan" to ensure that the treatments you receive are part of an ongoing programme for your hair and take account of your future needs.
Shadée explains, for example, that bleaching can be harmful to my hair. She has already mixed a nourishing balm into the colour she applied and, now that the colour is ready to be rinsed out, she applies a hair mask to seal nutrients into the hair shaft and prevent brittleness.
Now it’s time to sit at the mirror and admire the new colour.
It’s perfect. Shadée has taken on board every aspect of my long-winded request: the colour is natural, blended, and right up to the roots. A blow-dry and trim later and I’m good to go.
I feel a whole lot more confident about getting colour. I am already planning my next challenge for these talented people. Does "beachy, but chic; sun-kissed, but wintry; warm, but not brassy" make sense to anyone?
To book an appointment at The Color, contact details can be found on their website. Scroll down for links to their social media channels for special offers and online tutorials.
Note: The company in this post has paid to be featured on Amsterdam Mamas because they believe that their services would be of interest and benefit to our readers, and we think so too. For more information on sponsored posts and advertising on Amsterdam Mamas, please see our Advertising and Disclosure policy.
Deborah Nicholls-Lee is a freelance journalist who moved to the Netherlands from the UK in 2009. She is the general content manager at Amsterdam Mamas and the founder of Clean Page Copy, a proofreading and copywriting service for non-native speakers of English. See her website to find out more about her work.
Photo credit: The Color