Juicy beach read: Hair and makeup pros share the outrageous situations they’ve been rushed in to fix—and exactly how they MacGyvered their way out. Use this smart advice to ensure these beauty bummers don’t happen to you.
Streak of Bad Luck
“I was called to a celebrity client’s for touch-up color, and when I got there, I noticed a green line running through her honey-colored locks. The day before, she’d been at the pool and used a scrunchie to hold back her hair. The fabric had absorbed a ton of chlorinated pool water and had tie-dyed her hair. I’d only brought products for a normal touch-up. So I tried clarifying shampoo, and when that didn’t work, I used dish soap, but the green still didn’t completely come out. Finally, I diluted nail-polish remover with water and applied it with a cotton ball; that finally pulled out the remaining stubborn green!”
—Kyle White, a colorist at the Oscar Blandi Salon in New York City
Got lime-hued streaks? Step away from the polish remover! Instead, White recommends Ultra Swim ($6, ulta.com), a shampoo designed to pull out chlorine, or—for very stubborn staining—Color Oops Hair Color Remover ($11, ulta.com), which strips away wacky tones. To prevent going green in the future, coat pre-swim hair with an oil so it won’t have any room left to absorb chlorine, suggests White; rinse when you get out of the pool. Try Phyto Phytoplage Protective Sun Veil ($30, sephora.com).
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“I have a client who doesn’t wash her hair for long periods of time. She’s a Pilates instructor, so she’s sweating regularly. We wash her hair three times—once just at the roots, with Dawn dish detergent to dissolve the buildup of her body oils. Without the detergent, her hair would start smelling when we started to blow-dry it. Once it made the whole salon reek like B.O.!”
—Colorist Joel Warren, cofounder of NYC’s Warren-Tricomi Salon
Warren is not in favor of going longer then 48 hours between shampoos. But if you must, when you do wash, massage clarifying shampoo into your roots and let it sit for five minutes before rinsing. This allows the cleansers to fully break down the oil and product buildup. Try Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo ($1.79, at drugstores).
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“A client whose brows were growing in sparser got them tattooed. But the artist placed her brow too low! We agreed to grow a row of hair on the bottom of her brows to cover the ink there. The extra hair helped camouflage the error. She also softens the tattoo color with a lighter brow pencil and translucent powder.”
—Sania Vucetaj, owner of Sania’s Brow Bar in NYC
Considering brow tattooing? Consider this: “The ink often turns bluish black, and that doesn’t look great on most skin tones,” says Vucetaj. A serum with biotin and keratin will keep brows healthy so they grow in strong; try RapidBrow Eyebrow Enhancing Serum ($50, ulta.com). Or fill in gaps: Pencils and powders look more natural than waxes or gels, says Vucetaj. Make swift hair-like strokes, then blend with a spoolie brush.
“A client read a blog about do-it-yourself remedies for sun damage and used a combo of lemon juice and 1,000 milligrams of crushed vitamin C tablets on her face. The acid in the lemon fried her skin—it was red and peeling. We treated it with a water-based gel moisturizer and had her stop using any active ingredients like retinol until her face healed, in about a week. Petroleum jelly or a rich moisturizer can feel good, but they hold in the heat from a burn and slow the healing.”
—Aesthetician Renee Rouleau, owner of the eponymous skin spas in Dallas
“I’m not a fan of at-home skin recipes,” says Rouleau. (If you insist, do a patch test on the inside of your forearm a day before.) To fade dark spots, retinol or (prepackaged!) vitamin C serums are effective. Try Philosophy When Hope Is Not Enough Serum ($45, sephora.com).
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For two more beauty disasters (and how to fix them), pick up the July/August issue of Women’s Health, on newsstands now.