Beauty · Women

A Cut Above: Interview With Hair Stylist/Colorist Lisa Eldridge

The right hair stylist/colorist can change your outlook on life with the right haircut and color choice. Pro Stylist/Colorist Lisa Eldridge gives 50 Shades of Health an inside look on choosing the best color and style for you.

We all know our hair types. Mine is wavy, fine, and I have a lot of it. I style my hair every day otherwise I look like a cavewoman. If you can’t relate, it’s not a good look. When it comes to us finding that perfect cut and color we browse through fashion magazines, hairstyle magazines, and websites. We may copy a celebrity’s look, or stick to the same cut and style that works best for us. Whether you play it safe or live on the edge, choosing the best hairstyle and color for you are easy when you have the right stylist.

When it comes to color there is a spectrum to choose from these days: a color wheel of reds, browns, blondes and everything in between. We can try different colors and color trends, apply highlights, lowlights, Ombré (long darker roots), dip-dye (dying the ends a different color), bronde (shade between blonde/brown), or bright colors. Color is fun. We can change it on a whim, try something new, hide the grays, keep up our “natural” color or dare to be different and start a trend of our own.

Lisa has been a stylist/colorist for nearly 30 years. Becoming a stylist was not her original career choice. However, she grew to love it so much she chose to make it her life-long career. I, for one, am thankful she did because she has been my colorist/stylist for years. I asked her to give us an overview of what she thinks of the latest trends, how she keeps up, and advice on choosing a color right for you.

Question: What are the hottest trends for spring and summer 2013?

Answer: The Ombré is not over yet, although it tends to be more subtle than originally presented. It seems long hair is more trendy than say a couple of years ago, but with color, anything goes. The right cut carries some of the same guidelines as the right color, to a little lesser extent. It needs to be something the client can manage at home effectively.  I don’t want you to have a cut that takes an hour to style if you tell me you want to be out the door in 10 minutes. Commitment is important. I am very fond of the A-line bob. It’s so effective for fine hair, as it builds weight and volume into the hair while letting the client feel very feminine and keep the feeling of having longer hair, with the front longer than the back. I will never be a fan of the mullet!”

Question: How do you stay up on trends?

Answer: I stay up with current trends by listening to my clients, they bring me great ideas. Also through classes, trade magazines, watching and talking to my co-workers. Two heads are usually better than one.

Question:How do you determine the best color choices for your clients?

Answer: Skin tone and natural coloring help determine what color is best for a client, surely. What I find to be most important, however, is the client’s commitment to the color, whatever color that may be. I never suggest a client pick a color that must be re-touched in four weeks if I know they only want to visit the salon every eight weeks. My feeling is the color should look as great as possible for as long as possible. While re-growth is inevitable, I don’t want half the time you spend away from the salon to look like you should have come in already!

Question: How do you advise your clients against colors that may not work for them, but they are heart set on?

Answer: I talk people out of bad color decisions by carefully explaining what the rest of the world will see if they make that choice and appeal to their common sense. No one really wants to look bad.

Question: What do you think of highlights?

Answer: I think highlights are a wonderful thing! They can be custom and better controlled than an all over color. Highlights can be incorporated into an all over color, can stand alone, and can be glazed or glossed for more custom effect. They are very versatile. If you start with overly highlighted dark hair, added low lights to balance the look. The Result = awesome!!

Question: How safe is bleaching?

Answer: Bleaching the hair can be safe if done correctly. I recommend always having professional bleach your hair when necessary.

Question: What is the hardest job for a colorist?

Answer: Probably the hardest job is removing black dye from the hair. It’s a nightmare!! The process of getting black dye out of the hair requires a dye remover, but often times the hair reverts back to the black, either in parts or all over. It can take several visits to get the hair back to a normal color.

Question: Many people have extensions. You also provide this service. What do you feel is the benefit to extensions?

Answer: Extensions can be a great addition to hair. They can be effective in bridging the gap when trying to grow out the hair. Fine and/or thin hair can benefit from them. They can also be fun for a change in a look. More people wear extensions today than they did when I first got into them in the early 90’s.

Question: What Products do you recommend?

Answer: I recommend products your stylist recommends. Here’s why: your stylist knows your hair; therefore they know what will give you the best results. They probably use the products they’re recommending, so for one, you can see how it works before you buy it, and two, your stylist will back up the product for you. If you don’t like it, you can return it for something you do like. Also, the wrong product can ruin a beautiful cut and/or color in a hurry. Protect your investment and use the right products.

Question: Which brands do you like to use?

Answer: Bed Head, Enjoy & Eufora


Here is a before and after example that showcases Lisa’s great work:  The “after” shows the lowlights applied to overly blonde hair resulting in a richer and more natural look.


Interview by: Gina L. Cafasso

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