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I messed up...

What happens when it doesn't go well?

Even after 20 years, I still make mistakes. Many result from my doubting my first idea. Or from second guessing myself. Every time this happens, I feel like, somehow, I am not good enough at my craft. A bit of "imposter syndrome" peeking out, I feel. Since, generally, no one posts their faults, failures, or mistakes, I compare myself to others' great successes and find lack in myself. Let's break down what happens when I screw up with a recent example.

Last week I was coloring my friend's hair and I chose to do a beautiful balayage and wanted to tone it to "white". I had done all of the lightening and I was ready to add a toner. Here is where I failed, somewhat miserably. I chose to add a little bit of 1A, ash black, to the mix, I thought it would be nice to "smoke" the color up a bit and add a bit of depth while also cutting any brassy tones left in the hair. Where I went wrong was some of the hair was quite light already and it "grabbed" all the ash tones, especially in the front "money piece", and turned it a beautiful slate grey. The full opposite of the effect I was going for. Well, now what do I do? Besides panic a bit and question all of my decisions up to that point. I, fortunately, had some remedies on hand. I was able to use a chelating shampoo and a pigment remover to "pull" the dark tones out of the blonde pieces in the front. 

What would have happened if this was done to a "real client"? I would have had to quickly, and quietly, find the remedy and not make a big deal out of the situation. Perhaps, saying that I had to go grab a different toner or something of that nature. Luckily, being in the shampoo bowl, the client will never see what is happening on the top of their head. I must remain calm at all times and never let on what is causing my panic. 

I have been fortunate in my business to rarely have a mistake so bad that is causes great damage to the hair. I am quite thankful for that. However, when it happens, that is when I feel my worst. I like to think I know what I am doing and when things go awry, I feel like a failure. I am certainly not getting paid to mess up someone's hair. I often have that thought that if I had only listened to my intuition and not done the thing that screwed it up, I would have been better off. 

I know what I am doing, I am a competent hairdresser, I still make mistakes from time to time. I hope to have the grace to correct them and not feel that I don't know what I am doing.