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FASHION: What's Smart for Spring? : Color Me Frugal : Hairdressers Offer Cost-Cutting Ways to Keep Roots at Bay

February 26, 1992|CINDY LaFAVRE YORKS

The color of money seems more important than the color of hair these days. Cost-conscious consumers don't want to tint their tresses anymore, at least not as often as they once did.

"Now, when we suggest color to clients who haven't had it done, many are reluctant because of the upkeep," says Robert Snaith, co-owner of Taboo Salon in Los Angeles.

Keeping up color requires time and money: Single-color root retouching costs $35 to $50 and must be repeated about every six weeks.

So it's no surprise that low-maintenance treatments are the latest trend in hair coloring, says Jackie Summers, executive editor of Modern Salon magazine.

One strategy is to choose a near-natural color, making the grow-out less noticeable and requiring fewer touch-ups.

Snaith mixes three different highlight colors that complement the client's natural shade, applies them to the front and top of the hair only, then adds subtle undertones.

The treatment isn't cheap--$75--but it lasts several months.

Some salons offer price reductions on color treatments. The Umberto salon in Beverly Hills has a beauty equivalent of the McDonald's Low Down menu, featuring an Econoweave. The regular price of a weave using a range of tones is $125 and up. For $30, one color is applied to the roots around the part and hairline, allowing clients to go an extra month or two between full treatments.

At Visions, a Melrose-area salon, colorist Kaz Amor charges $85 to $180--except on Tuesdays, when $50 buys a hairline and part treatment.

Amor and other stylists also save clients money by using products--available only to hairdressers--designed to make color last. Sebastian's Cellophanes Plus, a treatment that costs $20 a shot, keeps roots at bay for as long as six weeks.

At Woodland Hills' Personne Complet, salon owner Daryl Rapoza uses what she calls color refreshers. One of the best, she says, is the Shades EQ line by Redken, which costs $35 and lasts three months without fading.

The peroxide-free shades add richness to natural blond, brunette, black and gray hair and, like Cellophanes Plus, they can be custom blended.

At the Gates, a full-service San Marino salon, owner William Bell relies on "stain." This shampoo-in color for covering gray and returning hair to its natural shade costs $22 and takes about seven minutes to apply, a factor that makes it almost as attractive as the price.

"For many of my clients, time is money too," he says.

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