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NEED TO KNOW: The 4 Step Color Guide for Low Maintenance Gals

The ring of a new season is accompanied with a wave of new cut and color trends, but how does that apply to business women who just wanna have fun? With Jen Atkin’s incredibly demanding schedule, she hadn’t colored her hair in over a year and a half! “I’m the last person who cares about my hair,” Jen shares as she settles into her chair at Sally Hershberger Salon. While she had used to be adventurous with her mane, she’s gotten too busy to think twice about it, as most can relate. When she finally had time to pencil it in, she went to see LA’s color guru Cassondra Kaeding, who is the woman responsible for the breathtaking colors on Rooney Mara, Kate Hudson, and Lea Michele. And of course, a girl boss is never not working, so amidst her hair transformation, Jen and Cassondra let us in on the low maintenance gals’ 4 step hair color guide.

Jen Atkin Cassondra Kaeding

#1 RESEARCH

Before even making your way into the salon Cassondra highly recommends you “do your hair research, and know exactly what you want.” Jen stresses the importance of finding inspirational pics of someone who has the same skin tone and eye color as you. ‘’George Papanikolas always yells at me for showing him Eva Mendes inspo pics, he says ‘Jen that’s not your skin tone!'” Jen’s hair colorspiration for Cassondra was Vogue Australia’s fabulous Fashion Editor, Christine Centenera.

#2 YOUR EVERYDAY STYLE

The second bit of information that’s equally helpful to your colorist as it is to you, is to keep in mind how you style your hair everyday. Do you part your hair down the middle or rock a center part? Do you normally wear your hair natural, straight, curled? This will determine the color placement and details. Jen’s go to style is effortlessly straight tresses parted down the middle.

Jen Atkin Headshot

#3 COMMUNICATION

Now that you’re swooning over your future hair self, communicate how often you’ll realistically be able to maintain your color transformation. While Jen was fully equipped with her inspo photos for Cassondra, she found herself on the fence between an all over color or highlights. In communicating your realistic maintenance routine, your colorist can make an informed executive decision to get you the color you hope for while simultaneously coloring to compliment your lifestyle. Cassondra opted for balayage diffused highlights to look more natural and with more room to grow. This will enable Jen to be able to go up to 6 months without having to retouch! Low maintenance FTW!

Jen Atkin Cassondra Kaeding

#4 PATIENCE

The final part of a color transformation is patience. Cassondra shared “I love color best a week or two weeks after it’s settled in, the gloss washes out, and you get used to it.” If you were opting for a bigger change, expect to make 2-3 visits to your colorist to get the desired result.

Jen Atkin Cassondra Kaeding


For more tips on getting the most from your hair appointment, check out

Pre-Hair Color 101 and Salon Etiquette 101.

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