The new era of online living provides limitless hair colour pictures at our fingertips. Any hair salon or hairstylist will likely have a portfolio of their work on either their website, Facebook or Instagram. Sometimes even all three, showing different types of images on each platform. In our Industry having an online portfolio has become a necessity in representing yourself as a hairstylist. Unfortunately, the easy and endless options for photo manipulation has created a huge problem, what I call…..photoshop hair colour. For the purpose of this post I’ll refer to altering images, regardless of what app or program is used, as photoshop.
I’m sure most of you are very familiar with photoshop and basic photo editing. If you use Instagram (which I’m sure you do) there are countless options when posting your pictures to brighten, sharpen, alter the temperature and lots of filters to make them look really unique. It’s creative, artistic and super fun to do for your personal photos! For professional photos and photos used for advertising, photoshop editing can be necessary to create beautiful, eye-catching images. Touch ups such as removing a shadow from the face, smoothing the skin, removing that one strand of hair sitting annoyingly on the models forehead – these are all normal edits. Even after a family photo session there is editing work to be done!
As a hairstylist though, what really makes my crazy (or more so than usual!) is full photoshop hair colour manipulation. What I mean is professional hairstylists using photoshop (or the like) for full-scale manipulation of hair colour. Taking an original photo, changing the actual hair colour itself, posting it on social media and taking credit for the work *cringe*. Many hairstylists are 100% against this practise but unfortunately there are some who don’t see it as a problem. To each their own. Let me show you an example of what I mean.
Here is a beautiful, unedited colour and cut done by the talented Jen on our Studio staff:
And here are some ‘photoshop hair colour’ versions of the same image:
These pictures took me no time at all to manipulate and although I’m very aware that they aren’t perfect, I’m sure without the original photo for comparison you wouldn’t give a second thought to them not being the original picture.
Think of scrolling through your Instagram or Facebook feed and seeing one of these photoshop hair colour pictures. Would you even consider the credited hairstylist didn’t give the client this exact hair colour? Of course not!
Be cautious. Do your research. Unfortunately, things aren’t always as they appear. If you see a picture online that you love bring it to a hairstylist you trust.
I honestly don’t have a lot of skill for editing and I believe it is something best left to professionals who know how to handle a photoshop program. All our photoshoot images have professional edits (skin smoothing, stray hairs as mentioned above) where our daily posts on Facebook and Instagram (unless we are reposting one of the above mentioned photoshoot images) are merely cropped and watermarked with the Studio name. What you see is exactly what the client walked out the door with.
Does having the information about our editing process (or lack there of) make you look at photos a little differently? Would you be more inclined to ask questions? If so, I’m glad! My purpose is to offer you a little honesty into what in my opinion may sometimes not be an honest practise.
Bottom line? Find a hairstylist you trust. You won’t need to worry about a thing!
Thanks for listening,