Loretta Tower's Local Color

When it’s time for a fresh look, you start with the most basic element: color. At least, that’s the philosophy of Loretta Tower at The Dover Color Bar. While she may have a half-dozen stylists snipping away on a busy day, she takes time with clients to show how the way to a brand new “you” begins with a brand new hue. (Speaking of new, The Dover Color Bar is moving to a new location this month.)

Loretta Tower

Photo by David Mendelsohn

In her own words:

  • Though I grew up on a small farm, any chance I’d get, I would want to paint my nails or have a cardboard salon on the front lawn where our free-range hens would substitute as my clients. It should have been a clue.
  • Before becoming a cosmetologist, I was your typical starving artist. I went to college for fine art and opened a small gallery and studio on the coast of Maine.
  • We opened Dover Color Bar almost three years ago. I liked the concept of combining hair color services with a bar. It makes it more of an enjoyable experience.
  • Clients can sit at our bar having a martini or glass of wine while their colorist mixes their custom color formulation and applies it.
  • While we’re putting our hands in your hair when you first sit in our chair, we are getting a plethora of information and oftentimes we know what the hair has been through without even having to ask.
  • It is impossible to recreate the same cut twice, whether it’s on the same or different heads. There will always be subtleties.
  • It’s always a blast when the salon is hopping. We feed off the energy when we’re all busy hustling. It’s like a beautiful choreographed dance.
  • Typically men want something they can maintain with as little fuss as possible. Women tend to have researched and visualized exactly what they want, and often it doesn’t matter to what extent they need to maintain it.
  • There are always new trends happening in our industry. Trends, however, can be good and bad.
  • You can’t go wrong with the classics though, like the long bob or a simple messy bun.

PALE SHADES ARE POPULAR: Loretta Tower is fearless when it comes to recommending colors from the rainbow extremes of the palette, but she says the trendiest hues right now (in swatches at right) are also the hardest to achieve. “It’s easy to apply color,” says Tower, “but to make hair white, gray or lavender requires the absence of color before we can get those pure tones.” To do it right might require four or five hours in the chair, she explains, and even involve two sittings, but she still gets a request or two every week.

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