Let me break it down...
The last time I blogged about hair color, it was about the science and the facts of types, etc. This time, I think it's important for you to understand the hatred true colorist professionals (and color correction specialists like myself) have for drug store / home hair color.
While I can't speak for all hairdressers, I can say that it hurts my heart to see your hair suffer.
Let me drop some truth on you:
No, Beyonce and Gwen aren't coloring their hair at home with that stuff on the commercial.
True fact - they're paid to say that. They're paid to say they're "worth it" and that they get paid mad dollars to pose for those advertisements. I guarantee that they're not sitting in their giant home master bath with cheap, oversized gloves on asking their friends to get the back for them.
Reality check - Those ladies (and any other person they have on their ads that is a model / celebrity) achieved their look in a chair with a professional hairdresser. They trust someone with the knowledge and expertise to touch up those roots to the precise formula or tack in that weave. You should, too.
NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! No that's not true. Do you think that the folks squeezing chemicals in a factory know YOU, your hair and it's history? No. Of course they don't. They're just squeezing chemicals in a tube and hoping for the best.
They're job is to get as many people the results on the box as possible. They're catering to the law of averages. What does that mean? It means so many things, including:
- The dyes are hyper-pigmented: They shove as much color molecules in the tube as possible. That is why black box color is the devil. There is so much pigmentation in there that it will take multiple visits for me to get it all out. Trust me. I've done many color corrections from black box dye.
- They don't know your color history: Color doesn't lift color. You can try to put a blonde box over your roots and that previous red in the hopes to be blonde all over but that's not going to happen. You'll have brassy roots and darker-red/brown/orange where that red was because NEW COLOR DOES NOT LIFT OUT (lighten) OLD COLOR. That is a law that even I can't break. I have to bring in the "big guns" to make it right.
- They don't know your hair type: If you've left your house for even 5 minutes in your lifetime, you have seen all of the beautiful hair types and textures out there. Fine to coarse. Straight to curly. They're wonderful and I love them all but that guy in the factory doesn't know what kind you have. That means that the developer in your box (the liquid you mix with the tube) is going to be some average level. That doesn't mean that it works FOR YOU because your hair type and texture are things that I take into account when planning your result with you. I also take into account previous color, history, tone, desired result and texture. Curly hair doesn't reflect color the same way straight hair does, etc. These are things a professional is trained to know.
- That box formulation also doesn't understand technique: There are things like technique, placement, application, saturation and more that I also have to think about so that you get even coverage. Home Ombre? How about "home bleach line"? Ugh.
- The chemicals in some of those home choices are truly volatile: That means that when those chemicals have been in your hair and you finally see a professional to fix it, our truly professional-grade products can have adverse reactions with their not-so-awesome stuff. Even home Henna (which everyone seems to think is totally natural) can react and cause melting off of your hair. Please be completely honest with your hairdresser to avoid these problems.
- How long has that been sitting there? Well, that's important to know. Developer is oxidative and reactive. It does get old so if that box has been there for a while - or it's on clearance - that means the stuff inside is going bad and that result will be even more untrue than if it was just put out there to buy.
Yes, when you're paying me, you're going to pay more than the $15 you'll spend at the drug store. When you pay me, though, you're getting my thousands of hours of education and even more thousands of hours of apprenticing under a master colorist followed by experience. I not only had to go to school to be licensed but I also have to do continued education to keep my license. I'm a certified Pravana master colorist, a trained cosmetology educator and so much more. I put in a lot of time and money into this.
You're also paying for my honesty and for some truth. You're paying for technique and placement.
You're paying for results.
Seeing me for the initial change and upkeep is way, way less expensive than the hundreds plus hours you'll have to spend for me to fix a problem created from home.
Check out a recent correction I did on the right, there... She went from four different home colors and damage to beautiful and what she wanted. It took hours to do it but she's happy and the upkeep will be so much quicker and easier.
As far as the thought that I'm saying this to hose people out of their cash is laughable.
While I will say that, unfortunately, there are hair stylists out there that are mailing it in. They got into it for a job or they thought it was something else and now they're just hacking away on people and dreaming of something else, that's - absolutely -not true for all of us.
I'm a very passionate beauty professional and I am constantly reading, writing and talking hair.
At the end of the day, the true predators of your wallet are the box color manufacturers who entice you and lie to you with the misleading advertisements. They're the ones who are suckering you out of your money, not me.
If you're really hurting in your budget but your hair is not where you want it to be, you can call your local salon and ask if they have model days or if they have a list where you can submit your info to be a model for their apprentice. You can pay a much lower cost (model / product fee) and get results watched over and guided by a master stylist. The apprentice is already licensed and has done beauty school so they're learning real world applications and you can be a big helper in that.
For big color jobs, corrections, fashion colors and more, see a pro with a background and portfolio that shows that body of work because a professional job is what you're truly worth.
Happy Hair Days to you all!