At some point in life, we have all faced the dilemma of whether or not to color our hair at home with store bought hair color. Many of us have tried it- often leading to disastrous results. So what makes it so bad? Here are my thoughts from a hairdresser’s standpoint.
What’s in the store bought box?
The bottom line is: what is in the box is a mystery to us- even as professionals. Not only from a chemical standpoint- from a predictability standpoint. Perhaps after I explain some fundamental hair-color knowledge, you will understand.
Hair color is complex:
Even for young professionals- working with professional products- there is a learning curve. Ever been into a salon and ended up with an undesired result? It is likely that that is that learning curve at play. Although everyone’s hair has unique needs- there are some general rules that apply to everyone. The first rule is to always consider natural remaining pigment. Sounds like greek eh? Well to young hairdressers- it does too.
The lightening process:
When natural hair color is “lightened” it goes through predicable stages of lightening. With very dark hair it starts with red, and as it continues to lighten, does so systematically: red orange, orange, orange yellow, yellow and finally pale yellow. If you have naturally dark hair and lived through the 80’s you might remember a certain lightening product that came in a spray bottle.. Ya know the one that made your hair turn orange and brassy? Well, now you know why.
What to do..what to do??
As hairdressers, it is part of the creative process to determine what we want to do with this inevitable remaining pigment. Does our client want a “warm” result? (red, red orange, orange, yellow, pale yellow) or are they after something else? Using the standard color wheel- professionals can use color to neutralize, refine or enhance the natural remaining pigment. BUT, it does not stop there… there are other factors to consider: texture, diameter of a person’s hair shaft, density of the hair- all which will contribute to an end result.
Another important fact to consider: hair that is previously color treated has very different needs of hair that has not been altered. Professional stylists have the ability to meet the needs of each segment of hair.
Often, salon Guests come in looking for a tonal result that might look great on the model, but won’t be the best choice for them. Maintenance is another story. Sure you might really like how platinum blonde looks on a celebrity- but are you prepared for the expense of 3 week up-keep and the additional cost of toning and conditioning treatments? As professionals, we have many tricks up our sleeves which can provide you with a custom PREDICTABLE look for YOU that meet your lifestyle, desired level of maintenance and budget.
So>> again… what’s in the box? We are not exactly sure. How many levels of lift does it provide? We don’t know. How does it counteract/enhance/neutralize the inevitable natural remaining pigment? Again- no idea. How do you know if the color on the box will look good on you? EESH… ask friends?? That’s risky. How can you use a box of color and meet the unique needs of your hair’s texture, diameter and density?? You can’t. How can you take box color and utilize it to color ALL of your hair- after it is already color treated? UM.. I think you know the answer. You can’t.
Every day, thousands of people…scratch that I don’t have an accurate figure. Could be 10’s of thousands or more people seek out the help of stylists to fix their botched home hair-color jobs. Most often, this is a lucrative addition to business for salons.. but not always. The problem is- we don’t know what is on your hair!! For instance- many “quick processing” colors use a chemical process which is metallic in base, which can cause gnasty chemical reactions when we use professional color over the top. No joke!! Many home lightening systems do not provide the chemical buffering needed to counteract the damage that “bleaching” the hair can cause. Sometimes by the time you seek the help of professionals- the damage has already been done.
SO now that I have shared all that.. I will tell you. There is help. Skip the box color. Trust the experts. Our stylists at UROn Concept Salon are experts in the art of consultation. Our #1 objective is to meet YOUR unique color needs. From all the technical garbon, to your desired level of maintenance and budget. We KNOW better than to let you walk out with a “high maintenance” hair color when you have a limited budget. We hold the technical magic, and we are here to set you up for success!!