by Taylor Lyons, Hairstylist at Aurelio Salon
- Varying factors when choosing hair color. Two women may have the same level hair color and get to different results when using the same box color. Natural level, underlying pigment (red, ash, etc.), skin tone, medication, hair condition, amount of gray, previous artificial hair color, and hormones all play a factor in how the end result will be. None of these factors are brought into consideration when buying it off the shelf.
- One size doesn’t fit all. Box color is made to color hair ranging from dark brown to light blonde and coarse to fine hair, all with the same box. The agent in box color that activates the lifting and depositing is often at the highest amount allowed in salons or higher! This frequently causes over processing and added stress on the hair.
- Professional, licensed hairstylists went to school for this. Porosity, density, elasticity. Any idea what those mean? Professionals who received their license all went to school and passed their state board exam. Those are all words we throw around daily and know exactly how they all play a factor in the end result of a hair color service. Box color doesn’t give you a brief description as to their meaning; let alone how to test for them.
- Can you see the back of your own head? No matter how many mirrors you have it is hard to do. You may be able to see your own hairline and parts of the front, but what about the back?? Color is meant to go on new growth only! That means your roots that you have grown in up to the line of your previous color. Once you overlap previous color with new harsh chemicals you are not only causing more damage but creating splotchy, uneven color results.
- Misunderstanding about condition. Many people believe coloring your hair is a direct correlation to dry, damaged hair. The professional brands each have their own unique and conditioning agents or complex to condition the hair while coloring. Many even improve the hairs shine and texture. Not to mention healthy hair holds color better and longer.
- Polka dots and bleed marks. Two terms that originated from “cap highlights”. Besides the fact that pulling hair through a plastic cap with something that looks like a fish hook is painful, there is no way to prevent the bleach from swelling at the root and causing bleed marks. Not to mention the holes are all placed in a pattern, no customization for your needs or face/head shape.
- Wanting that celebrity hair color. Beyoncé, Eva Longoria, and Gwen Stefani. Do you think they are buying their own $8 box color and putting it on themselves at home? Or better yet, bringing that box color into a high-end top of the line salon to a certified hair colorist? Not even close. They are paid lots of money to make you believe that.
- Is it EXPIRED How long has it been on the shelf? Is it old? have the active ingredients lost their oomph?
- “NEW” and “Improved” Formula? How often do we see on box labels “new formula” or “improved color”? With the box companies constantly changing their formulas to try and keep up with professional color, how do you expect to get the same result? Professional brands are already made with the client’s hair in mind rather than their wallets. Quality over quantity. Not only is professional safer for the hair, but each color line has various colors, shades, hues, additives, and developers. This way the colorist who is personally looking at your hair can adjust or change your formula as needed instead of some scientist sitting in a lab who’s never seen you before.
- Savings? Most people color their own hair at home to save money. What happens when what you thought was going to turn out blonde is orange? Or the pretty dark brown on the box looks like an ashy green in your hair? You are left with 2 options, walk around with undesired results or go into a salon for a $200+ corrective color service. In the end, professional color may not only save your hair, but your wallet as well. (Side note: The box color has to conform with the same rules as professional color. So when the laws change they have to change there formulas. New Formula New Results…Box color does not train you for that surprise!)
- Changing color is easier said than done. The average person is unaware that artificial color does not lift artificial color. Going from brown to blonde at home is not going to happen. Even going from blonde to dark isn’t easy. Box color doesn’t contain “fillers” or “extra missing pigment”, things the average person doesn’t realize they need. Switching from box to professional also isn’t guaranteed because of the different dyes in the two.
- Friends/Cashier’s advice. When selecting your box dye, do you seek advice from the cashier or a friend? Unless they have been properly trained and know the product line they can’t help you pick a proper color or line based off of your texture, porosity, existing color or hair condition.
Leave it to the professionals. We went to school and invested personal time in learning the ins and outs of the industry. We are required to take a state test. We spend our days making locks look beautiful. After all, our clients are a walking advertisement for us, so we will always do our best to give you the results you were looking for.
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