Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hair Color - Beauty Is Not in a Box

We have all seen the commercials advertising at home hair color products and the aisles and aisles of boxed hair color at the local drugstore or supermarket. The application looks so easy and the price cannot be beat, right? What many people do not realize is that the negatives of box color heavily outweigh the positives.

Many hair color companies do not only produce box color, they also produce professional hair color that salons use on clients. So what is the difference? Many color companies have different grades of ingredients that they use. The lower grade products are generally what you find in the hair color aisle. They use cheaper ingredients to lower their cost to make a higher profit. They then sell the better hair color to the licensed professionals that are experts in their field. There is a very good reason why the color that is on the shelves is not what the professionals put on your hair.

As a hairstylist, many of the new clients that I see come into my salon with hair that is dry with a lot of frizz have been coloring their own hair. I see many heads of hair every week and the texture that box color creates is unappealing. The hair has no shine and the moisture was stripped from the hair. The cuticle of the hair was raised and feels like straw. Most people who use box color are not using professional styling products either, and if they are, they are doing more damage with the box color then if they did not use any products at all.

Applying box color to the hair is no easy task. Although the instructions are detailed, it is difficult for people to apply the color to their own hair. This results in spots caused by uneven application, overlapping hair color (which is very damaging), and a messy bathroom. This can all be avoided if you visit a professional or if you can convince a family member to apply your color.

When you walk down the hair color aisle and you see the hundreds of boxes with all different colors on the box, how do you know which color to pick? Most people grab the box that has the most appealing color on the front and decide that one would be the best color for their hair. But is it? The answer is most likely no. We have all heard the color nightmare stories people have told of: "My hair turned green!" or "It was way darker than the picture!" When clients sit down in a hairstylist's chair, there are many factors that the stylist takes into consideration when choosing what color to apply to the clients hair. Some of these factors include percentage of gray, integrity of the hair, the client's skin tone and eye color, how often they are in the sun, their lifestyle, natural hair color, and existing hair color (which is not always the same as natural hair color), as well as many other questions that are discussed in a consultation. Professional cosmetologists spend their whole career trying to perfect the color process. When they go to mix the client's color they do not use one color and put it all over the head. Even when they are going for a solid color look, they mix multiple colors together and sometimes even use one color at the root and another color through the ends. So when a shopper is looking for their next hair color in the beauty section, they are buying one solid color and many times it is not the right color for them.

Another reason the finished look from box color is not very attractive is how opaque the color is. Most products on the shelf are permanent and that sounds appealing because no one wants their color to fade but it is not ideal. Pulling a permanent color from scalp to ends tends to make the hair look matte and muddy with little or no shine. Most ends are porous and when a permanent color is put on the ends it soaks it up and has the potential to be darker than at the roots. Not to mention, one solid color with no shine or dimension looks very unnatural. Also, all the color box that claims that it is "semi permanent," quite possibly is not. Even if it states that it will rinse out after 20 shampoos, most of the time it leaves a line of demarcation, which is a permanent altercation of the hair. The advertising can be deceiving.

"What if I don't like the color that I got from the box?" With all of the previously mentioned factors, most people end up not being happy with the color they received from the box. If that color turns a bad color, ends up too dark, or unattractive, the person has few options in the beauty aisle to fix it, and if there were many options, many people wouldn't know which option to choose. At that point, the person with the bad color needs to go see a professional at a salon. Most stylists would call that service a color correction and that price could be very expensive, can be very difficult and take hours, or even multiple appointments.

Next time you see a celebrity endorsing a color that you are able to purchase at the drugstore, remember that they have personal hairdressers that probably would not let that color touch their hair. The celebrity's hair always looks beautiful and shiny. This is not achieved by boxed color. If you truly want multi-dimensional, gorgeous color, call a professional. Your hair will thank you.

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