If you are trying to save a little money by coloring your own hair you may want to consider the cost of corrective color in a salon. What most consumers don’t realize is that what you see is not what you get. Let me explain. The swatches shown with the product on the shelf are not the actual results you will achieve. The color swatches are comprised of hair that has had all the color removed prior to the application of the product. Your hair on the other hand is contributing depth and tonality, altering the final results!
Professional stylists often use these hair swatches when consulting with clients. What the clients don’t realize is that often to achieve the desired results, the colorist is mixing a special blend of colors for that client’s specific natural level, considering things such as desired tone (red, ash, neutral) and amount of grey. Box color is often comprised of inexpensive, large molecule dyes, damaging metallic dyes and difficult to remove staining dyes. Therefore, it may take several trips to the salon for old color removal and conditioning before the final results are achieved. Professional hair color is much gentler on the hair and allows the stylist more control using small dye molecules and more expensive ingredients.
Each day in the salon we are met with the challenge of repairing an at home hair color job, sadly often times we must explain to the “kitchen beautician” that we may not be able to provide them with the look they were going for originally because the damage is so serious (black is nearly impossible to remove and red can be a nightmare when wanting to return to blond) but we can always make it look better. It’s important to note that the cost of a color correction always outweighs the cost of having your color done professionally the first time. Because of the multiple steps involved in the corrective process it is quite possible for your $6.00 box color to turn into a $150.00 or more fix.
Next time you’re considering that grocery store color, take the advice of my daughter who as a 10-year-old claimed that the ad where the women were just painting on highlights “looked like a terrible idea”, and leave it to the professional. If you do happen to have a hair disaster, contact a salon specializing in corrective color. They will be happy to give consultation. We promise we won’t make fun of you, we have all been there. After all, there is a reason we became professionals.