As a hairdresser, I am often asked what the difference of a professional service compared to one done at home is and if salon products really do make a difference when it comes to your hair.
There are some very big differences in the way that a salon completes your services and how supermarket brand products work.
During the course of a stylist’s four year apprenticeship, they are not only taught the skills to cut and colour your hair, they are also educated in the science of hair.
Within a consultation at A Beautiful You, we will often show you a colour chart or sample photos for inspiration. While you as a client are picking a colour that suits your style or hair goals. We as stylists are planning your hair journey by completing a comprehensive hair and scalp analysis, getting to know you and your hair type and planning the steps that we need to take for your hair to remain in the most optimal condition, whilst still achieving your desired colour and style.
All stylists must consider factors like your natural base shade, underlying pigments, and any existing colour or lightening work (both professional and non-professional), as well as the quality of hair care products that are being used at home. All of these factors can have some potential to inhibit the colouring process or produce further unnecessary damage to your hair.
Something that we pride ourselves on at A Beautiful You, is the fact that we will educate you throughout your entire hair journey. We will make sure that you understand what it is we are doing, how we are doing it and most importantly, why we are doing it. Understanding the concept will also assist you in knowing how to maintain your look time and time again.
Let’s be honest, we have all been guilty of neglecting our hair, either by trying to stretch out the time between salon visits or by trying to complete a quick “touch up” on your own at home.
BUT, let’s talk about “box dye” and “home jobs”…
Have you ever noticed that when having a professional colour completed in the salon, we apply one colour product to your roots or regrowth, let this process for a period of time, and then come in with a different colour product for your mid-lengths and ends?
This is to prevent colour build up and unnecessary damage to the older hair on your head, and importantly, to ensure that you have a nice, even colour or tone from your roots through to your ends. This cannot be completed with a colour which comes from a box, most of the time giving patchy results of darker ends with a lighter root colour. And of course, then removing this colour can always prove to be quite difficult and time consuming, even for a professional.
Lightening your hair is a whole different science. When wanting to go lighter, or remove pigment from your hair, it is best to understand the internal structure of the hair strands and how it can be disrupted with powder lighteners. This is, of course, taught throughout a stylists professional education, but is not so much common knowledge.
Professionals are able to identify the base shade of your hair, which developer strength to use while taking into consideration your hairs porosity level and condition of the cuticle layer. All of which are major factors during the lightening process.
The last, and one of the most important factors to be considered during any colouring process is the hair care products that are being used on your hair at home. The quality of your shampoo and conditioner very much matters!
I am often asked when a client switches to a salon shampoo is why the shampoo isn’t lathering up and bubbling? How can it be cleaning your hair if it is not doing so? The answer is that supermarket brands are detergent based, which creates all the bubbles you see. If it foams up lots it must be working right? Wrong! These shampoos will also strip the colour out of your hair, meaning long term you will be paying way more for your shampoo than you think!
Let’s face it, as the business owner – if I could use these types of products in my salon, I would… They’re cheap!
However, the reality is that these products will leave a layer of silicon on the hair, which builds up over time. This is generally the underlying cause of many scalp conditions, including itchiness and dandruff.
Then, when this silicon layer mixes with colour, it starts creating a negative chemical reaction causing damage and can affect the end results.
We recommend professional products which work by opening the cuticle, and cleaning away the oil, dust, product build up and dead skin cells from the inside out. These products are developed more for your specialty needs, and focus on protecting your hair from UV rays, thermal styling, and preserving your hair colour. Treat these recommendations like you would a prescription from the doctor. Stylists will recommend the products that you actually need to have your hair in its absolute best condition every day.
Let’s not forget that protecting your hair doesn’t stop with just shampoo and conditioner. If you ask any hairdresser what they use on their hair, at the very minimum it will be a high quality shampoo and conditioner, a moisturiser, heat protection and a finishing product like a serum or gloss spray.
Because salon brands are formulated at a high quality, you don’t need as much of the product! It’s highly concentrated! This means the products you buy will last you much longer, preserving your hair colour, repairing the ends of your hair and saving you money in the long run… who doesn’t love that!?
We don’t just love the sound of our own voices, it’s all about the education, quality and health of your hair.
P.S. Be careful of Chinese knock-offs of salon professional products sold online. These are very hard to tell apart from the legitimate ones and could contain all sorts of random chemicals!