I have been going back and forth with what to write about lately. I decided to write about a topic that is very near and dear to my daily life. This is by no means a forum I use to bitch about my job. This is not a passive aggressive post directed at anyone in particular. I share a lot of my feelings and opinions on this blog and sometimes hold back because I am worried about how my thoughts will be perceived. However, I think people need to be reminded sometimes that some of the things they complain about are not reality as they see it. I have asked people what their complaints are about salons and their stylists. The 2 biggest complaints are how their hair color fades fast and that their stylist is always trying to sell them products and shampoo. I wanted to give the perspective of the stylist on this topic and help people to understand how hair color works and why it fades. I also wanted to give a voice to the stylists out there that are trying to educate their clients on professional in salon products vs store bought products. So, instead of complaining to your mother, sister, bestie or anyone that will listen, here is some knowledge……
Clients always ask me about the difference between salon shampoo vs shampoo from the shelf of the grocery store. There is an age-old debate as to which is better. Also, I have been asked about why hair color fades so fast. Here is my take on hair color preservation and the BIG differences between shampoo equality.
The brighter the color, the harder it is to keep.
Some of those super bright dyes, are merely a temporary dye or known as a Direct Dye. They come out in a few washes. This direct dye is also sometimes in your permanent hair color to help give a more vibrant result. This is what is in a lot of children’s hair when they have their hair dyed in bright colors. Our eyes can detect smaller changes in vibrant shades more easily than a non-vibrant hue, making it appear like certain colors fade faster. Red and violet shades are a great example of this. Some intense reds and violets may need to be refined with color every 2 weeks to keep a bright hue to them. Some hues are more UV sensitive making them fade faster in sunlight. (Yes, this includes a tanning bed!!!) This fading is all normal. Hair color is not permanent in the sense of forever. It is something that will need to be maintained. Bright reds, violets, and coppers can look faded after 2 weeks and if washed every day, can look faded after 1 week. Again, this is normal. Some colors require more maintenance than others. Part of this maintenance comes from you at home.
I like to look at it like this…
If I went to the store and I paid over $100 for a very brightly colored shirt I would never wash it every day in the washing machine, with hot water and with cheap laundry detergent that I knew nothing about (such as the ingredients). Then I certainly would not dry it on high for an hour in the dryer. Would you? 😨 I hope not! It would ruin your shirt. It would fade, and in some cases the fabric would weaken. Well, apply this to your hair! I always try to look at hair like fabric. If you wash it with a shampoo that you can identify the ingredients of and NOT every day, WITHOUT super-hot water and forgo the hot dryer daily, you preserve the life of the hair color! (… and your shirt) 😉
This leads me to shampoo.
Is the shampoo you buy in a salon better for your hair than a store-bought bottle of shampoo?! I want to first say that if your stylist is honest, they are not trying to just make a buck off you by recommending a product or a shampoo. Your stylist will not make it to the Forbes list by shampoo sales. They are recommending something to you, because they believe it will help your hair, maintain your color or help you to style your hair. Is it better than its cheaper counterpart that sits in your grocery store? One word……Yes.
But why you ask!
It comes down to the amount of QUALITY ingredients and the concentration levels.
Example #1: Some store shampoos lather easily. This is due to the amount of harmful detergents and surfactants that are used to produce this product. A professional, salon-only brand may lather less because they have a gentler and more concentrated surfactant. (These harsh surfactants can strip color from your hair every time you wash it)
Example #2: Because of the high detergent base, supermarket brands overcompensate by adding a ton of conditioning agents to provide a softening effect to hair. This can cause a synthetic build -up or residue on your hair. (This makes it even harder for color to stay on your hair)
The reality is that hairstylists will only use products that we believe in and contain the highest quality ingredients. We want them to deliver genuine results.
The Bottom Line
I don’t like hearing that your color has faded after 2 weeks. I don’t like hearing that your hair has a build up on it. I also don’t like hearing that your hair is dry. However, if you aren’t using professional shampoo and products you are literally washing your color down the drain. Yes, you may see your color has faded after 2 weeks. No, it wasn’t the color used and no something wasn’t done wrong. Yes, color services are pricey.
Here is what I say;
I know chemically what is in the shampoo I sell. I know for a fact it is not expired. I know that there are no harmful sulfates in the shampoo I sell. I know the PH of the shampoo. I also know that the shampoo I sell will only aid in the integrity of your hair. I also know that I can sell you a shampoo with a direct color in it to maintain your bright hues. Yes, it is more expensive. However, it is made with better ingredients.
I hope this post clears up some confusion about hair color, fading, and products. I hope you take away from this some knowledge of what happens to your color and how to help prevent it from fading,