Wednesday, September 5, 2012

To Box Color Or Not To Box Color... That Is The Question

Last week I was watching a popular reality show and saw a professional hair stylist recommend various hair dye home kits be applied to the show's models. The hair color he recommended was from the drugstore, "box color" as it's sometimes called. As a viewer I was impressed to watch each model jump for joy as she was handed her hair color.

Then reality set in. Obviously having a professional recommend box color on the show was meant to get the unsuspecting woman at home to use it. It smacked of product placement in a very crass way. I wondered, can hair color be that simple?

Okay lets recreate the scenario here. Someone who may not be able to afford to color her hair at a salon anymore, sees this hair color promo and gets very excited!!  She thinks this is so easy, 2 bottles, mix them and voila! But something goes wrong, her hair color is not what she expected or what they promoted.

We know this happens and will continue happening. Why can't hair color be as straight forward as they say it is on TV? You've seen the celebrity throwing her hair around, saying to you, " three easy steps this could be you!!"

Sadly it can't be you. Why? Because you did not go to beauty school like the "professionals." Hair color is such an intricate process, when we color hair in the salon we have to take the following in to consideration.

1) The actual hair color, density and the results you want.

2) Has the client's hair been color-treated before or is it virgin hair? If hair has been colored, the applied color will react differently and must be formulated for roots as well as a new formula for the ends. If the client has never colored their hair before or they colored it over a year ago, it makes things a little easier. In other words if their are traces of old hair color or even a relaxer, hair will react differently.

3) What tone of color to use that best compliments your skin tone, eye brows and eye color. You may want to be a red head but there are different reds. There is copper red, violet red, brown red, etc. For example here is a Wella color chart-

 Or does the client want a dark ash brown or a warm light brown hair color? The "professional box color" will not give you information on how to choose what's right for you. And if it does, why does it always end up warm (red tones)?

4) When we mix color in the salon we have to consider the volume of the peroxide. Should we use 10, 20, 30 or 40 volume peroxide? Do we want more deposit, lift and deposit or a few shades of lift? (lift meaning the ability to lighten)

5) Is there gray hair...if yes, how much?

6) What technique should we use to apply the color?

These are just some of the things you need to know. However I have met women who color their own hair and it's beautiful, for a while. As months go by the hair gets darker and darker. All of a sudden the ends are dark brown and the roots are light brown.

Sometimes the client's hair may start going gray and the color she's using at home stops working. Or the client experiences menopause and her hair is not responding to the color.

My point is that ladies, we care about your hair. Some of us also get that it's expensive. But just know that it takes a lot to produce a beautiful hair color.

It is not as easy as one, two, three…..


Monica Ceño said...

Great article!!! I love it

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