Being a mom, I am a member of several Mom’s groups and forums online.My favorite one was started by a group of girls that I went to college with. Over the course of the year since it started thousands of other mom’s have joined and been added to the group.I like to check these forums every once in a while for ideas, information and for advice when needed. Being a hairdresser, I am always drawn to posts of mom’s asking for hair advice. Today I happened to stumble across one titled ” at home hair color- going blonde”. I don’t always interact with people on these, sometimes I just read what they’ve posted and move on with my day. Today I felt it was my duty as a professional hair stylist to step in and help this mom out with her question. I felt like if I didn’t mention the pro’s and con’s and my suggestions for what she should do, that tomorrow I would be seeing a post from her about “How to fix bad at home hair color”. I thought that even though I have blogged about similar things here on our Blog before, I would share both her question and my advice for any other women out there that may be thinking the same things or have the same questions.
Let me start the rest of this post off with my thoughts on the subject. No. No you can NOT get salon quality color with at home box coloring. Even IF you got the color result you were hoping for, the integrity of your hair will NOT be anything close to what you’d get in the salon. Salon color varies greatly from at home box color. Read this post I wrote previously on this subject for more info-https://cameronsalon.wordpress.com/2016/02/11/box-dye-vs-salon-color/
The mom I had mentioned about asked if she could potentially have good success using a box hair color or lightning systems (highlight kit) to color her own hair and save some money by not going to the salon. She said she has tried some in the past that left her hair looking awful and incredibly brassy. She said she saw some new highlighting kits and that “if they keep selling them, someone has to be having good success with them, right?” She said she has brown hair and was looking for an all over color as her end result. A few people commented with their advice, all of which I knew would result in the aforementioned post tomorrow about “how to fix bad at home hair color”. That’s when I decided to give her my professional advice and hope she takes that route.
The advice I left her with was this: First of all, If you want salon quality hair color, you HAVE to go to the salon or have a hairdresser friend do it for you, plain and simple. We all know this is true. You get what you pay for!! But, since this girl seemed to have already made up her mind she wasn’t able to afford the salon anymore for a while, I explained how haircolor and lightener worked and gave my recommendations from there. How well a lightener works depends on what you start with- What your natural color level is, what is on your hair previously as far as old color, highlights etc. Even if it has been over a year or so since you colored last, if your hair is long there is still hair color on your ends, even if it’s not noticeable. You are then competing with trying to match the ends of your hair as well as trying to lift up your natural color. The other thing that determines how light you will get with color/lightener is the volume of developer used with the lightening powder. 20vlm seems to be standard in box coloring. We typically use 30vlm in the salon and 40vlm is the strongest. Also, If you start with a dark color on your hair and hope to go lighter all over, COLOR DOES NOT LIFT COLOR. So this is not achievable, at least not at home.
She then proceeded to tell me that previous box highlighting kits had hardly made a difference in her color when she had tried them in the past. That showed me her hair is also very resistant. She needed stronger developer and needed heat added to her highlights to process better. These are things you will not be told when purchasing a box color or highlighting kit. They are a “One size fits all” hair color. Everyone’s hair is a FAR from being that. So that is why so many people have bad luck with box color. When going to a salon, your stylist can identify these needs for your specific hair during your consultation and formulate your color accordingly.
I told her my only suggestion would be to buy a packet of lightener, and stronger developer, gloves, and a highlighting cap (which is haven’t seen or touched in about 10 years, but its very hard to foil highlight your own head, so I figured this was her best bet.). I told her to put it on, add heat with a blow dryer once its applied and covered with a cap. I then told her good luck!;) She said she was beginning to rethink the idea, and that if she ever wants a color change she may be best off just going back to the salon. That’s the answer I like to hear. Not because I work in a salon, but because I know how bad haircolor makes you feel. No one wants to walk around hating their hair. No one wants to try multiple different things to try to achieve the color they were hoping for at home, only to end up spending more money in the end from buying multiple boxes of color from the stores, and then ending up in the salon getting it fixed. At the end of the day, sit and think it through. If you are wanting to lighten your own hair color, it may just not be worth it. You tube and other social media platforms may make you think it looks and sounds easy and will be a great way to save money, but in the long run, you will most likely be unhappy with the results. Whether it be your color result, or the amount of money you ended up having to spend to get it fixed. Trust your stylist- She knows what’s best for your hair. If you are looking for something that is cost efficient and longer wear in between appointments, try some of the newer trends like Ombre and Balayage which keep the lightness more towards your ends and make it look more natural, therefore allowing you more time between salon visits.
Need an appointment or want a consultation with one of our stylists?? Call the salon at 724-349-5444 or schedule online at www.cameronsalon.com