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Why that at-home hair color will end up costing you more than you bargained for.

We've heard every excuse in the book, "I have a really busy schedule, I don't want to pay salon prices for hair color, it says it's safe and ammonia free...." the list goes on. But here's the deal, that "quick and easy" at-home hair color is going to end up costing you much more in the long run. Here's why:

1. Box color is created to be "one size fits all", but you and I both know that doesn't work. All hair is most definitely not the same, and the unique factors that make your hair, well, your hair (underlying pigment, texture, previous chemical history, porosity, etc.)...aren't taken into account in the "one size fit's all" universe. This leads to unpredictable results, and no one to see to when it doesn't end up looking like the model on the box. And, one more thing to take into consideration: Do you think Eva Longoria or Many Moore really box color their hair? Absolutely not. A professional colorist makes it look the way it does - then they dress it up and take a photo and slap it on the box and you expect to look just like it. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but - that model on the box simply isn't sporting what's inside. This unpredictability leads to patchiness, blotchiness, uneven color, and some pretty nasty tones.

2. Just because the product claims that it is "free" of something, doesn't mean it's safe. Take for example, a very popular at home color system, being marketed as ammonia free and salon-grade. This particular company does use ammonia free color, but the ammonia is replaced with a chemical called Ethanolamine, which is more toxic and has lead to cancer in certain studies. Ethanolamine has also not been cleared by the FDA as a non-teratogen and, until it is, they warn you against it. (Teratogen= chemical agents that interfere with pregnancy and fetal growth and development). These at home colors are given to you with no consultation, no professional to look at your hair and tell you the safest avenue to go, and therefore comes with a certain risk.

3. At home color is not formulated like salon color. A lot of times a client will think "The box got me almost there- I just need the salon to finish it." NO NO NO. Box color is metallic in nature, while salon color is oxidative. You cannot layer salon color onto box color, it must be completely stripped. And while we are on the subject, Metallic hair color contains metallic salts that layer up on each other. This dries out the hair like crazy, and can eventually lead to a heat reaction, melting the hair over time. Oh, and that little tube of conditioner that comes with it? It's actually a petroleum-based wax to seal in the metallic color. Would you want to rub Vaseline all over your hair? No thanks. Oxidative hair color causes minimal damage to hair's strength and elasticity, and your hair professional can stand by it.

4. A professional colorist didn't get here by accident. This craft requires a lot of education throughout the career, a lot of skill, and a lot of experience, giving the professional a plethora of chemical experience and knowledge that can be applied to every single hair type. Only a professional can look at your hair, asses the state it is in, and recommend to you the safest avenue to achieving your "dream hair". Only a salon has access to top of the line bond strengtheners to repair the hair as you color, or to products that maintain the integrity of the hair, and give you the longevity you are looking for. Box color is formulated with no dimension, so count that out too unless you see a professional.

5. Color correcting is expensive. A color correction here will run you $200 per hour. And trust me, it takes several hours if not, several visits. We can't tell you the amount of clients we've seen who want to remove black box-dye and end up easily paying $1000 or more for an $8 mistake. To remove the color, get your hair to where you want, all while making sure to not jeopardize the integrity of the hair, is a long and arduous process.

6. YOU HAVE OPTIONS! Just some grey on your hairline? Come into the salon for a color express! Ranging from only $38-$58, and only 20 minutes in the salon, color express gets you in and out the door, with salon-grade color, the expertise of your colorist so you get exactly what you want, and none of the stress of possibly having to correct it in the future!

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