Go Pro: The Benefits of Professional Hair Color vs. At-Home Products

As tempting as it may be, coloring your hair at home can create more problems than planned.


Box dye brands boast the ease of application, an endless array of generic color choices, a basic result in a short amount of time, as well as the convenience of accomplishing all this at home. Although these benefits can be tempting, several other factors should be carefully considered.


The chemistry of hair color is a complex reaction of organic fiber and chemical solutions. A strong understanding of each chemical component is necessary to safely achieve consistent results. Often, if a home hair color has an acceptable result, it is very difficult to duplicate the look a second time. Previously colored hair may behave differently when a new color is introduced, resulting in a darker, more matte look through the mid-lengths and ends of the hair and a lighter, brighter tone at the scalp. Constant overlap of permanent box color can damage the outer layer of hair leaving it dry and frizzy. Choosing a single color shade to apply also limits the ability to customize and formulate for an individual, more natural-looking color.

coral color-serviced hair
Only a professional stylist will be able to achieve custom color like this.
blonde hair model
A professional stylist will be able to recommend the right professional products for your color-treated hair, like this Redken Color Extend Conditioner.

The best way to avoid these challenges is to visit a professional stylist. After completing a thorough consultation, a professional stylist will analyze the characteristics of your hair to create a color formula based on factors unique to your hair. For great hair color, it is usually necessary to blend multiple product components and use more than one color category to duplicate the complexity of natural, healthy, shiny hair. Having a hair color service in a salon allows the stylist to customize your color from an unlimited palette, creating the perfect shade—a luxury not afforded in home hair coloring. The investment in time, application, and expertise outweighs the cost of a color correction service should your home hair color not provide you with your desired results.


Similar challenges can come from using off-the-shelf products to care for your hair. Without guidance and recommendations for your individual needs, you may be choosing shampoos that are too drying or too heavy, conditioners that have ingredients unnecessary for your hair, and styling products that do not give you the support or hold you require. Additionally, these products are often manufactured with less concentrated ingredients, requiring more to be used in order to mimic the promise on the bottle. By using more, the value, or seemingly economical size, diminishes.

A professional stylist can offer a regimen of products to address your specifics needs. Similar to prescription medication, an ideal selection of shampoo, conditioner, treatments, and styling products targets any challenge you may experience and can improve the health and manageability of your hair. As the hair responds well and challenges lessen, new products will be recommended as needs change, keeping you looking great. As a bonus when you visit the salon, the advice of a professional stylist can save you time, money, and the stress of being overwhelmed while trying to navigate the shelves of hair products.
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If you relax or color your hair, it’s especially important to condition regularly.
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