One size does not fit all. Box-color is designed in a way so that it may potentially alter a wide range of hair shades and types and, not surprisingly, the results come without any GUARANTEE. This is possible because box-color formulations are created with the maximum amounts of pigment and developer. This is not only unnecessary for most consumers, but also highly damaging. Have you noticed that in the past, box-color left your hair feeling dry and frizzy? These days, boxes and commercials tout deep conditioning treatments and leave-in potions that leave hair smooth and shiny. These additional conditioners are band-aids; they are intended to cover up damage caused by high levels of developers and typically are not long lasting.

Professional hair color is customizable. Each one of us is a unique being and our hair is no exception. Because of this fact, professional hairdressers take many factors into consideration when developing a color formulation for your color services. These include:

Unknown• Natural color level and underlying pigment

• Skin tone and eye color

• Level of porosity or possible damage

• Previous color services

• Percentage of gray (if any)

Additionally, professional hairdressers are trained in science, chemistry, and the “laws of color” in addition to technical and artistic application. This advanced knowledge of color physics paired with expert application takes professional color service results light-years beyond the grocery store, box-color guessing game and its application at your kitchen or bathroom sink.

If you think you will end up looking like the celebrity on box-color commercials or the model on the box, you are sadly mistaken. Manufacturers of box-color are masters at advertising. Their specific job is to make you believe that the results you see in commercials are achievable at home. What they don’t focus on is how those results were achieved for the advertising campaign. National advertising regulations state that only 10% of the celebrity or model’s hair must be colored with the product being represented. Beyond that surprising fact, the shade used on the model was chosen and applied by a professional colorist in addition to highlights, toners, and glazes. Following the model’s color service, the hairdresser then styles the model’s hair with professional styling products adding in extensions and hairpieces when necessary. This is the standard process used in box-color advertising… that is, if the model’s hair is even hers! That’s right; at times the celebrity or model in those commercials is wearing a wig. (Do you think Sarah Jessica Parker colored her own hair for the Garnier Nutrisse commercial? NO! SJP was wearing a wig professionally colored by a team of professional colorists and stylists in NYC.) The same goes for Beyonce (wig), Gwen Steffani (only toned with box-color), Eva Longoria (only glazed with box-color), and Tina Fey (additional dimensional color services used to represent box-color results)

How old is the stuff in the box? Who really knows!! In a professional salon, the product used to compose color formulations is ordered on a weekly basis. This means that they may be relied upon to produce consistent and precise results because they haven’t been sitting in some big-box store aging on a shelf. When boxes hit the sale shelf that usually means the product is discontinued, expired, or replaced. All three of these scenarios are color mishaps waiting to happen. Professional color does not expire because it is custom created with new ingredients at each appointment.

Have a discussion with your hairdresser about the results you are looking for and have an honest and open dialogue about your “Beauty Budget”. Doing so will allow your hairdresser to offer you expert recommendations about color, style, and maintenance while receiving professional services at your salon. Dedicate yourself to creating the best hair of your life by thinking outside of the (haircolor) box!