Why Buying Shampoo at the Salon Will Save You Money

20140115-062726.jpg

Where do you buy your favorite hair products? At the salon? Drug store or discount market? Many people have the impression that the professional brand your salon carries can be found for a lower price at stores like Target or Walmart. I wanted to do some comparison shopping myself so I did a little research and the results were surprising.

For this post, I am focusing on salon professional products. These are the products that are typically sold in salons by salon professionals. Redken, TIGI, Matrix, and American Crew are a few examples. Professional products typically provide better results for any hair type that is not healthy, un-colored, medium weight hair.

For this process, I visited a variety of stores. These include Bartell’s (drug store), Walgreen’s (drug store), Target, Walmart, Safeway (grocery) and Ulta (a mega beauty supply). At Fix Salon, we use Redken products exclusively, therefore, this was the brand I looked for, checking both availability and price.

What did I find? Ulta was the only location that carried the entire Redken line. All other locations carried bits and pieces of the line. Legally, salon professional products can only be sold by licensed professionals in salons. This means that the location has to have a salon in order for them to carry the professional lines. Ulta does have a salon, so it makes sense that they carry Redken as well as many other brands. If a store does not have a salon, yet you see professional products on their shelves, it means it was diverted to them. Diversion is a hot topic in the salon world. When I visited Walmart, the only Redken product on their shelf was All Soft Shampoo and Conditioner. When a store sells diverted product, they do not necessarily have access to the entire line and there is never any consistency to which items they carry. They are simply picking up what “fell off the truck” from their diversion retailer.

In addition to low options and inconsistent inventory, I also found that almost all products carried were discontinued Redken packaging. Sometimes the products  were outdated by as much as 8 years! While it’s hard to pinpoint an expiration date on hair products, most manufacturers will guarantee the effectiveness for 2 years. When I see hair gel that is 8 years old on a shelf, I have to wonder where has it been? Was it stored in a temperature controlled warehouse or has it been collecting dust in a warm storage facility somewhere.

In addition to incomplete and outdated product lines, the most impactful discovery of my comparison shopping was the price of the products. I consistently found the prices to be more than the manufactures suggested retail. Always. The range was anywhere from $1 to $5 more, and typically $3-$5 dollars more. When you shop for your hair products outside of the salon, you are spending more money for a potentially inferior quality product.

In addition to higher prices and expired products, you also add the guesswork of trying to figure out what your hair really needs. Why not let your stylist guide you to the product that will give your the best performance for your hair? Otherwise, you end up wasting money on buying the wrong products that eventually end up collecting dust in your bathroom.

As an added bonus when you purchase your hair products from your salon you are supporting that business and stylists. Many times the revenue generated from retail sales go to improvements to the salon, which make your visit more pleasant, or to continuing education for your stylist, which makes your hair look better. Your stylist will guarantee your purchase and you will have more success in getting the end result you desire!

Home Hair Treatments – Simple steps to keeping hair healthy

Home hair treatments are a great way to keep your hair healthy between salon visits. But as discussed in this post, there is science behind real results.  Doing it correctly allows beneficial ingredients to penetrate deep in the hair strand, producing effects you can see and feel.

Before diving in, it’s a good idea to talk with your stylist about the right treatment. When it comes to hair treatments, there are so many products to choose from that it’s easy to feel confused. Masks, serum, conditioners…matching a product’s purpose with your hair type and desired outcome is key. Let your stylist be your guide to narrow down the search. She can point you in the right direction and match you with the perfect product. Once your ready, follow these simple steps to bring out beautiful, healthy hair at home.

1. Start with a deep cleansing shampoo

HairCleansingShampoo_150x250

Before applying any treatment, it’s best to be working with a clean surface. Find a deep cleansing shampoo to remove any product build up on your hair. This will create a “clean slate” that will better accept the treatment. A deep cleansing shampoo can be used prior to treatments or alternated with your daily shampoo about every 8 washes. At Fix Salon, we love Redken’s Hair Cleansing Cream. It has a yummy citrus scent and a foaming lather for squeaky clean results.

2. Towel Dry

After rinsing out your shampoo, take the time to really towel dry your hair. This should be done by scrunching your hair in a towel, rather than wringing it dry. Removing the excess water gives the treatment more room to “live” in the hair.

3. Watch where you apply the treatment

Hair treatments should be applied to the midshaft and ends of your hair first. These are the areas that benefit the most. Afterwards, you can apply a small amount to the hair near your scalp. If you tend to have an oily scalp, avoid your scalp area altogether. With most quality products, a little goes a long way. Make sure you cover the hair thoroughly and evenly, but don’t over apply.

4. Bag it up

If you are stepping out of the shower while your treatment processes, put on a shower cap to protect your hair and your surroundings. You can buy light weight disposable shower caps from a beauty supply or better yet, grab the complimentary caps when you stay at a hotel. In addition to keeping things tidy during the treatment, bagging your hair provides the added benefit of trapping in heat. When your hair warms up, it expands, allowing for better absorption of the treatment into your hair.

5. Warm it up

In addition to using the shower cap to trap heat, you can also stay in the shower for the processing time or sit in a warm place. Hair treatments are perfect when you are sitting at the beach or by the pool. The sun warms your hair for a better result.

6. Rinse well

Be sure to give yourself extra time to rinse out your treatment. Treatment masks are typically heavier than a daily conditioner, so it requires more effort to get it out of your hair. If you do a quick rinse, you run the risk of leaving residual treatment in your hair, causing it to feel over conditioned and heavy.

Treating your hair at home can be a fun, relaxing event that produces noticeable results. By using the right treatment in the correct way, your hair will look amazing. For best results, always use a professional salon product and save the avocados and mayonnaise for the sandwiches.