You may have been happy for years to pay for hair color treatments at your favorite salon but as you get older the expense mounts up.
Those grey hairs just keep on coming. You may start off in your early 40’s with a light sprinkling of gray and by the time you’re in your mid 50’s you have half a head full of gray hair. The more gray you get the more obvious it is when the roots grow out and before you know it you need another retouch.
So – do you stay with your favorite salon or is it time to start choosing the best home hair color treatment?
Cost is definitely going to be an issue here. More than likely it will be much cheaper to do your own hair color at home. Even the most expensive hair color treatment is unlikely to set you back more than $30.
Getting your color done in a good hair salon will cost a whole lot more. Nowadays hair color stylists are highly trained and hair color options in salons involve multi-tonal effects – much more flattering and natural for most over 40’s.
Trips to the hair salon on a regular basis will add up fast – especially when you have to go back regularly to get those roots done. And it’s not just the expense – visiting a salon takes time out of your day or time out of work. Doing your own hair color at home is more flexible and can be fitted around your domestic and work needs.
Don’t forget the mess factor. Applying permanent color to your own hair – as well as highlights – can be a messy business taking up almost as much time as a visit to the hair salon.
But just how easy is it to get salon standards of color in your own home? Shampoo-in hair colorant is easy enough to do in your bathroom – but multi-tonal color (highlights and lowlights) is something else. Applying highlights to your own hair is hard, particularly when it comes to the top and back of your head. For the best results you want fine strands of hair picked out with lights just as the sunlight naturally would.
Try achieving that with two mirrors, messy bleaching cream and only one pair of hands!
Then of course there’s the potential for disaster at home. Judging the final effect can be very difficult for a total amateur with only a bad photo and a misleading name on the packet. Grey hair can be resistant to color – other hair may be much more porous – you may end up with an unusual black stripey effect when you had natural honey brown in mind.
Hair color products nowadays are safe, effective and mostly foolproof so you may think you can’t mess things up too badly by doing it at home. Yet every year hair color disasters happen with hair color kits because people like you and me chose not to follow a few simple steps.
You need to do two tests – a patch test and a strand test. You can do them both at the same time to avoid remixing the product. For the patch test you apply a small amount of mixed product to an area of skin usually the inside of your forearm and wait 48 hours for any sign of allergic response.
For the strand test you apply the product to a small piece of your hair to check the final hair color result and how long it takes to develop. That shouldn’t be too difficult and generally – if you like the product and the results – you only need to do it once. But what if you don’t like the color you get or you have an allergic reaction – then you have to do the same thing all over with a new home color kit.
And if you ignore all the stuff about testing and you do make a bad mistake at home you will probably have to get the salon to fix it – your economical approach may cost you much more than you bargained for.
Of course you can get round some of the practical problems of home color with help from a good friend. Most real friends will enjoy helping out but remember this isn’t just a one time request. How’s your friend going to feel a year later after six hair color sessions?
Full head bleaching is definitely one for the professionals. Peroxide is serious stuff and if something goes wrong it could result in hair loss or severe damage to your scalp.
Good advice if you want to maintain your hair color at home is to talk to your salon first. Get them to do the first treatment so you get a hair color you like and a really professional finish. Whilst you’re at the salon, pick up tips and techniques for maintaining your hair color at home afterwards.
Another trick is to get salon treatments less frequently and use a root touch up kit at home in between to prolong the color effect. Applied carefully this can work well and make a big difference to the number of color treatments you need in a year.
If you talk to your hair salon first you could end up with the best of both worlds – a combined approach that will give you a professional hair color result AND low cost maintenance at home!