Store vs. Salon…hair color

I am still in my 2 week trial of what I am going to call “Project Garnier”. It got me thinking that if I am going to try shampoo, conditioner, and all the styling products, maybe I should give hair color a twirl too? It’s been about 2 months since I last colored my hair, so I decided to take the plunge and pick up something from Target. I don’t color my hair too often…just when I’m bored with it or I want to play around. When I do, I always stay close enough to my natural color so I don’t have to keep up with it all the time. This is one of the reasons I have never indulged in highlights…I know for a fact that I am not going to stay on top of that every 6-8 weeks, so I stick to all over color.

I picked up the most inexpensive color I could find. I was actually very surprised at how expensive hair color is at the store. I guess in comparison to what you are charged at a salon it’s a good deal, but I am used to paying around $5.00 for a tube of hair color and about the same amount on a bottle of developer that will last me a long time. Just as I felt lost in the shampoo aisle at Wal Mart, I was a little lost picking out a hair color for myself at Target. I am used to seeing and touching a hair color swatch to see what the color is supposed to look like, but I found myself starting at various models on the front of the boxes and wondering why they all had one eye covered by their hair. No one really wears their hair that way…a friend of mine says it’s a driving hazard to have your eye covered like that, I had to remind her after they take the picture I am sure the hair is moved out of the face. I had to remind myself that and refocus on a color. I ended up picking Revlon Colorsilk #32, Dark Mahogany. I picked up the box, and then I looked at the price. $2.99. Wow…all the others were $9.00 or more, why is this one only $2.99? I am going to find out.

I have to admit, I’m a little scared. I have the box right here in front of me and I am examining its contents before I take the plunge…The box says it will leave my hair in better condition. My hair is pretty fabulous (my sister’s is even better!) so if it can improve my hair, then right on! Wow, that was really arrogant, but I am going to keep it! It’s permanent color and it’s advertising 100% grey coverage…I don’t need that because grey hairs are not allowed to grow on my head. I’ve had this conversation with them and they know better…they will be plucked out and disposed of. There is an old saying that goes “If you pluck 1 grey hair, 8 will come to its funeral” Not true…I’ve done my research on this subject and pluck away my friends! Unless you have only grey, then you’re toast if you pluck all those out and that’s your issue, not mine.  Ok, back on track here. Inside the box it has the color bottle that has the developer in it, a separate little brown bottle that I add to the developer to make #32 Dark Mahogany Brown come to life, after-color conditioner and an instruction sheet that has gloves adhered to it… Whoever thought of that? Genius! I don’t have to follow the instructions, but I will so I can’t find fault if something goes wrong. But the gloves? Probably won’t wear them. I’ll advise anyone else to wear them, but having done this for years, I prefer to really have my hands in the product..even if it does burn after a while! (please don’t try that at home! Use the gloves, and I will try to remember to use them too) Ok, here I go. I will report back with my “after” experience…

45 minutes later…I let the color process for 25 minutes just like the box said. 2 minutes into this process and my head was on fire. Wow! Chemical reactions in the making and I was not enjoying this!! If you have seen the movie The Hangover, you probably remember the smoldering chair in the ‘day after’ scene. This is what my head felt like. At 16 minutes left, I poured a glass of wine to hopefully put out some of the fire. I asked Scott if my head was smoking like the chair from that movie…he actually looked close to see if there was smoke; there was not. Really? Ok. My eyes are starting to tear up because of the overwhelming scent of ammonia in the color. I am calmly waiting for the timer to go off so I can rinse.

Whew! I feel like I ran a marathon. Seriously, my heart started beating faster during the coloring process. The after-conditioner had a nice texture to it and it smelled nice. It’s hard to tell right now what the final result is and if I will like it. Guess I’ll find out tomorrow.

8:00 a.m. Sunday morning: Ok, I have damaged my hair. It’s not beyond repair, but trying to shampoo my hair thoroughly this morning proved to be a challenge. If your hair feels like straw and tangles into a big clump on top of your head while you’re cleansing it, that’s a pretty good indication that there is some damage. Trying to style my hair was fun, I fought just to get a brush through it. Once it’s dry and styled, I take a closer look. The color is not bad. It’s a little lighter than what the box advertised and I always prefer to go darker. There isn’t much shine unless I use a ton of product. Feeling my hair when it’s dry and styled, it feels like it’s had a layer stripped off it and it’s very dry. I can’t remember all the chemical differences that I learned in school like what the PH is supposed to be, alkaline vs. acid, etc. but I do remember what dry, damaged hair feels like…and I’m sporting that now. Lovely. Well, I was curious to see if there was a difference and yes my friends, there is…a big one. In this installment of Store vs. Salon, salon won…big time! It’s not the end of the world, time and a good deep conditioner will have my hair back to normal and fabulous soon enough. And, just so you all know, you don’t have to have a license to get your hands on the professional color. You can pick up professional color at Sally’s Beauty Supply, you just have to know how to mix it and apply it right, and that’s what I’m here for. Fire away with any questions!!

Hopefully this post has been informative. If I have saved just one person from fried hair, then that’s enough for me. No need to run out and damage your hair…I just did it for you!

You’ve been beautified!

3 thoughts on “Store vs. Salon…hair color

  1. Scott

    I’ll admit, your hair is a bit “stiff”. It looks OK but I’m afraid I’ll snap off a piece if I touch it. I guess you’re right about spending a couple extra dollars in this area.

  2. Kambria

    That is why you shouldn’t buy the $2.99 one. There are others that are better, not that any of them are as good as going to the salon but some of us can not afford that all the time.
    You should have taken before and after pictures….we would love to see the difference.
    You are soooo lucky that you don’t have very mahy grey hairs. If I pulled all mine out, I would have a problem with thinning hair. So, I just color them all….almost every four weeks. BE HAPPY, BE VERY HAPPY!

    1. Thanks Kam! I do plan on trying one of the other brands in the future…stay tuned for that! Before and After pics are a great idea, I’ll keep that in mind. As for the greys…I am blessed. Either that or those grey hairs listened when I had that talk with them!

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