…certain colour companies would invest the same amount of money and energy that they do marketing home hair color to the public into marketing professional services? To educating the consumer as to why results achieved by a skilled professional can never be duplicated in the kitchen?
If you use these brands professionally, how do you come to terms with the fact that the brand you endorse spends hundreds of millions of dollars annually trying to get your clients out of the salon and into doing their hair themselves?
Now there are always a few responses to this argument;
“I love home hair colour! It means I get to charge more for colour corrections when they screw it up.”
“It doesn’t affect me, because I know the client can’t achieve what I can in the salon. If I do my job well, my work can never be replicated.”
Both of these things are true. To an extent.
Most people don’t really screw up their hair using home colour. You might see the odd disaster but it’s all anecdotal, and generally a small portion of what we see as colourists. And it seems to be less and less as home colour products get better.
And to the second point, you must realize that these companies are spending incredible amounts of money on research to do exactly that, to replace you. There is even a company that does online colour customization. The research dollars that could be going in to creating a better salon product are absolutely going in to creating something magic for the consumer. And there are also a million Youtube How-To videos, some by professional stylists, showing more complex applications.
But more importantly, what about your industry as a whole? Let’s not just think about ourselves but think bigger. The industry itself is being deliberately hurt by some professional hair colour companies.
I know that there is a certain portion of the market that will always be salon clients. But there is also a large part of the market that every day is being tempted away from you by the very company you give your money and endorsement to. Gwen Stefani’s pretty face all over television, billboards and signage at Costco telling millions of people every day that they can achieve her blonde with what’s in this box. Think of all the celebrities who have endorsed consumer colour, and of all those slick advertising campaigns. The money spent is incomprehensible.
It would be nice if we could get the same level of investment in professional-only colour. A celebrity endorsement would be nice. But instead, they know that most stylists are like sheep, and that many doubt their own abilities as colourists and are married to the brand they were trained with.
There aren’t too many companies left that truly have our backs as hairdressers. I think it’s important that we work with the ones that do, and show our strength as an industry in not working with the ones that obviously don’t.