Hair Colour; Home vs Salon

An argument that could split the nation. “What is the point on spending loads of money at a salon when I can colour my hair for a fiver?”

In the salon one of my favourite things to do is colour, it is where I feel I can be really creative and especially since I work with Aveda, I can create personalised colour formulas for my lovely guests. I do also realise that having your hair coloured is one of the more expensive services we offer. So I suppose the question is,

Why do I think it is okay to charge £50+ for something you can do your self?

Chemical Reaction

Hair colour/dye has chemicals in, a chemical reaction going on, on your head is a little bit scary. Home kits do say to do a skin test before use, but honestly most people chuck it on and hope for the best. The bad reactions to hair colour can be fatal! A salon by law has to skin test you at least 48hours prior to a colour service.

Who says this is the right one for you?

The person that made the home kit colour has never seen your hair. How do they know how much grey you have or how resistant it is? In the salon you would have a full consultation  where your stylist will find out all he/she needs to know to get you the perfect colour. Is 74 year old Pam down the road going to get the same coverage as 35 year old Lisa? If a full head of resistant white hair gets full coverage, I can only imagine that, that product on less resistant hair can only make it look matte and dense, instead of shiny and natural.

The History

During the consultation, the stylist should ask about your hairs history. Have you had years of bleach? Was it red this time last year? We need to know EVERYTHING! This way we can determine how your hair will lift. A chestnut brown box dye will lift out completely differently to a mahogany. Give us as much info as possible for the best results.  So with a home kit, do you really know what result you will get?


If you have been colouring your hair at home or in the salon, and you have decided you want to go lighter, putting a blonde dye over the top will not work. The only thing that will lift your dark ends is bleach- something that 100% should not be done at home. Not only will you have a patchy, orange/yellow end result, you could melt your hair.  This also goes for ‘colour removers’- it is basically bleach, it will not leave you with your natural colour.

“I just paint my roots”

I have been in the industry almost 10 years, and I cannot paint my own roots. It’s impossible. About 90% of people that colour their own hair at home miss behind their ears as well as various other patches here and there. If you are lucky enough to not miss patches, you are probably whacking the colour on all over, which means if you lighten your hair, your ends are getting whiter each time. If you are darkening your hair, your ends are getting blacker and more matte. All salons and stylists colour slightly differently but I know I don’t put full strength colour on your ends, instead I ‘Refresh’ with a much weaker formula to keep the condition tip top. Your natural root colour will need something much stronger than the faded mid lengths and ends of your hair. Something you won’t get with a box dye.

I realise writing this I may come across as a salon snob, but I have done my fair share of home hair dyes and had my fair share of disasters too! I even used ‘Sun In’ as a teenager – thanks for that by the way mum! Spraying peroxide on, then heating it up with the hairdryer seemed like a great idea until my hair stretched like over chewed chewing gum! I also wanted to write this in a hope that I could prevent some of the disasters I have had to fix in the salon. I have had so many people come in the salon in tears, after ruining their hair at home. Unfortunately these salon fixes don’t come cheap, they take time, product and expertise to make right. Home hair dye can sometimes turn out more expensive than a salon visit to begin with.

I am not completely naive, there are a lucky few who have coloured their own hair and done an amazing job, so for these people it’s probably not worth paying the extra. Although I think these people got results on luck not skill! Us professional colour lovers have trained and trained and try our hardest to keep up to date with the latest trends. I am constantly going up to Aveda in  London to be taught whats coming next, it is a real art.

To most women their hair is their greatest accessory,

So yes, I do think it is ok to charge 50+, because to me it isn’t something you can achieve yourself.


Let me know your thoughts xo



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