Does advertising really tell the truth? Can you change your hair colour whenever you like?

As a salon that specializes in colour and especially recognized for its expertise in colour correction, we occasionally run into frustrating situations caused by the outrageous information provided by ads and by well-meaning but ill-informed professionals.

So let’s set the record straight.

Some retail products promise highlights that will fade in four to six weeks. Unless you choose a colour that’s extremely close to your natural colour (which is essentially pointless), you will have visible roots within a few weeks and the

highlights will never really fade, which means that those of you with shoulder-length hair won’t get rid of it for two or three years! All of this to say that every time you put colour in your hair, you’re in for a long-term commitment[1].

What on earth do they put in their products?

A client came to see us recently, looking to brighten the dark brown drug store colour she had been using for some time. We did an initial colour removal,[2] then a second, and nothing changed. Then we tried to bleach a test streak, with no success.

Another woman came to us, also to brighten her black allegedly professional vegetable colouring. After the same process, the test streak came out navy blue. It was clear that we were never going to get close to what the client wanted.

Ever seen an advertisement that promises that you can go from copper to blond with a single home dye job? It’s impossible. You need to have a professional apply colour remover first. As any colourist will tell you, colour (dye) does not lighten hair. However, the opposite is doable without any problem. They must have made a mistake during the final edit and switched the “before” and the “after” images. That must be it. A careless mistake.

So if you don’t feel 1000% confident about results or maintenance when you are browsing through the hair colouring section of the drug store, consult a

professional colourist. Because it’s probably better to pay more that day than having to shell out hundreds of dollars later on to fix a problem that could have been avoided from the start.

[1] Except for “temporary” colours that rinse out with the first shampoo

[2] Hair remover removes artificial pigment, and bleach removes natural pigment.