I know that it seems like every time you get your hair done your stylist (maybe me!) has a new recommendation for you. As much as I try to not be overwhelming, I realize that sometimes it is just that. So, take a moment to read through and find out exactly why all those recommendations keep coming through.
This may seem like the most obvious, but new products come our way ALL.THE.TIME. For real. It seems like almost daily our distributors are coming in with new samples, or the supply store has a sale on the next hot thing to hit the hair market. And you know how when that thing you love doing has something new and you get super excited? Well, that's how we stylists are with hair products!! Whenever we get something new in the salon I try it on everybody, including myself, and really only because I need to know how it works. And I always communicate what I'm using because if you do love it, you should be able to take it home with you.
Change of Season
This is one of the things I talk most about when it comes to choosing products for your hair. Depending on where you live, the change in seasons can wreak havoc on your luscious locks! I work and live in Maryland, which has all four seasons throughout the year. In the heat of the summer it's hot and humid - not a good thing for anyone's hair. So my recommendations for summer tend to be anti-humidity, anti-frizz, or more matte/drying products. However, in the middle of winter it's dry as heck here. Hair gets staticky, dry, and ends split at the blink of an eye so products need to become more moisturizing, oil and cream based. In the Spring we get a lot of rain around here, so figuring out how to enhance what your hair naturally wants to do if you get rained on becomes a concern. And in the Fall it's darn near perfect weather, so simple, everyday products are my go to. Wherever you live, make sure you talk to your stylist about how the seasons can alter your hair and use the products he or she recommends for you.
Change of Color or Style
Alright, this one should be the most obvious. Let's break it down, color change first. I'm a blonde specialist, so in my day to day I do a lot of highlighting, balayage, bleach outs, color corrections...you name it. This pic on the left is one of my actual clients. Through her journey we've talked about how her product needs will change. When you go from brown to blonde hair becomes dry, brittle, and can even break if you don't treat it properly. Blonde hair requires a lot more love than your average brunette; it's an investment not for the faint of heart. Likewise if you go the opposite route from blonde to brown (or red or green or purple...) your product needs will change. The oil based products you may have used on your blonde hair will have a tendency to strip the pigment from your newly darker strands, so a switch up is in order. And that new shorter cut you got to go with your new color? That needs new love, too. Maybe a paste instead of a cream, or a hairspray to keep those new bangs out of your eyes as they grow. Or the opposite if you're trying to grow your hair - maybe it needs a little extra nourishment to help get you there. Whatever the switch up, new products will generally be required to maintain it.
What You Really Need
So how do you know what you really need? There's a basic "formula" I use to help determine what to prescribe to my clients, and it's generally a four product minimum: shampoo, conditioner, wet styling, and dry styling. Beyond that there are a slew of specialty products, like dry shampoo and conditioning treatments, but these are add-ons to your 4 product routine. When you sit in my chair I always recommend shampoo and conditioner first (read this post for more info), followed by the wet & dry styling products. We chat about what's already being used and whether it's a good fit for your hair or not. I'm not one to push the products we sell in the salon if you're using something good at home already, and I think a lot of stylists are like that.
Most of us aren't sales people, and the money we make from selling retail is minimal if anything at all so it isn't about that either. All we want is for your hair to look and feel it's best and it's our job to help you with it, much like your doctor will help you manage pain or illness, or your financial planner will help you decide how to spend & save your money. So next time your stylist recommends something, really listen. I promise you that he/she only has your best hair interests at heart.