When I first began doing hair 15 years+, I use to love spending time in the beauty supply store. I use to go up and down the aisle, looking at eye catching bottles and boxes.Reading what the products were “suppose” to do.I had loads and loads of products, some worked and some didn’t. So, I usually went with what was popular.I remember after I received my cosmetology license I accepted a position as a salon assistant to get my feet wet in a salon.One of the first questions that the salon owner/stylist asked me was “what type of products do you use”. I kind of stumbled over the answer and listed the “unprofessional products” that I proudly used. When I saw her wrinkle up her nose,I started looking around the salon to see what type of products were being used. There was mostly Nexxus and Barry Fletcher products that lined the back bar and stations.(keep in mind this was the later ’90’s)The main thing I noticed was the salon only used high end professional products and the clients all had really healthy hair.NONE of the products that I currently had been using were in that salon. I believe I did not have a lot of product knowledge because I had just finished school and did not have access to professional products.At that particular time beauty schools did not emphasize product knowledge.Being an assistant at a “professional” salon taught me alot about salon settings,products,healthy hair etc.
Later a few years down the road when I made the decision to be a stylist full time,I went to a corporate mall salon.Those salon’s permit their stylist to exclusively only use the products that were provided.Yes, the products were high end professional products,BUT, they weren’t marketed to the “black” community.I was a little nervous using some of the products ,but it was a requirement.So,I dug in,experimented,had a few trial and errors but overall really learned about products. Not to mention, corporate salons offer’s a lot of advanced classes from the different companies to ensure that we use and retail the products correctly.
Fast forward to when I became an independent operator in a private salon.I was now in a position where I could decide to use my own products.My deciding factor was #1. My clients were use to me using top notch products that produced healthy results. and #2 I wanted to keep my clients and continue to produce healthy results.lol. So, it was my obligation to continue with any classes or updated information on products that I felt were best for my clients hair.
What’s the big hoopla…some may ask?Well, it makes a huge difference.A good analogy is the difference between prescription drugs and over the counter drugs.Just like OTC medicines,over the counter products are convenient,easy to obtain,inexpensive BUT watered down.High end products are more concentrated with the active ingredient,which mean they are going to be a little more pricier,BUT if used correctly will last longer and produce the expected results.As a professional I can honestly tell when a client uses OTC products especially when they first began coming to me. A lot of my clients often comment on how softer and more manageable their hair is.Well,that first contributes to the type of products I use.It’s funny when people ask me what products can they get from the beauty supply store that they can use in between.I don’t and can’t recommend those products because I don’t use them.They are full of unhealthy ingredients that counteract with the quality products that I use.
Yes, I have seen the youtube videos that list tons of products that you can grab from your local drug store.I even see the pride in the clients eyes when they bring up a name of a product that has popular commercials or catchy slogans and promises.I have to admit I have to catch myself in giving the same wrinkling up the nose reaction that was given to me when I lacked product knowledge. So, I really try to consciously educate my clients on products . Whether it be high end products,specialty products,natural products,and even old school products that they swore worked when there grandmothers used it in there hair (but are banned from THIS salon).So, do products really matter…They Really do.They will determine the short term AND long term results of your hair.