Ever wondered why hairstylists are so weird about buying professional products outside of the salon?
You might think it’s about commission or salon benefits; but really, there’s a lot more behind it. Our recommendation to purchase products from inside the salon instead of from the grocery store comes from one word: diversion. This is when unauthorized vendors sell professional lines.
So what's the big deal about that? Let's talk about it.
There are two kinds of diversion - controlled and uncontrolled.
Controlled diversion occurs within larger professional haircare companies, who bolster their sales by selling their products to grocery and drugstores. Often times, 80 to 90 percent of their sales come from diverted product. Here’s the problem: if a company advertises as a professional line, but well over half of their sales come from non-professional vendors, a level of professionalism is lost.
One of the values of buying professional products in salon is understanding their proper uses, and uses that may not be described on the bottle. Your stylist is able to explain benefits to your specific hair type, alternate uses, how much product should be used, and in what ways.
Not to mention, these professional products typically cost the same, if not more, than they would in salon. In the end, you're paying the same, without the benefit of understanding the product you’re purchasing. This may not bother you at all, but more than likely this next type of diversion is something you'll want to look out for.
Uncontrolled diversion can happen within larger companies, but often happens within smaller companies like the lines we carry at Virtue(Virtue works directly with product companies and suppliers to avoid these scenarios). This is where things get scary. These products are typically purchased by someone with a license and then sold, sometimes to stores, but most frequently over the internet. As a consumer, the appeal of buying product on the internet is high, especially when it's for half the price! The unfortunate thing about this, is that it sounds too good to be true, because it is too good to be true. Sites like Amazon don't just sell things from their personal warehouse. Any person could be selling your conditioner or hairspray—but it may be far from what you're expecting. Diverted products purchased on the internet could be extremely old, mixed with other products, or a different product altogether. The risk here is still the same as with controlled diversion, but you've added in the risk of wasting your money on a product that flat out doesn't work.
In my experience before being a hairstylist, professional products purchased at the grocery or drugstore were a guessing game. Usually I ended up with a drawer full of products that didn't achieve what I wanted because I didn't understand their use. It's likely I was simply using them in the wrong way, or bought the wrong product, and therefore missing out on their intended benefits!
In the end, it's up to you whether you want to take a chance on diverted products. But know that, as your hairstylists, we want to take care of you and give you the best hair for your money. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call!
Post By Hannah!