This article was first published 18 months ago in Salon NV magazine.

It’s still as relevant now as it was back then.

Changing Colour House: Why changing your colour supplier could be the best decision you ever make.

Every hairdresser has their favourite colour and their absolute ‘can’t live without’ shade. They also have a fear of change, of using a different colour range. It’s an industry norm; the giant corporations train hairdressers to believe that they can’t function without their products. It’s a genius approach to keeping salons and stylists on board. Alongside the training, the discounts and the events the big companies offer, they also secure the absolute loyalty of hairdressers by instilling in them the belief that what they use is the very best and should never be changed. After spending many years working for larger companies and (being honest about it) encouraging salons to be ‘scared’ about changing, the realisation that moving to a different colour can be an uplifting experience came as something of a shock to the system.

Strict regulations’ regarding formulations and ingredients means that there really isn’t anything that could be classed as a ‘bad’ product. Every manufacturer delivers quality and products that deliver excellent results. So why is there so much fear attached to change? It’s the fear of the unknown, and I believe it’s this that prevents people from looking at other ranges.

Of course each colour range has it’s own special qualities, USP’s that create a story about the brand. These usually include special tonal mixes that create different hues in the hair, some create denser coverage, and others offer more translucent, natural results. Some companies have multi functional products that do different jobs depending on how they are used. Number and letter systems vary (that’s a big scare factor for most people). Every brand has exciting shades that are unique to them and then of course there is the packaging and the imagery… all designed to keep the hairdresser loyal.

Ultimately, what’s inside the tube is what counts, that, and an understanding of the principles of colour, from primary through to tertiary, from neutralising to complimentary shades. Every stylist and technician has an excellent understanding of basic colour theory, this, in reality means a change of brand is a relatively painless step. Colours do work differently and there is always an element of variation in shade, depth and tone, but ultimately these differences can be dealt with easily when a logical approach is taken to understanding the nuances of a colours performance.

Changing the colour brand a salon uses encourages everyone to ‘up their game’ and become more interactive with their clients, it gives hairdressers the opportunity to communicate and encourage the client to be open to change. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t all plain sailing, but logic and a step by step approach to colour always creates great results and it actually doesn’t matter that much about what brand is being used. Of course choice is also about trust and hairdressers must trust the colour they use. But sometimes, taking a leap of faith and trying something new brings a frisson of ‘colourful’ excitement back into the hands of the hairdresser!