It happens all the time. Throughout my guest's visit I’ve recommended (or, prescribed really….can I say prescribe? I’m kindof a hair doctor, so we’ll go with prescribe) - I’ve prescribed a proper shampoo, conditioner, and style aids that will nourish their hair, help achieve their desired style and enhance the look and feel of their hair strands. In the case of a guest who has had color, the formulas I’ve prescribed will provide additional support after a chemical service. At the end of our appointment I review the products that we have discussed and then….my guest reaches for their phone and types the product names into their Amazon search bar. And because I don’t want to say the word “feces” in such a beautiful salon I don’t say anything at all.
Mmmhmm, you read that correctly. Professional salon products (meant to only be purchased in the salon) purchased on Amazon have been tested and found to contain harsh detergents and…..(ew ew ew ew) feces. Yep.
You see….it is possible that when you purchase a bottle of Kerastase shampoo on Amazon (though Amazon is not an authorized retailer of Kerastase or most professional salon brands) that a real bottle of Kerastase will land at your doorstep. But if it happens that you do receive an authentic product it’s likely expired (ie less effective) or diluted (I certainly wouldn’t want to put a product on my hair that has been tampered with...creepy!).
The more likely scenario: the bottle of Kerastase Bain Extensioniste (going with the Kerastase example here because, well, you know me and Kerastase) that you've just paid close to full price for is a counterfeit - a really good looking fake with god.knows.what in it.
What it comes down to: it cannot be guaranteed what is going on your hair or body when you use a professional hair care product purchased on Amazon.
Most professional hair care products can only be guaranteed if they are purchased from a salon professional in an authorized salon because the supply chain is simple and defined and the authorized dealer list is short. (Most professional brands have a list of authorized dealers on their website and you'll be hard-pressed to find one that has Amazon on it). Those products sold on Amazon? It’s tough to even uncover who the seller actually is and where the products are, in fact, coming from.
Of course, my preference is always for my guests to purchase the products I’ve prescribed from Solo salon. I believe in supporting small businesses, of course. But my main motive (if I’m being honest) is control (my husband is not shocked). I use my knowledge of a guests' hair history and the current condition of their hair and prescribe a hair care regimen based on those factors. When my guests take home a hair care regimen crafted by me I can provide support when something might not be working and the routine needs to be tweaked, or know when to suggest a refill when something is working really well. When a guest purchases a product that I've suggested from Amazon and it makes their hair dry, greasy or limp (all real life scenarios) their trust in my judgement is compromised.
Amazon is so easy and convenient and you can often find "deals". Who can be be blamed for wanting that?! But, alas, all is obviously not as it seems. I like my 2-day free prime shipping just as much as the next girl, but I'd rather not watch my guests wash their investment (freshly-colored and/or cut hair) with dish detergent or.....well, you know what.