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Drugstore Vs. Salon Gloss: Can You Actually Tell The Difference?

drugstore vs salon gloss
If there’s one thing women long for no matter their hair texture or length, it’s hair that shines like you just stepped out of your stylist’s chair. Unfortunately, our ash blonde hair doesn’t always meet those expectations a few weeks post-salon. That’s why between touch-up appointments, we trust hair glosses to refresh our color and give our strands some much-needed shine.

With so many drugstore hair glosses and salon formulas available, it can be difficult to understand the differences between the two. We tapped Lindsey May, Redken artist, to settle the drugstore vs. salon gloss debate once and for all.

What is a hair gloss?

Before we delve into the differences between salon and drugstore hair glosses, you might need a quick refresher on what the salon treatment is and how it benefits your mane. According to May, glosses are high-shine, demi-pemanant hair colors that are made up of a mix of both oxidative and direct dyes.

“This means that they are not permanent and gradually fade over a few weeks, so you can try out a new hair color without totally committing to it,” May explains.

What are the benefits of a salon hair gloss?

Maybe your blonde hair color is looking dull or your dark brown hair isn’t looking as shiny as once did. No matter what hair color woes you’re dealing with, a salon hair gloss may be the answer to fixing them.

“Professional in-salon hair glosses are customized to fit the needs of each guest and often include more than one color to get the desired tone,” May says. “A stylist might have two guests who want the same tone, but what’s used on their hair to give them that result is often two very different, personalized formulas.”

According to May, in-salon hair glosses are also pH balanced, which means they’re created specifically to make the hair look and feel soft, conditioned, and shiny.

What are the benefits of a drugstore hair gloss?

In beauty, we love anything that we can get our hands on quickly—and a drugstore hair gloss is just that. Many at-home hair glosses promise the same shine and color reviving benefits that salon formulas do. One of the major differences, however, is that the product isn’t tailor-made to fit your specific hair color and needs.

“Drugstore glosses are kind of ‘one size fits all,’ and aren’t personalized to take factors like your current color and undertone, into consideration,” May says.

While the convenience and price tag of a drugstore hair gloss may be appealing, the end result isn’t always as precise as a professional gloss service.

Is hair gloss damaging?

Hair gloss shouldn’t damage your hair—in fact, many stylists recommend hair glosses for touching up color instead of traditional hair dye if you’re trying to avoid damage. Hair glosses actually help to seal your hair cuticle, leaving your mane softer and shinier.

What is the best hair gloss?

Ready to head to the salon for a hair gloss? When it comes to in-salon formulas, May highly recommends the Redken Shades EQ Gloss line.

“Not only are there so many shades, but your stylist can mix and dilute them all to create the exact tone made specifically for you,” May explains. “The pH level in the product is actually in line with your hair’s natural pH level.”

Now that you know all the details about drugstore vs. salon hair gloss, you can decide which hair treatment is right for you.

Interested in a personalized salon gloss? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.

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