Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Why do I see Salon Products at Walmart sometimes?

What a great question! This is actually one of the industries biggest problems. It's called Product Diversion and it's a huge issue!

Once when I was in cosmetology school we had a business class where a Paul Mitchell representative came in and talked to us about this issue. He began by introducing himself and picking 3 girls at random to go on a "field trip" with him. They left for about 10 minutes and came back. While they were gone the rep and the girls walked to a CVS pharmacy that was right next to our school and he purchased 3 Paul Mitchell products from their shelves (a shampoo, a conditioner, and a styling gel). He came back and wrote "DIVERTED" on those three products and then pulled identical products out of his bag (but without the word on it). He then took six clear cups out of his bag and wrote "diverted" on three of them. He squirted the 3 products from the pharmacy into the cups marked "diverted". Then he squirted the true (but identical) products from Paul Mitchell that were in his bag into the other cups and put them side by side. One of the sets were identical but smelled different, while the other two sets looked different as well as having different consistencies.

He had two of the girls volunteer to go have their hair washed with the products (one with the real product and one with diverted products). While they were gone getting their hair washed he explained to us that this is called diversion. One of two things usually happens in the case of someone having professional products in their stores. The product is either a counterfeit (yes there are whole factories that make counterfeit product!) or expired (and was supposed to be thrown out, but instead was sold, usually under the table). The two girls returned to the class room and we all came up to touch and smell their hair and examine their scalp. We could see that one felt soft, smooth, and hydrated, while the other was dull, lifeless, and there were several signs of dryness at the scalp and ends.
This picture depicts the contents of two bottles of
TIGI Bed Head Resurrection Conditioner. The top was bought
from a Salon, and the bottom from a Target.
Do you see the difference? 

The biggest problem is people buy these products at drugstores and they think they are getting the real thing. So someone could buy this shampoo and conditioner at CVS, use it and decide it's not better than suave and that Paul Mitchell products are a rip off. It's so sad because those products are great!

Why don't the products get taken off the shelves? It would cost a lot of time and money for companies to do that. They do their best, but it's a long process. There are a couple of brands who do choose to sell salon professional products in big box stores to try and stop people from selling fakes. The problem is that diversion still happens in these stores. The real product could be sitting on a shelf at Target right next to a fake one! And these brands are few and far between.

This pictures shows a bottle of what looked like
CHI hairspray bought from TJ MAXX, but was revealed to be an old and
discontinued product that was repackaged and sold!
There are a couple of companies as well who are very high end and work very hard to keep their products salon exclusive. As a stylist I can go to a professionals only store and purchase products by brands that I don't sell or use at the salon for myself at home. These companies don't allow their products to be sold these places and can only be found in salons that use their line. These companies are Kevin Murphy, Bumble&Bumble, Aveda, Euphoria and a few others. If you ever see these brands on a big box store shelf you can guarantee that it is not real!

So how I can I tell if it is real or fake? The only way to know you are getting authentic products is to buy from your salon and your salon only! There are a couple of other signs, like not using the barcode on the product, or not seeing a part number or code, but in the end you should buy from your salon. Why? Because you love your stylist! Buying from your salon and stylist will help support local business, support your amazing stylist and you will be guaranteed real product every time! Plus your stylist has your back! They will always recommend you the best products for you hair, and not just whatever looks good.

***Thanks to Shyanne Boyer for asking this question*** 

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Thank you for reading and then commenting on my post! I appreciate your support and I hope my blog has been helpful to you! Let me know if you have any beauty related questions or products you'd like reviewed by sending me a message using the contact form on the right (which can not be seen on mobile devices).
-Angela ♥