The Truth About Buying Salon Products in Drug Stores

Anything we can do these days to make life more convenient seems to be a no-brainer. But too often we are at risk of sacrificing quality for a quick fix. Don’t be fooled into thinking that your favorite brand of shampoo sold at drug stores is the same that’s sold in salons!

Here’s the real deal.

Picture this, you’re running errands and end up walking through the hair aisle of the drugstore. You see your favorite professional product on the shelf  – you’ve got a coupon, everything about it looks like the legitimate real deal, and the price looks incredible.

So, you buy it. Right?

Beware: this is the deep, dark hole of the black market hair industry.  Drugstores and big box retailers are NOT authorized to sell professional salon products. They are called “salon professional products” because they are exactly that; in order to sell these products one needs a professional license.

When you go to the salon for your color and cut, you sit in the chair of a licensed professional. This person spent hours in school and months studying for their license exam. (On top of that, in the case of Davis Hairdressing, we spend MORE months and MORE hours studying up with modern education and the latest trends, learning about products and styling tools directly from the brands and creators themselves!) Our well educated hands leave you feeling like a super star. We know exactly what each product does, why it works, and how it can best work for you to get the look you want. We know your hair type, and we’ll teach you exactly how to use products to create the hair of your dreams at home.

If you’re purchasing your products at the supermarket or drugstore and wonder why your hair doesn’t look like it did after you left the salon, or why your color has faded so quickly, it’s because there is nothing true and benefiting in those bottles. They may look the same, but there is no regulations on what is actually in that can of hairspray.

So, how did they get there? And what’s ACTUALLY in there?

Unfortunately, some salons that are going out of business need to get rid of all their old expired products to help make the last dollar in order to break even. Because this has not been authorized by the brands, these products are all altered in some way in order to be sold. (What we mean by altered is, they’re knock off versions of the true product, have long since expired, or they are full of fillers.)

Trust your stylist – we, the professionals need these professional in-salon products to help create this look… don’t you think it makes sense to get them directly from us instead of trusting your beautiful hair to a knock off?


By Whitney

Davis Hairdressing & Seanie Strong

One of the best things about the salon community is the intimate relationships we build with our clients. We are caring, compassionate, driven people, and once you enter our lives, we want to do whatever we can to help make your day (week… month… year!) better.

One of our stylists at our South Boston location, Rosie, approached us with her client’s heart in her hands. Rosie had nannied part time for a family, who’s son, Sean, was battling neuroblastoma. She was very involved in their fundraising efforts with The Jimmy Fund, and wanted to see how the salon could support them further. We’ve been brainstorming different (fun) ways that we could contribute as a salon community.

Sweet, silly, bright Seanie passed away at the age of three. In Rosie’s words,

“The little boy I had known with the light light brown hair that was so pretty in the sun, was suffering just wanting to be cuddled in his moms lap. The only thing that brought some of us comfort was that he was now somewhere not in pain. But as you can imagine that gives very little comfort when you think of his giggle when he was running around in the back yard feeling great. Something that continues to bring everyone who knew him comfort is when September comes around and it’s time for the Jimmy fund walk in Boston. The last few years our Seanie strong team has grown and grown. Being with people who loved him or know someone who knew him walking for children’s cancer.”
Davis Hairdressing will join Rosie & Sean’s family this year at the Boston Marathon Walk for The Jimmy Fund. We are doing what we are best at – rallying together during hard times to try and make a difference.
We hope you will consider joining us for STYLED for Seanie Strong on September 8th, or consider making a donation to the Seanie Strong page here.

The $400 Blow Dryer

Dyson. Synonymous with smooth. It even rolls off your tongue in a smooth way.

Dyson products are the Louis Vuitton of household products.  When you think of Louis Vuitton you think of QUALITY: clean lines, sleek designs, superior material and – yes, a hefty price tag.  Dyson products are known for esthetically pleasing designs that turn ordinary household appliances into cool pieces of art.

Late last year, Dyson came out with the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer with a price tag of $399. WOW! Just WOW! As a professional hair stylist, I have played with, tested, and owned many blow dryers, some of which have cost me over $150.  I love keeping up with the newest and latest product trends, and often get  curious as to see what the hype is all about when something comes with a hefty price tag, but for $400 I better have not one complaint about this new gadget I’m adding to my tool belt!

Luckily, my coworker bought it and I got a chance to hold it and watch it do its magic without having to bite the bullet and fork over the funds. This blow dryer is gorgeous!!! I  got the same feeling I get when you buy a new cell phone – you want to play with it for hours and test out all of the cool new functions. But is it worth $400?

I was fully ready & prepared for the Dyson Supersonic to blow me away.

Unfortunately it did not and here is why…

My first thought about the Supersonic is – it’s so sexy.  It is white, light weight, sleek, compact, comes with 3 separate magnetic attachments and a really cute carrying case.  When it comes time to use it on my first blow dry, I enjoyed the loud, clean sound of the air blowing – I found it relaxing.  I did realize my hand was starting to cramp a bit – now, that could have been because I was just on vacation for 2 weeks. Regardless, it was very uncomfortable which quickly made me realize the handle was a bit too long and not designed to comfortably hold like most professional hair dryers.

The Dyson Supersonic is said to preserve the natural shine by constantly regulating the temperature. Well – that’s not all that goes into creating shine. You have to work for the shine by smoothing the hair -so once it’s nicely flat and smooth the light reflects off the hair giving it the shine.  The less smooth the hair the less shine. I found myself working extra hard looking for that smooth shine that I was so accustomed to getting with my own dryer. I attributed that to the Dyson not being hot enough; it  only goes up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

Most of the women that come into our salon have fine textured hair easily smoothed by any dryer, but while using the Supersonic I quickly realized that this tool would not be suitable for all hair types, especially the women with thicker course hair.  I love heat styling – I have picked up some great techniques to expose the shine in the hair in very little amount of time.  So while the Supersonic did dry the hair faster, my goal isn’t to just get it dry, it’s to create shape and movement that gives style that is not easily achieved at home. You don’t come to the salon to “dry off”, you come to look beautiful!

All in all, the Dyson Supersonic does not seem to be worth the $400 price tag, especially as a professional tool. But it has so much potential!  Dyson can easily redesign the Supersonic to make it more professionally-user friendly with its same sleek sexy look and great technology but with more thought and effort put in to answering the question, “what is the desired end result?” No one buys a hair dryer for $400 to just dry hair fast – we all want to look great in the end, too!

Karen M. Alvarez
Davis Hairdressing South Boston

Getting The Most Out Of Your Hairdresser

Everyone knows that second to your spouse/partner, your next most intimate relationship is with your hairdresser! They are your therapist, your secret-keeper, your escape from the day-to-day hustle, and the one that makes you feel like your most beautiful self.

But have you tapped into your hairdressers’ secret talents? These artists are not just slapping paint on your hair. In fact, they are calculating formulas and mixing colors that are customized for each individual client – the same formula would not bring the same results to different heads of hair! Knowing your hair history, the products you use, your hair goals and color preferences all are things your stylist considers when developing the exact right formula for your hair, or the right tools to use to cut it. Behind the scenes, hairdressers are continuously educating themselves to make sure they bring their clients the best techniques and methods.

To make sure you are getting the most out of your stylists’ talents, follow these three tips

  1. Have an open conversation about expectations.


Hair is not “one size fits all” – just because your friend went from brunette to platinum in one day doesn’t mean your hair can. Most often, it takes multiple appointments to make such a drastic change. Your stylist will tell you what is possible in one appointment to maintain the integrity of your hair.

  1. Let your hairdresser “blend the trend”.

A messy, textured lob can look great on anyone, as long as that “lob” is the right length, with the right shape. Your stylist can look at the shape of your face and the texture of your hair and find a way to make a trend work for you – sometimes wanting to look exactly like a photo can be self-sabotage! While bringing in photos is great, they should serve as inspiration for your stylist to work from.

  1. Be open to the journey.

With the right hairdresser and the right products (…and time, and money!) you can achieve the hair of your dreams. Be open to the journey along the way – whether you are making a big color transition, growing out bangs, going from long to short, or trying to achieve a new texture, your hair stylist is your guide to making the in-between looks work for you.


(Special thanks to Laura in #Newton for the inspiration behind this post. Laura is an Art Director at Davis Hairdressing with a flawless eye for color. She works with all of her clients to find that achievable perfect hair look.)

A Culture of Education

Mary & I shared a common vision when opening Davis Hairdressing 27 years ago – we wanted to be customer-focused. That may not seem like such a “radical” idea in the service industry, but at the time, the salon community was very salon-focused, in the way that the ego of owners (and stylists) was prioritized over the needs of the client.

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Men’s Haircuts; We Like The Direction They Are Going

Men have always had their haircut (or HAIRS cut like my Dad would say, jokingly. Yours too?), but a majority haven’t cared too much about it. Running to the barber every couple of weeks for a “high & tight” or a chain salon for a quickie, neither of which ever came out too great. In the past decade the salon industry has seen a big resurgence of 40’s, 50’s & 60’s men’s styles with classic barbering techniques, bringing men’s haircut styles to the forefront of fashion. Barber shops upped their game, men’s grooming salons hit the market and hair salons with a large, female based clientele have had to learn a few new skills. Move over ladies, there’s something meatier 😉 This years popular cuts: Classic fades & undercuts have been around for decades and continue to resurface here and there, but there has been an influx of young to older gents heading to high end salons for the latest trends.
The undercut has probably been the biggest movement for men’s cuts. Flocking the runways, red carpet & even the field! I personally think it was Julian Edelman who shot that cut to the masses! I mean, c’mon, he looks damn good with it!
Do these styles require a little at home maintenance? Yes, of course, but men’s hair products are just as easy to get a hold of as women’s. Here at Davis, our top stylists recommend using hair pomades & creams to keep your cut looking like it does when you walk out of the salon. With 7 pomades by Kevin Murphy & many options by KMS, we will hook you up! So, for those of you who have been looking for a new look & the man bun isn’t an option, we implore you to check these cuts out!

Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair…I mean clip-in hair extensions! By Jennifer Lopez

Do any of you know the story of Samson?

Well I am sure that if you don’t you probably have at least heard of the name. Let me sum it up and we will go from there. Im not pushing bibles, I’m pushing hair! And we all love some hair!

The story goes as follows;

Samson was a judge that wasn’t all too thrilled with the Philistines and was coming down on them pretty hard. So what do you have to do to take down someone? That’s right, figure out their weakness. Well, it had been rumored that Samson had taken a liking to a woman of the Valley of Sorek (Delilah) and soon after the Philistine leaders went out and offered her money to find out what her suitor’s weakness was.

Well, after Delilah’s persistence Samson finally gave in. He had told his lady love that all of his strength and power was in the locks of his hair and that if it was to be cut it would take away all of the things that made him great. There in the middle of the night as he laid to rest in her lap she cut his hair off making Samson weak and able to be captured by the Philistines.

Here is the hairdressing part ( I know, you’re asking yourself “Where’s she going with this”?!)

Its now spring and summer is following pretty fast. We all know what that means; Yup, weddings, proms, semi formals, bridal showers and galas. The weather is nice and a bit more reliable, wait did I just say that? We live in New England! Maybe that’s not so accurate but you all understand… Anyway, what I am saying is this, as you spend your time at these special events in your life you might want to try something a bit different with your hair without the commitment. Clip in extensions are the way to go. They come in so many lengths and colors not to mention hair textures and the big plus is that they are real human hair which means you can manipulate them how you would your own. Wash, color, blow dry, curl and you can even perm them! Go crazy! Just make sure it blends with your hair.

For those of you who are reading this and thinking that you will look like you are working the main stage at the Glass Slipper, trust me, you wont. Start with them in a cool, wavy ponytail on a night out with girlfriends then ease your way into an event night just so you can get use to the feel of them.


You can get a pack for about $100.00 and you will get enough to lengthen your hair. If you are having difficulties don’t be shy! Bring ’em in! We can give you tips and hints. And don’t forget we now have the wide wide world of the internet! You will be able to figure it out in a jiffy! And always remember whether or not you have long, short, thin, or thick hair, just rock it and have confidence! There is nothing sexier than you radiating positive thoughts and a huge smile on a hot summer night!


Beam Me Up, Knotty! How to make the perfect hair knot! By Jennifer Lopez

Do you feel it in the air? Spring! No, don’t feel it? Yeah, neither do I, however as we all look around we can feel it coming. Fashion magazines are presenting us with new spring lines and even the spring/summer fashion was on display this weekend at the mall. We all want the warm weather to come. And the retailers do too (note all the sad heavy coats and sweaters on sale, pressed far back in the store with bright read tags stating they are an a additional 75% off). As New Englanders we get pumped for the heat. We look forward to strappy sandals, breezy sundresses and a relaxed life style. I know… I got you all wanting a Strawberry Margarita, didn’t I? But as we all know what comes with the heat is the frizz and pain in the you know what effort that it takes for us to look and feel great. So why am I stressing you all out in January, you ask? What? I didn’t mention swimsuits! Whoops. No, Im getting you all prepped with a basic and hot trend for this upcoming season. The Knot! No, really this will save your life. And no, Im not taking about those crazy tight, suffocating ballet buns everyone was wearing. Think lighter, messier and softer. And I do not care what age you are, we all need some softness in our lives. Leave your fierce, tight bun for nights when you are hitting the dance floor. All you need to do is get two hair elastics and if you are feeling like you need the control, get a brush. Start with your basic ponytail, go as high or as low as you want. Next twist the tail part and twirl it into a knot, you want it to resemble a Challah bread bun (if you don’t know what that is, please buy one and enjoy it with a cup of coffee, it will make your life). Take the next elastic and tie it onto the base of the knot, trying to keep the knot intact. Then pull the bun with two hands, going away from each other but not pulling it so much that the bun comes totally undone. Follow up with bobby pins to secure and loose hairs that you don’t think look right. Spray! Or don’t! Remember three words: BREEZY, SOFT, MESSY. Now go give it a try and remember the spring will come, it always does!

Autumn is a great time for change! By Sally Steeves

There is something about Autumn that I think most of us New Englanders love.

Don’t get me wrong, we love our summer but Autumn brings change.

Perhaps from the impending school year beginning in September bringing us

a fresh start. For the fortunate ones, it also brought clothes shopping, new

haircuts & maybe even a new you. Those 18 or so years formed our internal clock for

new beginnings for life it seems. Many fear change; not knowing an outcome can be scary!!

For me, its always been a secret time of new resolutions with much less pressure than January 1st

(and much less of a hang over!) It can also be exciting. Change doesn’t have to be huge

shifts in your life either, even small adjustments can provoke new ideas, new

experiences and possibly greater happiness. I encourage you all to make a change

this fall, something you’ve been thinking about…something you’ve never thought

about! At the very least, how about trying a new hair color 😉 Be brave, embrace the

path you’re on & make room for change.

The Hot Hair Trends of Fall 2013- What’s Old is New Again. By Sally Steeves

A couple of things come to mind when I think of the 90’s. Music of course is number one; Nirvana, Pearl Jam, STP, Alice In Chains… you get the picture. (I know, I know I could write about more poignant subjects like the Cold War ending, Mad Cow disease & scientists cloning sheep, but we are, after all, a hair salon). Fashion would naturally come in second. Flannel, baby doll dresses, Doc Martin boots, big baggy jeans, biker jackets and lets not forget the popular, albeit uncomfortable, body suit tops! And WHAT would a blog about the 90’s be without mentioning The Rachel! Jennifer Anistons haircut that swept the nation & bored hairstylists through the mid 90’s. Everyone had it, errr…right? I did for a brief moment in 1994.Ahh, memories. Why am I talking about the 90’s? Well, get ready! They’re back!Trends this fall are all about them, including overalls and over sized sweaters. Let’s hope the body suit doesn’t make a return, ouch! Will there be a fresh spin on The Rachel? What direction will hair go? Grunge is back people!  I think I’m ok with it; I was getting tired of washing my hair anyway 😉