I often see the question pop up…”Why do hairstylists hate Sallys Beauty Supply?”.

First of all, hate is a strong word. It’s not that we “hate” Sally’s Beauty Supply, it’s that people who aren’t in our industry think it’s better than drugstore products.

Or, they think that buying beauty products at Sally’s is the same as buying them at CosmoProf or Salon Centric.

Sally’s Beauty Supply is open to the public, so anyone can shop there. CosmoProf and Salon Centric are closed to the public, and only licensed professionals can shop in those stores. This is just one way that beauty suppliers control the availability of professional products.

Professional hair color is regulated for many reasons, one being that you need an education in cosmetology to be able to use it. If the same quality of supplies were available to everyone, then that would lower the value of our profession.

I get a lot of comments and e-mails from people saying that they went to Sally’s Beauty Supply and the store associate helped them formulate their hair color. Please, don’t take advice from those store associates. They know nothing except what the store sells. Store associates are not licensed cosmetologists and they cannot give you advice…this is an accident waiting to happen!

It is possible for someone with a cosmetology license to be working as a store associate at Sally’s, but why? If someone is licensed and good at their trade, then they don’t need to work in a supply store for sub-par products. You don’t want that persons advice anyways.

Why do Hairstylists Hate

Sally’s Beauty Supply?


Here’s what we DON’T like about Sally’s Beauty Supply:

  • The products suck…for starters.
  • They carry hair color that looks like professional hair color, but it’s not.
  • The store associates give advice as if they are professionals…causing disasters daily.
  • They sell “generic” versions of professional hair products, and people think that it’s quality…the prices are not much lower than the name brand.
  • They promote DIY hair services, and people don’t realize that it’s not so easy.
  • Cheap hairstylists buy their supplies there, and charge clients the same prices as reputable hair salons(yes, this happens…it’s disgraceful and it gives every a bad rep).

Here’s what we DO like about Sally’s Beauty Supply:

  • We can get lower priced supplies- processing caps, perm rods, appointment books, shampoo and color capes, water bottles, etc.
  • We get an additional 5% off- it’s already lower priced, the extra discount is definitely a plus.
  • It’s easy to find a Sally’s Beauty Supply- there are more of them than there are of the professional supply stores.
  • They carry expensive salon equipment at reasonable prices- floor mats, styling chairs, trolley carts, shampoo bowls, etc.
  • They carry fun nail supplies- decals, nail art pens, etc.


Sally’s Beauty Supply
Professional Beauty Supply

About The Author


Professional Hairstylist | American Board Certified Haircolorist | Makeup Artist | Beauty Blogger

59 Responses to Why Do Hairstylists Hate Sallys Beauty Supply?

  1. Rachael says:

    Old topic but as a former Sally’s employee and current cosmetologist…. You’re actually right on the money. You don’t have to have any sort of training to work there, I just happened to be in school. Another girl who was in school and I knew more about the product than the managers did… And yes they did have training but it was very, very minimal, on a tablet, and not anywhere near as in depth as you would’ve gotten in a professional setting. They also do encourage you to help customers pick out their color, which I personally hate because if I’m giving an in depth color consultation I feel as if I should be paid accordingly? Cosmoprof and Saloncentric are the exact same when it comes to hiring (I work at Saloncentric part time now and knew employees at CosmoProf) but that’s not the issue. The issue is uneducated customers, in the sense that if someone comes into Saloncentric I might tell them about a new product but I don’t have to walk them through not destroying their hair lol.

    Also to reply to some of the above points…
    Yes it is a health risk to do your hair incorrectly. You can cause irreversible damage to your hair/scalp, you can get chemical burns, a lot of customers at my store wanted to skip gloves which can seriously tear up your hands… you get the point.
    Also, you may be able to buy Paul Mitchell or Wella or *insert other big brand here* at Ulta or Sally’s, or even Walmart. But the ratio of the ingredients are not the same, and it performs vastly different from how the legitimately professional versions of these products do.

    I get not having the money to maintain professional services. Just try to be smart about it, do your research, and maybe try a stylist once or twice and ask them questions! A good stylist loves to educate 🙂

  2. Amanda says:

    I personally only use Sallys. I’m not in the industry. I have gone to Sallys for over a decade for all my purchases. They have always had at least one licensed hairdresser at the store. They were very helpful and even added to my own personal knowledge and recommended salons.
    That said, every hairstylist I’ve had has BUTCHERED my hair. I’ve even said word for word how my hair works during bleach/coloring and they fail to listen, always resulting in fried, damaged hair.
    After several botched attempts by different stylists at different expieriance levels. I refuse to have my hair damaged by “professionals” anymore.
    I honestly would go to salons if they dropped their ego and actually listened to their clients.
    This is why salons hate Sallys imo. They see it as a place they loose their money, rather than their failure to take care of their clients.
    I can only speak from my own experience, but I imagine I’m not the only who feels this way.

  3. Sarah says:

    Hi there,

    I’m currently working at a Sally Beauty and have been in the industry for about 10 years. I went to hair school as well. So I do believe what you say is quite rude and honestly belittling to our community. I thought we worked in the beauty industry and our job was to lift our people up, not down. I have terrible mental health issues plus some that have placed me in said job. Hey, at least I’m still working in my field. Educating. I know that my manager also took the program maybe about 12 years ago. Another coworker is an esthetician. We do our profession on the side as well. We are required to have at least 1-2 professionals throughout staff so we can teach the knowledge to other members properly! We are also equipped with monthly tablet teachings to keep us up to date with trends, products and so forth. The intensive program we go through before even getting hired is a brush up for myself, but good knowledge to other new staff who can absorb it. That’s the kicker as well. Repetition and the willingness to absorb the info will get you very far. I mean quite honestly.. You were in the same position once, yes? That’s why you went to school to learn. Some people like to teach and some people like to do the said action. Nothing wrong with one or the other. Yes, Cosmo is our sister company. We are employees, sisters! Cosmo most certainly carries at least a 1/4 of our products and vice versa(did a double check online). A lot of these brands you use from Cosmo are sister companies to the brands you find at Sally Beauty. So much for for Cosmo being all “professional” and Sally Beauty products being “sub-par”. It’s all made in the same god damn factory. Get a grip.

    So, again please sit here and tell me why someone wouldn’t want my advice? Quite honestly I’m ashamed you call yourself a stylist. There is nothing beautiful about your attitude and I wouldn’t want to be caught working with someone who isn’t going to help me be a better day to day person. Let alone stylist. I’m a licensed professional and I don’t only shop at Sally Beauty. So don’t speak on they only know what’s in store. I’m EDUCATED JUST LIKE YOU!

    I find a lot of stylists once they reach a certain peak in their career they feel almost entitled and superior to all of those beneath them. Talk about ego inflation.

    I hope the next time you post something on your high horse you remember where you came from. We all started from the bottom.

    I agree yes, some staff are undereducated. It’s a public sales job.. What do you honestly expect? They would do the same stuff going to a shoppers or london drugs, no? Also just to let you know we are not allowed to tell people what to buy or what to do, but give opinions and direction. Once the person leaves the store it’s all that own persons doing. So I don’t think it’s staff you really need to be upset with but, the regular day to day beauty consumer.

    • Erika says:

      As I have mentioned in other posts and the comments- there are some gems like you, but the likelihood of someone walking into Sally’s and getting the kind of help you offer is low. Your argument is the same as that of poor stylists vs. those with talent. I would say the same thing about Ulta Beauty(and I worked there)- 80% of the “beauty advisors” in there are going to recommend a product that doesn’t work for you because they aren’t professionals. Sure, they get lots of training and some of them may even be cosmetologists, but that doesn’t mean you should trust their advice(at least makeup can be returned there…can’t return a bad hair color application!).

      Imagine if I could write an article like this based on the opposite…encouraging people to walk into any Sally’s Beauty Supply, ask for hair color advice, and trust in it 100%. Can you say, with confidence, that every store associate at every Sally’s is going to give the same service you will? I really doubt it.

      Every post on my blog was inspired by my clients and readers. Everything I write about came to mind because someone had a bad experience or issue with their hair, stylist, products etc. The reason why I started this website was to prevent others from making those same mistakes. So call me whatever you want, but I help people for free everyday.

      Lastly, I am not “upset” with anyone. I am giving advice and I don’t really care what par the employees at Sally’s Beauty are on. Why do you think I should be upset with everyday beauty consumers? I know that I’m not going to talk them out of coloring their own hair, but I can talk them out of taking bad advice. I give formula advice via e-mail and Facebook everyday…I am encouraging people to contact me rather than wing it at a Sally’s, and I think that’s great advice!

  4. Eli says:

    I know this is already an old topic, but here’s something I’m not seeing in many comments: this is kinda classist. I know no one likes to admit to holding classist bias in the cosmetology profession but it’s definitely there. Like you have to remember that not everyone can be professionally cared for, and some things are too cultural for good stylists to do. The grunge scene and beauty was based in DIY, attempts from professionals are too glossy and perfect much of the time. Trailer trash Beauty can’t be done in most salons these days, or afforded: and those people are still all deserving of respect for maintaining themselves in a way that the world mocks them for. Sally’s has in the us, kinda been the heart of all of that. Call us cheap and trashy, some might be hurt.but dont disrespect us for it, we’re still the frontline of pop culture wcen with our cheap ass products and uneducated hands.

    • Erika says:

      First of all-
      I do not mock anyone for doing their own hair or using non-professional products.

      If you had taken the time to explore my website you would have found that I also help people who can’t afford to go to the salon or buy professional products. I give them the best advice that I can to help them choose products, and provide step-by-step instructions if necessary. I e-mail or message them personally on Facebook to offer my time and advice. I don’t disrespect anyone for their personal decisions or options.

      Is your “argument” really about classism?
      You start with that because it’s easy to accuse someone of and it’s an instant attempt to make me look bad, but as you rant a different perspective comes to light.

      It sounds like you’re all about being the face/image of “pop culture”(or your perception of it), and you’re happy with looking like you didn’t go to a salon for a “perfect” hairstyle. Choose a side- are you mad that you don’t think you can afford salon services because of your class, or do you have no desire to go to a salon at all? Are you proud of the looks you choose for yourself because you want to embrace a certain type of culture, or are you envious of those that pay for better?

      I think it’s actually a bit jejune to label something as “classist” when it is available to all classes(not to mention your obvious dislike for hairstyles created by professionals). There are salons where you can get your hair colored for $20 and salons where you can get your hair colored for $200. Even the homeless can get their hair done for free. For example, my school in Virginia Beach invited women from local shelters to come in for free services to help prepare them for job interviews. Also, I’ve worked at private salons where the owners(and stylists who wanted to help) provided free services to those in the community that could not afford it.

      “…some things are too cultural for good stylists to do.”

      What are you implying? People don’t go to the salon for a “grunge” look, as you call it. You don’t have to pay someone for that, but there are plenty of professional hairstylists that can create “cultural” hairstyles.

      “The grunge scene and beauty was based in DIY, attempts from professionals are too glossy and perfect much of the time.”

      Using “grunge scene” and “beauty” in the same sentence…especially when referring to how something started…excuse me, but wtf? Icons like Vidal Sassoon made the beauty industry what it is today and it has nothing to do with grunge.

      People go to a salon for many reasons, and one of them is to get a look that they cannot achieve themselves. It sounds like you don’t want that, so what are you complaining about? Not being able to afford the gloss and perfection that you don’t want?

      “Trailer trash Beauty can’t be done in most salons these days, or afforded…”

      Are you saying that “trailer trash beauty” is a trend that stylists can’t re-create? I hope that’s what you meant(even though it doesn’t make any sense), because calling people trailer trash isn’t very nice. I’ve had plenty of clients that live in trailers- where someone lives doesn’t always correlate the way you think it does.

      Why I write-
      I started this blog because after years of working in a salon I noticed a trend in the questions that clients(of all classes- since you unnecessarily brought that up) asked. They wanted to know what they could do differently at home to style their hair better, make their color last longer, achieve volume as I did for them at the salon, etc. I found that a lot of people really did’t know much about hair care, how different products work/how they affect the hair, etc. and I felt like a broken record…always repeating myself. So, I decided to write about these topics/conversations and share them with everyone.

      I chose to write about this topic because it’s something that was a top search on my blog and a lot of clients have asked me about the difference between Sally’s Beauty products and professional products.

      I found that there were many misconceptions about how the two compare, and surprisingly, a lot of people thought that Sally’s Beauty products were “professional”. Not only that, but the prices are comparable with a lot of their products. People are paying similar prices for non-professional products and they are mislead to believe that the quality is the same.

      Would you rather pay $15 for a shitty generic brand shampoo or pay $15 for a superior professional brand shampoo?

  5. Laura says:

    I think you can educate yourself and use sub par products correctly. I have been lightening my own hair for years and toning with Wella products and get soooo many compliments- even from stylists who don’t know I did it myself…The same goes with my nails and skin. (I will say, I DID attend cosmetology school years ago and chose a different career path). I’m not willing to pay salon prices, bc it would be for shear convenience since I’m able to achieve a very good result myself- it just takes time, research, and patience. If someone is artistic, creative and SMART then the info is out there on how to achieve results. I have had mistakes made by stylists that cost me hundreds and I have made mistakes myself that cost me $20. I’m willing to take the risk because the rewards greatly offset any mistakes. Practice also helps. I understand that DIY impacts the demand of the profession, but I’m also a firm believer that people shouldn’t HAVE to empty their bank account to feel beautiful. At the end of the day, education and personal preference is everything. I’m happy Sally’s is available to the public but I wouldn’t recommend for just anyone to use their products without a thorough knowledge of what they are doing…I think this applies to many things- cooking, home remodeling, etc.

    • Erika says:

      I didn’t say anything about this option being wrong for those that try to educate themselves and do it on their own(that does not mean that everyone will be successful or that the results are as good as the salon).

      Also- people doing their hair at home has NOTHING to do with demand for the professional industry. Talented hairstylists have no problem keeping busy, but for some reason people read this and think that’s why I write about it. It’s not. I write about these topics so that people understand what they’re getting into.

    • kim says:

      Great comment and great advice!

  6. Cassandra Lavender says:

    I also want to add that Licensed Master Cosmetologist must continue their education in the specific areas in order to become a master or specialist in that area of cosmetology.

    Receiving a Cosmetology or Master Cosmetology license only give you rights to serve in a professional business as a professional. You have the rights to perform certain services or use certain chemicals on the public. You are also trained to protect the public and yourself against diseases, by learning bacteriology and sanitation and other safety rules and regulations. Continuous education is a must and required by state board.
    Specialists further their career and increase their earnings by investing in pro classes or schools. You can earn more money as a hair color specialist from companies such as Redken. Or you may invest in advanced hair cutting classes…

    So if I have received a Redken advanced degree in color, I can charge more or serve the very elite clientele. If so, there is no way I would want to use products the public can purchase for a few dollars. There is a difference in the results and those who have received better, knows the difference. Also Sally’s has too many generic products that are poorly made.

    I believe Cosmoprof or Salon Centric is affiliated with Sally’s but serves different clientele.

    • Erika says:

      Thanks so much for commenting! It’s really nice to hear someone else’s thoughts on this subject. Sometimes I feel a little exhausted of trying to explain the difference because I know that most of the people I’m explaining it to will not change their mind whether I am right or not. I guess the next step is to do comparative experiments!

  7. Suki says:

    I am a member of the public. I appreciated this article so that i CAN go to Sally Beauty with more awareness. I was wondering with the differences between public and professional only. So thank you.

    • Erika says:

      Thank you! I’m so glad that some people see that I’m just trying to raise awareness so you can shop there with more knowledge. You will know if an associate at Sally’s is educated in hair color/hair products after talking to them for a few minutes.

  8. Danni says:

    I ended up going to sally beauty because I went to many hair stylists who would not put bleach on my hair cus it was “too dark” so the only color they would put in my hair was purple which I didn’t want, I wanted green so I ended up doing it myself and being happy with the results. I would have rather paid a professional to do it but like I said no one would take me.

    • Erika says:

      How dark is your hair? What country do you live in?

      I could see a professional not wanting to chemically lighten your hair if it was previously darkened with hair color(more than once) and/or was damaged. Also, if your hair had been colored several times then the lightening process could take a while and the results would probably be inconsistent, which is a headache(just takes a lot of time to do it the “right” way and some stylists don’t want to bother with that).

      I’m glad that it worked out for you in the end!

  9. Brenda says:

    I remember when you had to have a license to purchase chemicals (perms, colors, etc) at Sally’s. Those were also the days of apple pectin perms in cosmo junior n senior year

    • Erika says:

      That’s very interesting! Do you remember when it changed? Chemicals in the beauty industry are so widely available now that people don’t understand the harm they can cause to themselves or others. I’m willing to be that the decision to make these products available to the public at Sally’s was driven by a need for higher sales.

      A lot of non-professionals that chemically alter their own hair think that professionals(me included) are angry that they “have the ability” to do their own hair. That’s not what this is about. The big issue is with safety and lack of knowledge. It makes me sad when I see someone ruin their hair, and it happens so easily!

  10. Gayle Schneider says:

    So I read almost every comment on here, including the article. There are some good points as well as questionable ones. I’m a licenced Cosmetologist 29yrs, 4 yrs as an instructor, 1yr outside sales rep for Armstrong McCall, worked for 3yrs as a member of Redken Product Evaluation Team, I’m a certified Redken Color/Professional Retail Specialist and I’m Trichology Certified through Redken Scientific Study Program. I have extensive knowledge in not only my profession but within the Beauty Industry. This by no means makes me an expert on everything beauty!! Nor do I claim I am. I know alot, have several certifications and I’m really good at my profession. But I don’t ever claim “I know it all” or “I’m better then any other “licenced stylist” or You can’t teach me anything because I know it all!! I’m always willing and ready to learn and I so don’t know everything. That being said, I will say I don’t agree that if a licenced Cosmetologist is working for Sally’s you shouldn’t listen to them and some of the other negative things stated in this article!!!
    First you shouldn’t write an article that shows readers your speaking for all licenced salon professionals unless you have extensive research on your subject and you can show proof ie:quotes from other professionals who agree with you. I say this because not all licenced Cosmetologist feel the same way you do on this subject! Several Stylists I have worked with over the years all shop at Sallys, or like their ION brand products/hair color. Yes granted not all their products measure up to Salon Products BUT! It doesn’t make them crap because they are sold at Sally’s. Did you know that professional salon products have less preservatives and more concentrated good ingredients, which gives them a 2yr shelf life. After 2yrs the ingredients breakdown like food does! This breakdown becomes bacteria. Store products ie:Save, Pantiene, Dove have more preservatives giving them longer shelf life(10+yrs) these preservatives are what builds up on the scalp and hair. In-turn doing nothen beneficial for your hair.
    I will agree and say to not take advice from Sally’s employees on “certain things”. The customer should keep in mind (when asking the employees advice)these employees are “not likely” a licenced stylist so their advice is mostly based on their own personal opinion. I’m by no means saying their advice is worthless or they don’t have a clue what they are saying, they (mostly)only know what they are selling or have used themselves.
    On the Subject of not trusting a licenced professional because they now work at Sallys!!! Well have you ever considered that some stylist can’t work in their profession anymore? It could bebdue to Carpol Tunnel Syndrome, or maybe they now have back issues! Some stylists develop allergies, over years and years in the salon they become allergic to chemicals they use. Regardless of why they don’t work behind the chair anymore doesn’t mean they were a hack stylist or whatever. What if they wanted to somehow stay in the industry and they choose to work for a Supply company?
    I think it’s really ignorant to think any less of a Licenced Cosmetologist who doesn’t work in a salon and works at Sally’s now!! I considered working at Sally’s when I was diagnosed with “Carpol Tunnel” early in my career I was told I needed a new profession! So In my opinion there’s truly nothen wrong with a Licenced Stylist working at Sally’s.
    Another thing I saw in this article touch on Online Beauty Products, well to anyone reading this article or reading my comments Please Google “Product Diversion” this will tell you all you need to know about these “Black Market” products. I’m not going to go into the subject in my comment because there’s so much to say on the subject.
    One last thing I wanted to comment about? It’s when you talked about “Hot Roots” I know that this is generally caused by not filling the color first! This not only happens on grey hair, this can happen on pre-lightened hair also. What I’m really wondering is why would you use 30vol. On grey hair? (As you stated) From my experience(my opinion, no offence to you) 20 vol. Is what every professional color line recommends for coloring grey hair for the best coverage, plus as we know from color classes- 30vol lifts 3 levels then deposits color. So why would you use 30 vol to lift 3levels on grey hair? If the hair is stubborn (resistent) I would first pre-soften with 20vol process 20min, rinse, dry then apply my color formula w/20vol. Developer. Maybe you have knowledge about 30vol. Im unaware of? Hey in this profession you can ask 30 stylist how to do a particular color and you will get 30 different answers but all have the same end result. This doesn’t mean anyone is wrong it’s just various ways to get to the same end result. From what I know and understand about how color/developer works I wouldn’t use 30 vol on grey hair, at least not hair that’s more than 50% grey….
    I’m curious??
    Why do Stylists hate Sallys Beauty Supply? It’s really a matter of opinion. To each
    It’s own! One thing about Sally’s I don’t like is: those certain employees who give out professional advice to the general public as if these employees are licenced professionals!! Don’t do this because certain individuals are going to take your advice as if your a licenced prfessional. This isn’t fair to them and can might get you in hot water down the road because someone hung on your every word!! Leave this to the professionals.
    Another thing about hair color- “color won’t lift color” So if that color you just applied is too dark, no matter what level color you put over it, it will not lift it will only get darker! Remember when wet Color appears upto 2 levels darker, if it already looks to dark “STOP” “DON’T DRY” Just like clothes -heat sets it in- wash 2x’s with dish soap or a clairifying shampoo, this will remove some of the color. Make sure to wash with a good color care shampoo/cond. after.
    If its still to dark you can either wait a few days and wash everyday w/ non-color care shampoo see if it lightens where you want it. If that’s not working seek advice of a Professional Stylist, they might be able to give you a free consultation.

    • Erika says:

      I’m an American Board Certified Haircolorist, which is the highest certification a professional hairstylist can obtain in the U.S. ABCH guarantees that someone is an expert in all aspects of haircolor(universal knowledge that can be applied to any brand). You mention being certified/specialist in Redken products, but are you a Redken Certified Colorist? Having a certification in brand knowledge is not comparable to an actual hair color certification, for the record.

      A lot of the things you brought up(like color lifting color, gray coverage, hot roots, etc.) are covered in other posts/pages on my website. You bring these points up as if you’re saying I don’t know what I’m talking about…which is fine- it’s your opinion just like this entire website is based on my opinion.

      Unfortunately, I cannot include every scenario exception in each post. I wrote this because of the many comments/e-mails and situations brought up to me by clients that had negative experiences at Sally’s Beauty Supply. This post is meant to explain why consumers should use caution when taking advice from non-professionals or those without experience. I never use the word “all” when referring to any profession or group of people.

      There are many ways to formulate hair color, and some of them are not as widely used because they require extensive knowledge and understanding of hair color chemistry. I almost always use 30 volume when covering very resistant gray that is over 50% gray(except when using a gray coverage color series). 30 volume developer is great for this and can be used for more than lifting several levels(you just have to adjust your color formula 1/2 to one level darker). This method is the only thing that works well for many of my clients seeking gray coverage.

      Hot roots occur when someone does not properly formulate for a retouch or all-over hair color. It has nothing to do with filling the hair…maybe you are thinking of something else. Filling the hair is necessary when going darker to ensure that the color will develop and hold to expectations.

      It sounds like you have many opinions you want to share about cosmetology. Maybe you should start your own blog if it is important to you.

  11. Holly says:

    Sally’s has a few quality products that are worth it if they go on sale. If you’re careful and not doing anything drastic with hair chemicals, I think you’re safe. Thanks to technology, you can research the pants off any topic now and DIY many things. Everything will eventually be automated anyway, and everyone will be out of work.

  12. Jeri Carroll says:

    As a teacher, I have never been to a teacher supply store that gave teachers discounts otherwise almost everyone shopping there would get a discount. Just saying!

    • Erika says:

      Sally’s is open to the public. They offer a discount to licensed professionals in hopes that we will shop there for supplies rather than going to CosmoProf or Salon Centric- those beauty supply stores are not open to the public, only licensed professionals.

      Are teacher supply stores open to the public? If so- are there other teacher supply stores that are not open to the public?

      That’s the difference…if your point was that I am incorrect…I’m not.

      • Marc A says:

        You do know that CosmoProf owned by Sally’s. Yes, the Current Sally’s is just Retail store acting as Professional store too.

        • Erika says:

          What is your point?

          CosmoProf is a part of Beauty Systems Group(network of stores and distributors exclusively for licensed professionals) which is a part of Sally Beauty holdings. They are completely separate businesses, and ownership doesn’t make their products similar or comparable. It just means that the person(s) who own those companies are clever for controlling most of the market.

          Sally Beauty is not a professional store. It’s just a beauty supply store for the general public.

          Sometimes I wish that you and everyone else who doesn’t understand could explore CosmoProf or Salon Centric and experience the difference for yourself. Here’s why:

          As I’ve mentioned before- I go to Sally’s sometimes for things like nail files, rubber bands, perm rods, etc. because they are cheaper there. Every time I go in there I feel like I’m in a Dollar Store for hair. They have little to no variety in products available(except maybe the nail supplies), and all I see are basic/cheap options that are overpriced for what you get. This doesn’t mean that I look down on people for shopping there…I just don’t agree with the argument that Sally Beauty is comparable to CosmoProf and/or Salon Centric. I also don’t want people to think they are getting professional quality products when they are not(you can get shampoo from a salon for about $5 than some of the Sally products…who wouldn’t want the good stuff?).

          When I go to CosmoProf or Salon Centric- I’m like a kid in a candy store! They have ENTIRE product lines from all of the best professional brands, every kind of hair color you could possibly need, their tools are exceptional, and their staff is consistent(they don’t offer their opinion because they know they are retail workers…not licensed professionals, but they do tell me what’s popular and what they hear from other stylists). The overall feeling you get in these stores is so much better than that of a Sally Beauty. I know that everything is of the best quality and the products/supplies I buy won’t let me down!

          CosmoProf is catering to the beauty industry when it comes to HAIR(while skin/nail has a very small percentage of their business/shelf space), and Sally Beauty is catering to EVERYONE with their business/storefront equally split between hair and nails/skincare. So…why would a hairstylist like Sally Beauty more?

  13. Antonia Green says:

    Hello I find this review bias and lacking.O am a licensed Cosmetologist and I run a Sallys.I have 15 yrs experience and love helping those who can not go yo a professional supplier help themselves as stylist have failed them.I have a great professional staff and well versed with stylist and esthetician.Pleaae don’t speak on behalf of people.Also Cosmoprof is a sister store of Sally’s so Sally’s owns Cosmoprof.

    • Erika says:

      Like I said, there are hidden gems out there. You are an exception, but the majority of store associates at Sally’s Beauty are not going to provide the value and quality of service that you and your staff can.

  14. Jaz says:

    You said that most people don’t know what they are doing. I do not think that’s true. I think you may have had a bad experience with an employee telling you something totally wrong, as have I, but also at places like petsmart and grocery stores. There are always going to be those employees that don’t know what they are doing but they are everywhere, not just as sally beauty

    • Erika says:

      When you consider that there are hundreds of thousands of licensed cosmetologists out there(and many of them don’t know what they’re doing), then what are the chances it’s no different with Sally’s?

      Also, I do not reference other stores’ employees. Obviously, not everyone in retail knows what they are doing. The situation with Sally’s is different because retail employees are giving consumers advice as if they are licensed professionals.

      This is not comparable to grocery stores- there is no professional license associated with the grocery industry that I’m aware of. Buying milk or vegetables with the help of someone working as a grocery store is not the same as taking advice from someone when using chemicals to alter your appearance.

  15. Carolyn R. Motley says:

    36 years ago I went from Jacksonville, Illinois to St. Louis, Missouri to purchase all my Beauty shop equipment. I was opening a Beauty shop. I got a huge discount for purchasing, literally, a 4-station setup. I retired a long time ago, but I still have one hydraulic chair at home. 36 years and I have NEVER had a problem. My chair is still in excellent condition after all this time. They have great equipment!

    • Erika says:

      Thanks for sharing! That’s awesome!!!

      I’m referring to their knock-off hair color and shampoo, conditioner, styling products, etc. I also bought my professional salon equipment(like sinks, cabinets, barber chairs, trolleys, etc.), and I use their perm rods(but not perm solution), black disposable gloves(they are an awesome price compared to CosmoProf…especially with the buy one get one sale), cutting/chemical styling capes, water bottles…and so on.

      There are many things I wouldn’t purchase from Sally’s from a professional point of view.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I noticed they carry Wella haircolor there now, and that’s what I’ve had in the salon in the past. ‍♀️ Some of my worst hair experiences have been at salons, so I’ve been thankful for Sally’s on many occasions. Also wondering if I’m the only who dreads the salon because EVERY PERSON I’ve had do my hair is so rough and I can hear my hear snapping and breaking as they brush it. WTH? I’m very gentle with my hair and never hear snapping because I take care when brushing/combing. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves.

    • Erika says:

      I can assure you that not all hairstylists provide bad experiences.

      Wella Color Charm has always been carried at Sally’s, it’s not the same as the Wella professional products that are sold to salons by distributors. It’s kinda like L’Oreal vs. L’Oreal Professional. I’ve experimented with Wella Color Charm and the difference is that it’s unpredictable.

      For example, formulating for grey coverage without producing hot roots is challenging, you really have to know and understand how it works to get it right. That doesn’t mean that the level you choose is going to give you the level that it promises as it does with professional haircolor. That doesn’t mean that it won’t work….it just means you may go through some trial and error with that product.

      Here’s an example: I wanted to cover grey to a level 6 natural. The gray was 100%, so I used 30 volume and went a level darker in my formulation(just as I would have done with Wella Professional, Goldwell, Paul Mitchell, etc.). The results were still too light. The problem with this is that when you go even darker you really get into an unpredictable situation. So, if you’re not covering grey then you have a better chance at the right result.

      Remember….you can always go darker if it doesn’t work the first time!

      • Marciab says:

        Goldwell and loreal professional are available online at amazon.

        • Erika says:

          Yes, they are! So are many other brands, and some of them are authentic…some of them aren’t. Just like eBay, the best way to know which online company to buy from is to make sure you check the reviews and company ratings every time.

  17. SM says:

    I was trying to grow out some hair color because, frankly, I was getting tired of shelling out so much money every 8 weeks or so. My main concern was one big chunk of blonde highlights near my face that had very obvious roots (please forgive my non-technical hair terminology). I figured I could blend this in myself; how hard could it be?
    I went to Sally’s and must have looked lost. The lady who worked there asked me what I wanted to do and then directed me to x, y, and z products. It sounded pretty Greek to me but I got what she suggested. Well, it blended in beautifully! No more roots. She knew what she was talking about.
    So the moral of the story is it just depends on who works at your Sally’s store on whether you get good advice and yes there are good products and not so good products. Just like everywhere else you go! Salons, beauty supply stores, doctors offices, clothing stores, hardware stores, restaurants…you name it.
    And lastly, sorry just have to add that most salon brands are not exclusive anymore. Ulta carries a huge selection of redken, pureology, alterna, bumble and bumble, etc. Sephora has a selection of salon brands and high end brands. And most brands allow you to order straight from their website (e.g. oribe, shu uemura). Of course us ‘regular folk’ can’t order salon sizes/quantities or get discounts but most dont need 3 gallons of shampoo. 🙂

  18. Rob says:

    I‘m a guy who used lightening shampoo on my hair and it continued going blond in the sun. I was told by a lady at a salon to go to Sally‘s to match my hair. The girl at Sally‘s said I should go with a certain shade that was lighter than my hair so I wouldn‘t end up with a super dark brown…my freaking hair is almost black. Ugh…I‘m just a guy not wanting to look like my hair was dyed blond, but now it looks dyed black. Dang.

  19. rebecca says:

    i disagree with you and think you are jealous…we can do at home what you say is your profession…for much less. it is outrageous the cost to get you hair colored or “done” now days….id rather save the money and use my own wits..and artistic skill…and with the likes of your nasty article..you seem arrogant…which is a huge turn off. iv had plenty of disasters from so called “professionals” and much better results..at home…as far as color…

  20. Isabella says:

    I completely understand where you’re coming from because I am a hairstylist and I did think the same as you. I have now realized that (at least the sally’s in my district) have a LEAST one hairstylist who works at the store. My manager went to beauty school, went into a salon & hated the salon aspect of it. I also work with a “retired” hairstylist, and a “retired” nail tech. Sally’s has completely revamped itself in the last few years and are trying to get most employees to be of knowledge so this reputation of “not knowing what they’re doing” doesn’t continue. We have ONE employee who has no beauty background who always is instructed to ask one of us for help when a costumer has a question about color. Now I know it might be different everywhere else but that is how our store and I believe our whole district is ran.

  21. Isabella says:

    Hi. I’m personally very offended by your rude “if someone is a hairstylist and good at it and works at sallys you don’t want their advice anyways” remark. I was a stylist in a big city. Matter of fact, the #6 salon in said big city. My boyfriend got notified they were transferring out of state and we have 2 weeks to pack up and move. We all know license transfers take longer than 2 weeks. Hell, I talked to someone who’s took a year. i now live in a very small town and while my license is being transferred I’m working at a sallys so I’m still in the “field”. And trust me, it took a lot out of myself to do it and it takes a lot out of me every day for hairstylists to come in and talk down upon me because they think I’m just another sallys employee. You have no idea the amount of people who do what I am doing and work at a sallys until a license is transferred. And actually, I’m very glad I chose to work at sallys because I have a stack of about 30 numbers/ business cards of people who want me to do THEIR hair and a handful of salon owners business cards to call once my license gets transferred. I knew NO ONE and NOTHING about this town/area when I moved here 3 months ago. So how about you not think the worst about Sally’s employees because some of us do have a lot of knowledge.

    • Erika says:

      I write about my personal experiences and it’s just a strangers opinion, as is your comment. You can probably find information on the net that completely contradicts this article, and that’s okay.

      There are always going to be exceptions in every scenario/situation, but you are probably a small percentage compared to those who work at Sally’s and don’t take pride in their job or have enough knowledge in Cosmetology to make safe and sure suggestions to shoppers.

      Even professionals “screw up” hair color and it takes years of learning from mistakes to become a truly great colorist(or stylist). So, the reason for this article(my intent), is to make sure clients/consumers can more easily avoid disasters.

      The same is true in regards to a popular post I wrote several years ago: 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Box Color. People are going to do it…I know that. Some are going to be successful and some won’t. The more you know…

  22. Tia says:

    I am absolutely disgusted by Sally Beauty Supply. I purchased one of their items, did some research, and found that the company that produces the products uses animal products obtained with great cruelty. They have been exposed by the media for this, but Sally Beauty does not mention this.
    I left a rather tame review referring to some of these issues and asking that people do some research, and also that I found other products to be of better quality. I also discussed my problems with using the product.
    A day later, I received an email from Sally Beauty Supply “staff” that my review was taken down from their site and “moderated” and not allowed.
    This tells me one thing- that Sally has no respect for their customers, and has things to hide. What else do they deal in, items produced by child labor or with illegal ingredients?
    They didn’t even bother to ask me about my concerns, but basically told me to shut up.
    This mega-corporation has so much money that they hire drudges to troll through reviews looking to censor cruelty and problems with their products? Maybe they should worry about their customer service issues instead.
    I have spent so much with Sally, and I regret every cent. This corporation obviously has some ethical problems.
    The CEO and other executives make millions of dollars, and that is clearly all they care about.

  23. Paula says:

    yes, NINA, you DO need proper knowledge! i am so offended…as a licensed aesthetician, i have seen women buy salon quality chemical peels and end up burning themselves!!! same with the scalp. as a medical professional i am saying “shame on you” bc the skin is, in fact, the largest organ of the body.
    have several seats, Nina.

  24. Tiffany says:

    Hey there.

    Let me start by saying that I do work at Sally’s but also that I have been to cosmetology school. Yes it is possible for someone who is educated to be working there. I decided not to pursue a career in being a stylist because I was leaning more toward the makeup side of things.

    Anyhow, I work there because I feel like the people who are going to ignore stylist advice or just want to be cheap, actually need The help that I give them. Because let’s be honest, people are going to do whatever they want no matter what you tell them. But at least if I can give them some sort of knowledge , then at least I can sleep at night.

    Where I work, people are always looking for the cheapest route. They tend not to care what the process is or what the products are sometimes. They just want what they want at the lowest price. Some of our stuff isn’t the greatest but I don’t think it’s all that bad either. I have used both pro stuff and Sally’s stuff and has great results with both. Maybe moreso a matter of personal opinion.

    • Erika says:

      Yes, you are right about that. Unfortunately, there aren’t always people like you working at every Sally’s Beauty Supply.

      One thing that I forget to mention is that just about everything I write about is inspired from a personal life experience. I used to be the girl that box colored her hair all the time and had to chop it all off because of damage. No matter what anyone said, I just had to figure it out the hard way. Most people are like that, which is why I give my perspective.

  25. m says:

    Sally’s Beauty is the sister company of Cosmoprof, so I think they really are double dipping. They have no concern for keeping the public safe from harm if that is the line they are standing behind. This industry is so insecure about their professionals and their abilities that many brands refuse to sell to the public and make it an exclusive product only to be used by the professionals and to make claases available to these experts for a cost, meanwhile they sell their cheaper qulaity product at Sally’s for consumption by the general public. I think in fact that there is nothing to fear, they will not lose their profession by allowing the public to by their products, in fact I would think only a small fraction of women would be willing to color their own hair. What is the fear here? I think the fear is the need to make money off their own industry and those they accredit with a license, brands being exclusive to only hairstylist and charging them for lessons on how to use their exclusive products. I by no means am diminishing the skill and time spent learning the skills they have aquired in cutting and styling hair and the amazing skill of coloring hair. But why exclude the general population from enjoying and having access to professional quality products, yet at the same time selling subpar products to the public? Really is is all about $

    • Erika says:

      It’s the same with many professions. Is it the beauty industry(professional side) that you don’t agree with, or is it how the business works(because it’s exactly the same as many other industries). Supply vs. Demand, controlling a market, etc. are a small part of what makes an industry flourish and grow. Let’s not forget that all of this plays a part in our economic health.

      Here are a few examples:
      Cosmetology Industry:Professional Hair Products
      Construction:Building Supplies (they are available but contractors get it cheaper)
      Dentists & Dental Hygienists:Tooth Whitening Products (professional strength is SO much better, but you can only get it from a dentist at a much higher price!
      Medical Industry:Prescription Drugs and Products

      It isn’t just our industry, it’s everywhere. People either don’t want to think about that, or never realize it.

      The important part that you’re forgetting is that training and education are just a few things that make a professional “special”(of course, the ability to acquire and hold a license is a huge accomplishment).Professionals know how best to use products/techniques. Yes, it does help the industry make money, but it also protects the consumer from harming themselves.

      *On women wanting to color their own hair-
      It’s not about fear. I’m not worried about a “box color hair trend” starting where everyone decides to do it themselves.

      “Remember, good professional haircolorists have already tried what you’re about to try at home HUNDREDS of times on HUNDREDS of different heads of hair. Literally every time is different, so we know what works and what doesn’t.”

      I explain about the difference between being pro box color and seperating the profession from the product in the article and comments for 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Box Color.

      • Nina says:

        re: “Medical industry: prescription drugs” This is a BS comparison.

        I am a licensed nurse and I cannot just buy whatever prescription drugs I want, because many prescription drugs can ACTUALLY kill you or do organ damage.

        • You're Soaking In It says:

          @Nina, I think Erika was pointing out that the medical INDUSTRY has access to prescription drugs and medical devices. A hospital patient isn’t allowed to just help herself to her medication, but the Licensed Professionals the hospital employs bring the patient the medications, on schedule, and record this in the chart. You, the Licensed Professional, are authorised to handle those prescription products, and we trust you to follow protocol that keeps the patient safe. It’s much the same with chemical processes for hair. A trained (licensed) pro is going to save you from yourself, usually with a good outcome. Of course your mileage may vary.

    • Erika says:

      The general public does have access to products, but they’re just a little more expensive. It’s the same with other industries: Teachers get discounts at their specialty stores and superstores; Contractors get discounted products at building supply stores; Veterinarians get discounted supplys/products and sell them at a higher price; Members get discounted items and wholesale clubs…etc.

      What’s not availble? Stuff that the general public(WHO do not have a professional license or training) should not be using without the proper knowledge….isn’t available. That’s not a bad thing.

      • Nina says:

        You do not need “proper knowledge” to use hair dye. The worst that could happen is that you ruin your hair, big deal, it grows back! It is not an actual public health or safety risk.

        • Jan says:

          Actually, you do need “proper knowledge” to use hair dye. You’re a licensed nurse, I’m sure you had to take a chemistry class for your degree. It can definitely be a safety hazard if improperly used.

          • TCooks says:

            You can die if you take the wrong prescription drugs. You won’t die from a bad bleach job or perm. If your head hurts bad enough, you will wash it off. If you don’t then as with all products there will be a disclaimer on the product – like coffee is hot or lawn mower is not to be used as a hedge clipper.

            • You're Soaking In It says:

              Just want to point out that while you MIGHT not die from “bad bleach job”, you could kill yourself “bleaching” your own hair. Our neighbor kid dedcided he wanted to bleach his own hair (he was already very fair, but i guess he thought he could turn his pale blond hair platinum. I think he was around age 13 at the time) HE. USED. CLOROX. BLEACH. I know this because my son told me he got a call in the middle of the process to “come over”, where kid explained to my son what he’d done, and wanted son to fix his burning scalp. I believe they decided to just rinse and rinse with clear water, eventually neutralizing the Clorox, but fortunately neither of them damaged their lungs, eyes, or brain cells (latter still tbd) and got out of it alive. So, yeah, it eould actually be possible to kill or at least seriously harm yourself or someone else if you tried hard enough. There’s a reason only professionals are allowed to buy certsin chemicals products.Because people are Idiots.

      • TCooks says:

        No, you already state that the public does not have access to the same products. Discounts to professionals are understandable and common, but saying that stylists can’t make it if the products are available to the public is an insurlt to stylists. People who can afford to pay for their expertise do pay for it. Some people cannot pay for the expertise, therefore, they should be able to do their own less than expert job of it at home.

        You cannot compare veterinarian care or medical care to hair care.

        • Erika says:

          Products are available to retailers and professionals in nearly every industry…at a discounted price.

          Other industries don’t get as much heat for it because most people don’t know the tricks of their trades. For example, contractors get a special discount on building materials. They get the discount because they’re professionals. Stores will present it as a “bulk” discount, which is available to everyone if you shop around. DIY lovers, handymen, etc. are okay with paying a little more because they’re not going to need 50 wall plates, for example.

          There are a lot of ways to chop this up, but this is the way it is in our society. There is always a chain of some sort.

          • Anonymous says:

            I have been trying to find a website that really tells the truth about Sally’s and this is really close its just no one has posted anything for awhile. Look there is a large group of ex-Sally’s employees who have had horrible experiences with the company itself and really agree with what you are saying. Sometimes they hire professionals or people going to beauty school but more often than not they just hire regular people off the street. They say they “train” us by watching videos but that’s not training and most of us never do it. We are literally guessing when we tell you what hair color, shampoo, face mask, etc. would fix you or work best for you. I worked there and made up things and lied to get people to buy more. We didn’t work on commissions but our hours and schedule are based off sales. We can’t have you buying one item or that brings down our UPT and corporate and management will scream. They run contests all day long to see who is making people buy the most things. So see don’t trust us when Sally’s says you have to buy 5 items for your hairstyle to work! Also the thing we are sworn to secrecy on is all those returns u bring back. Instead of donating them or doing some good all cords are cut off electrics. All other products are immediately destroyed also. If they aren’t ashamed why hide it? If you don’t know what you are doing to your hair seek professionals, I’m warning you Sally’s employees are not!

            • Erika says:

              Thanks for sharing! Those are great points, and the driving factors in retail businesses are always most important to the companies. I can see where driving your UPT(Units Per Transaction for those that haven’t worked in retail) could make someone feel like an associate does know what they’re talking about. I know I’d be suggesting gloves, bowls, brushes, whisks, etc.!

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