As At-Home Haircolor Sales Spike, Experts Weigh In

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While most people scavenged for hand sanitizer and toilet paper at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new product is flying off shelves these days. According to an article on, Walmart's CEO says we're now in the 'hair color' phase of panic buying—an alarming thought for hairstylists who have long begged their clients to stay away from box color.

"You can definitely see that as people have stayed home, their focus shifted," Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said during an interview on the Today Show. According to Neilsen, sales of hair clippers increased 166% and hair coloring products rose 23%, compared with the same period a year earlier.

Eric Vaughn, owner of REV Salon in Houston, isn't exactly a proponent of at-home haircolor, but he also understands that times are challenging.


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"I have strong opinions about this, but I also believe that if something is going to make you feel better about yourself, then you should 100-percent do it," Vaughn says. "To any client considering buying haircolor at the store, I would say reach out to your stylist first and see if they're offering any at-home touch-up kits," he says. "This way, you don't have to worry about matching your color." Vaughn does warn that doing your own hair at home comes with a risk, and clients should be prepared to pay a steep fee for a color correction if things go wrong.

Shelley Gregory, a stylist at Atelier Salon in Las Vegas, agrees that you should consult with your stylist before trying to find a color yourself.

"I would strongly advise clients reach out to their personal hairstylist first," she says. "They know what condition your hair is in and can help advise you on what your hair cannot handle. They can also help explain other options, like a root color spray, a consumer brand that's trustworthy, or they may even be offering at-home color kits," Gregory adds.

While these are unprecedented times and things are constantly changing, there's one thing that remains constant: The stylist knows best.