With do-it-yourself products readily available at drugstores and discount beauty stores, it sure is tempting to think that you can save time and money by being your own hair colorist—it’s no biggie, right?

Well, we asked some Keratin Complex® stylists why it’s better to entrust a professional colorist with your precious locks instead of trying to DIY. Here are five things, they say, that you’ll get from professional hair color at a qualified salon that you can’t get at home:

1. Creativity in hair design

“In our world today, anyone can go grab some hair color and throw it on their own head. So, if my clients wanted an all-over natural dark blonde, say, they could do that themselves,” admits Rachel Chambers, a stylist at Identity Salon in Stanwood, WA, and a Keratin Complex educator.

But (and it’s a big but!), as Rachel notes, home dye jobs will always look like what they are: like they came out of a box! “I work as a true color artist,” Rachel says. “I always give my clients some sort of signature color that is tailored just to them and their cut. No duplicates! They get a one-of-a-kind service each time. I keep it changing and fresh each time they come in.”

2. Appropriate hair color

With boxed color, it’s really easy to try out different looks and colors—most of which just won’t suit you. (It’s also easy to do some serious damage with all that experimenting.) But a professional assesses your hair type, your coloring, and other factors to give you a desired hair color that not only looks good on you but will be more natural-looking as well!

Chey Anne before

For instance, CheyAnne Bowler recently had a client named Josslyn who came into her salon, Studio Cheveux in Cedar City, UT, with “an overprocessed, bleached blonde that was done at home (above).” CheyAnne says that the client was “ready for a change and needed some shine and depth!”

Josslyn wanted to try being a redhead, so CheyAnne used two formulas—KeraHold® permanent color in dark red violet blonde plus Metamorfix™ Extreme Direct Pigments in red violet; and KeraHold in dark red violet blonde and dark red blonde—in a tone-on-tone application process, “painting the two colors with full saturation to give her a slight dimension on her reds.”

Color service by CheyAnneJosslyn after a color service by CheyAnne Bowler

“She was very ready for something new and fun and was super shocked about how bright and rich I was able to get it—and so happy with the results!” reports CheyAnne.

3. Hair-color longevity

While professional hair colors are usually a big improvement over boxed colors, Keratin Complex’s Color Therapy™ line is even more impressive in the results it yields—especially with how durable the shades are!

Paul Dobbert, owner of Tangles Hair Lounge in Riverside, CA, recently used Keratin Complex’s KeraHold on a client for the first time, by applying slices of medium copper gold blonde and dark red copper blonde to her hair. “They were vivid, rockin’, and magnificent ... and too bright for my client!” he recalls.

So, the client decided to “fade” the color herself: “She tried 20 attempts, ranging from dishwasher soap to many Internet home-remedy color strippers, and nothing worked.” She came back in a few days later, admitting to Paul that she had never seen hair color with such “staying power.”

“She expected to be able to remove the color at home as she has done with other color lines, and realized that she had to leave it up to the professionals. I adjusted the color for her and educated her on the benefits of Keratin Complex. I love it when clients become fans!” Paul says.

4. Better hair condition

Another benefit of using Color Therapy is that it actually improves the condition of the hair as it colors.

A panicked new customer named Heather recently came into Studio M, Inc., Hair Design in Greenville, SC, with hair that literally resembled striped straw from a botched dye job. So, owner Michele McCord and some of her teammates went to work, spending four and a half hours to “repair, restore and rebuild” Heather’s hair using Keratin Complex products.

“After a lengthy evaluation and consultation, we felt that with her hair, less was best. She had so much stress on her hair already, so I opted for a more subtle approach—a partial highlight with a softer, complementary color underneath,” Michele says.

First, the canvas was evened out with It’s a Blonde Thing™ lightener mixed with a Vitalshot™ keratin ampoule to help rebuild and repair the bonds of Heather’s hair while lightening. Sections to be highlighted were then clipped aside, and a KeraHold formula of medium violet gold blonde and dark blonde, plus another Vitalshot, was applied to the rest of the head.

Next, the lightener/Vitalshot combo was used to weave and slice in highlights at the crown and side areas, with unsliced sub-sections getting a feathering of the KeraHold color. “After processing, we used Keratin Complex Color Care Moisture Masque, followed by a slight trim and a Red Carpet Blow-Dry to finish the style,” says Michele.

After a color correction by Michele McCordHeather after the color service by Michele McCord

Needless to say, Heather was thrilled with the outcome—and “has since referred several new clients!”

5. Color correction

One of the biggest issues with using at-home hair color is that it can go terribly, horribly wrong—and your attempts at “fixing” it can make things even worse!

At Revolution Styling Factory in Northhampton, PA, stylist Jennifer Taschler was presented with quite a challenge: Ugly, weirdly-placed slices of magenta throughout a customer’s whole head. “She wanted them removed before her son’s elementary school graduation the next day,” Jennifer recounts.

It took some work and a few steps, but with the ultimate help of KeraHold in lightest ash blonde and lightest violet gold blonde, the hair “turned out beautiful!” reports Jennifer. “My coworkers clapped and called me ‘the hair god!’” Although a few pieces of pastel coral-color remained on the under layers, they looked like they were supposed to be there, she says. “Overall, the customer and I are very, very happy,” she adds.