Buyer beware: Professional hair care products found only in salons

Posted: Monday, March 29, 2004

I need to tell you about a very disturbing trend that is on the rise in our community.

When you walk the aisles of many drugstores, grocery stores or supermarkets, you'll find professional hair care products like Paul Mitchell and other brands on store shelves. It may seem like you're getting a "deal" but you're not.

These products are diverted, which means they were channeled through the gray or black market. The contents of these bottles and cans can be approaching their maximum shelf life or spoiled. At worst, they've been tampered with or may be counterfeit. Recently sold counterfeit products independently tested by independent labs found harmful levels of bacteria that could potentially make the user sick enough to require medical care.

I am not implying that grocery stores or drugstores knowingly sell diverted or counterfeit products. Like any other business, they buy products from various sources, too. The source of their products is unauthorized and they cannot guarantee their products are genuine. They are never authorized to sell or distribute these products by manufactures.

And because these products pass through so many hands before hitting store shelves, they usually cost more than if you were to buy them in a hair salon. In many cases, "discounted" products can cost as much as $3 more a bottle.

The only way consumers can confidentially and truly buy and use genuine authentic professional hair care products is when they are purchased from a hair salon. If you have more questions please don't hesitate to contact, John Paul Mitchell Systems, the manufacturer, at 1-888-398-8884.

Laura Sena (who collected the signatures of 71 professional hair dressers on the Kenai Peninsula) Soldotna

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