With hair salons closed for most of the year last year, the at-home pandemic dye job became a fashion staple. And why wouldn’t it? After all, you can find box dye in almost every pharmacy and grocery store, often for cheaper than the cost of visiting a traditional salon. Not to mention, you can color your hair without putting your (or anyone else’s) health at risk.
However, tempting as it might be to change things up by grabbing that boxed hair dye when you next go for a grocery run, you should leave the hair coloring process to the pros. Here’s why.
Table of Contents
- Hair Color Is Not One Size Fits All (Or Even Most)
- Box Dye=No Dimension
- Cheap Ingredients Can Damage Your Hair
- You Don’t Understand Hair Coloring Terminology
- Bleaching Your Hair at Home? Forget It!
- Cap Highlights Are Literally Never Used Anymore
- Hello, Brassy Tones
- Easy to Dye When You Don’t Need To
- Let’s Review Why Box Dye Is Worse Than Salons
Hair Color Is Not One Size Fits All (Or Even Most)
Box color is rather like those ‘one size fits all’ jeggings you can pick up for cheap at a big box store. Anyone who’s ever bought those can tell you, point-blank, that this approach does not work. Just like those jeggings will bag in the back on some and give others a wedgie, a box dye will react differently with different hair types and base colors.
“But- But every box of hair dye has a little grid that shows how it should look on my hair color!”
And, as someone who used to use box dye all the time, I can tell you, that grid is not accurate in the least. I could have the right tone for the deepest color and not get those results. Let a professional examine your hair color and type to find what mixture will work for you.
Box Dye=No Dimension
Another common issue with box color is that they apply one shade over your entire head. This is what often leads to box dye jobs looking flat or lifeless compared to a salon professional’s work. Even if you have some pre-existing highlights, you could end up with some gross, clashy tones without color correction.
Cheap Ingredients Can Damage Your Hair
Box dyes are cheap compared to professional salon products. However, you should keep in mind the adage that you get what you pay for. Manufacturers will use the cheapest, lowest quality dyes, additives, bleaches, and other chemicals to keep your costs low. These products can cause your hair some serious damage, even more so if you don’t know what you’re doing.
You Don’t Understand Hair Coloring Terminology
There’s a difference between permanent, semi-permanent, and demi-permanent dyes. Do you know what it is? If not, then you probably shouldn’t opt for that awesome purple hair dye you found that claims it will wash out before you return to the office in a month. Good luck explaining why your hair doesn’t comply with the dress code to your boss.
Bleaching Your Hair at Home? Forget It!
If there’s one process that can lead to you permanently damaging your scalp and hair at home, it’s lightening or bleaching it. There’s a reason that cosmetologists go to school for years to learn how to color and style hair. Lightening hair is a delicate process that can lead to severe damage or chemical burns in the hands of the inexperienced.
If the hair color you want is lighter than your current one, please, find a salon to help you.
Cap Highlights Are Literally Never Used Anymore
Purchase a highlighting set from the store, and we can guarantee you that they’ll use a cap that you pull your hair strands through with a metal, hooked rod. Here’s the thing: this cap technique went out of fashion decades ago. Salons nowadays will use foil strips and careful layering to achieve the highlighted look you want.
Not only is highlighting your hair at home dangerous for the reasons we mentioned above in the section on bleaching, but you’ll be hurting yourself and your patience using an outdated technique to boot!
Hello, Brassy Tones
Do you know the main reason people go to the salon after they’ve used box dyes to try to color their hair on their own? Color correction.
Blondes may have more fun but neither you nor anyone else will enjoy that lovely shade of coppery yellow your hair turns once the dye finishes processing. If you dye your hair in any of the warmer colors, like blonde or red, you’re likely to get strident, brass-like colors without the use of color correctors.
No one looks good in brassy tones. Trust us.
Easy to Dye When You Don’t Need To
One of the worst things about box dye is its ease of access. If there’s anything a salon worker will tell you, it’s that you should never change your hair in a major way when you’re under emotional distress. Many are those who’ve come into a salon in tears after a breakup, desperate for a haircut to create a psychological break from their pain, only to wind up hating the style once it’s done.
Haircuts are one thing, as the hair will grow back over time. However, these boxed dyes can cause permanent damage to your hair and hurt your self-image to boot. There’s a reason sudden, drastic hair color changes are seen as a symptom (and cause) of mental breakdowns.
If you go to a salon, you’re more likely to temper your desire for change with what your wallet can afford, preventing drastic changes. Even failing that, a skilled cosmetologist may be able to talk you down from the ledge before you dye your hair a lime green that you can’t keep up with.
Let’s Review Why Box Dye Is Worse Than Salons
All in all, box dye is a terrible investment. It’s cheap, but it damages your hair, won’t give you the shade or dimension you want, and can lead to greater expense down the line when you have to get it corrected. It’s not worth it. Just visit a salon.
If you found this article on the drawbacks of boxed hair color informative and would like to read more like it, feel free to check out our blog each day for more style tips!
Also read: Why You Should Dye Your Hair? For Women