Why Box Color Isn’t For You
Published March 5, 2022
Hair dyeing at home might be intimidating. If you’re concealing some gray, changing your hair color by one to two shades, or simply changing your tone, you can probably accomplish it at home.
Box colors are available at most drugstores, beauty supply stores, and discount stores. It’s often reasonably priced and almost always includes instructions for applying the color at home. Unfortunately, while the color is typically easy to mix with hardly any measuring, it does not have any options for adjusting the pigmentation.
Because the dye must be strong enough to work on any type of hair, it is often a formulation more concentrated than salon hair color. This means that the formula remains consistent regardless of the condition of your hair at the time of application. However, because they are not suited for each type of hair, they introduce possible risks.
Risks of Using Box Dyes
While hair coloring at home may appear to be a good idea because of the cost savings and skipping a salon visit, remember that this procedure requires attention to details that are not always visible to a client’s eye. This includes choosing which product to use to get the desired results, the amount of dye to apply, and the duration of the process.
Since non-hair professionals are not trained to understand these details, people do not apply enough box color dye to saturate their hair completely. The result is uneven, making it look cheap. On the flip side of not using enough dye, there is a risk of applying too much and allowing it to process for an extended period of time, resulting in a far too dark, dull, dry, and damaged appearance.
Then there’s the greatest risk of all: attempting to lighten or completely bleach your hair by yourself. Going blonde often unexpectedly stains hair and frequently results in hair that is dark and brassy. This occurs because the mid-shafts and ends of the hair process at a far slower rate than the roots. Thus, when going lighter, if done all at once, the ends turn up considerably darker than the roots, leaving an unusual and unnatural finish.
Box Dye vs Salon Treatment
Professional stylists are well-versed in hair color tones, intensities, and strategies for achieving them. They become familiar with every scenario that can result in great hair color, as well as how to correct hair color that does not go as intended. A professional colorist will consider factors such as skin tone, hair texture and density, eye color, and hair porosity to determine the appropriate color for their client.
While coloring hair is a science, it is not perfect, and even the safest coloring can go horribly wrong for no apparent reason. When you have 50% or more gray hair, consult a professional colorist to ensure that you have the equal gray treatment and that it does not develop any undesirable tones associated with gray hair. Likewise, when making significant changes to your hair color (such as bleaching, balayage, or highlights), seek professional assistance rather than doing it on your own.
Finally, never dye over previously dyed hair if you are uncertain about the dye used. It’s not clear how the new color will interact with your existing one, but your hairstylist will be able to tell you.
Oftentimes, regardless of how cautious you are, your hair may not come out the way you imagined after the dye is rinsed. As a result, an $8 box color can quickly become a $150 or more fix. Whatever happens, do not attempt to repair it on your own. Instead, make an appointment with your hairstylist. Explain the problem and let them perform their work.
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