“Does box dye ruin hair?”
Yes! Box dye is not formulated to the same standard as professional hair colour. Salon hair colour costs more because it IS better quality. It won’t contain so many harsh ingredients and often works to protect your hair as it colours. Box dyes often claim they contain moisturising ingredients or are ’ammonia-free’. Though, these usually contain PPDs, salts and other chemicals that will damage hair, especially with repeated use. Not only can this compromise your hairs health and condition, but box dye also has unpredictable results. This, along with the fact that those who are untrained don’t have the specific knowledge or proper supplies when it comes to choosing colours, processing times and application, may lead to the need for a big colour correction job.
“Why did my box colour not come out like the picture?”
Box dyes are quite misleading to clients. They often appear to be ‘one size fits all’ though professionals know that this isn’t the case. Hair type, condition and the natural colour or previous colour used can help stylists predict the outcome of the dye. Being a trained colourist, we know all about the colour wheel, lightness levels and different strengths of developers to formulate the perfect colour. So, there will be no yellow and brassy or muddy colours showing through. With regular use, the box colour will continue to build up on the ends. As the processed hair becomes more porous, the more it will grab onto colour. Virgin hair from the root though, will take the colour much differently. This often ends up leading to a ‘reverse ombre’ appearance, with roots lighter than the ends. If the client changes the colour often, they will also start to see a ‘banding’ effect.
“Can I lighten my hair myself?”
Of course you have the option to try but no! Some people often think that a hair bleaching kit is an effective way to lift their hair to a lighter and even tone before applying a box dye colour. This may cause very complicated problems. Oftentimes, the hair isn’t even lightened high enough to execute the colour they want. Or, the bleach used is too strong for the hair, leaving feeling rough, brittle, porous and “strawlike”. As a result, the box dye colour they use next can develop in unpredictable ways. Again, there is also may be an additional issue with technique. Bleach application needs to fully saturate the hair and be applied evenly. If it isn’t, you will end up with patches that take a lot of skill to fix.
“My hair is now orange! Can I fix it myself?”
One of the most common issues is orange and brassy tones. This typically occurs if the hair didn’t lighten their hair enough, leaving red and orange pigments behind. Often people usually try to fix this issue themselves, but often find themselves running into more trouble! They might reach for more box dye that further complicates the colour, leading to green or unpleasant muddy tones in the hair. Or, maybe they might try to lighten their hair to another level with additional bleach. This can lead to irreversible damage if it hasn’t been completely destroyed already. So when hair has reached the orange stage, it’s best to just seek a colour correction now before it gets worse!
Can you remove box dye from hair?”
Box dye can be stripped from the hair by using a professional hair colour remover applied at a salon. This can help a professional see what has happened below the dye. However, the damage to the hair structure cannot be reversed. The pigments that have been altered by bleach and other chemicals may remain until the hair grows out or is cut off.
How do you deal with clients who have used boxed dye in their hair?
One of the main reasons why hairdressers hate box dye is the difficulties that come with colour corrections. Some stylists will straight up refuse to fix a box dye job because of how difficult it may be. Eventually, many clients who box dye their own hair end up coming to a salon for a colour service – whether it’s because they need their hair fixed immediately, or just because they now want a professional result. It might seem pretty straightforward to an untrained eye, but as a colourist we know how careful application must be in this process – you don’t just throw one colour over the top!