I have clients who still use box hair color. I understand that sometimes financials get in the way of awesome hair, but when your head is obviously your most worn accessory, it is not to be skimped on. I know color forwards and backwards and I am here to educate you on the significant reasons of why you should not use box hair color. I will also give you less expensive ways to get custom professional color at the salon. You don’t have to always break the bank to look fabulous, but you do not have to go cheap either.
1. One Size Does Not Fit All
One size fits all jeans do not exist in real life and neither does hair color. Jeans that fit a size 4 will not fit a size 14. A box hair color blonde may work on your sister who is already blonde but may turn orange and brassy on your locks.
As a hairstylist, we take so many factors in when customizing a color just for you. Not only do we take your physical features into mind but we also utilize the correct chemistry to determine the developer that should be used.
Most box hair colors use a 12% developer, meaning it is creating only little lift and then deposit making it 100% impossible for brown hair to become blonde. It also results in “hot roots”. Brown box hair color will appear to have a red or warm tint at roots because it was not meant to be lifted to reveal that underlying pigment. And of course, the number one hair rule, color does not lift color. If you have dyed your hair dark brown and now want to be even a light honey brown, forget it. Sure your regrowth may turn out perfect, but your ends won’t budge.
2. Color Must Be Customize
Like I said, stylists take many factors into consideration when customizing your hair color.
-Natural & Underlying Pigment
-Level of Gray (if any)
-Previous Chemical Services
-Porosity or Damage of Hair
-Level of Lift or Deposit
You hair stylist will then determine the type of hair color to use and the correct amount of lift needed. You are not given these options when you use box color at home.
3. Semi, Demi, & Permanent Face Off
Some box colors claim they “last 30 washes” but do they really? In a salon, there are significant difference between these types if hair colors. A box cannot tell you which one is correct for you to use.
If you want dimension, a bottle will not give you that. I don’t care that the box says it is “multi-faceted”, there is absolutely no way one bottle can create depth and highlights at the same time.
The only way dimension can be achieved is professionally. We can see where your hair falls, strategically place foils, balayage, etc. You do not see box hair color magically growing a pair of eyes or hands to do that, do you?
5. Straw-Like Hair
This agitates me to no end. Clients now are convinced that ALL hair color leads to straw-like hair texture. This huge misconception has now led to an uneducated public.
Box hair colors are still using Metallic Salts from the 1800’s. Really? Way to evolve. These will continually build up on the hair which will darken your hair way past the desired result. And god forbid you ever want to go lighter. Even an experienced stylist will have difficulty lifting that.
The ammonia level is devastating in box color. It will irreversibly change the pH level of your hair and its corrosive tendency will blast open the cuticle of the hair shaft. An unclosed cuticle only means major damage, split ends, and the inability to lock in color.
All this leads me to my next point…
6. Hair Cuts
All the damage the $10 box causes will eventually lead to an unwanted hair cut. There is no way to rid your hair of split ends except for a hair cut. And the damage will probably become so severe that there is no amount of deep conditioner that can repair it. So you can say good-bye to your long locks.
Also, you will spend close to $40 on a fabulous hair cut to only ruin it when you go home and use box hair color. You wouldn’t put $40 bucks in a garbage disposal would you?
7. Caps, Highlighting Combs, and Ombre Kits = Disaster Waiting To Happen
Don’t be foolish! If you are not ready to spend $300 to correct these, do NOT spend $10 on any one of these at-home kits. You will either end up looking like a cheetah or a zebra or like someone threw up on your head (sorry). These are just bad, bad, BAD news. So just don’t.
8. Advertising Celebrities
Do you really think Eva Longoria really uses box hair color? NO!
9. Box Formulas May Change
Box hair color are massed produced by manufacturers and the formulas may change. So that honey brown you have been using may not be so honey the next time you use it.
Professional formulas do not change. If a stylist creates that honey brown for you, she keeps that formula in your file so that next time you come in she can touch up only your regrowth with that formula to avoid over depositing and can use a different formula to refresh your ends. How’s that for consistency and customizing?
10. You Are Worth More
You are better than average or far-below-average hair. We all have those designer shoes, bags, or gems, why not have designer hair?
If you are dead set on using box hair color then so be it and we will let you be. But, we are here to advise you on only what is best for you and the integrity of your hair.
You have a beautiful personality. Your exterior should match so that you can just ooze beauty and confidence.
Now, if you have chosen to finally take the professional route, how can you keep your piggy bank from crying?
Take it slow. If you are going for a major change, take baby steps. Your wallet won’t take a major hit all at once. And do realize it may take more than one visit to achieve the wanted results anyhow. When you have been using box color, the stylist has a hard time predicting what the lightener may lift to. Plus, we should protect the integrity of the hair.
For those of you who have those stubborn grays. Try highlights! The regrowth will be much less noticeable allowing you to get away with color services less often.
If you get the works done including color, highlights, and a hair cut, think about alternating services. For instance, on the one visit, do all 3. Maybe the next time just do the base color at the regrowth and a clear shine on ends to give them life. Then repeat the first visit on the third appointment.
Pick a low-maintenance color. Reds are hot, I know, but they require more often appointments since they tend to lose their vibrancy.
And no matter what, use professional color-safe products. You finally made your hair designer quality, treat it right. You wouldn’t throw your Coach purse on the bathroom floor, would you? You just invested in your hair, don’t strip it and ruin it by using cheap products.