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Box Color vs. Salon Color

March 30, 2020

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Box Color vs. Salon Color

March 30, 2020

 

In this uncertain time of staying at home to "flatten the curve," salons across the country have closed to protect their staff and their clients. This begs the question - how do we get through 4-6 weeks+ of root management until salons re-open?

 

The first thought process may be to stop by your local salon and buy a box of "closest match" color. However, this short term solution could cost hundreds in color correction down the road. In this post, we look at the pros of salon color vs. box color and some important things to consider before an off-the-shelf product.

 

How Box Dyes Work
Home hair color (also known as hair dye or box color) can be purchased at your local drug store, beauty supply, or discount store. It's typically fairly inexpensive ($8 to $20) and it almost always comes with instructions on how to apply the color at home. The color is usually easy to mix with little to no measuring, though, it comes with no options to alter the pigmentation. The dye itself is typically a more concentrated formulation than salon hair color because the color has to be strong enough to work on anyone's hair. This means the formula is the same, no matter how thin, thick, coarse, dark, light, highlighted, color-treated, or chemically processed your hair is at the time of application. In other words, box color doesn't discriminate. However, by not being tailored to hair type, that’s where potential risks come into play.


Risks Associated With Using Box Dyes
Coloring your hair at home may seem like a good idea due to its potential cost-effectiveness, as well as not having to take a trip to the salon, but keep in mind that this process requires taking fine-grained details into consideration that may not always be recognized by a client's eye. This includes determining which product you should choose to deliver your expected results, as well as how much dye to put on and how long to let it process.

Since non-hair professionals aren’t trained to know these things off the top of their head, generally, people don’t apply enough box dye to fully saturate their hair. The finished result is splotchy and uneven, resulting in a cheaper, very DIY look. On the opposite end of not applying enough dye, there’s the risk of applying too much and letting it process for too long, which can end up looking way too dark, inky, and even dull, not to mention dry and damage