Why Do Hairdressers Hate Box Dye?

The Case Against Box Dye: Why Professionals Urge Caution

Home hair colour kits promise salon results with easy DIY application. But many hairdressers caution strongly against box dyes. What fuels this animosity? Read on to understand the technical disadvantages professional colourists see in boxed formulas - and why they argue leaving your hair in their skilled hands gives safer, more predictable results.

why do hairdressers hate box dye

Uneven, Imprecise Results

A common complaint about box dye is the lack of control and customisation compared to professional services.

Standard pre-mixed formulas cannot adapt to each individual's hair nuances. Hairdressers formulate custom colours tailored to clients' natural shades, desired looks and hair conditions. Box hues often turn out brassy, muted or uneven.

DIY kits also cannot replicate the meticulous sectioning, application and timing of salon services. Mistakes lead to splotchy results. The precision needed exceeds most amateur skills.

Many hairdressers must correct botched box dye jobs, a repair process that can be lengthy and costly. Avoiding home kits lessens the risk of requiring expensive colour corrections later.

Potential Damage to Hair Integrity

why do hairdressers hate box dye

Certain harsh chemicals in popular box dyes have given many stylists pause. Common concerns include:

  • Ammonia - This mixing agent lifts cuticles to deposit colour but is quite drying over time.
  • Peroxide - High volumes like 30+ developer cause more damage to delicate hair.
  • PPD pigments - Used in darker shades, these have raised allergy and sensitivity issues for some.
  • Formaldehyde - Trace amounts may release from compounds like quaternium-15 during processing.

While not all DIY dyes contain these controversial ingredients, many professionals prefer to handpick gentler formulas when colouring clients' hair themselves.

Lack of Strand Testing

why do hairdressers hate box dye

Responsible colourists always first perform a strand test when applying colour to check for adverse reactions. But box kits typically forgo this critical step.

Jumping straight into full application risks missed allergy or sensitivity issues causing considerable scalp or hair damage. Hairdressers argue this poses an unacceptable gamble compared to professional care.

Difficulty Accounting for Prior Chemical Services

Those who have previously chemically treated their hair require special care during colouring to avoid damage or odd results. But box kits provide no way to tailor the process for hair compromised from:

  • Prior permanent colour
  • Bleaching or highlighting
  • Perming or relaxing
  • Sun/environmental damage

A professional can adjust the formula and techniques based on your full hair history. Box hues simply cannot account for these variables.

Lack of Personalisation

why do hairdressers hate box dye

Beyond limitations in customising colour, box dyes cannot adapt the application to your unique hair type, texture, length and condition. Professional colourists tailor the process based on factors like:

  • Density and porosity of your hair strands
  • If your hair is fine, thick, straight, curly, etc.
  • Areas that are more fragile and require gentler handling
  • Rate of colour absorption which varies across heads

This personalisation minimises damage and optimises results. One-size-fits-all box hues simply cannot provide such bespoke care.

Inability to Spotlight Face-Flattering Features

A colourist doesn't just achieve a certain shade - they strategically highlight and contour certain sections to accentuate your best features. Box dyes lack this nuance.

Key techniques that professionals perfect include:

  • Painting lighter brightness around face to frame flatteringly
  • Adding warmer hues to spotlight eyes or bring out skin tone vibrancy
  • Balancing crown and frontal sections for multi-dimensional effects
  • Blending selectively to disguise any problem areas or regrowth

Without this artistry, box dye cannot achieve the same light play, depth and customised enhancing of your beauty.

The Takeaway

Certainly DIY dyes provide a cheaper and quicker alternative for some. But recognising the disadvantages cited by professionals helps ensure you use them judiciously. For optimal customisation, safety and results, leave the most transformative colour jobs to the experts.

While occasional box dye touch-ups may suffice, understand why hairdressers generally advocate against relying solely on them for dramatic changes. A skilled colourist assesses needs individually and has more tools at their disposal to protect hair integrity while creating your ideal shade.



To book, please call Gusto Hairdressing Salon in Soho on 020 7287 0015 Covent Garden Salon on 020 7836 9163, or Oxford Street Salon on 0207 486 5044. Book online for our Covent Garden Salon, or Oxford Street Salon.

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