You should be aware that not all hair treatments are created equally if you have ever experienced unexpected hair colour outcomes. Then how do you decide whether to colour your hair yourself or have an expert do it?

We will clarify the differences between the two options, and we collected three essential hair colour realities to assist you in weighing the benefits and drawbacks of each option which is whether to colour your hair yourself or have an expert do it.

Professional Hair Color vs. Box Color

Truth #1: Hair colour is chemistry.

Before they can work with customers, professional colourists must complete rigorous training and pass stringent tests, and for good reason: A complicated several chemical processes go into colouring hair. It takes both an in-depth analysis of the client’s hair type and a good understanding of the colour components to safely and effectively achieve a certain colour results and finishing. When the same colour formulation is used on the hair of two different customers, the results might be significantly different.

Most of our customers have previously dyed their hair, either at home with box dye or in a hair salon. We will tailor placement of the application and the strength of the solution based on the hair’s porosity, the proportion of grey, hair texture, chemical processing, and more in order to achieve the desired hair colour results.

The colour solutions are prepared at a concentration and strength that we determine is suitable for our client’s hair and every client will be having unique formulation. For someone who has never coloured their hair before, we may use a 3-percent-concentration hydrogen peroxide solution which is meant for hair lightening, while we may choose a 9-percent concentration for someone else who requires more aggressive processing for their hair.

Contrarily, box hair colour is a one-size-fits-all solution that is often manufactured at a strength of 6 to 9 percent and contains significant amounts of ammonia. For certain kind of thin, damaged, or porous hair, the formulation may be simply too strong. These more highly concentrated chemical may cause damaged, dried out and over-processed hair. Additionally, it could be difficult to switch between colours or predict what hue you’ll get as a consequence.

If you are desiring a lighter hair colour for your hair goal, you should use more care. You won’t be able to further lighten your hair with hair dye alone if you’ve previously coloured it using the box or professional colour. Besides, the lifting of pigment at your natural roots will behave differently as compared to lifting of pigment at previously coloured sections of your hair, which might result in uneven and brassy hair finishing. To begin the lightening process and achieve your preferred shade, more chemicals and application methods will be required.

It is recommended to book an appointment with a professional hair colourist if you want to change your hair colour by a full shade or more darker or lighter than your existing hair colour. There is a higher possibility of encountering more mistakes when there is more dramatic change in the hair colour.

In general, box colour could be an option for you to think about if your hair is fully natural or virgin hair (never coloured) or if you want to simply add a little more gloss or shine and depth or dimension to your hair.

Truth #2: Box hair colour is not always cheaper — in the long run.

Even the most well-intentioned user who follows guidelines properly and buys a box of hair dye that costs less than $10 might end up with undesired or unevenly coloured hair.

In addition to the likelihood that your hair colour may differ from the beautiful colour shown on the box, there are other colour mistakes that should be avoided. For instance, applying box hair colours repeatedly might result in colour “banding”, which is when colour patches overlap each other. This will result in a striped and blotchy appearance that may become more noticeable along the length of the hair when the section of root grows out.

Many individuals schedule a salon appointment to have a professional colourist to rectify this mistake when it occurs, but such colour correction typically may take hours and often cost hundreds of dollars more than the original procedure with the box colour at home.

Colour must be accurately applied using a brush method at the regrowth (or roots) of the hair in order to prevent any banding and also the significant cost to correct it. It may be too challenging and messy to do this task alone at home yourself. Because of this, you may be aware that colourists normally only perform the colour application in sections around the roots on your head and carefully avoid coating the scalp.

Why is it necessary to avoid coating the scalp? In comparison to professional colour, box colour’s developer chemicals are mixed with ammonia at a greater volume strength and concentration, which over time may burn and harm the scalp and hair follicles. It’s still another reason to be mindful of the chemical concentration and strength of the colour product you’re using.

You should also think about how often you’ll need to change the colour of your hair. While a salon expert may customize your colour to your preferred maintenance level, box colour will likely need you to repurchase and reapply on your own every four or six weeks.

Your colourist might suggest a hair colour that is closer to your natural or base colour so that it doesn’t grow out as dramatically if you have a tight budget and you know you’ll need more time in between sessions. Or your colourist could recommend treatments like highlights, balayage, or multi-dimensional colour that encourage more root growth out, thus longer in-between sessions.

Blotchy Colour from Box Dye 2

Truth #3: Salon hair colour is better for your hair and lasts longer than box hair colour.

Some customers may use box colour as a quick and fast fix to cover their roots to attempt to go longer between sessions or appointments with a stylist or to maintain a brighter hue for a longer period of time. But this wouldn’t be recommended as there are several other ways to extend the lifetime of your professional colour.

Metallic salts are commonly included in box hair dyes in high concentrations, and they can penetrate the hair shaft deeply. The high-chemical mixture of ammonia and peroxide, together with the layering of these metallic salts, may harm the hair shaft, making the colour look duller with repeated use. Over time, hair may also lose its sheen, and become drier, and more fragile.

If you decide to alter the hair colour later, it also becomes more difficult to remove the dull hue. Sometimes, even box colours which are marked as semi-permanent could not be washed out as promised. The formulas are still so strong that each time your hair is exposed to high levels of chemicals, it gets more porous. Your hair will absorb more pigmentation where it has been exposed repeatedly or has been severely damaged by excessive heat styling or chemical processing, resulting in an uneven colour that fades more slowly in some places than others.

Professional colourists can apply colour more precisely at the roots of your hair when you need a touch-up, which is healthier in the long term so as to prevent any repeated processing on the length of your hair.

The colourist may apply a lower-concentration gloss or colour solution through the hair ends using a “pull-through” application method after processing a stronger formulation where you need it at the roots.

The outcome? Your current colour is rejuvenated without the over-processing and damaging effect of repeated colour application and the hair is coloured at the roots to match.

If you have a genuine “hair emergency” but lack the time or budget to go to a hair salon, there are safe alternatives to freshen up with box colour:

It is recommended to use a permanent box colour that has similar shade to your existing hair colour if your objective is to cover up a few greys as a temporary root spray just won’t do the job. Apply the box colour with a brush only to each grey hairs in the areas of your hair that are most visible, including the front, sides, and on each side of your hair parting.

An at-home gloss treatment may temporarily revitalize your strands if your colour is very faded or drab. Gloss treatments lay on top of the hair cuticle and give reflective shine while temporarily changing the tone and removing brassiness, much like a top coat for nail paint. Try choosing a clear option or a tinted shade that is most similar to your present hair colour. Many products may be applied straight in the shower with minimum processing time.

Consider scheduling a complimentary consultation with a colourist to discuss your desired colour outcome and to go through the hair porosity, texture, and colour history particular to your hair in order to learn more about professional hair colour.

For now, box hair dye is inexpensive. Professional colour will be safer, tailored , relaxing, predictable and guided expertise. The advantages and disadvantages, in our opinion, speak for themselves.

With professional colouring, you get advice on after-care, consultation on hair goals, high-quality ingredients, a laid-back and service with comfort, a guided expectation, practical ideas, and a hair colour that is specifically designed to meet your hair’s demands and needs. You pay for the entire service of having your hair professionally coloured in a salon and it will not just be the hair colouring service. Please don’t think that the colourist’s creative work is simple; it requires years of learning, upgrading and research. Please see a professional if you do not wish to take unwarranted risk and hassle colouring your own hair with a box dye.

Different factors while deciding on hair colour.

Even if two persons use the same box colour with the same degree of natural hair colour, the finishing results might vary. The outcome depends on several factors, including hair condition, underlying pigment (red, ash, etc.), medicine, skin tone, natural hair colour level, quantity of grey hair, prior artificial hair colour, and hormones. When purchasing it off the shelf, none of these considerations are made.

Nothing like one size fits all

Box colour is formulated to colour hair of various textures, from coarse to fine as well as different colours from dark brown to light blonde, all with the same box. As mentioned previously, the lifting and depositing agent in box colour is often at the greatest strength and concentration permitted in salons, if not higher! In many cases, this tends to overprocess hair and puts it under further stress.

Certified Hairdressers and Professional Studied for this

Hair porosity, elasticity and density… Do you know what they mean? All licensed professionals completed their education and passed the state board examinations. They use all of these terms often and are aware of how each one affects the outcome of a hair colour treatment. Box colour normally does not even provide a short explanation of what they signify, much alone instructions on how to test for them.

Can you see the back of your head in the mirror?

It is challenging no matter how many mirrors you have. Your hairline and parts of the front should be visible, but what about the back? Only regrowth should be coloured! By that, we mean that your roots have grown out to the line where your former colour was. When you have overlapping of previous and new colours, you not only increase the chance of hair damage but also the overlapping will cause blotchy, uneven colour finishing results .

Misunderstanding about Hair Damage from Hair Colouring

Many individuals think hair damage and dryness are directly caused by hair colouring. Each of the professional hair colour brands has their own hair conditioning formulation for achieving healthier hair while it undergoes any chemical colouring process. Some of these conditioning will even enhance the texture and shine of the chemical processed hair. In addition, healthy hair will certainly retain colour longer and better.

Bleed marks and polka dots.

These are the two notorious terms that originated from using the “highlights cap”. Using this “highlights cap”, there is no way to stop the bleach from swelling at the root and leaving bleed marks. Besides, it is very painful to pull the hair through holes around the plastic cap with a tool that resembles a fish hook. The finishing results from the highlights cap will be a very systematic hair highlights pattern from the fixed holes and there is no customization based on your face or head shape or your preference.

Wishing for the hair colour of a celebrity?

Eva Longoria, Gwen Stefani, and Beyoncé. Do you believe they are applying the $8 box colour they purchased on their own at home? Or even better, take that box colour to a top notch, luxury hair salon where a licensed hair colourist works. Nowhere near. These celebrities are certainly paid lots of money to convince you of that.

Is the box hair dye expired?

When was it last put on the shelf? Is it expired? Has the potency of the active substances waned?

New and Improved Box Dye Formula?

How often do we notice “Improved Colour” or “new formula” on box labels? How can you expect to get the same outcome when these hair box dye companies are continually altering their formulations to stay up with professional colour? However, professional brands have always prioritized the client’s hair above their dollars. Superior quality is always more important than quantity. Additionally, to be safer for the hair, professional colour lines include a variety of shades, hues, and colours, developers and additives. As a result, a colourist who is directly examining your hair may change or modify your formula as necessary rather than a scientist in a box hair dye lab who has never seen you.


To save money, the majority of individuals colour their hair at home. What happens when something you expected to be blonde turns out to be orange? Or does the lovely dark brown on the box resemble the ashy green colour finishing results? There are just two alternatives left for you: either walk around with the undesirable mishap results or visit a hair salon for a $400+ colour correction job. Professional colouring might ultimately save not just your hair but also your budget. (Side note: The box colour must certainly adhere to the same standards as the professional colour. Therefore, they must modify their formulae whenever the legislation changes. New Formulation… New Results…You are definitely not prepared for such a surprise by box hair dye!)

To decide to go for a colour transformation, it is easier to say than to do it. Most people are unaware that artificial hair colour will not be able to lift another artificial colour. At home, turning blonde from brown will not be possible. Even changing from blonde to dark is difficult. The “extra missing pigment” or “fillers” that the normal people aren’t aware that they need for hair colouring are absent from the box hair dye. There is no guarantee that you can switch from box hair dye to professional hair dye because of the different dyes between the two.

Advice from friends or the pharmacy’s cashier

Do you ask the pharmacy’s cashier or a friend for advice while choosing your box dye? They cannot assist you in choosing a suitable colour line based on your texture, porosity, current colour, or hair condition unless they have had enough training and are familiar with the product range.

Let the hair professionals or colourists handle it

These professionals have invested a lot of their own time and money attending school in order to learn and understand the ins and outs of the entire hair colouring concept and techniques. Their days are spent beautifying locks and building up the esteem and confidence of many individuals. They always do their best to provide you with the desired results you were hoping for since, after all, all their customers are a walking advertisement for them.