Publication Date: 06/04/2021

Let’s be honest, we’ve all either performed a DIY hair dye job during lockdown or know someone who has. While it seems straightforward, the reality is that most attempts end in disaster and an unnecessary and expensive trip to the hairdressers. We’re going to go in-depth and explain just why hairdressers hate box dye so much!

What Is Box Dye?

Box dye is a home care DIY hair dye that can easily be purchased at your closest beauty supply store, local drug store, or discount store. The dye is not usually tailor-made for a specific hair; instead, it is a concentrated formula that is strong enough to work with all types of hair textures and colours. This might sound like a good thing, but it isn’t. This dye is made to fit everyone, making it have adverse effects on light or fragile hair.

Here are some of the main reasons home dye jobs are disliked:

They are highly unpredictable

First, using box dye has a 90% chance that your final outlook will be like the model you see printed on the cover. Even worse, many people who attempt to use box dyes are unprofessional and don’t know about the laws of colour. For you to handle box dyes and stand a chance of sweet success, you must have undergone cosmetology school and be a professional at hair dying and styling. Otherwise, this dye will frustrate you and leave you looking your worst when you intended to look your best.

Secondly, gathering knowledge about cosmetology is just the tip of the iceberg. To pull out a good look using box dyes, you need to be prepared for an unpredictable result. The quality of box dyes is inferior compared to getting it done in a professional hair salon.

A Universal Dye Does Not Fit All Hair Types

Consider this, one universal hair dye used by all the hair types. There is nothing remotely logical about this statement. Box dye is formulated for all hair types, yet not everyone has the same hair texture, colour, or type. Being formulated with maximum amounts of ammonia and chemical pigments, box dyes work with most users. When these massive chemical compounds come into contact with your hair, they may damage it and predispose you to allergic reactions, or much worse, hair breakage. This, too, does not mean that those ammonia-free box dyes are safer for your hair. The only place to find good hair dye and find professionals to apply it is in the salon.

Just Masks the Colour

When you dye your hair at the salon with professional colour, the colour will penetrate the hair molecules and deposit large colour molecules at the melanin’s reserves. They dominate with their larger molecules to replace the hair colour from deep within. In contrast, box dyes only dye the proteins in the hair and simply changing their chemical composition. This result may look glamorous in the first few days of application. Still, this colour-changing effect wears out after repeated washing leaving behind damaged hair cuticles with practically no protein left blowing in the wind. 


Professional hair dying occurs when the client is in the room and has already described what colour they want. This allows for clients’ customised choices, so when you tell your stylist that you desire a specific colour, it is precisely what you get. The developer used in mixing the colour of your choice is also picked based on your hair’s strength and integrity, not the client next to you. 

In contrast, using box dyes is like selecting a one-fits-all sweater. Using box dyes will leave you highly demotivated after entering into the shower and coming out of it with red or green hair where you intended to get a blonde look. Box dyes are packed with the strongest chemical ingredients suited to break through the toughest of hair cuticles. Your hair can’t handle these harsh chemicals, leaving you with curled, damaged hair that even your professional flat iron can’t fix.

The Cost

It might sound like a cheaper option to pick a hair dye right off the store counter and use it in your hair, but in all honesty, it’s the worst thing you could do to your hair and wallet. If you end up messing with the application procedure, you will have to make at least two trips to your hairstylist to fix it and end up spending at least thrice compared to having a professional stylist do it for you. The raw hair products used by professional stylists, including the multiplying products like Olaplex, might be expensive, but it’s because they are of high quality compared to the abrasive ingredients in cheap box dyes. When you have your hair handled by a professional, you will get a unique multi-dimensional colour and glow.

How to Get Orange Out of Hair When Coloring at Home


If you decide to colour your hair at home, you need to be prepared to keep up with the task because hair grows up about half an inch every month, meaning the new hair will be showing every month. If you cannot dye it, you will end up with different coloured hair. Unless this is the ideal look you were going for, using box dyes can be a nightmare in the wrong hands. You will also have to invest in colour-safe conditioner and shampoo to maintain the hair dye. This being said, it is best to visit your hairstylist whenever you need to dye your hair to avoid such mishaps.

Final Thoughts

This information is not meant to prevent you from using box dyes on your hair, after all, the hair is yours, but just to ensure that you don’t wake up to an unwearable hair that will stick with you for almost a week, you need to go the extra mile and seek the professional services of hairstylists to dye your hair. Avoid box dyes because of their high levels of ammonia which bursts out your hair cuticles leaving behind a permanent colour. Your hair’s health matters a lot, considering how long it takes to grow another one.