top of page

Why do hairstylists HATE BOX DYE ?!?!

You might say...

“I can’t afford to pay someone to color my hair, but I want a change. I think I’m gonna go to Target and get the organic conditioning balayage kit and do it myself!!!”


That does not sound like a good idea. There’s a big, big, big wall of boxes of color at the store--which one do you pick?

It’s probably a hard decision, so you may pick something like the cheapest, the “ammonia free” one, oh, or the “organic” one…

I’m cringing writing this, guys!!!

The reason that hair stylists hate box dye is because when you truly understand how hair color works and everything you have to take into consideration like the color wheel, the peroxide levels, formulating for the hair, gray coverage--I could go on and on. (If I still have you after reading that, it’s just getting better.)

Like I said, when you understand allllll that, it’s really scary to believe that hair color is sold in any stores for as low as $5.

Box dye is not custom. It’s basically a “one size fits all,” and as your personal hairdresser fairy, I’m here to tell you--hair color doesn’t work like that.

Let’s say you have black hair and want to be blonde. You go to the store, pick up the blonde box that catches your eye, and look at the back so you can see what your hair will look like if it’s this color, that color, blah blah blah.

Fast forward!

You go home, read the directions, mix it up, apply it... Oops, you ran out and can’t finish. (Lookin’ at you, thick-haired lionesses. Or all of you, really.)

Now what?

Eh, you let it process for the time the box says, wash it out, and it’s a mini-rainbow. Yep--4 different colors of red/orange, orange, and yellow. It feels like straw. Oh, and your ends are now very mad at you!

Why did it do that? Why didn’t it work?

The box had no idea that you colored your hair black last year over top of blonde highlights.

The box couldn’t ask you what your hair history was.

See what I mean about it not being a “one size fits all” kinda process?

Not to mention, if a box of hair dye at the store is $5, and to get your color done the right way could be anywhere from $50-$350+, let’s just say there’s clearly many reasons why the price is so different. The ingredients in box dye aren’t anywhere close to the same exquisite ingredients as professional brands. Cheap ingredients = cheaper dye = lesser quality = a hair Russian roulette.

At the salon, on the other hand, you’re paying for exclusive salon high-quality products. Not only that, but you’re also paying for your hair stylists brain and education, customization, and salon experience. (Whew! What a load off.)

Box color is so unpredictable; anything from the outcome you get, to what your hairstylist has to guess when trying to color your hair next time can happen. A lot of hairstylists won’t color your hair if you say it has box color on it because we don’t want to damage your hair, possibly digging a hole and even needing to correct it for hours and hours. We don’t want to put your hair at any risk; put it that way.

Okay--I know that was A LOT (I honestly could go on even further, but I don’t want to bore you to death.)

I wanted to give an explanation on this topic because I’ve never seen any other hairstylists explain why we don’t like it, and I know our customers/everyone not in the beauty industry both do not exactly understand why.

So I hope you found this helpful.

And I’m gonna end with this:

Please, please, please stop box dying!

This is what can happen if you BOX DYE your hair!

Recent Posts

See All

Spring Forward to BLONDE

Spring also means lots and lots of hair changes for the season. I see a lot of hair chopping and blonding when March comes around! It’s a fu


Kathy Westover
Kathy Westover
Jun 10

I had to laugh at the photos and the caption that "this is what can happen if you use boxed dyes" . I believe the photo on the left is DEFINITELY done that way on purpose - notice the nice neat blonde streaks down thru the black, and the nice neat line between the black and blonde? Not to mention the salon bottles on the shelf on the left AND the almost perfect curles in the ends which you usually can only get in the back like that at a salon. I think the one on the right seems like she either purposely chose to do a calico-look, or she let her black roots grown in for awhile so s…


Kathy Westover
Kathy Westover
Jun 10

I agree it's true that sometimes color outcomes are unpredictable based on past colors used. But I still have to disagree about using box colors. I have been using boxed purple for like 10 years now - same brand and same color. It lasts almost 2 months and when it fades it's just a lighter shade of purple. My hairdresser tried half a dozen different "salon" brands and each one either faded pink or washed out after 2 or 3 weeks - so I simply REFUSE to use "salon" purple on my hair! I personally think salon owners just want to charge customers for using "salon" hair dye. I'm sure most customers wouldn't mind paying a little extra…

bottom of page