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Isolation hair : why NOT to box dye your hair

Sophie Laidlaw of Wonderland Livingston explains why you should resist the temptation to box dye your hair

Box dyes are a ‘one box fits all.’ When you visit a salon your own natural hair colour is taken in to consideration and products are chosen accordingly. If you are darkening a much lower developer will be used than if you are lightening.

Sophie Laidlaw embraces her roots!
Sophie Laidlaw embraces her roots!

If you buy a box dye that box has no clue what your natural level is so they just make everything really, really strong. Which as you can imagine is not great for your hair, not great for previously coloured hair you overlap on to as well. You are much more likely to incur breakage than with professional colour.

On lighter colours you are also more likely to get an orange undertone, as the developer is so strong it lifts really quickly rather than what professionals like to call ‘low and slow’ (low and slow means slowly lifting all of the underlying pigment out reds/coppers etc) if you lift too quickly it rushes this process and will always leave residue of basic orange.

On darker colours it will always look a level darker than you want it to, for example a dark brown will look charcoal black.

Both of these cause issues for a hairdresser, so if you are planning to return to a professional my advice is just don’t do it! Colour will not lift colour, the only thing lifting that orange or charcoal black out is bleach, and if you hair has been severely compromised with the strength of the colour you have used there is:

1) a chance we can’t actually touch your hair as it’s too fragile;

2) it’s going to need a really good hair cut and lot of treatments and a lot of work to get it strong enough;

3) it will be deemed as a colour correction and need a lot of extra time booked in (which no hairdresser is going to have)

4) it’s going to be very, very expensive to fix

Hopefully after reading this you will feel a little more level headed, those roots can wait! We’re not going anywhere, so wear them with pride!

Or cover them with headbands and scarfs. Get creative! Future proof yourself, don’t box dye!


Sophie Laidlaw is a Director at Wonderland Livingston and a Session Stylist at GHD

Published in Konect May 2020


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