The dangers of box dye

the dangers of box dye, colouring your hair at home safe

Something interesting I came across over the years in the hair industry is that people think in terms of “How hard could it be if I do it by myself?”, well, the question is, do you know what you are doing?

All the box colors sold in drugstores create the “perfect case  scenario” – whether it’s through their commercials or on the picture of the “Gorgeous Photoshopped, After Hair Salon” model that’s on the box! But they NEVER tell you the following:

A. The REAL ingredients

B. The REAL results


Here are 8 reasons why you SHOULD never use box dye and the dangers of box dye:


1) Unpredictable Results
Let’s face it, most of you box color users out there did not attend cosmetology school, and are lacking what we in the business call the “laws of color.” You probably aren’t sure exactly what color your hair is when the color is processing, or when to take off the color to achieve your most desired result. You probably don’t know what colors to mix to cancel out undesired tones in your hair, and we don’t expect you to. But, because of these reasons box color is more like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get


2) One Size Does Not Fit All
So, let’s think about this logically. Box color is formulated so that everyone and anyone can use it, but not everyone’s hair type, condition or color is even remotely the same. In fact, most box dyes are formulated with maximum amounts of pigment and developer, so that it is able to work on most people. The chances are if you have already dyed your hair previously, your processed hair isn’t going to need that strong of a developer; don’t damage it more by getting “one size fits all”, box color. You do not want this ‘one size fits all’ mentality when choosing your hair color, give yourself customization and expert knowledge, and seek a hair professional who will be able to accurately create a color for you and only YOU!


3) Regrowth Troubles
Again, you probably thought your regrowth would look like the rest of your head because that’s what the pretty lady on the box looks like, right? WRONG! I know this may seem repetitive, but it’s all about the ability to customize. Your regrowth is virgin hair, and the remainder of your head is more than likely already processed, or has seen some damage due to UV exposure or styling.

Do you think you can pair up a good box color for your regrowth and pair it with the right box color for the rest of your hair without it looking like two different colors? That’s why the professionals are for. It takes a lot of thinking.


4) Box dye Is Only One Color
This idea ties in both Number 2 and Number 3. We already know that your regrowth will need a different color formulation than the rest of your head, but how about when you want some actual dimension? Or how about if you want a hair color that takes a little more skill than an all over color application, like the much sought after, Ombre look? You will not be able to achieve that with the one color present in a box.

Note: Most hairdressers never use less than 2 different colors to mix your desired color – customization!


5) Ammonia
I would highly encourage you to start using Professional Organic Hair Color. and here is why:

Most permanent hair color from a box works through the use of ammonia. The corrosive nature of ammonia allows it to blast open your hair’s cuticle, allowing the new color particles to penetrate the hair, and irreversibly changing the hair’s pH to an undesirable level. When the hair’s cuticle has been blasted open with ammonia it has difficulty closing back up. Think about it, an unclosed cuticle means major damage/split ends and inability for the hair to lock in color (fading). And guess what? The more you use ammoniated color, the more your hair will fade, causing you to dye your hair more often, causing hair and wallet distress. Not to mention that ammonia damages the hair’s natural Tyrosine levels; Tyrosine is a naturally occurring amino acid that makes up the protein in your hair and is responsible for the natural pigment.

Hey, that’s not all! Ammonia damages your scalp’s sebaceous oil glands, inhibiting its ability to create the hair’s natural oils that contribute to your hair’s much needed moisture.

Remember this formula for healthy hair: Protein + Mositure + Proper pH, and what did we just learn? Oh, yeah, ammonia destroys the balance of all of those essential components of your hair.

Yes, professional Organic hair color is a little pricier, but in my opinion health comes first! Know that I still use non organic professional hair color on my clients, which still has some ammonia – but I always have the Organic Color as an alternative if they choose.


6) High Levels of PPDs
Recall, I said that box colors contain superfluous amounts of pigment and developer. What does that mean for you? Well, the pigment I am referring to is the pigment necessary for all PERMANENT hair color, PPD, also known as p- phenylenediamine, and many other derivatives that are just as harmful. Unfortunately, box color has an excessive amount of PPDs, causing an increase in allergies worldwide, as more and more individuals are dying their hair. Hair dye allergies are on the rise, causing unsightly reactions and in some cases, fatality. What’s worse? You may not be allergic to PPD this time, but with continued high exposure to this chemical you can become sensitive at any time! It is advised to seek out a permanent hair color line with low PPD and no derivatives, so that likelihood for an allergic reaction is significantly decreased.


7) Metallic Salts
There are still box dyes on the market today that use Metallic Salts, an ingredient used in hair color since the 1800s. You don’t use Candlestick Phones from the 1890s, right? Why not think the same way with your hair and treat yourself to some innovation. Metallic salts build up on the hair causing each time you use that box dye or Henna (the supposed natural hair color) for your hair to darken past your desired result. Not to mention that if you ever want to go lighter, Metallic Salts are difficult to remove for even the most savvy hairdresser (I have seen lots of smoke and smells, it’s not pretty). What’s worse? The building up of the Metallic Salts will over time begin to make the hair feel hard to the touch.


8) That $10 Box Color Won’t Feel That Affordable After a $300 Color Correction
So, you decided not to listen to the other 7 reasons? That’s ok, we all learn from mistakes. Did your hair turn orange, green or really dark by any chance, after attempting it on your own? If not, you are one of the luckiest people. Because that is often the color your hair will turn when attempting to color with box color. Do your hair and wallet a favor, don’t spend $10 on box color, and then $300 on a color correction.


So what do you think?

I’ll tell you what I think. I think that the choice is all yours, and it would really hurt me to see you upset after a box dye disaster. But not to worry, many people know me by this motto : “Nothing is impossible” – so if you did go through such disaster and need an advice, I am always here to answer your questions.

You can find me on Facebook or contact me HERE



Click Organic Hair Products – live healthy!  


Author: David Buriev – The Hair Healer

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