Education, Physical Health, Wellness / Self-Care

Is box Dye bad for your Hair?

There are some concerns…

words by: Natasha Marsh
Dec 23, 2021

Thanks to COVID-19, a lot of us got used to doing our grooming routines at home. One of the main DIY experiments in the last 2 years has been hair care, and more specifically, coloring your hair. Although this was our only option for a while, there are the occasional risks with using box dyes that you should know about before attempting.


What risks come with box hair dye?

Box hair dye can be found anywhere: local drug store, discount store, beauty supply store, Target, Walmart and other retailers. A pretty inexpensive product, priced as low as $5 sometimes, you can purchase box dye and get pretty detailed instructions with most boxes on how to apply the color at home.


Typically, the instructions don’t require any measuring tools and the color is fairly easy to mix. However, it is formulated with really strong ingredients to be able to work on any type of hair — which is where the challenges come in.


When you go to a salon or barbershop, the hair color is custom made for you and so this could cause damage to your hair.


Oddly enough, some colorists believe that clients don’t put enough dye onto the hair to fully saturate — leading to uneven color and a cheap look. Then there’s also the risk of applying too much, which can look dull, dark and ink — not to mention dry and damage. All of these concerns are  why you will need to be mindful and intentional of how you are applying it and where.


And then the biggest risk is trying to go light or bleach your hair at home. Sometimes when you do an at-home box situation, you can create a very odd color if you apply the dye all at once, especially if you are going blonde — leading to a really unnatural finish.


Scary, so when should I use box dye and is it safe?

Hopefully we didn’t scare you into writing off hair color in general. Covering some of your hair (less than 30%) is totally fine and safe. It’s also safe to use box dye if you are wanting to adjust the tone of your hair or go slightly darker. Semi-permanent hair color is also okay as it gradually fades and doesn’t create as much damage — therefore keeping your natural hair shaft in tack.


Just be cautious of finding the right color and pay attention to the health of your hair with a good assortment of products.


For more, here’s how to prolong your hair color and how to take care of your hair after you dye it.