If you’ve got the time, the technique and the confidence, box dyes are the perfect way to get the hair colour you love from the comfort of your own bathroom. One of the questions we get asked most at Coloured Hair Care is, Is box dye bad for your hair? The answer my friends? Sadly, YES.

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Oh, but why is box dye bad for my hair?

Box dye is bad for your hair because the processing involved in changing your hair colour dries and weakens the structure of your hair.

This causes your hair to become brittle, break easily and sometimes feel sticky when it’s wet because it’s lost all elasticity. This is true and can happen whether you use permanent, demi-permanent or semi-permanent dyes.

This is because, since hair dye was invented, it’s been blessing our hair by coating or penetrating our hair strands with various sizes of colour molecules.

How deep the colour penetrates, and therefore how long it lasts and stays in your hair, depends on the type of hair dye it is.

The only dye that doesn’t damage your hair are temporary colours as they coat or stain your hair rather than penetrate deep into your hair shaft.

Watch and learn: How does hair dye work?

“At a salon, a colourist will use the right mix of colour tones and levels to suit the condition of your hair, as well as your natural colouring and skin tone. A box dye is one-size-fits-all which won’t look great and will only damage your hair.”

Elena Rossi, professional colourist.

What can I do to look after my hair?

Of course, box dyes are here for a reason, right? They give us the freedom to change up our colour and cover our greys without spending fortunes at a salon.

So the fact that they damage your hair doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever use them.

Straighteners, wavers, curlers and other hot tools damage your hair too. But there’s no stopping us working those beachy waves this year.

The secret to using box dye is to give your coloured hair extra love. Use nourishing treatments to restore it’s strength and shine – before, during and after dyeing your hair.

Once a week, smother it in a penetrating deep conditioning mask like this one for extra nourishment Coco & Eve Like a Virgin Hair Masque.

And invest in the wonder that is Olaplex No 3 Hair Perfector. The little bottle that will change change your life (and hair) forever with its restorative powers.

In between colourings, you can also try an at-home keratin treatment. This will help to restore the bonds in your hair and lock the colour to make it last for longer.

Take a look at the health of your hair too. If it is already dull and lifeless and lacking in lustre, dyeing your hair might not be right for you at this moment. Have a chat with your hairdresser about your options.

Box dye Do’s

  • Do check the colour chart on the side of the hair dye box to match it to the colour your hair is now.
  • Do a strand test before you dye the rest of your hair if you’re feeling unsure.
  • Do buy two boxes of hair colour to get all-over, even coverage. Especially if you are planning on covering stubborn greys.
  • Do follow the instructions that come with the hair dye carefully. Even if you have dyed your hair before, every dye is different and can have different ways of application and developing time.
  • Do visit your salon if you get it wrong!

Box dye Don’ts

  • Don’t leave the dye on for longer than it says in the instructions. It can be tempting as you think it will work better or last longer. But this will be the biggest cause of hair damage. Particularly if you’re using permanent box dyes.
  • Don’t dye your hair too often. Try and use a good cover up to hide new root growth and stretch out time in between dyeing it. Box dye doesn’t last as long as salon colour. So think about alternating salon trips and home dyes to keep your colour looking fresh.
  • Don’t use a box dye stronger than you really need. The type of hair dye you choose should depend on what you want to achieve. From all-over grey coverage, a pop of colour or a dramatic new look. Don’t pick a box dye that’s not fit for purpose.
  • Don’t try and lighten your hair with box dye. Colour cannot lighten colour!

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