Hairdressers & Box Hair Dye

At home hair coloring with box hair dye
Photo: Sinenkiy/Getty Images/Canva
Q: Why do hairdressers hate it when a client uses box hair dye and then comes to the salon to have their hair color corrected because it went completely wrong?
A: One of the most frustrating challenges we face as hairdressers is when clients come to the salon with hair colored using box hair dye, but with a poor outcome, and then expect us to fix it.
While it is understandable that people opt for do-it-yourself solutions due to budget constraints, the consequences of such choices can be disheartening for both us and the client. Our frustration does not stem from disdain for our clients but rather from the complexity of rectifying the consequences of non-professional attempts at hair coloring.
Hair dyes from the grocery store often contain generic formulations lacking the precision and quality of professional hair products. These one-size-fits-all solutions may not meet the unique characteristics of someone's hair, such as texture, porosity, and previous color treatments. As a result, the color outcomes can be unpredictable, ranging from uneven color distribution to an entirely different shade than expected.
When clients seek the salon's help to correct a failed hair coloring with box dye, it presents a significant challenge for us as hairdressers. Fixing or adjusting a poorly applied color requires a careful approach that considers the specific needs of the client's hair. The processes involved in correcting mistakes with box hair dye can be time-consuming, and multiple color sessions may be necessary to achieve the desired result.
Unfortunately, clients often have unrealistic expectations, believing that a cheap, quick, and perfect solution is possible despite the limitations caused by the initial use of grocery store dye. One of our frustrations arises from clients expecting us to effortlessly transform a poorly executed box coloring into salon-worthy perfection. It is important to understand that professionally correcting mistakes from at-home coloring requires careful assessment, skillful execution, and patience. To achieve the desired result, a gradual process may be necessary to avoid compromising the health of the hair.
The frustration among us hairdressers worsens when clients hold us responsible for any issues that may arise during the correction process. Clients may not understand the complexity of color correction and assume that we have a magic wand and can immediately rectify color mistakes. This not only puts a lot of pressure on us but can also strain the relationship between the client and the hairdresser.
Moreover, box hair dye often contains aggressive chemicals that can damage the health of the hair. In some cases, pre-existing damage caused by at-home coloring with grocery store dye can limit the possible options for color correction. It is important for clients to recognize the required craftsmanship and the risks and costs of hair color correction and have realistic expectations.
See also: More about dyeing hair