5 Serious Reasons You Should Never Use Box Color

5 Reasons You Should Never Use Box Color


Tempt you though it may, box color of any kind is never a good idea. It always ends up in a trip to the nearest professional hair salon for a color correction. Below you’ll find the top 5 reasons (though we could probably go on) that box color is always the wrong path to take.

1) Box Color = Unpredictable Results

Let’s face it: 9 times out of 10 your hair color will not look like what you see on the box.

C’mon, did you really think Eva Longoria slapped on some $8 box dye and called it day? No, she went to her stylist before L’Oreal paid her for that photo shoot.

Additionally, most box color users did not attend cosmetology school and lack what we in the business call the “laws of color.” You probably can’t differentiate between color levels, read a color wheel or even select the right developer.

And guess what?

We don’t expect you to! There are many reasons why you must attend cosmetology school and be licensed to work with hair—and the aforementioned topics are just the tip of the iceberg. Not only does a lack of knowledge make at-home box color unpredictable, it’s the quality of the product itself (more on that later).  For now, repeat after us:

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 everyone and anyone can use it.

However, not everyone’s hair type, condition or color are even remotely the same. In fact, most box dyes are formulated with maximum amounts of pigment and ammonia, so it’s able to work on most people. This unnecessary overload of ingredients wreak havoc on hair health and increase your likelihood of allergic reactions.

And no, an ammonia-free box color doesn’t mean healthier hair—the best ammonia-free hair color is found in salons.

Trust us, a hair color formula meant to cover grey is wildly different than someone who wants to “go blonde.” You both should not be using the same product.

Customization is key to achieving your healthiest, happiest color.


3) Dimension? Forget it.

Box color contains just one formula.

And applying it to your whole head will give you just that—one boring, flat color. Unless your have some pre-existing color or highlights, then you may end up with orange roots, red mids and pink highlights! But that’s not the type of color dimension you were looking for, right?

Most hair stylists will use multiple blends of colors and formulas along with strategic placements to achieve your look. Also, different formulations will call for different developer strengths and processing times.

Is your head spinning, yet?

If so, hopefully it’s in the direction of your nearest hair salon and not the box color aisle at Walmart.


4) Ombre in a box? Pastel hair color in a box? Don't you do it!

We already had our little talk about dimension, which leads us right into lightening services.

As if normal box hair color wasn’t bad enough, now companies are encouraging you to think you can achieve pastel hair color in one application! The reality is you’ll likely need to pre-lighten multiple times before achieving fashion tones like lavender and pink.  We’re talking bleach for days and damage for years, so please don’t do lightening services at home!

Lightening at home is by far the most damaging, risky thing you could do to your hair.

And no, a highlighting cap will not save you from cheetah spots or hair that is breaking off by the time you wash it.

The reality of these color trends is they must be done by a licensed professional. Even most ombres use a blend of techniques from hand painting to micro highlighting. This type of application can simply not be done without experience.

If you bring one of these fun fashion tones to your stylist, not only will they be able to lighten your hair in the least damaging way possible, but also give you tools to make it last!

5) That $10 Box Color Won’t Feel That Affordable After a $300 Color Correction.

So, you decided not to listen to the other 4 reasons because you still think you know best.

Well, orange you the hair expert?

We say orange, because that’s often the color your hair will turn when attempting to color (especially lighten) with box color. Don’t spend $10 on box color, then $300 on a color correction.

Think outside the box color and head to your nearest salon. Your wallet and hair will thank you.