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Should I Box Color My Hair At Home?
If you have experienced a brittle or “straw-like” feeling to your hair, lost a larger amount than usual in the shower or when you brush, and/or you’re experiencing excessive breakage….this information is definitely for you!
You may pass it off as stress or hormone related….”maybe it’s my diet”.
No, it’s that crappy box color you get at Wal-Mart and it’s time to face the facts!
The following checklist is based off of my thoughts during a color consultation. I hope that students, stylists, and clients can use this to learn and make better judgement. This list can help those attempting color at home (to change their minds) or with a stylist at a salon.
In my opinion the only two reasons that a colorist can go wrong should be: Not listening to the clients desires/needs well enough, and not enough knowledge or training in coloring.
Coloring your hair on your own is not something I include because it shouldn’t happen in the first place. Unfortunately, the media takes advantage of women and their strong desire to look better or younger. They don’t care if your hair color looks fabulous…their only concern is that people who can’t afford a salon job believe in box color. In addition to this checklist make sure you read the 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Box Color before you make a decision. The choice is yours, but remember that lacking education and not seeking a professional will be the reason your hair doesn’t turn out.
Before You Decide to Color At Home:
1. When did I last color my hair or have it colored?
If it’s been within the last 30 days….please give it a rest! The only reasons it’s okay are if you need corrective color(not in all cases and should not be attempted at home), if you are only retouching the regrowth each time and refreshing ends, you’re not using permanent color, etc.
2. Is it corrective coloring?
Corrective coloring is needed when accidents happen or you’re trying to make a very drastic change. And yes, by accidents, I’m referring to at home coloring gone bad! The same goes for when you get those unexpected colors…like green when you’re going from bleached, porous blonde to browns.
If you fall in this category the least you can do is get a complimentary color consultation at a your local reputable salon. If you don’t know of one you can search for an American Board Certified Hair Colorist in your area. After the consultation you will at least know the severity of the situation, how much it would cost to get your hair looking gorgeous again, and whether or not you feel that doing it yourself is a good idea. What do you have to lose? 🙂
3. Is My Hair Very Damaged?
If your hair is moderately to severely damaged it’s definitely best if you lay off the color experimentation and get a deep conditioning treatment like it’s a 10 Miracle Hair Mask. You can also go to the salon for the best deep conditioning out there….but I know you box users are probably doing anything you can at home.
If you need help assessing the damage level of your hair take this quizlet : How Damaged Is My Hair? As always, if you’re still not sure and would like a professional opinion you can contact me for advice.
4. How different is the color I’m choosing from my current shade?
This one is pretty important because it can drastically change the results. Your current hair color vs. desired hair color can be an issue when considering levels of difference or tonality. If you’re very dark and want to be blonde….don’t even think about it without a pro….especially if your level of darkness was created with a box color.
5. Are previous chemical treatments lingering on my hair?
Most of the time I ask this question and clients say, “No, there’s nothing on it.”. Often, I can tell if that’s the case but there are times when we can’t see it. You may even think there isn’t, but that hair is so long it’s been through more than you think. Previous chemical services at any time can drastically change the outcome of your box or salon color. Banding isn’t pretty and neither are green ends or orange roots!
6. Am I being impulsive?
Have you been considering changing your hair color for longer than a day, or did you just decide on a whim to run to Wal-Mart and grab a box?
If you find yourself staring aimlessly at a wall of box color in the beauty isle….it’s definitely impulsive.
Do you go to a cocktail party without PLANNING your attire for the evening? Do you go on vacation without PLANNING where you will go or what activities you want to do?
My point is that we plan everything else in our lives….hair color should not be left to chance!
7. Is the change I want too drastic and will I want to change it in less than a year?
Are you going from blonde to black or black to blonde(wishfully)? Forget about levels and tones…if you’re doing a total 180 without professional advice it’s probably not going to look great or will be wrong for your skin tone, style, etc. Also, if you’re making big changes and going back and forth…..you need a year to recover. Done properly it should take almost a year to make a complete opposite change the healthy way. Doing it the damaging way will require time for treatments and restrengthening/conditioning.
Either way, it’s almost the same time frame! Do you want your hair to look good or fried to heck and back during the process? I’ve seen so many cases where someone tried to go too far at home and ended up having hair that’s left lifeless and unattractive. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have healthy hair with body than limp and straw-like strands that can’t be styled!
If all else fails….find an American Board Certified Haircolorist and get it done the right way :). You will be more than pleased and you will feel confident about the outcome of your hair!
Don’t forget to read my list of 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Box Color!
Professional Hairstylist | American Board Certified Haircolorist | Makeup Artist | Beauty Blogger
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