hair-color-blonde-brown-redNot sure about how to switch from box to salon color? It’s not the same for everyone, and I get a lot of messages about how it should be done.

Below is one example…please remember that specific advice for one person may not work for another…especially with hair color!

Switch from Box to Salon Color

I’m sharing this to help those that are looking for answers, so take notes and don’t do anything impulsive. If you’re situation is different and you’d like some help just leave a comment!


I had a question about going from one box dye to salon coloring, before the box coloring has grown out.
I had dyed my hair a few times when I was in high school, then pretty much vowed to leave it natural, which had natural high lights and I was fine with it.
But I joined the military a few years back and I have to pull my hair back tight every single day and control fly aways with loads of gel, which made my hair brittle and frizzy, I switched to olive oil putt, but it seemed like the gel sucked away my color, so I tried a box dye ( unfortunately there was no salon available ), it was not a drastic change, I went from medium brown to a dark red/brown.
But now I’m stationed close to a salon!
My box dye color has only grown out about 2 inches, do I have to wait for it to be completely grown out before going to a salon?


Here’s my response:

Dear Mell,

It sounds like you’ve been good to your hair and as long as you aren’t looking for a drastic change…you should be fine! Since you’re in the military…you probably have to stay away from intense haircolor or big changes anyways!

Just make sure that you choose a stylist that knows what they are doing. The best way is to schedule a consultation(usually free), then schedule your hair appointment if you felt comfortable about what you talked to the stylist about. If the stylist doesn’t ask you the right questions…then you’ll know that he/she may or may not do a great job.

The reason why I think you should schedule a consultation is because a haircolorist should know how to get great results when you have quite a bit of natural hair, and some previously colored hair. putting one formula on your hair…roots to ends…will NOT work. Your stylist will need to formulate for your regrowth and for your previously colored hair (depending on what you want, of course).

If you’re just going for highlights or a slight change…then your stylist should be able to do a high/low light which will blend everything in. This may require a toner after your high/low lights are rinsed. I usually do a toner at the shampoo bowl for 5-10 minutes(depending on how porous the hair is). This will even out any tones that need to be tamed.

Toners are not used enough. I ALWAYS tone highlights because I feel that lightened hair can have an unnatural blonde look to it. The toner is used to bring those lighter colors to a tone that compliments your skin tone and the rest of your haircolor. Toner does not lighten or darken your hair.

I hope this helps! I’m on my way to teach a class, but if you would like a few example questions of what you should bring up during a consultation…I’d be happy to help you with that later!


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Professional Hairstylist | American Board Certified Haircolorist | Makeup Artist | Beauty Blogger

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