What you need to know before you reach for that box dye

There really is an art to colouring hair

Lockdown has us missing many things. But one thing in particular that we’re being deprived of, is our hair salons. We’ve got split ends, the scraggly grey hairs, roots that are three inches thick, and nobody to fix them!

During these times of desperation, it may be tempting to do a DIY job and fix it yourself. But there are a few things you should know before reaching for that box dye.

First things first, decide how long you want the colour to last

There are actually three main types of hair dye. Each of them contain different ingredients and do different things so it’s important that you pick the right one.

Semi-permanent dye: Usually lasts for around 15 washes maximum as the dye sits on the hair’s surface. It doesn’t contain any developer, hydrogen peroxide, or chemicals so is less damaging on your hair. If you buy a semi permanent box dye that asks you to mix anything together – it’s not semi-permanent and will most likely last around 28 washes.

Demi-permanent dye: This dye won’t do anything drastic. It blends your new colour with your current, so probably isn’t the best for covering greys. It’s great for people looking to amp up their normal colour and will last for around four weeks.

Permanent dye: As the name suggests, this is a permanent change. The dye will penetrate deep into the cortex of the hair, so it’s not going anywhere (well aside from a bit of fading).

Huda Beauty

Tips for choosing colour

It’s best to ignore the colour swatches on the back of the box. The developer in box dye is a lot stronger than in salons so it lifts the colour more. Ultimately giving you a much lighter colour than what’s shown on the back of the box.

A better indicator of colour is the range of shades shown on the top of the box. Usually, you should limit at home dye to two shades darker or half a shade lighter than your natural colour to save you from a hair disaster.

Hair type makes a difference too

If you’ve ever dyed your hair with a box dye and it’s come out way more orange than you were expecting, it may be because you bought the wrong dye for your hair texture.

Coarse, curly and frizzy hair soaks up the dye a lot faster than other hair textures. This leaves the colour with a cooler tone and can be a bit ashier. Therefore, it’s probably best to go with a warmer colour (they’re usually described as “warm” or “golden”).

Thinner and finer hair doesn’t absorb dye as easy, so the colour payoff will be a bit warmer with orange and red tones. If this is your hair type, cooler shades, darker than your natural colour, are the ones you need to go for.

So, how do you actually apply it?

Now you’ve got your box dyes in hand, (and we recommend buying two to make sure you get full coverage, we don’t want any patchiness!) how do you actually put it on?

You should always dye your hair in sections to avoid patchiness. The best method is to separate your hair into a middle parting running all the way down your head to the nape of your neck. Then split the hair into four sections; two in front of the ears and two behind.

A top tip is to put coconut oil or vaseline onto your ears and around the edges of your hairline to avoid any dye staining your face. Also, if you’re only touching up your roots, it’s a good idea to put some coconut oil down the mid shafts of your hair to protect any colour dimension from being stained by dye as you wash out your roots.

Always start with your roots. As they are the newest bits of hair, they need more time to soak up the dye.

You’ve probably all seen the hair dye adverts where the model has her hair tied up all neatly in a dye soaked bun. Well, don’t do this. Always keep your hair down when dyeing to make sure the colour applies evenly.

For the perfectly mixed solution, always read the instructions on the back of the box, they’re there for a reason! It’s also best not to mess around with mixing colours to avoid any mistakes, it’s going to be a long time before a hairdresser can sort it out for you.

Now that you’ve got all the knowledge, fix those roots gals! (But if you can wait until your next salon appointment, it’s probably best to let the professionals work their magic)

If you’re struggling with frizzy hair, find out which frizzy hair shampoos ACTUALLY work.

Tags: at home dye, box, box dye, clairol, dye, garnier, hair, hair dye

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