Box dying may seem like an easy solution, however it is a risky process to undertake for your hair. We deal with the aftermaths of at home box dyes gone wrong on a daily basis in our salons – often needing complex colour corrections.

danger of box dye and colour correction

Correcting box dyes is not an easy process – it requires multiple steps and sometimes several sessions. As you can see from the image above, the client’s hair went through multiple process to achieve their desired balayage.

We created this guide to help you understand the dangers of box dye for your hair.


If you want to cover your roots, choosing the right colour will be complicated. Colour matching is a complex process learned by hairdressers to achieve the right shade every time. A  deep knowledge of colours, their pigments and the oxidant needed to achieve a shade is needed to colour match perfectly. One of the other dangers of box dyes is that if the wrong colour is chosen, chances are that colour bands will be created. These are lines of different colours which will not only be distinctly visible but will also affect future colour applications.

If the right shade is found but the wrong oxidant is used, this can create a root glow – showing your roots with a flashy colour instead of blending it.

Even if you end up finding the perfect match in terms of colour and oxidant, applying the colour incorrectly can also create bands as overlapping can create pigment build up. A clean application is needed to ensure optimum results.

Highlights or Balayage

If you are a highlights or balayage client and attempt to do your highlights or balayage on your own, you are risking your hair becoming a patchwork of multi brassy colours. Hairdressers have a specific manner in which they apply the product and to section the hair. It is impossible to redo at home on your own hair – this is even true for professional hairdressers themselves. All lifting services carry a higher degree of risk of mistakes as the products used are stronger. This could damage your hair permanently.

Quality of At Home Box Dye Products

The ingredients inside at home box dyes are not the same as professional colours. They use harsher pigments which can create barriers within your hair which can make any professional products used on your hair in the future less effective.

Correcting Box Dyes Gone Wrong

For box dyes gone wrong, the only option to fix the hair colour is a colour correction.

Because of the type of pigment used in box dyes and the potential for pigment build up, professional colouring products might not work as well. The artificial pigments from a box dye are very strong products and they will interact with professional products with unpredictable effect. There is unfortunately no way to  tell what pigments will come from a box dye. We have seen a lot of green when removing browns or black. Red pigment can appear too and in some cases pink or violet. These pigments are hard to remove and often require a multi-step process which is both time consuming and can be expensive. Several sitting might be required to go back to a desired colour from correcting a box dye.

Compromising the Hair

When using a box dye, there is always a danger that the hair will be compromised. The harsh chemicals in box dyes can sensitise the hair causing serious damage with the hair snapping off. In these situations, professional hairdressers would not be bale to work on the colour, the only solution being to use strong professional treatments to help the hair recover it’s condition over a period of time to enable it to receive colour again.

One of the dangers of box dye is that they also contain a high level of silicone which coats and stays on the hair after application. In the long run, this suffocates the hair and will result in breakage. Unfortunately, the silicone also acts as a barrier making it difficult for hair products to penetrate properly and will also prevent the proper application of colour in the future.

For more great haircare tips from our team of hair experts, visit our blog here.

And if you’re ready to book, make an appointment today using our online booking system here– easy as can be!

Live True London Clapham Salon | 020 7627 0169
Live True London Vauxhall and Nine Elms Salon | 020 7582 6312
Live True London Brixton Salon | 020 7924 9506

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