So, we've all been there. You're at the store and your roots really need a touch up. You don't want to call your stylist or pay the extra money so instead, you pick up a random box. Here's why you might want to reconsider!
These are also called metallic or gradual colors in my business. They contain metal salts and change hair color gradually by progressively building up the color and exposing it to air, creating a dull metallic (what people think is "shine") appearance. Now, here's the problem. First up, those metallic salts do not play well with professional colors, nor are they very good on your hair. They suck out all the natural oils and can cause a dry, frizzy mess. They also don't look very natural usually and there is a limited range of colors.
If you go to a salon after a box color, make sure you let your stylist know! If you've used a box color and then try and go over it with a professional color, sometimes there can be bad reactions and cause things to go horribly wrong. The metallic salts don't always mix well with the chemicals in professional color and can cause breakage, dryness and sometimes even swelling and smoking, appearing to be boiling from the inside out. It can literally "fry" your hair. So make sure your stylist is aware before any chemicals mix!
That's what you must remember. These are chemicals being applied to your head! You have to keep in mind what was there before, before you go and put something new there. If you've done a box color, chances are your stylist is going to do a strand test to make sure that there's no reaction.
Boxed colors often change formulations as well so, you could be getting the same box for 2 years and then you go and pick one up and without the company telling you, it's a different formula and you don't even know. Then you're stuck wondering why it doesn't look the same!
Now a quick note on natural or vegetable haircolors, such as henna. These are natural colors obtained from the leaves or bark of plants. They do not lighten at all. The colors tend to be weak and the process tends to be lengthy and messy. Also, shades are pretty limited.
Another thing to keep in mind with the natural methods is, many of these chemical products such as a professional color cannot be applied over natural colors. Those products don't mix well at all. So, inform your stylist if you've used any of these as well! As long as you keep us informed, there can sometimes be other options that we can help you with. Just let her know what's there already and they will do a consultation and tell you what your other options are.
Keep in mind that if you go to a professional, not only will you get the color you want, it will look natural and the health of your hair won't be compromised. Stylists can formulate just about any color, there's not much limit! It's our job. We're trained. Let us do our job and make your color the best it can be! You'll leave happy even if you are paying a little more. It's worth it, I promise. Plus, there's no guessing!
With a box or natural, there's always that guessing game of what it will turn out to be. Color correction can be more expensive than if you just do it right the first time. Plus, if you have a student salon in your area, you can usually get a discounted price! And they are supervised by trained professionals so, it's just as quality as a salon.
I knew someone whose salon charged $150 an hour for color corrections, and let me tell you, it's going to take longer than an hour, probably more than 2. Is it worth that $6 box and possibly the health of your hair? I think not. Let the pros do the hard work while you sit back and get beautiful!