Box Dye? Don't Do it Man!!! | Hair Salon Denver Zandi K. Aveda
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Box Dye? Don’t Do it Man!!!

Frankly, we have all done it. It seems so quick and easy to just grab a box with a beautiful girl, who of course has gorgeous hair, off of the shelf at the grocery store. Of course you want a buttery blonde with muti-faceted color with a shimmer serum and no damage for under $15! Who doesn’t?!? But Master Stylist, Krissy Stearns of Zandi K gives you the real down low on box dye. 


Do you ever wonder why your stylist asks you so many questions about what you use on your hair?  Do you ever feel like you’re in an interrogation room when you’re sitting in your stylist’s chair talking about what you want done to your hair?  Well there are many reasons why stylists ask you a ton of questions about that box color you put on your hair a few weeks ago (Don’t worry… we won’t tell anyone!) There are many different types of color In over the counter “box color” and they all do different things. This is the main reason why we want to know what specific box color you put in your hair and even more important it is why you need to be honest with your stylist. I  promise, it is all for your benefit.


Conditioning? Let’s Try Faux-ditioning!

First off, let’s have a little conversation about box colors.  All box colors lie to you! They are not conditioning to your hair!  And NO!  It’s not “just a rinse”. Most box dyes will come with a “conditioning packet” for after you wash the color out. Those conditioning packets contain petroleum based ingredients that coat your hair fooling you into thinking that your hair is not damaged or dry from the coloring process. Those ingredients have wax in them leaving your hair completely coated in it, and while it is soft to the touch, it is completely masking what is really going on underneath.

But It Washes out After 10 Shampoos! Right?

And no ladies and gents…. It is not “just a rinse”! Most of the “rinsing” color products have hidden consequences that show their ugly face further down the road when you’re trying to change your color. As a general rule of thumb, if it’s covering your grey, it’s permanent hair color… not a rinse. People generally try the rinse color products because they want something that isn’t going to be damaging to the hair. This is not the case with box color…… because all box colors lie to you!

Henna is Natural… So It’s Good, Right?

Further more, box colors use all sorts of different color properties that aren’t necessarily good for your hair. Let’s take a look at metallic dyes and henna for instance. These products are generally used to gradually change your hair color over time. Men like these products because they like the idea that people won’t notice the change because it takes place over several applications. And women like henna because they think they’re putting bad-color-4something “natural” on their hair. Henna is naturally brown in color. Think of all the Indian women you’ve seen with henna tattoos on their hands. It’s brown in color. But when you see someone with henna on their hair, it’s a reddish color. That’s because they add metallic salts to henna and it gives it that warmer, red hue. So, usually metallic dyes won’t give you a problem….. until you decide to change your hair color. The problem with metallic dyes is that they don’t play well with others. You put any other type of color on your hair and you have a chemical reaction happening. We’re talking heat, smoke, and burning fumes. Remember your chemistry lab? Yeah that’s what’s happening on your hair!

But Its Been Forever Since I Put It In There!

Then there’s nitro dyes. Nitro dyes are in Feria hair color. Feria is a pretty popular box color brand. And it is awful for your hair!!! Nitro dyes DO NOT COME OUT OF YOUR HAIR!!  You have to grow them out. Goodbye summery blonde highlights! Going darker is ok but going lighter will not happen until they have grown out.  But think about the commitment before you decide to put this box color on your hair. If you have long hair, and your hair grows about a half an inch a month, we’re talking a 2 year commitment here! That’s a very serious relationship you’ve got going on with your hair color!

Direct dyes are another type of color that you can usually find in conditioners, and color shampoos. These are the true “rinses” in the color world because they actually rinse out of your hair. They are not permanent and last from shampoo to shampoo. However, I would advise you to stop using them about a week before any color service because they have been known to change into funky colors when reacting with hair lightener.

The Real Deal

And then there are oxidative dyes. AHHH! These are the ones we like! Oxidative dyes are the ones that mimic natural hair color molecules the best. They fade on tone (meaning the reds won’t turn pink) and they will naturally lighten in the sun (just like your natural hair color).  Oxidative dyes go inside the hair shaft to develop leaving your hair color changed and beautiful. These are the color dyes that you will find in Aveda Hair Color. Aveda has jojoba oil, castor oil, and sunflower oil in it to condition the hair during the color process the result being gorgeous, beautiful, shiny hair color that is literally damage free. And guess what guys….. You can’t get it in a box!

These are just a few reasons why it’s a good idea to be honest with your stylist about what you have put on your hair. Cosmetologists have to be licensed for a reason and color chemicals and technology are just a few of many. And please consult a color professional before you consider putting a box color on your hair. You may end up spending entirely more money than you intended having us fix it if you do!


For your complimentary Aveda Hair Color consultation with Master stylist Krissy Stearns call (303) 733-3733

9 thoughts on “Box Dye? Don’t Do it Man!!!

    1. Hi Nate! Koolaid is not going to be damaging to your hair as it is really only a temporary dye, meaning that it does not chemically effect your chairs molecular makeup, but rather tints the outside of the hair shaft. While peroxide itself will lighten the hair, it is actually one of the least efficient and most damaging ways to lighten your hair. It takes a very long time to take effect because there is not another chemical to create the reaction necessary for efficient and effective lightening. Aveda hair color developer has Hydrogen Peroxide as one of its ingredients, but it is then mixed with our Full Spectrum hair color and Pure Tones to create the desired lift and tone in a gentle way.

  1. Hi, I have ash blonde highlights over my natural color dark brown and I recently got a touch up done 2 1/2 weeks ago. Now I have a change on mind and want to dye the whole hair to my natural hair color. What hair color do you recommend? My hair is dry brittle and breakage.

  2. I dyed my hair black about 2 years ago and i tried dying it this year light brown but only half my hair came out light brown my hair was up to my waist i cut my hair short and the dye seemed to show more it had been a few months already can i dye it now light brown

  3. I just want to make a correction to the information on this site. Henna, IF you get it from the right source, (if not it WIll have metallic salts in it which are most henna products out there) will NOT contain metallic salts. AND Henna is naturally RED in color. The red does NOT come from metallic salts added.

    IF you get your henna from a source that tests their henna for purity, a place like mehandi for example, you certainly CAN dye your hair because since it does not contain metallic salts it is safe to do so.

  4. Where does the whole Natural Instincts “semipermanent” play into all of this? During the pandemic I got desperate…

  5. I colored by hair with Revlon Black brown as well as black brown nutrisse what do you recommend I do. The color is quickly fading even though I am using a good color protecting shampoo/conditioner.
    Should I go get it professionally dyed or?

  6. Please correct your false information about henna. Real henna does not contain metallic salts if you buy just pure 100% henna powder (lawsonia inermis) from a reputable seller. And henna color pigment is not brown, it’s orangey red but it ozidises after a couple of days to a darker orange tone and based on skin and hair color can look brown, or red or even burgundy. On my very light skin my henna tattoos look orange. On darker skin they can look almost black. Henna is safe to use on hair and you can certainly color your hair with traditional hair dye after hennaing if you’ve used pure 100% henna.

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