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Box color... what's the big deal?

When a new guest comes in and sits in my chair for our consultation one of my first questions is: how have you been coloring your hair? Often I get a slouch back in the chair and a soft voice saying "with a box". I'm here to tell you, its okay!! It's important to know what I'm working with so I can take the proper steps to give you the results you desire. Because I'll tell you what, the process can be very different!

Why do stylists always complain about box color?

We've all been there at one time or another. That time in life when we take a shortcut because funds are short or there's simply more important things. Or better yet, your a mom aren't you? You couldn't possibly spend that kind of cash or time on yourself. I get it.

So here's the thing.... chemically there isn't a whole lot of difference between box color and professional color other than quality. The chemistry is the same, you need a tube of color and a developing agent. However, the application is what makes such a difference. I find the most trouble and color corrections on box colored hair when it has been applied over and over again from root to end. Even though the color seems to have faded on the ends, it is still there. When I retouch color in the salon and need to refresh the ends I do it with a different formula that wont build up on the hair. So that the next time you want to go back to having hilights we wont have to break through 5-6 applications of color. Make sense? Covering grey is where I see this the most. If you are going to continue to box color your hair I advise that you only retouch the roots each time! However, I can formulate a shade that will absolutely cover all of the grey and leave you with an even color every time from root to end.

Getting back to the new guest in my chair that sits down with black box color. She's been doing this for a few years now and then decides it's time for a change and she wants to have a beautiful, ash blond balayage. I have to prepare her by telling her she's going to be orange well before she is ash blonde. This could take 2-3 visits costing somewhere around $150 each time. In comparison that $9 box color actually cost you at least $300.

You might say, "but the maintenance will cost way more than that afterwards." Had you been only paying for a root touch up every 6 weeks for the last year at $42 per service it equals to around the same cost, maybe less depending on the severity of the corrective color.

In conclusion, you could continue your box regimen for $72 per year staying the same color (unless you're going darker) because you know the process to change it is expensive. On the other hand you could spend approximately $300 per year coloring your hair at a salon where you feel pampered, cover grey with a better quality color that provides shine, 100% coverage, a stylist with education and a license to customize a color and style that suits your lifestyle and face shape. I don't know about you but I'm a huge believer in you get what you pay for!

So it's not that we don't like coloring your hair after you've been coloring at home. It's that most of the time our clients don't have real expectations on what the service costs and how much time it takes to get to where they want. I hope this helps in understanding the debacle of box color vs professional color and you are able to make an educated decision the next time you want to change your look!

When you're ready, shoot me an email and we'll chat! No shame attached ;-)

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