background img
3 years ago
0 0

Choosing Between Box and Professional Color

Written by

We want to make sure our clients are crystal clear on the differences between professional and DIY box-color. We want you to know why it is always best to seek professional services when it comes to hair color.

Clients often ask us what the difference is between box color at the grocery store and professional color at the salon. There are several major differences that make a difference to your hair. In this article we discuss a summary of what you should know to be able to make an educated decision when it comes to choosing between box and professional color.

So why is box color so unreliable and why do you always get random results? Many things contribute to the end result of your hair color. Application, color formula, hair condition and previous color services are a few of them. Box color is somewhat of a “one size fits all” solution. It doesn’t matter to the box what your hair condition is or what has been done to it in the past. The box includes a specific solution and a specific developer. Your underlying pigment is not taken into account. That is why the same box always looks different on different people.

Box color manufacturers provide the same solution for the client with untouched blonde hair as they do for the client with resistant gray hair. The coloring process is such a personally customized process and hair color formulation needs to be able to adapt. The canvas you are starting with will drastically effect the end result. Here is what happens:


Because the current condition of your hair effects the outcome of your new color, it is important that the formula created for application be personalized so that you get the results you want, rather than results you don’t want. Simply choosing your color based on the picture on the will NOT work 95% of the time. If you are willing to take the chance that you are going to be in that lucky 5% then we must warn you that corrective color is nearly twice as expensive as getting your hair colored professionally in the first place.

For example, if one of our clients has dark brown hair and desires to be a bright Elizabeth Banks blonde, she will not see these results by grabbing a box blonde from the grocery store. Most likely, that client will end up with light brown hair and very brassy (orange) undertones. The two main reasons for this are:

  1. Color cannot lift color if this client has any old color on her hair, it must be removed before a lighter color can be applied. Just think about it like painting your house, if you want to lighten a dark wall, you must prime the wall before repainting it.
  2. Box color can only lighten three to four levels at the very most. Hair color is categorized in levels: 1 being the darkest and 10 being the lightest. Taking this client from a level 2 to a level 9 cannot be done with a box.

The developer found in box color will range from 20 to 40 volume because that is what is needed for gray coverage or to change a very dark shade. However, continually coating the hair shaft with a higher volume developer will create damage. Ammonia and peroxide are used in developer to chemically alter the hair by opening up the cuticle and allowing the color to penetrate the hair shaft and permanently change the hair color. If you use a developer that is too strong on previously colored hair that is already overly processed, it can lead to permanent damage and breakage.

When it comes to hair color, like most things, you get what you pay for. If you run into undesired results or end up with damaged hair, it’s time to seek out a professional. The time and money spent on corrective color can be quite a sacrifice. It does not surprise us when a correction takes three to four hours. With damage, a more long term treatment plan is needed. So, when you think about your color options, it is a very good idea to decide how important having healthy and shiny hair is to you. You may end up wanting to ditch the box all together and head straight to the salon.

Stylists are trained in chemical process and how to apply the general laws of color to your hair canvas. To accurately change the tone and level of your hair, you need a personalized solution. All things hair related come into play, texture, density, porosity, color and length. Even your skin tone and eye color are important in determining what is best for your hair.

At Salon F, we have the ability to use specific techniques such as; highlight, lowlight, ombre, balayage, and others to vastly surpass anything that your box color can do. Your haircut is customized, and your color should be too. Not every cut is right for every person. You will never see everyone leaving a salon with the same haircut. That is exactly what box color implies.

So if you ever find yourself in that hair-color isle in Walmart, check yourself. If you want to maintain healthy hair and great color, your best option is to seek a salon professional. We love to get creative and customize your color. It’s our job to give you the exact  look that you want. If cost is an issue, please let us know and we will figure out a few different color options. We have color clients on all levels of budget. Let us know and we would be happy to save you from making the biggest mistake and using a box color.

Article Categories:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Menu Title