Should You Box Color Your Hair At Home?

red hair x color honey
Photo Credit: Allen Cooley

The weather is warming up and we are all ready for a change. Especially when it comes to hair. Of course, we can get bold and bright with instant fixes like wigs and lace fronts or braids and other extensions.

[SEE ALSO: Color Trends: 6 Ways To Ride The Color Wave]

But what about those of us who actually want to color our tresses, and we can’t hit up the salon. With social distancing and nothing but time on our hands, many of us are eyeing those color dyes we’ve been holding onto for rainy days. At the same time, nobody wants damaged tresses associated with permanent dyes.

So should you do it? Or nah?

Keya Neal, founder of Kolour Kulture and the Texture vs. Race Movement, says nope. “If you want an exact color, visit a color specialist.”


But, if you must color at home, experts advise us to stick to semi-permanent hair color. “These do less damage and wash out in 24 shampoos,” says Monaè Everett, celeb hairstylist and board-certified hair colorist with the American Board of Certified Haircolorists.

hair dye at home
Photo Credit: Getty / harpazo_hope

For those looking for all-over color options, they can still avoid traditional dyes that contain ammonia, parabens and carcinogens known to wreak havoc on not just our hair, but our health. Instead, opt for vegan and non-toxic hair color dyes that are infused with botanicals and essential oils like olive, hemp and camellia oils.

Monaè also reminds us that to achieve any lighter hair color, hair must be lightened or bleached. So, to keep it safer, Monaè recommends clients “work with highlights and keep color off the scalp with foils and balayage.”

But, that’s easier said than done. With different hair types, textures, porosity and other factors, everyone’s hair responds differently.

[SEE ALSO: 3 Tips To Get The Best Semi-Permanent Hair Color At Home]

“So, stop wasting time, money and hair sensitivity to end up with a color you don’t really want,” advises Keya. “Your hair will never ever look like that woman on the box—unless she’s black, brown or dark burgundy,” she says. “You are probably never going to look like the Mary J Blige blonde from that one box.”

She adds that the process just leaves many with hair colors they didn’t want. “Most people color their hair and go, ‘It ain’t like the box, but I’ll live with it,'” she explains. “We have learned to live with the results that we get, not because we got the desired results.” 

Why be basic? Wait until you can hit up a specialist.

About The Author

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon serves as digital media director for Hype Hair and founder/Black beauty directory for Sadiaa Black Beauty guide, the premier directory Black-owned beauty brands.