I am sure that at some point in our lives, we have all been a victim of a “box dye” disaster.  Most Hairdressers will always refer to a home colouring kit as a “box dye” because it comes straight out of a box you buy off a supermarket shelf.

Now I am not knocking these products at all. Some of them have actually got great technology, and even some amazing pre and post treatments are sometimes included in this box.

But the box cannot advise you on choosing the perfect colour, or help you when things go wrong.

box dye 2

I can tell you for sure that Eva Longoria was not sitting on the toilet in her bathroom, applying this colour on her own to get this multi-tonal result!


The “box” doesn’t tell you where certain pigments live in the hair.

Let me explain myself by giving you a few examples.

  • Black to Dark Brown hair has a red undertone and that is why, when you do your own colour, it may have a red tinge in the sun, or always wash out with a reddish hue.
  • Medium Brown to Light Brown has a red to orange undertone and that is why, especially if you try to go lighter, your colour will always look more copper than the brown on the box
  • Blondes have a yellow undertone and that is why it is virtually impossible to go light from a box when you have dark hair. It will always have a yellow hue or wash out to a yellow hue.undertonesEver wondered why your natural brown shade that you keep using has gradually made your hair black?
  • A box doesn’t tell you is that colour on top of colour WILL ALWAYS GO DARKER!
  • You can never use a lighter colour over a previously darker shade and expect it to lighten. That is why your roots will always go the brighter target shade and the ends will be darker.


  • Box color contains just one formula.
  • And applying it to your whole head will give you just that – one boring, flat color. Unless your have some pre-existing color or highlights, then you may end up with orange roots, red midlengths and pink highlights! But that’s not the type of color dimension you were looking for, right?
  • Most Hair Stylists will use multiple blends of colors and formulas along with strategic placements to achieve your look. Also, different formulations will call for different developer strengths and processing times.
  • Ombre in a box? Pastel hair color in a box? Don’t do it!



  • As if normal box hair color wasn’t bad enough, now companies are encouraging you to think you can achieve pastel hair color in “one application!” The reality is you will need to pre-lighten multiple times before achieving fashion tones like lavender and pink.  We’re talking bleach for days and damage for years, so please don’t do lightening services at home!
  • Lightening at home is by far the most damaging, risky thing you could do to your hair.
  • And no, a highlighting cap will not save you from cheetah spots or hair that is breaking off by the time you wash it.
  • The reality of these color trends is they must be done by a licensed professional. Even most Ombres use a blend of techniques from Balayage to Baby lights. This type of application can not be done without experience.


  • That R150 Box Color Won’t Feel That Affordable After a R3500 Color Correction
  • So, you decided not to listen to the other 4 reasons because you still think you know best.
  • Well, orange you the hair expert?
  • We say orange, because that’s often the color your hair will turn when attempting to color (especially lighten) with box color. Don’t spend R150 on box color, then R3500 on a color correction!
  • Think outside the box color and head to your nearest salon – your wallet and hair will thank you.

MIRRORS hair lab’s Recommendation for big Colour Changes

  • “Going lighter from black is the most costly and unpredictable services in a hair salon”
  •  Using “box” colour causes a huge build up each time you colour.
  • At MIRRORS we would rather have a client leave with hair that is in a good condition as a pose to the right colour.  


  • Be prepared to spend 6 – 8 hours in salon. It depends on what your hair does and we always do a strand test first to see level of lightening we can achieve as well as integrity of hair.
  • We will not be able to get you Blonde in one sitting. It may take 3 or 4 sitiings well psaced apart so we can treat the hair in between decolouring sessions.
  • Pre treat hair with OLAPLEX
  • Try to remove all colour – It can take 1 to 2 applications and we
  • cannot guarantee it will lift to the right colour in one visit.
  • Another pre treatment at the basin .
  • Apply target shade colour OR full head Balayage and tone
  • OLAPLEX AGAIN & a deep penetrating treatment that locks colour in, seals & smoothes out sensitized hair
  • Finish off with a cut  (your ends will need a decent trim) and
  • Fabulous blowdry


  • The secret to getting DECOLORISER perfect every time, is that firstly, YOU need to commit to having your roots done EVERY 4 – 5 weeks. If you let it grow any longer than that, the re-growth is too big and you land up getting a bright yellow band right next to the previous blond.
  • You also need to have lots of time available to spend with us as development time is different for everyone and is very unpredictable.
  • We have to wait until the right shade is achieved
  • You also HAVE to use a Professional Shampoo, Conditioner and treatment once a week.
  • We recommend having an OLAPLEX BOND STRENGTHENING SERVICE (not included) before ALL Decolourising services as OLAPLEX reconnects broken disulfide bonds of your hair. We also add it into our Lighteners to further prevent damage to your hair.
  • You have to come in once a month for your Olaplex Bond Strengthening Treatment and a Toner to maintain the colour and ofcourse, the integrity of your hair

In my expert opinion, I would still suggest going to a salon. Your Stylist can always recommend the best way to colour your hair, and if it goes wrong, they know how to fix most colour disasters. There is no better way to relax while someone else takes care of your hair!


Copy of Fusing Magic & chemistry into your hair, skin and nails


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.