Is Professional Hair Colour Better?

There are many ways by which you can change or update your appearance. One of the simplest options that will allow you to scale that effect is changing hair colour. You can opt to do your whole head, just a streak or have highlights done. Whichever option you choose, the key question remains, box or salon?

A visit to your local supermarket or beauty supply store will likely present you with multiple affordable options in a variety of colours.  A trip to the salon will probably prove costlier. However, given the impact it may have on your appearance and the health of your hair, it is always best to go where you will get the best value for your money.

Hair Dyes

Box dyes you get in stores are more of a one-size-fits-all solution. They are premade formulas and are supposed to apply to all hair types. Many brands also include ammonia in their formulas. While it does help the dye to better penetrate the hair and deposit colour, it will with time damage the hair cuticle, causing your hair to look dry, brittle, and damaged. Other harsh chemicals that may be included are hydrogen peroxide, lead acetates and paraphenylenediamine (PPDA).

Each head of hair is different when comes to characteristics such as thickness, curl pattern, and volume. Even on a single person’s head of hair, you may find that not all strands are consistent. More so if the hair has already suffered from damage from procedures such as relaxing or earlier colouring.

This means that with box dyes you risk damaging your hair since your particular hair type may not respond well to the colouring. Professional dyes used by salons are not premade. The hair colour is prepared specifically to the customer’s specifications. These dyes do not typically contain ammonia due to the chemical’s damaging effects. They may however include other harsh chemicals so be sure to advise your colourist of any allergies and previous colouring so they know how to mitigate the risk of damage.

When you have more delicate hair types, it is best to opt for professional hair colouring as the colourist can ensure the mix of developer and pigment are suitable and safe for your hair. Hair salons also try harder to use professional hair colour kits that include more protective ingredients that will strengthen and nourish hair during processing.

Customising Colour

Even with the numerous hair colouring videos and tutorials to be found online, it can be difficult for a novice to fully understand how to get that particular colour they want for their hair. More so if the shade is not anything you can find on a box dye. There are also multiple steps involved in both colouring and protecting your hair.

Depending on how drastic a colour change you are making, it may even take several days to accomplish your goal. The general rule of thumb is to only try colouring your hair at home if the change is no more than two shades lighter or darker than your natural hair colour. Anything more drastic will require a visit to a salon.


Most people that dye their hair at home, do so on their own. Even with multiple angled mirrors, you will never be able to get as good a look at the sides and back of your head as another person. And there is a good reason salons invest in bright lighting. This is so they can get a very clear view, right down to the scalp. A colourist’s eye is far more trained and experienced than your sister’s so even recruiting a fellow novice helpmate is not the best option.

It is also less tiring when they get to work on your hair than if you struggle to do it on your own. They can work through the sections faster, making for more precise timing that is crucial when colouring. If you have previously permanently coloured your hair and are looking to retain this, then it means working on just the roots. This is certainly harder if you cannot directly look at the roots to know where to stop the application.


Professional hair colouring is more expensive than just visiting the local beauty store and doing the work yourself at home. However, as said, even with all the information on the internet, it is easy to make mistakes. You could have been looking to go blonde and end up with orange hair, or hoping to go brunette and ended up with green.

The cost of correcting such damage will likely be more than if you had gone to a professional colourist in the first place. That is if they can do anything to salvage the situation. As said, you may be able to risk colouring on your own if you are looking to alter your natural colour by no more than two shades. However, even with such alterations, the results tend to be better when done by a professional.

So, Is Professional Hair Colour Better?

Yes. Professional hair dyes are of better and safer quality because the people handling them understand how best to use them. They are also qualified to figure out what additional ingredients may be necessary for ensuring correct colour changes and protecting your hair, such as fillers and bonding products.

Colouring hair can sometimes be a complex process. The best results are achieved by going to a professional who can properly assess your hair and guide you on what hair colouring products and processes will be needed to safely achieve that stunning new look you are hoping for.