Applying Box Dye to the Wet Hair

Coloring your hair at home can be a risky business.

Even if you are only doing it to cover patches of gray or are trying to reinvent yourself with a completely different hue, the techniques behind it and the way of doing it need to be absolutely perfect to get the best results.

Most of us have heard horror stories about dyeing our hair at home, and many of them originate from the possibility of us damaging our hair.

Not getting the right results is something that can easily be fixed.

Stripping color from dyed hair is very much possible, but when it comes to not damaging it, all kinds of things can go wrong.

This is why we are here, as we need to answer the question: Is box dye bad for your hair?

How Does Box Dye Work

Box dye is something that anyone can quickly get their hands on and purchase for a relatively low price at a local beauty or drug store.

It will always come with the necessary instructions for using it and applying the color at home, but it does not tell you how lightning without using bleach works.

Box dye usually includes a more concentrated formula than the ones available in hair salons. The reason why is that it has to work on anyone’s hair, no matter the type or color. You use the same formula whether you have dark or light hair.

These characteristics make box dye hair very versatile but, at the same time, risky as well. The color may be universally used on any person, no matter the coarse or wavy hair, but it also carries many risks for those with sensitive hair.

Does Using Box Dye Damage Your Hair

Unfortunately, there is an excellent possibility that box-dye hair may damage your hair. The formulation included to create these types of dyes may both dry your hair and weaken its structure.

What is even more devastating is that these colors mainly include ingredients like ammonia, lead acetates, hydrogen peroxide and paraphenylenediamine, which can be detrimental to your hair.

You will notice that using this type of color will result in your hair becoming brittle and easily break. It may also lose its elasticity and get sticky as well.

This effect may happen no matter if you are using a permanent or a semi-permanent dye or even if dyeing wet hair. Hair dyes usually work by coating or penetrating our hair strands. The deeper the dye penetrates our hair, the longer it will last.

So it’s best to look for ammonia-free hair dyes as they are much better for the shape of our hair and the ones that only coat the stands and do not penetrate it.

Pros and Cons of Box Hair Dye

We can’t say that box-dye hair comes without any benefits. There are a few to think about, but ultimately you will have to weigh them, determine if the cons outweigh the pros, and decide whether to use them.


  • Very affordable and much cheaper than going to a salon to get your hair colored.
  • Easy to use even by a person who is not a professional as long as they follow the instructions on the box.
  • It offers various color choices and it is very easy to get the hue you desire.


  • It can be unpredictable as the formula is too strong and you never know if it fits your hair type.
  • There are many things that can go wrong and you can even damage your hair if you apply it wrongly.
  • It can be messy coloring the hair at home as you not only have to need to clean the area but perhaps your clothing as well.

Dyeing Womans Hair

How to Use and Maintain Box Hair Dye

Coloring your hair at home with the help of box dye can be a messy business. Even though it is pretty easy to do, there are certain aspects that you need to do. Preparation is key, as well as all the steps that follow it.

Step 1 – Put some old towels

It is also a good idea to wear some old clothing as well.

Step 2 – Get enough hair dye

Get enough boxes of hair dye depending on the length of your hair.

Step 3 – Be sure to wash your hair first before applying the dye

You can also think about ways to soften bleach-damaged hair if you’ve applied bleach before.

Step 4 – Apply the dye

Apply precisely as stated based on the instructions on the box.

Step 5 – Allow the dye to sit

Allow sitting for a while, so it penetrates the stands. Washing your hair after coloring shouldn’t be done, except by rinsing it with some lukewarm water.

Step 6 – Dry and style

Let your hair dry and style it based on how you plan to wear it.

Since this type of hair dye is stronger than other hair dyes, you should wait before coloring again soon.

Smiling Woman of COlor Drying Her Curly Hair With a Hair Dryer

Factors That Determine Your Results

There are a variety of factors that yield good results when coloring your hair. The case with box dye is that you can’t control all of them, so the results you are getting can be pretty unpredictable.

To color your hair perfectly and get positive results, one needs to look for the following:

  • Natural hair color: One must determine how your natural hair color reacts with the dye you apply. Results may vary depending on the color being used.
  • Knowing your hair history: You can apply all the colors you want as long as you know how your hair has been treated. If you know that your hair has been damaged in a certain way before, you should know better than to create more harm.
  • How grey is your hair: Grey hair strands have absolutely no pigment, meaning that they react differently to the applied hair color. So you will need to determine the percentage of grey hair so you can correctly add the dye.
  • Hair thickness: Thick hair is the strongest and most resilient type. It also means that it might need a stronger color or more of it to work. It works entirely in the opposite direction when it comes to thinner hair.
  • Hair porosity: A significant factor when coloring your hair to consider is the ability of your hair to absorb moisture. Depending on the porosity level, it can be determined if your hair will or will not accept the new color.


Can you remove box dye from hair?

Box hair dye can be removed from your hair, but you might require a professional hair color remover, which could affect your hair if not done as needed.

When is it ok to use box hair dye?

Box dye hair color is good to use when you are on a budget or want to cover your greys without going to a beauty salon.

Can the damage done by box dyes be fixed in the salon?

It depends on the amount of damage. If your hair is not severely damaged, a professional colorist might be able to help and save it.

How to safely use box hair dye?

The safest way to do it is to follow the instructions exactly as stated on the box. It also helps when you know your history and can make the right decision for your health.

What are the possible bad side effects of using box hair dye?

Some possible side-effects of using box hair dye are that it can dry out your hair and make it brittle by weakening its structure so it can easily break.

Vinnie - Barber

About the author: Vinnie – Barber

Vinnie is one of the members of the Beardoholic writers team. He’s also a barber and hairstylist for 15 years now and he has a kick-ass beard of his own, so he surely knows what makes a magnificent beard and hair and how to achieve them. He’s our go-to guy for all the latest beard and hairstyle trends and he always has a tip or two on how to grow and style a thick beard fast.

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