Professional hair dyeing more reliable than at-home kits

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Maddi Dayton
Studio 1030 stylist Macee Adams dyes Abby Harper’s hair. Professionals advise students to spend less time picking out hair dye at the store and spend more time getting their hair done in the salon. (Maddi Dayton)

Coloring hair at home can result in consequences that make professional hair coloring more budget friendly in the long run, according to Studio 1030 hairdresser Chloe Egbert.

Egbert said several things can go wrong when people try to dye their hair on their own.

“If you’re trying to do it yourself, the (dye) has a lot of weird ingredients in it,” Egbert said. “It might go on pretty, but when you come into a salon to change anything, it gets really weird. It always does. We’ve had hair turn green, and pink, and it’s hard to change that.”

The most popular hair coloring trend is the ombre or balayage effect, Egbert said. An ombre style is when the hair is dyed a darker color at the top and fades into a lighter color toward the bottom.

Egbert said the ombre style’s simple maintenance makes it easy to take care of and grow out instead of having to come back to a salon on a regular basis. Egbert said she doesn’t recommend trying to achieve an ombre style at home.

“It might come out a little darker than you want, and you can live with that,” Egbert said. “But as soon as you want to come in and get it changed? That’s when we have to strip the hair, and there are so many different ingredients in the box dye that it can strip a weird color or not strip at all, and it’s really damaging to your hair.”

At-home dyeing horror stories aren’t uncommon on the BYU campus. BYU business student Karena Foust said she doesn’t use box dyes anymore.

“I’m sure I just got the wrong one or something, and they can be great but … I was trying to dye my hair a darker brown, and it came out jet black,” Foust said. “Dark hair color was running out of my hair for a week, so I prefer to go get my hair done now.”

A bad dye job isn’t something that is easy to hide or fix. BYU computer science student Kara Crowder said she remembers the time one of her roommates had a hair disaster after using a box dye.

“During freshmen year, my friend wanted to dye her hair,” Crowder said. “She was blonde and wanted to dye it kind of auburn. So she gets a box dye … and she came out and her hair was straight orange. It faded after a couple weeks, but was definitely not the color she wanted.”

Fixing mistakes caused by cheap box dyes can be expensive. Egbert said it can take a long time, and that’s time and money that could be spent getting it right the first time. She said it ends up being more budget friendly to find a colorist and have a professional take care of the dyeing.

Going to a professional salon can be a wise decision if someone has never dyed their hair before and wants to try something new. Egbert said she suggests the following tips for those experimenting with hair color for the first time:

  • Find a picture you like that shows what you’re looking for.
  • Keep an open mind — getting an exact replica might not be possible.
  • Be prepared to pay. A professional color can cost a lot of money.
  • Don’t expect it to be done quickly. Getting the right color can take time.
  • Come back regularly. Maintaining hair color takes regular appointments, so don’t expect to just go once and have the results last.

Booking an appointment at a salon might take longer, but Foust said it’s worth having a professional deal with hair dye instead of experimenting and not knowing what the outcome will be.

“It definitely pays to go and have someone who has gone to school to learn how to deal with (hair dye) take care of it for you,” Foust said.

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