The Difference Between At Home And Salon Hair Colour

There’s a lot of mixed messages about whether or not at home dye ruins your hair or if it’s actually just the same as going to a salon. When DIY kits are so much cheaper and YouTube is full of tutorials is it really worth paying extra? To put these rumours to rest we’ve scoured the internet for the real differences between at home and salon hair colour to help you make the right decision.

They’re Basically The Same

There are a lot of manufacturers who make dye for both at home kits and salon professionals so in terms of the basic ingredients you’re getting the same thing. You can pick up higher quality kits on the high street just like going to a more expensive salon to get better results. The only difference is that cheaper at home kits can skip on the protective ingredients that nourish your skin and hair during the process. The harsher chemicals in box dyes can be more concentrated too which brings us onto our next point...

It’s One Size Fits All

The main difference and why you might not get the result you want with at home dyes is because it’s a one size fits all approach. The amount of developer and pigment in the mixture won’t be specific to your hair needs so it’s not necessarily going to work for you or give you the end result that’s on the box. As a general rule box dyes often come out a little bit darker so it’s worth picking up the shade lighter to get the best results. You also want to do as much research as possible on application techniques first and if you don’t feel confident, then hit the salon. It’s always better to spend a little extra in the beginning than have to spend a fortune fixing it later.

Bespoke Colour Correction

If you’ve got a lot of colour build up or want a drastic change then seeking the help of a professional is your best shout. They have years of experience and training behind them so they’ll know how to lift your colour or even out patches. As a general rule if you’re looking to go more than two shades lighter or darker than your natural colour then you should go to a salon.

Both Are Damaging

There’s no such thing as damage or risk free colour so either way there’s no guarantee that your hair will come out unscathed. Whether you’re dyeing your hair yourself or splashing out at the salon it still needs to be in the best condition possible. Going to a salon won’t make your hair look any healthier over dyeing at home so it’s best to hold off on colouring altogether until it’s in better condition.

The Reaction Risk

Whether you’re doing it yourself or going to a salon you always need to do a patch test at least 48 hours before the application. Both at home and salon hair dyes can contain Para-phenylenediamine (PPD) which is the main cause of allergic reactions. It’s an organic compound that is normally found in darker hair dyes and helps the pigment stick to your hair. It’s important to know that you can develop an allergy to PPD at any time so even if you’ve dyed your hair before you still need to do a patch test. Word on the street is that as at home kits tend to be more concentrated and a harsher formula there is a slightly higher risk of reaction but as a general rule always do a patch test even if you’re going to the salon.

You Can Still Get Professional Help At Home

Box dye brands such as L’Oreal Paris have online chats and helplines that you can call to get the best advice about dyeing your hair at home. No, it’s not the same as being face to face but it could save you a disaster and some money in the long run. Specific brands give different instructions and it’s good to get as much advice as possible before you start. As mentioned before you might want to watch some YouTube videos for tips and to get a more realistic idea of the outcome.

Going To The Salon Is Way More Expensive

If you’re looking to save money then obviously using an at home kit is the cheapest option. Getting your hair dyed at the salon will always be more expensive because you’re paying for the experience and the stylist’s expertise. If your budget can’t stretch look out for trainee days which are way cheaper and use a colour preserving shampoo to make the colour last longer.