Why We Should All Learn To Trust The Humble Box Dye Again

Designed by Olivia Santner
If you've sworn off at-home hair dye after a few bad experiences, you're not alone, but trust us when we say that formulas have come a long way since the types that would burn your scalp, stain your forehead or refuse to take at all. And with the introduction of readily available Olaplex kits it is possible to get salon quality hair colour at home without breaking the bank.
Research by Mintel has found that permanent hair colour now accounts for 70% of at-home sales, while sales of temporary hair colour have grown by an impressive 48% in the last year alone, as it seems we're swerving in-salon treatments, which can cost hundreds of pounds and require multiple appointments, for DIY dye jobs in the comfort of our own bathrooms. And why wouldn't we when box dyes promise to be bigger and better than ever?
From ditching PPD, the chemical responsible for scalp reactions, to offering free digital consultations to talk you through the process, DIY dyes are proving to be on par with professional colour. We're even seeing expert colourists, like Josh Wood, jumping on the box dye bandwagon, too. "With my debut colour system, I wanted to simplify and demystify the home hair colour category," Josh told R29. "It is designed in a way that if you never want to see a grey hair ever again we’ve got you covered. There's 100% coverage permanent colours that condition while they colour, matched blending brushes, root smudges and tinted dry shampoos. This flexibility is really important."
The DIY hair revolution could also be the reason why we're becoming more adventurous with colour. In spite of huge hair trends like strandlighting, midlights and shadow hair, we aren't just sticking to blonde or brunette. "Although natural shades like brown and blonde are still the most popular, increasingly more casual attitudes in the workplace mean there is less need to shy away from 'non-natural' shades," said Alex Fisher, Senior Beauty Analyst at Mintel, revealing that more of us are opting for pastels. And big name brands like L'Oréal and BLEACH London are getting involved, providing us with all the tools we need to create those unicorn-inspired tones, as well as balayage and highlights in classic shades.
So just like high street foundation, we're calling it. It's time to put your trust back into the not-so-humble box dye. Ahead, you'll find our pick of the best.

More from Beauty

R29 Original Series