Hair Care on a Student Budget?!

To dye your hair, or not? To go to a salon, or box dye it yourself?

You’re at home. It’s a Saturday, and you are faced with a dilemma. You really want to try that new hair colour you have been thinking about for the past couple of weeks, even months maybe, but you would rather not spend a bunch of money to get it done at a professional salon… So you have one other option: box dye.

Now, until recently, I had never boxed dyed my hair. I had always gone to a salon in my hometown, to a stylist I had been going to since I needed my first hair cut. So you can imagine the strong relationship and amount of trust I had built up with her, because we all know that hair is serious business. The thing was, I wasn’t going to be home to get my hair done until my exams were over in April, and it’s March. For an impatient person like myself, this was too much to ask, and all I wanted was to go back to being a true brunette; I wanted to get rid of my blonde/light brown ombre. So what did I do? I found the cheapest dark brown box dye at Shopper’s and asked a close friend of mine to come over and dye it for me. It was spontaneous and “in the moment”, and I loved every minute of it. So how did it turn out? Not bad, not bad at all! I’m still waiting to see what happens to my ends and whether or not they’re going to fade since that was the lightest part of my previous ombre, but so far so good. My hair took to the colour nicely, it turned out fairly consistent/even and the best part of this whole experience was the price! My new hair-do cost me a mere $5.07! Talk about a student budget.

Here’s the thing though: box dying your hair isn’t that simple. I have heard countless horror stories of DIY hair dying gone waaaayy wrong! I’ve heard of the damage it has caused to their hair and then to their wallets when they needed to pay a professional to fix it. So is it worth it? In my humble opinion, it depends on what you want to do with your hair, and sometimes box dye is just as easy and effective as going to a salon. Yet, sometimes you just have to pay a stylist to do it for you.

If you are looking to do something simple with your hair, then a quick DIY might be exactly what you need. I am by no means a “hair expert” but through hearing of friends’ experiences and encountering one of my own, I would like to offer you my two cents worth nonetheless.

Going darker with box dye is always the easiest

….but if you plan on doing highlights of any kind, an ombre or completely changing to a lighter and blonder tone, then consider going to a hairstylist. A colleague of mine tried to go blonde, and she was a natural dark brunette. Let’s just say that her box dye attempt failed miserably and her hair turned green. We all had a good laugh about it, but it also meant she had to cut her hair all off to get rid of the colour damage.

Remember your roots!

If you have decided to go through with box dye, make sure you get the roots of your hair too. Even if the colour is close to your natural or current hair colour, make sure you have applied the dye to the base of your scalp. Your aim is to go for an all around even tone.

Always read the instructions and don’t let the dye sit too long in your hair.

It’s best to follow exactly what the box tells you. If you leave the dye in for too long, it might go far darker than you planned. If you don’t leave it in for long enough, it might look blotchy and uneven. Most box dyes also come with a conditioner to put in after you have rinsed the dye out, so be sure to use it! The one that I used even smelled delightful 🙂

If you are hesitant about box dying your hair yourself, ask a close friend if they feel comfortable helping you out.

I called upon the assistance of one of my friends who had some prior experience. It can be hard to evenly spread the box dye throughout your hair yourself, so having someone to have a bird’s eye view of it can be very beneficial.

Don’t wear nice clothes while in the dying process.

It is so easy for the deep to accidentally drop on your clothes. Consider wrapping an old towel around your neck and throwing on some old clothes you don’t mind soiling.

So, it is quite possible to find a relatively inexpensive alternative to going to the salon. BUT if you plan on making a drastic change of any sort, my suggestion is pay the extra money and get a stylist to do it. At least then if it doesn’t turn out as planned for whatever reason, you don’t have to blame yourself 😉




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