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When hair color goes wrong

Bowl with hair dye and brush for hair coloring, isolated

Move over Pamela Anderson, there’s a new blond in town – at least there will be when I finish putting this dye on my hair. Hmmm . . . I followed the directions on the home hair color kit, so why doesn’t my color look like Pamela’s? And what’s with all the hair in the sink?

Plenty of DIY’ers have learned the hard way that the chemicals in hair dye are not always as “gentle” to the hair as they claim to be. Anytime you apply a chemical to your hair that’s powerful enough to change its color, there is the real possibility of creating some serious problems. Too many have suffered the consequences from home hair color gone bad, so before you break out the home color kit, consider these things that can go wrong.

You may not get the color you want

Don’t be deceived by the picture on the box; what you see isn’t necessarily what you’ll get. Read the back of the box to find the color you will need in order to get your desired end result. Your natural hair color as well as any existing hair color you have already applied to your hair, plays into the equation for choosing the right shade. Also, hair dye reacts differently depending on the health, porosity and texture of your hair. And it’s possible that in your quest to go from a dark brunette to a vibrant redhead, you could end up looking more like Tickle-Me-Elmo. We can almost guarantee the model on the box didn’t dye her tresses in the bathroom sink.

Your hair could end up looking and feeling like straw

The chemicals in hair dye alter the hair’s texture and composition. If your hair is not in good condition before you apply hair color, it can be severely compromised. When you don’t prepare locks properly, or use the wrong chemicals, the result can be hair that is damaged, stiff and straw-like. If you already have chemically treated hair, dyeing it too often or with the wrong product can make things seriously worse. Take steps to restore moisture to your tresses before coloring your hair.

You may need to get an unwanted haircut

Sure you’ve heard of severe hair breakage happening after a chemical treatment, but no one thinks that it will happen to them. Hair breakage can be the result of over processing, or using a color with chemicals that are too harsh for your hair. Either way, hair can break off or become beyond repair. When this happens, all the moisturizer and deep conditioners in the world won’t help and the only option you’re left with is to cut it off.

You could end up spending more $$ . . . a lot more $$

You can buy an at home kit for less than $20, so why go to the salon and fork over $100 for a professional to color your hair? Because fixing a botched dye job can cost you more in the end. If your home hair color experiment goes awry, you’ll be breaking down the door of the first hair colorist who’ll be able to take you. Repairing color damage is a specialty that takes time to correct, which is why it’s an expensive appointment. In addition, it may take several costly salon visits to restore your hair to its original splendor.

When you buy a home hair color kit, following the directions on the box doesn’t guarantee the results you may have in mind. There are a lot of variables at play. If you’re going to use a home hair color, do your homework first. Get your hair in good condition, read the box, do a strand test, and always . . . always follow directions precisely.


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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing