Articles > Business > What Would You Do: Use Box Dye In The Salon?
July 11, 2019

What Would You Do: Use Box Dye In The Salon?

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The Stylists At My New Salon Use Box Color

Box color is the bane of colorists everywhere, but what if you witnessed one of your fellow stylists using it on a client’s hair? One of our BTC fam recently peeped this at the new salon they’re working at and they are SHOOK! Should a licensed hairstylist use box color or not? The BTC community had a lot to say on the subject. Keep scrolling to get the tea!


“You are not going to believe this! I just started in a new salon and I have discovered some clients bring their own BOX COLOR and the stylists apply it for them! I’M MORTIFIED!!! I feel like I’d tell them I would just match the color with my color line. I don’t even know what to do. I mean Im not doing it, but OMG! Has anyone ever heard of such a thing?”


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I’ve Done It



“I have one older client who I cut, wash, style or whatever every so often. She’s been doing the same box color for I don’t know how many years now, probably since I was a kid honestly. It works for her. Her hair feels great. She had to have surgery on her shoulder, couldn’t do her color and asked if I would mind helping her out. She wanted to use her regular. I did her roots and only charged her like $40 for it all, because it really wasn’t any work for me. She was happy. I love her and see her regularly for trims and styles. Sometimes it’s easier to be kind to someone and do what they need, than to be stubborn and refuse to help someone out.” – Lydia Siven 


“I have a client who has the most beautiful sassy red hair! I apply her box color every four weeks, along with a fabulous haircut! She likes her color and so do I! Her husband is no longer able to apply it for her, and she doesn’t mind paying an extra charge for my time. Unlike some people I’m not too high on that horse to actually make a client happy.” – Tessa Wheat Collett


“I have one client who is allergic to everything. I had her take a sample of two color lines and developers to her allergist and she’s sensitive to both. She found a box color at a herbal store, had it tested and got no reaction. I use it on her and only her, but I charge her exactly as I would if it was my product. She doesn’t get a discount, but if it keeps money coming to me and her as a client what can I really do? She’s not going to apply it herself and I can’t force her to use something she’s allergic to. 🤷🏻‍♀️” – Chelly Harrell


“I DO THIS! I do it so the application is clean and not overlapping. My clients that ask for this are absolutely married to their box color and the results. And, I am making sure they still get treated well, have hair integrity and a great cut and style. I have been at this a long time and my ethic has shifted. There are a handful of clients that I love too much to need to be ‘right’ with. 🙂” – Sherri Collingwood


“I have two clients that bring their own color, because I absolutely cannot match and they have their favorite. They still pay me as if I had supplied the color. Sometimes you just have to do what is necessary to keep them happy. It’s not discussed anymore. 🤷🏻‍♀️ After 16 years, I just go with the flow.” – Julie Elaine Bond


“I have a lady that is allergic and buys her own color from a health food type store. I do it for her, but not under normal circumstances. I do give advice to clients, like what level to use, warmth, ash, etc. I have found that if I help them out while they’re going through a tough financial time, when they recover they come back to me.” – Kelly Cook


“I’ll put anything you want on your head. I’ll charge you an extra $20 for it and take zero responsibility for the results. I’ll follow manufacturer’s directions to a tee, but it’s your head. I’m fine with it if you are.” – Michael Levine 


“Sure. I’ve been doing hair for 34 years. It happens, even at ‘high end’ salons. You just have to have them sign a waiver and then charge them the same as you would any tint (no discount for bringing their product).” – Lee Brock


“The ONLY time I did this was for my great aunt who was 91 at the time. She was ‘allergic’ to every other color line (couldn’t convince her otherwise) and she was going into surgery so she wanted her hair freshly done in case she didn’t make it. Everyone else who has asked I’ve told them that our insurance only covers what we carry in the salon and I was not willing to risk it.” – Stephanie Altman 


“I do it for one person who was put in the hospital due to a severe reaction to haircolor a previous stylist did. Instead of figuring out what she’s allergic to, we just use the box color she knows won’t hurt her.” – Ashley Patton


I Would Never!!



“If you are a licensed professional, there is absolutely no reason or validation for this. If you took your education seriously, you would never think this is acceptable.” – Kathryn Morgan


That’s like bringing your own steak to a restaurant and asking them to fry it up for you! Geeesh!” – Ron Alose


“So wait. Do you have the MSDS sheets on these products? What if there is a reaction? What if it gets in their eyes? No insurance company is going to cover a claim from a service provider using non professional products brought in by a customer no less. If there is some sort of injury, y’all better hope OSHA doesn’t come in wanting to know what’s going on and start laying down fines. This is not smart business.” – Jenifer Nichols Pessina


“I don’t do it! My insurance won’t cover it if anything goes wrong! If a client asks I say, ‘Sorry, no. I’m not covered by insurance and I know nothing about box color.’ Don’t do it. It goes against everything you have trained and worked for as a professional. 😫” – Shoni Claire Honeycombe 


“It’s our jobs to educate our clients as to why they shouldn’t be using these products. It’s also a huge liability for your insurance. At the end of the day we are the professionals. So many people are saying, ‘Well, it’s what the client wants.’ But would you bring your own food to a restaurant, would you bring your own ink to a tattoo shop and would you bring your own camera to a photographer? No. Then why is it acceptable for a client to do it to us?” – Cheyenne Ehler 


“I’ve been asked to do this many times and my answer is absolutely not. It’s a liability besides it being a crap product. I will color match them, but absolutely no outside product is coming to my station. That leaves you open to lawsuits and coverage lapses in liability insurance, because you don’t have the MSDS for it. Not to mention a huge fine from the State Board if they get called in. It’s not worth risking your license, credibility and money over one client.” – Megan Jade O’Rourke


“The stylist should decline and educate their client on the benefits of salon color. I could understand using a salon brand they bring, but not box color. I would explain why I’m declining, color matching and getting lasting results without metallic and harsh chemicals from a box. That’s your name and salon on the line. If her hair melted or got damaged with the box dye they would not mention the box color when going somewhere else or telling others, they would just say ‘so and so’ ruined my hair. I’m not sure if the stylist is new and scared to refuse it, but it’s not safe or ethical for them to apply a box color AT THE SALON.” – Tiffany Renee



Change Is Scary



I have a new client that scheduled an appointment for a relaxer service and she said she’d been using a relaxer brand for years from CVS and asked me if I’d be ok applying it instead of my relaxer. I told her, ‘I’ll used my professional product and if you’re not happy, then I won’t charge you and next time we’ll use your product.’ I used my relaxer and she absolutely loved it—problem solved! Sometimes clients are afraid of change because that’s all they know, especially the older ones. We need to educate our clients. We are the professionals in this field. Let me tell YOU what YOU need according to your hair.” – Nelly Rosario


I do this with clients that want black hair. If they have never had black before and are naturally lighter I always say, ‘Let’s try a very dark brown first and if it’s not dark enough for you, I will do black free of charge.’ I have seen women go to a Level 1, hate it and then have to spend FOREVER trying to get it lighter. I have never had anyone decide to come back for a Level 1 or 2. 3 or 4 satisfies the level of dark they want, while being able to keep a touch of warmth. Listen to your stylist!” – Beth Taylor 


The Client Is Mostly Right



“You are a hairstylist. We do what our clients want. Face it, it’s a service industry and there are lots of stylists that will do it if you won’t. If they are happy with what they use, are you going to insult them? It’s your call, but I never think of myself as better than the client. Each client is my employer, I do what they want within reason.” – Kathi Wykoff