Is it safe to dye your hair at home?

I've been there before, sitting in my hair stylist's chair when she looks at me critically in the mirror and says, "Did you dye your own hair?" They always know, and they never seem to approve. But I've often wondered whether their concern comes from an honest place or the missed earnings. Does my hairstylist have a point when she says I shouldn't dye my own hair or does she just want to get paid to do it? Decide whether dyeing your hair at home is really worth the savings for yourself.

Why You SHOULD Dye Your Own Hair

Once you start dyeing your hair permanently, the upkeep of going in to a saloon every 6-8 weeks for touch-ups can get expensive. Shouldn't you be able to change your look if you want to, without paying an arm and a leg for it? Dyeing your hair at home is much more affordable (compare that $12 box of dye to a $60 or more treatment at the salon!) so many people cite this as the main benefit of at-home dye jobs.

It's also more convenient and can save you time. There's no need to squeeze an appointment into your busy schedule, sit under a drier reading a boring magazine, or drive back and forth to the salon. Instead, dye your hair at home on your own time and even get some things done around the house while the color sets, if you like.

At-home dye kits are also very easy to use. You pick a color, follow the directions, and you have a new hair color. There's no complicated mixing, no gathering of supplies, and not much else to do but get the job done. They've made it easy enough for almost anyone to do completely alone, so why not?

Why You SHOULDN'T Dye Your Own Hair

Of course, when a stylist says you shouldn't dye your own hair, it probably makes you stop and wonder why. As it turns out, there are a few reasons to seek a professional's assistance with a task like dyeing hair. For starters, it's very easy to pick the wrong or an unnatural color to dye your hair. Unsupervised, and without an expert colorist's background, you might end up with a fake look that people will certainly dub "a bad box dye." Who needs that hampering their personal style, right? Aside from picking the right color, you also won't know enough about how a color will react to your hair. Stylists are good at knowing these things and can help you get a more natural effect.

At-home dye kits are also a little bit limited in their scope. It's hard to get a drastic change with the color inside a box, so you're only going to be able to shift your hair color a few shades (and usually only darker!) Covering roots and dyeing gray hair is easier to do at home, but if you really want to change up your look by going blonde, for example, a professional is your best bet.

Finally, if you make a mistake, you'll either have to live with it or you'll end up paying a professional anyway. When hairstylists make a mistake, which is much more rare, you get a free "fix-it" appointment. Mistakes can also damage your hair, leaving it dry and brittle, and causing more problems for your locks later down the line. If you're not confident about dyeing at home, or willing to accept the potential risks, you'll want to go straight to someone who can do it properly the first time: your hairstylist.

Don't forget, as well, that hair dye kits can contain chemicals that are not exactly healthy to inhale. Some of the more commercial brands you recognize contain some elements that are proven carcinogens, like Quarternium-15, Diethenolamine, and Phenylenediamines. Frequent home dyeing has also been linked to several other disease risks, including leukemia, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, bladder cancer, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. If you're going to embark on a long-lasting hair color change, heading to a stylist may be the less harmful route to take.

References:

Before It's News. Is Dyeing Your Hair Dangerous?

She Knows: Beauty & Style. Splurge or save: Should you dye your own hair or go to a salon?

Related Content:

How to Prevent Split Ends

Do You Suffer from Hair Care Product Overload?

Would You Get a Permanent Makeup Tattoo?