Why You Should and Why You Shouldn't Color Your Own Hair

I won't love you any less if you color your own hair. I think you are brave for even trying it. In my experiences as a hair stylist, I find that people color their hair themselves for a number of reasons. While I certainly respect their choices, I think most people should not color their own hair. Here are the top four reasons why people color their own hair, and four more reasons why they should not.

Money. Money is probably the number one reason I hear when people say they decided to color their own hair. People need to tighten up their budgets, especially in this economy, and professional hair color is one of the things that gets cut. It's technically less expensive to go the beauty aisle at WalMart and buy a box of hair color. After all, its just a little box of hair color, right?

Time. Life is hectic so many people try to save time by doing their own hair color. They don't have to drive to the salon or wait. They can do other things while their color is processing, and they can rinse it out when they feel like it. In some cases, yes, doing your own hair color saves time.

Convenience. We all like things to be convenient. I know I do! But going to the salon is not always that easy. You have to make an appointment, wait for your turn, listen to the stylist (who may disagree with your choices), and sit in the salon waiting while you process, wait to be rinsed, wait to be styled, etc.

Fun. Some of my dear friends color their own hair because.... they just like to color their own hair! They'll come to me when they need to, and especially if it doesn't turn out right, but they enjoy doing their own hair. I don't blame them one bit, because I like doing hair, too. But doing your own hair color is not always in your own best interest. Here's why.

Results. It's hard to do your own hair color. Their are certain techniques and skills required even for simple jobs. I've seen lots of people come into the salon with blotchy hair color or dark ends because they didn't apply the color properly. It's next to impossible to do special color techniques on yourself. Also, box color from the grocery store is not always the most reliable. You just might end up going in to the salon anyway, and corrective color is a lot more expensive and time consuming that just going there in the first place.

It's messy. I tried to color my own hair once. That was before I went to beauty school, and there are still color stains on the walls from that one little box of hair color. It's hard not to get on your clothes, your hands (even with the cheap gloves in the box!), on your towels, your tub, and especially, on you. Hair color is messy.

You could ruin your hair. Sometimes, the different kinds of hair color you can buy in the grocery store don't mix well together. Or you might inadvertently choose a product that isn't safe for your hair type. (It's not your fault - how would you know unless you went to beauty school?) Or maybe you left the color on too long and it dried out your hair. Worse, if you overlap bleach on your hair, your hair could end up so damaged that it breaks off. I've seen it happen, and it's really not pretty.

You could seriously hurt yourself . Some hair dyes contain chemicals that aren't approved for use in the United States but still manage to work their way onto store shelves. They could, when mixed with products such as bleach, cause your hair to have a chemical reaction that actually burns your scalp. I've seen real human hair extensions that were treated with those hair colors and then bleached, smoke, get hot, and turn into mush. You don't want that to happen on your scalp! If you use products such as hair bleach near your scalp, it could cause serious burns, as could relaxers. Other products, such as vegetable dyes like henna, can cause strong allergic reactions. These are things that can be avoided when you choose to go to a trained professional for your hair color.

I would never, ever hurt your feelings or try to make you feel bad for coloring your own hair. But I do want you to know that, while there are benefits to doing your own hair, their are also risks that could have serious consequences. And while I agree that its just a little box of hair color, is it really worth the risk?