I Box Dyed My Hair in the Middle of the Night (And it was Terrifying)

That was scary as f*ck. 

I love a good DIY. Face masks, cosmetics, little craft projects…heck! I even pierced my own ears a few times in high school. My hair, however, is the one exception. It makes me nervous to even curl my hair because I assume I’m going to burn it off. Yet here I am, about to dye my hair.

– 12:03 a.m.-

A little background about my hair…

In October, I decided to get a grey balayage à la Instagram cool girl. My virgin hair was such a dark brown that the initial dye job resulted in me resembling Garfield. I waited a few months, as to not overly damage my hair, and went in for a second round. I ended up with cool toned, silver hair. I was obsessed – but it only lasted about two weeks. It has since faded to a pale, penne pasta colour despite my efforts to keep it toned with purple shampoo.


When I got my hair dyed the second time. 


A month after getting it dyed silver.

I was going through my old photos and felt a deep longing to return to the dark side. My hair dreams were short-lived, to say the least. Although I love the grey colour, it is very difficult (and expensive) to maintain.

The product that has kept my hair feeling soft, like I never bleached it at all is the Verb Hydrating Mask ($16). I use it weekly, as instructed, all over my hair, but also take a dime-sized amount daily and run in through the ends.

Thanks to the world wide web, I was informed that after bleaching my hair, if I dyed it brown it would actually turn green because it has been stripped of all pigment.

In order to avoid this, bleached hair must be dyed red before going brunette. As a result, I approached it as a two step process.


–  12: 19 a.m.-

First I used L’Oreal Paris Casting Cream Gloss in 732 Vanilla Mochaccino. This product has no ammonia, which means it causes less damage to the hair. Ammonia helps to deposit colour, but it is extremely drying and can cause breakage. I was shocked at how good this product smells as I opened up the packaging.


– 12: 48 a.m.-

When I stepped out of the shower for the first round, my hair looked dark grey. It was this tone when wet when I had Garfield hair so I hoped that this meant step 1 had actually been a success. As it dried I could see that some bits were already looking light brown. Others remained cool toned.

– 2:30 a.m.-

Going in for round 2, I used two boxes in the shade 5CB Chestnut Brown to ensure that my hair was entirely coated. The fear of looking like a swamp monster started to grow deep in the pit of my stomach.

I began to contemplate whether or not I had made a mistake. There really was no going back at this point. I had already applied an ORANGE base. What if there were weird patchy sections at the back of my head? Why was I trying to do this alone in the wee hours of the morning?

I put on some ABBA to calm me down.

I tried to work in really small sections to make sure I didn’t miss any pieces. I have thick hair, so I put it in two space buns and applied the dye by splitting my hair into layers, working from underneath to on top. It took me one bottle for each side of my head. I also began to race against the clock to apply it because I was convinced that one side of my head would be dark brown, and the other would be significantly lighter.

– 11:47 a.m. (The next morning)-

I’m not completely in love with the colour that my hair is currently but it isn’t a disaster. It ended up being a light brown colour. My natural hair has a lot of red in it, so the box dye looks flat in comparison because it is still a fairly ashy shade. That being said, I feel way more confident with a natural looking colour. It was time to go back to the basics.

Heather Stewart @heatherstewart7





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