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How Box-Dyeing My Hair Led to Disaster

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Irvine chapter.

One morning, I was brushing my hair, but when I took a look at my brush, my heart sank. Chunks of hair had fallen out. I combed my hair with my fingers, not believing my brush, but as I looked at the palm of my hand, there lay a cluster of strands. Strands of dry, broken hair clung onto the bristles of my brush and managed to scatter all over my shirt. Over the next couple of days, hair kept falling off at the slightest touch. My hair, now uneven, led me to go on YouTube to find ways to revive it. 

I had always been so attached to my hair, so to see it fall off was heartbreaking. Yet, I was the only one to blame. Since childhood, I’ve always had healthy, full, dark black hair, but during the pandemic, I really wanted a change to my look, so that’s what I did. To save money, however, I used box dye. I was cognizant of the warnings that came with box dye, but I went ahead and used it anyway, thinking I would carefully follow directions and that somehow everything would be fine. 

And everything was okay until I began to bleach my hair. My natural hair is black, but it became brown and then blonde throughout the process. I became addicted and too confident in bleaching and coloring my hair that eventually, I overdid it. It was too late when I realized I had bleached it too many times and too quickly. 

In middle school, I experimented with Kool-Aid dye, but this was no Kool-Aid incident. To heal my hair, I had to stop washing it everyday which I was accustomed to, and bought a special brush; I also used oils such as neem oil and rosemary oil every week. Months later, after not dying or bleaching, I cut my hair short, the shortest I ever had, in order to balance the unevenness of my hair. The shortest I’ve ever had my hair was past the shoulder as medium length, now it’s above my shoulders. 

A pro about this whole journey is that having short hair makes it feel light, especially when I shower. And in being forced to cut my hair, I can actually see myself with a haircut I never thought I would have. And frankly, I love it. 

The moral of the story, you should seek a professional to do your hair, as my shocking story is evidence of this, but also it’s your life, and so do you. 

Mayra Sierra

UC Irvine '23

Mayra is a third-year studying Art and Film & Media Studies. In her free time she likes to watch movies, dance like no one's watching, spend more money than she has shopping and take nature walks when it's time for her social battery to recharge. Mayra currently has a coffee AND boba addiction she can't get rid of, but is working on it.