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DIY-ing Your Hair? Don’t Do It

Wait, think about what you’re doing before you slap a hunk of bleach on your hair. Did you go to hair school or did you just spend a day watching some YouTuber do the same thing to their hair and self-title themselves as an expert? If your answer is the latter, turn off those tutorials, put down that hair-dye, and seek some professional help (for your hair AND your mental health). 

We’ve all been there: feeling that need to do something to your hair, but not having the funds to actually go to a salon and get it done. Therefore resulting in wandering into a beauty supply store and purchasing whatever box-dye catches your eye, or any bleaching kit that “guarantees” that platinum hair you’ve been dreaming about. Well, let me stop you right there. Don’t do it. As tempting as it may be, there’s a reason why stylists go to school for it. It’s because it’s actually a whole complicated process (wow, who would have thought?) and your DIY hair transformation can go bad really fast. As someone who works in a hair salon, I won’t label myself an expert. I’m just the receptionist, but I’ve definitely picked up some knowledge about hair, and at the end of the day I can tell you what any other hair professional would tell you: you are better off going to a salon.

DIY Bleaching and Highlighting

No. There’s no point in attempting this highly complicated process because I promise that your results probably won’t look like that Pinterest photo you’re looking at for inspiration. Bleaching, highlighting and coloring your hair requires a decent amount of math, chemistry, and on the spot thinking and creativity. These processes require knowing which developer to use with the lightener, mixing exact ratios, and mixing specific shades of the glosses to tone you to that perfect shade. Stylists are also artists! They use specific techniques to paint the strands of your hair and make those highlights look as natural as possible. The art that results from these balayage and highlighting services amaze me. I personally don’t believe that you will ever achieve this level of knowledge and these results just by doing some research online. Bleaching your hair is also a dangerous process because leaving the bleach on for too long — or just being careless with it — can lead to long-term damage, your hair falling out, and potentially even burns on your scalp.

Box Dye

This is a stylist’s worst nightmare. Professionals spend months in school — sometimes taking additional classes and getting specific certifications throughout their careers — to ensure that they can color match your hair and get you to the color of your dreams. They make sure to have your color looking fresh and vibrant, and can give you plenty of professional advice. When you decide to apply box dye, you’re applying a formula that claims to be “one size fits all.” I don’t understand how a formula can claim this after I’ve seen all of the work it takes a stylist to perfectly formulate pigments for their clients. Box dyes have harsh chemicals in their super-concentrated formulas that quickly open up your hair cuticles, making it super porous and causing your hair to look dull, damaged and splotchy. Box dyes also produce unpredictable results —​ if anything goes wrong and you end up going to a hair salon after the disaster, you’ll end up having to pay for color correction. And trust me, nobody will be happy. Color corrections are crazy expensive and could take all day. Stylists, along with lifting that dye from your hair, have to use more color to cancel out the tones that you just applied. Just take my advice and stay away from box dyes.


Okay, this one is a little bit more lenient. We’ve all been in a place where we take whatever scissors we can find and just cut at whatever strand you felt you needed to cut. While this is every girl’s rite of passage, there’s a point in your life where you need to grow up and let someone who knows what they’re doing have a go at your hair. Yes, haircuts at a good salon are a little on the pricier side, but when you think about it, you’re getting your money’s worth. Most salons­ — not all, but most higher-end salons — will include a wash and a blowout, therefore you’ll always leave looking picture perfect. Stylists also have the right sheers and knowledge to cut your hair. Just let them do it for you.

If you’re thinking about doing your hair yourself, I can promise that you won’t be happy with the results. Do us all a favor and save your hair and your money, and just go to a hair salon. Please and thanks.

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Laisha is currently a senior at the University of Central Florida. She's double-majoring in marketing and psychology, while also minoring in digital media. Her interests include all things creative and social media– so much that she's basing her career on it. Asides from that you'll catch her obsessing over the latest Harry Styles update or talking about her dog Luna. Follow her on social media
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