5 things to do instead of box-dyeing your hair

Box dyeing your hair might not be the best idea. GRAPHIC BY KATE SAGARA/FOGHORN

Cristina Macz

Staff Writer

Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, and … box hair dye. These are just a few items that are running low in stores right now — it seems that everyone is rushing to make a drastic change to their appearance by dyeing their hair at home. But box dye is not “one size fits all,” and you could end up with unpredictable results and experience consequences such as damage and breakage.

Luckily, changing your hair color isn’t your only option for switching it up during quarantine.  Here are a few alternatives that have made my hair feel healthier and have kept me from (completely) chopping it up. 

Please note that these are some methods that work for me and my hair. I apologize if some of these tips do not work for you or your hair type/length.

Braid and style it up 

Considering that I’ve woken up at 8:50 a.m. for a 9 a.m. meeting, I have been a victim of a tragic bed head. My quickest solution in these situations is to braid my hair into two french braids, but there are hundreds of different styles — such as fishtails and dutch braids — that you can take some time to learn during this time at home. 

Give yourself a (new) haircut

While giving yourself a buzzcut is definitely an option, why not put your hairstyling skills to the test and start small? Bangs are a big trend right now, and cutting and styling your own can take less than 10 minutes and might make you feel like a completely new person!

Jazz it up with accessories

Accessorizing might turn your regular everyday hairdo into something that feels more fashionable. Start with the basics: scrunchies, rubber bands, clips, hair bands, bandanas, and then grow your collection from there. If you take a look around your home, you might find some items that you wouldn’t have thought of as hair accessories. One example is taking things you might have lying around, such as seashells, and then gluing them onto bobby pins or broken clips. 

Color it with temporary dye 

If you’re not ready for the commitment of permanently dyeing your hair, you can use temporary hair dye, such as the Morrocan Oil Color Depositing Mask, which lasts for three to five washes and lets you try out fun colors without all the long-term damage that comes with permanent dye. 

Or, just bring it back to life 

One of the perks of staying home is that my hair has not suffered from a lot of heat damage. The shelter-in-place order has kept me from straightening or curling my hair once or twice a week like I usually do. If you really want to pamper yourself and repair some breakage at the same time, hair masks are a great way to deep condition your hair, which helps your hair feel soft and hydrated.

A bonus tip for curly-haired girls: Heat can be damaging to naturally formed curls, and being at home is the perfect reason to revive your girls by trying out the curly girl method, which is a form of hair care that replaces damaging habits (like shampooing too often and heat styling) for a healthier curly hair routine that calls for co-washing, or washing your hair with only conditioner rather than traditional shampoo.


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