Covering greys and avoiding box dyes: Hairdresser shares top hair-care advice

Over the past two years, we can admit that our hair has looked a little different to say the least. We missed our hairdressers more than ever during the many lockdowns and started to look a lot like Monica Geller when she visits Barbados. 

The greys are started to show, our hair was as long as Rapunzel's and we just didn't have the magic skills hairdressers have when it comes to blow drying it. They make it look so easy!

Many of us were tempted to dye our hair at home, but hairdressers have been urging their customers to step away from box dyes.

Last year we chatted to Cork hairdresser Kate O’Brien from A Cut Above about the dangers of box dye, covering up greys and caring for your hair sa bhaile.

Kate explained that people who have been using box dyes for years should be perfectly fine, but if you haven’t then don’t do it, “We are asking our clients not to because they have invested so much time and money in their hair. We would be afraid if they used a box dye and it went wrong. It would cost them a lot more than a colour correction when we see them again.”

“When a new client comes into the salon we always do a patch test first as it is so important because we don’t want anyone ending up in hospital. Box dyes have metallic salts and other harsh chemicals in them which dry out the hair.

“When a client comes into the salon and says’ I’ve used a box dye’, it’s a much bigger job because we need to get that colour out before we use a professional hair colour as it may cause a chemical reaction.”

“All I can say is all our clients colours are tailor made by us in the salon and they definitely won’t get those colours in a box dye. In a box dye, there is only one peroxide with them which is 20 volume, in the salon we have a range of five different volumes which we use by determining the condition of the hair and what lift you're looking for. 

“If someone with dry hair was to use a box dye it could go a lot darker than they want because volume peroxide would be too strong.”

Kate explained that giving your hair a rest is the best thing you can do at the moment.. It’s the perfect time to give your hair a much needed rest. “Not dying, blow drying or straightening your hair over this time is giving your hair a rest which is great. Using a hair mask at home is one of the best ways to give your hair a boost.”

If you’re eager to hide the grey hairs then Kate recommends using a spray root touch up or even using a headband to hide them, but remember there is nothing wrong with grey hair

Kate urged women not to cut their own hair at home, even if you’re looking more and more like Rapunzel, “I know people are finding it hard at the moment but I really would try not to if at all possible! You may end up having to cut it shorter by us if you make a mistake! Also our scissors are specially designed to not give a blunt cut which is what you would get from your kitchen scissors.”

During the height of the 2021 lockdown, Kate asked “everyone to hang in there because we’re all in the same boat. Honestly, you’ll thank us for it after.”

It was certainly worth the wait!

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