Salon Hair Dye Vs Store Bought – Which One Is Better?

Salon Hair Dye Vs Store Bought

You may be wondering – salon hair dye vs store bought which one is better? Whether you want to try out new bold hair color, hide grays or unwanted color, or add highlights to your hair, it’s important to consider whether salon hair dye or store-bought hair dye is better.

While salon hair dye will be applied by a professional, it often comes at a high expense. Buying hair dye from your local beauty or convenience store can help you save money, but you will also need to know how to apply it.

While each comes with its own risks and benefits to weigh, this guide walks you through the differences between salon hair dye, store-bought hair dye, and which is better for your hair! And as a bonus, we have a few tips and tricks for applying hair dye to your own hair at the end!

Salon Hair Dye Vs Store Bought – Which One is Better?

The first question that pops into your head when thinking about salon hair dye and hair dye you can buy at the store is which one is better? To answer this, let’s take a look at a few of the pros and cons of each hair dye.

Salon Hair Dye


  • The pros of salon hair dye begin with the benefit of having a professional apply the dye to your hair. Especially if you’re new to hair dye or aren’t experienced in applying product, this can make or break your hair dye results.
  • Another pro of getting a professional to do your hair with salon hair dye is color selection. While box dye from the store offers a lot of colors, it can be difficult to truly match it on your own. This, in turn, can lead to discoloration, odd looking highlights, and rough transitions. A salon professional not only knows how to match hair but will have an even wider range of color options that are accurate and easy to use.
  • The last benefit of using salon hair dye is that you’ll be able communicate with your stylist about exactly what you want. If you have a friend applying your box dye, it may be difficult to communicate what you’re looking for, but a stylist will know how to get what you want.


  • One of the most significant cons of having a stylist do your hair with salon hair dye is that it’s expensive. You’re not only paying for the hair dye, but you’re paying for their labor, the salon space, their tools and products, and their time. While this is certainly fair, it can be costly.
  • Another con of having a salon professional do your hair is that they may not do it the way you want them to. If you have experience coloring hair or using box dye, you may be more equipped to get the results you want by yourself rather than having to explain it to a salon professional.

Store-Bought Hair Dye


  • One of the pros of store bought hair dye is that it isn’t nearly as expensive as salon hair dye. In fact, some hair dyes from the store range from six dollars to twenty. Compared to the cost of salon hair dye, this is a significant savings.
  • Another pro of store bought hair dye is that you do get to apply it yourself. If you know what you’re doing and tend not to trust most hair stylists to give you what you want, this can be a huge benefit.
  • Store bought hair dye comes in a range of options for damaged hair, light hair, dark hair, and more, so you can take precautions against damage from bleach and harsh chemicals.


  • Store bought hair dye does tend to be a bit more damaging to hair than salon dye. Salon professionals are trained to add hydrating products and protective products to your hair during the bleaching process, which will help minimize damage. However, when you apply it yourself, these negative effects can be more damaging.
  • Store bought dye can be difficult to color match. While there are a range of color options, the box isn’t always as accurate as the picture. Plus, it can be hard to get the match you want by yourself. Having a salon professional do it for you is a lot easier if you’re not experienced.
  • Store bought hair dye might be expired! Especially if you get products at a re-sell store or wholesale shop, the products might not be up to date or up to code. This can lead to further damage and chemical reactions on your hair which we want to avoid.

Is There a Difference Between Salon Hair Color and Store Bought?

There are a few differences between salon hair color and store-bought hair dye to be aware of. Salon hair dye comes with varying shades of depth, which help the colors blend more naturally and match better with your hair than other dyes. Store-bought dye does not include this depth and can end up looking flat instead.

As with any product, the more expensive are typically better quality. The same goes for hair dye! The chemicals used in store bought and salon dye may differ as well, which means the quality may differ between the two.

Are Salon Dyes Better for Your Hair?

In general, yes, salon dyes tend to better for your hair. This includes ingredients, quality, less harmful chemicals, and some properties that can even benefit your hair like hydration and nutrients. However, some higher end box dyes also come with these properties as well. If you are considering using box dye, you can check the ingredients for more information!

Why Do Hairdressers Hate Box Dye?

Salon Hair Dye Vs Store Bought

It’s no secret that hairdressers hate box dyes. However, you may be wondering why exactly they tend to feel this way. The world of DIY beauty isn’t off limits, so why do hairdressers hate box dyes? Let’s break it down

Color Corrections from Box Dye

One of the biggest reasons hair stylists and professionals warn against using box dyes is because they see so many clients that come in with color correction needs. If you’re not sure how to use dye, choose the wrong color, or are unhappy with your results, you might pay a visit to your local stylist. While your hairdresser is probably happy to help, it goes without saying that they will warn against box dye in the future.

They Went to School for This

Another reason hairstylist isn’t head over heels for box dye is because they went to school to learn to do the same thing! Your hair professional spent years learning the details and techniques of applying hair dye, so they know what they’re doing. Anytime they see someone else doing a worse job might lead to feelings of dislike for the product.

Damage to Hair

The amount of damage box dye can do to your hair is significant and can be one of the reasons your hairstylist cringes when you mention the term. They spent years learning how to take care of hair, keep it healthy, and take precautions when using salon color, but box dye reverses all of this.


You certainly can use box dye if your heart desires or if you’re experienced at applying hair dye, but there are other at-home alternatives that are healthier for your hair and easier to apply. Or, pay a visit to a professional to get a job you’ll love.

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