Different Types of Hair Coloring: Which is Right for You?


Choosing the right hair color can be overwhelming with so many options available. From drug store brands to professional salon treatments, understanding the different types of hair coloring can help you make an informed decision.

There are two main types of hair color available on the market today: boxed hair color from the drug store and salon grade hair color. Both have their own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to understand the difference before choosing which one is right for you.

Drug store boxed hair color is typically much less expensive than salon grade hair color. However, it is also usually not as long-lasting or as high quality. Drug store hair color is a great option for those who want to experiment with different colors or for those who need to color their hair on a budget.  But first let’s explore the various hair coloring methods and decide which option is best for you!

Hair Coloring Methods:

1. Permanent Hair Color

Permanent hair color penetrates the hair shaft and provides long-lasting results. It’s ideal for those looking to make a significant change or cover gray hair. The color won’t wash out, but it will grow out over time, requiring touch-ups.

2. Semi-Permanent Hair Color

Semi-permanent hair color coats the hair shaft without penetrating it deeply. This type of color gradually fades over several washes, making it a great option for those who want to try a new color without a long-term commitment. It’s less damaging than permanent color but doesn’t cover gray hair as effectively.


3. Demi-Permanent Hair Color

Demi-permanent hair color falls between permanent and semi-permanent. It lasts longer than semi-permanent but doesn’t penetrate as deeply as permanent color. It’s less damaging and gradually fades over time, making it suitable for enhancing natural color or adding subtle tones.

4. Temporary Hair Color

Temporary hair color sits on the surface of the hair and washes out after one or two shampoos. It’s perfect for trying out bold, fun colors for special occasions or experimenting with new shades without any commitment.

5. Highlights and Lowlights

Highlights involve adding lighter strands to your hair, while lowlights add darker strands. Both techniques add depth and dimension to your hair, creating a natural, sun-kissed look. These methods can be done using foil or balayage techniques.

6. Balayage

Balayage is a hand-painted highlighting technique that creates a natural, blended look. It’s perfect for those who want a low-maintenance style, as it grows out beautifully without harsh lines.

Drug Store vs. Professional Hair Color: Which Should You Choose?

After understanding the different types of hair coloring techniques, you might be wondering whether to use drug store hair color or visit a salon for professional coloring. Let’s compare the two:


Drug Store Hair Color:

  • Cost: Typically much less expensive than salon grade hair color.
  • Quality: Usually not as long-lasting or high-quality.
  • Convenience: Great for experimenting with different colors or for those on a budget.
  • Damage: In the event it does not go well, reversing the process can be extremely costly.


Professional Salon Hair Color:

  • Cost: More expensive, but you pay for quality.
  • Durability: More durable and vibrant.
  • Convenience: Someone else does it for you.
  • Results: Provides a professional look with better coverage, especially for gray hair.



Salon grade hair color is typically more expensive than drug store hair color, but it is also usually more long lasting and vibrant. Salon grade hair color is a good option for those who want to achieve a professional looking result or for those who need their color to last longer.

Box hair color can be a good option for those who want to experiment with color or for those who need to color their hair on a budget.


Which Type of Hair Color is Right for You?

Your choice between box color and professional hair color depends on your needs and budget:

  • Box Hair Color: Ideal for temporary solutions, experimenting with new colors, or if you’re on a tight budget.
  • Professional Salon Hair Color: Best for long-lasting, vibrant results and achieving a professional look.

It really depends on your needs as well as your maintenance budget. If you’re looking for a temporary solution or you’re on a tight budget, box color may be the way to go. However, if you’re looking for a more permanent solution or you want your color to be as vibrant and long lasting as possible, as a master colorist I have to recommend professional salon coloring, especially all the special techniques to apply color.


Wrapping it Up

Whether you choose to color your own hair or have professional salon treatments, there are plenty of options to suit your needs. By understanding the different types of hair coloring, you can make an informed decision that best fits your lifestyle and hair goals.


Always in Style,



Book Your Appointment Today!

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