I dyed my hair blonde … and this happened

Clever tech means home hair colour is gaining popularity and in a big way

As a teenager I yearned for blonde hair but I had neither the money nor the permission to hit the salon. Despite those limitations my desire to be blonde never truly eased and so when I scraped together enough cash to purchase a home hair dye I did so – immediately. Unfortunately, said vibrant gold colour only turned my naturally auburn hair a freakishly unnatural fuchsia – forehead and tips of ears too. That was it for me and hair colour – particularly of the home variety.

But home hair colour has been completely revolutionised in recent years with incredible advances being made in both colour, formula, duration of results – even fragrance. Many contain nourishing ingredients so that your hair is in better condition after colouring than before. Plus, the new formulations (they now come in easy-to-handle foam and also gel) are easy to apply, provide all-over colour and don’t ruin your brand new towels. Hurrah!

You might not get a salon result, but even professional hair colourists will admit you’ll get pretty darn close, especially, if you follow a few simple rules. Don’t attempt to attempt to take your hair colour lighter or darker by more than one shade. This will ensure that your colour looks (and feels) 100 per cent natural, says John Frieda creative colour director Nicola Clarke. Do talk to your hairstylist and ask for advice. He or she will be able to point you in the right direction in terms of brands and more importantly, shades that truly suit you. “A good stylist will help you choose a home products that’s as close as possible to what the salon would choose for you,” says Aleks Abadia, of Esstudio Galleria in Sydney.

Follow the instructions on the packet. Sounds simple, but it’s something that many of us neglect to do. If the instructions suggest a 15 to 20 minute application then do that. Increasing or decreasing will affect your colour, but likely not in the way you had planned. Test a small amount of dye on an area of skin and also a lock of hair before you take the plunge. This will indicate the exact result you can expect and also, reveal any allergies or issues that may arise.

Cool Colour Stuff

Cover Your Grey Hair Colour Touch Up Chubby in Dark Brown, $22.95. 1800 251 215 or datelinecity.com This temporary touch up crayon-style colour is dead easy to use. Simply draw over any sneaky little grey roots and voila – they’re gone. Waterproof and lasts up to three washes.

John Frieda Precision Foam Colour Salon Blends Collection, $22.95. 1800 468 318 or johnfrieda.com Each of the four shades in this foam range is made up of a blend of three hues. Its creators say that this helps provide multi-dimensional and therefore more realistic results. That was certainly the case when I tried it.

Schwarzkopf Oleo Intense, $9.99. 1800 022 219 or schwarzkopf.com.au Superior colour with pure oils and zero ammonia means serious colour but also soft, healthy, shiny hair that’s both bright and vibrant. Better still, unlike harsh chemical formulas of old, it smells delicious.

L’Oreal Professionnel Vitamino Color A-OX Colour Correction Cream, $26.1300 369 327 or lorealprofessionnel.com.au This clever cream contains a complex that protects colour treated hair. It is particularly effective on blondes as it eliminates yellow tones instantly meaning all-over pure colour for longer.

Garnier Nutrisse Sparkle Browns, $14.95. 1300 651 743. Seriously nourishing mix of three fruit oils (avocado, olive and shea) protects against dryness for a whopping eight weeks while providing super shiny, luxe brunette colour.

Home Colour Facts and Figures

Crunching The Numbers

Almost 1 in 3 Australians went to the hairdresser in the past four weeks and just over 1 in 5 coloured their hair at home in the past six months, new consumer data from Roy Morgan Research shows.

In the year to June 2015, 6.2 million Australians 14+ (32%) paid for hairdressing in an average four-week period and 4.1 million (21%) bought home hair colouring products in an average six months.

The Top Three

Australian women love their home hair dye. Our all-time favourite home hair brands include L’Oréal (26 per cent), Clairol (21 per cent) and Garnier (13 per cent).

Who Dyes At Home

Older women are the most regularly and professionally coiffured, with more than half paying for hairdressing services in an average four-week period (52%). Women aged 35-49 are the most likely to dye their hair at home (37%).

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