Looking for party hair with wow factor, but don’t want to commit to colour? We test the instant shade solutions – but do they do what they say on the tin… or tube… or can…?
When you’ve found a great colour, which suits both you and your lifestyle, it can be hard to step away from. When party season descends though, it’s a great time to let your hair down (pardon the pun) and step out of your comfort zone to try a new style. While the prospect of pastel or neon semi-permanent shades may not suit your routine, salons also offer some great temporary alternatives, with great take-home products that can be applied from the comfort of your own bathroom.
Ready to go bold and express yourself with a whole rainbow of instant colour possibilities? Find out what happened when the Layered Online team put some of these temporary colour alternatives to the test…
Kelsey – Pretty in Pink
“As somebody who has switched between varying shades of blonde and brunette since my mid-teens, when it comes to colour I’ve always played it safe – and for the most part I’ve been happy with the end result. While it’s fair to say I’ve always been a little scared of opening up my colour horizons, the option of adding a vintage-blush hue without weeks of upkeep was pretty tempting, and I was excited to step out of my comfort zone.
“When applying KMS STYLECOLOR, I must confess I had a helping hand from a mate, which I would definitely recommend (if possible) to help achieve an even coverage. It’s also worth pointing out that we used the spray outside, and my ever so helpful hair accomplice sprayed away from the hair to prevent any ‘dot’ marks at the end of application.
“To safely avoid any Tin Man hands, I’d also suggest wearing gloves but on the whole, it was easy to use and a quick way of upping the ante of my desired colour. I opted for adding touches of pink through my mid-lengths to ends, which worked well with my balayage and looked great when sprayed over freshly curled locks.
“The end result? I got to live out my pink hair dreams and get more experimental with my colour on my own terms. Being lighter on my ends, this was definitely an added advantage when it came to colour pay-off. But overall, I was impressed with the final look – even managing to grab a few compliments from friends and family along the way. Having tried out a brighter shade, I’ve decided to visit my salon for a rose gold toner in the new year!”
Deborah – Feelin’ Blue
“I figured I would have the easiest job of the lot – a dinky can of aerosol (JOICO’s InstaTint in Sapphire Blue) to give me iridescent, periwinkle blue hair. What’s not to love? The biggest problem was being the only brunette of the three, which drastically reduced my options. The orange and pink had the least chance of showing up against my hair – and besides, I always dreamed of having a cobalt streak in my hair during my teen pop-punk years.
“I was aiming more for subtle streaks through the ends rather than a bold block of blue. I selected piece-y strands, starting from underneath, and held them out to spray. I started out too far back and brought the can closer, working in back-and-forth motions to get good saturation. The main problem was that the scent was so overwhelming I almost immediately had to stop and take a break.
“The result was understandably not the dreamy peacock shade I’d hoped for. My hair is simply too dark to produce an eye-catching effect. I could potentially have gone back over some of the strands a bit more, but I’m not sure whether that would have just made the colour darker, blending further with my hair. It’s definitely a neat effect, and had I had lighter hair like the others I’m sure it would have been amazing.”
Alison – All About Orange
“The Color Bug from Kevin Murphy is a curious little product. Essentially a hair chalk in an ergonomically-styled holder (that looks remarkably like a dial that’s fallen off the front of a kitchen appliance), its designed to eliminate some of the mess caused by rubbing a chalk block on your strands. The packaging is pretty easy to grip and does protect the contents from snapping or smashing, but would the results mimic the neon glow of the plastic grip?
“Just like a regular hair chalk, you’re meant to section your hair and rub the hair shadow along the lengths to transfer coloured powder to your strands. This is relatively easy to do, but as the product sits slightly recessed in its holder, you do have to push your hair into the shadow ‘pad’ to make it work. This means that the hand you place behind your hair to do so inevitably ends of covered in coloured powder too.
“I was also reluctant to scrub back and forth on my hair or ‘massage’ the product in as the packaging suggested (a recipe for orange hands all round, surely?), so stuck to strokes in one direction – from mid-lengths to ends – in an effort to deposit the colour. The effect was much subtler than the outside of the product suggested, and it did take some repeat passes to get the orange hue to show up. Over my dark blonde hair, the tint was more peachy and much more wearable than I expected. However, the staying power? Not so good. The shoulders of my top soon took on a pinky-orange tinge and it seemed that the colour ‘fell’, fading quite quickly. I thought about trying to fix the powder using blasts of hairspray, but the instructions didn’t mention the need to and I feel that technique may be more suited to braids or a ponytail (where a little bit of piecey texture wouldn’t look so out of place).”