Foaming an opinion on hair dye… *groan*

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 12 - 2011

The thought of dying my hair is genuinely one of the dreariest prospects I encounter every couple of months but for me and my grey hairs, it’s a necessary evil.  It smells, it stains and it’s a downright chore.

When I first heard about the new foam hair dyes entering the market late last year, I thought “oh hai new gimmick, I’m still going to hate using you”.  I was right.  Just not entirely…

The first one I tried was the John Frieda Precision Foam Colour* which retails at around £9.99.

It’s more money than I normally pay for a home colourant but I’m sure it’s one of those that will eternally be on special offer somewhere.  Having said that, it’s freakin’ fantastic.  It dispenses a rich, creamy foam from start to finish with crystal clear instructions, great packaging (and awesome gloves that fit properly!)

You can tell when thought and careful planning has gone into the details… and here, the quality is apparent even down to the fact that the dye wipes off skin beautifully without compromising on potency!


The available shades for brunettes suck.  They’re all fairly warm-toned and if you’re a pink-faced girl with a penchant for ashy tones, this isn’t good news.  Would I buy it again?  Only if I want gingery grey bits when the dye fades.  So, um… probably not.


The second one I tried (and I’m sat here with freshly dyed hair now) is the Clairol Nice n’ Easy Colour Blend Foam* which normally retails at a more palatable £6.99.

Props to Clairol for a stonking range of shade availability.  Everything from cool to warm tones, darkest to lightest… However, I got beef with this brand.

The instructions included in the box are terrible and led me to over-mix the formula thus producing crappy foam.  The instructions state: “Shake bottle until completely mixed”.

Watch this…

Now, to my mind… “Shake bottle until completely mixed” is a truly rubbish way to communicate to your customers “give it three firm shakes and then leave it alone for 30 seconds”.  No?

I followed the pack instructions, held the bottle, closed my eyes and shook vigorously for about 10 seconds until I was convinced that the products would be nicely mixed.

The result was a runny foam that applied nothing like the creamy John Frieda formula.

This stuff also stains like a four year old running around with a plate of spaghetti.  As a home hair-dye veteran, I’m used to wiping the backs of my ears, that pesky patch where a strand inevitably drops onto your shoulder and the annoying bits on the temples where you want to cover the baby greys but not the skin.  I usually do a grand job of it too.

Unfortunately, I’m sat here now with pretty bad skin staining on my temples.  Do I risk applying a barrier cream and not getting the coverage I need on those greys?  I don’t know… All in all, it’s a disappointing performance from the Clairol.

I’m genuinely upset about this because the colour selection is fabulous, the end result is good (though not as glossy as the John Frieda) and in theory, I love the foam formula which makes it almost impossible to ‘miss’ bits.  I don’t have to faff about parting my hair to get into the roots… I just treat it like I’m shampooing with a creamy lather and the formula does all the hard work for me.  Foam hair dyes have truly been a revelation.

Not only that, but in both instances, the dye has rinsed down the plughole like a dream with the water running clear after only a minute or two at the most.


Which should you buy then?

If you’re looking for red tones, buy the John Frieda and do it now, while it’s on offer.

If you’re wanting a cooler-toned shade… go for the Clairol but beware the misleading pack instructions and be sure to use a barrier cream such as vaseline on your hairline.

The future’s bright and it’s rather foamy.

*press samples

15 Responses to “Foaming an opinion on hair dye… *groan*”

  1. Wendy says:

    While I do like the easy peasy application of John Frieda, I do find that the color doesn’t last very long on me. I’ve gone from mid blonde to medium chocolate brown, and the rich color unfortunately fades on me within 9 days. Maybe it’s because it was a big step from my original color to the new one, but even on a redye it is starting to fade already. Booh! :(

  2. Aileen says:

    Wow… unbelievable miscommunication from Clairol there. Wow…..

    • Chynna says:

      It really is and got me, too. I shook mine up like I thought I was supposed to and it was messy glop. I write directions for a living and the ones included with this package are shameful. They must not have tested them at all.

  3. kristen says:

    Makes me laugh when they say how the foam technique is new, japanese hairdyes have been using that method for years….and ive not seen many positive reviews for them either!

    I’ll stick to my BUAV approved Superdrug dyes.

  4. redtiger21 says:

    I’m a bit torn now- I want to start dying my hair at home (usually get it done at the hairdresser), but I want the quality to be great and I hate it when you look at someone and you just know they’ve dyed it at home, y’know? So these foams do sound good for idiots like me who make a horrendous mess and miss patches out, but listening to these other comments I’m not sure! And OMG what rubbish instructions they gave you! That sort of thing gets me really riled!!

  5. I’ll stick with my Garnier Nutrisse for £5 a box, job done! xx

  6. Oh, I’m really cool toned too and actually quite like the John Frieda! I’ve used the dark chocolate brown (I think) and it didn’t give me any red, just a nice rich brown, even on my greys. The Clairol sounds too much like hard work for me, I can make a mess with the easiest dyes!

  7. Vijaya says:

    With something like hair dye, clear instructions are so, so important. That’s really lame about the clairol directions. =\

  8. Jen says:

    Schwarzkopf Live all the way.

    But only because I have to have my purples and blues and reds. They’re the only ones bright enough or strong enough for me.

  9. Christine says:

    I usually opt for Garnier Nutrisse (for it’s cheapness) or Schqarzkopf (for it’s colours) but I saw the John Frieda collection in Superdrug today and couldn’t resist picking up a box for the price. I went for Dark Natural Brown and am about to try it out now. Here’s hoping! If all goes well I’m defiantly going for the Deep Cherry Brown next. That shade looked laaaavely.

  10. Gaby says:

    How disappointing… I was really eager to try the Nice ‘N Easy Foam Haircolor, as I’m a big fan of Nice ‘N Easy haircolor )=

  11. Strawberry says:

    I completely agree!
    I have used both and was confused as to why the nice n easy one said to shake it.. i shook it and thought the bottle was going to explode! i was standing at the sink dispensing running foam until i got some kinder of decent foam. The john frieda one was the easiest for me to use but had no effect on my hair ! lol

  12. Nicoline says:

    I was just going to try the Clairol, but maybe I’ll try the John Frieda now. I’m blond so I hope they have a good shade.

  13. I tried the nice n easy one and I think I may have over mixed it. Shame the instructions arent good! I like how one box goes further than a usual at home dye.

  14. Janiece B says:

    I just tried the medium ash blonde. My hair is dirty dark blonde with natural blonde highlights, needless to say, I was quite upset after using this product. I wanted to go a shade or two lighter-blonde, just to make it pop, and have waited 3 years to dye it again. It has turned my hair into a reddish color with a slight gold touch. It has made it appear darker!!!! The application I found difficult, as well, than other traditonal hair dyes. It never foamed like the photo and it was frustrating to spread it throughout my thick hair and remained sort of dry-like. Might I add, the traditional hair dyes always foam, are creamy and easy to spread. The whole time I was anxious about if I would have enough but in the end I did-that is the only good thing I have to say-it goes a long way. In the end, it really hasn’t given me a boost but only destroyed my beautiful, natural highlights that I had. I wrote the company with my complaints-hands down, worse coloring I’ve ever tried-I could have paid $35 at the Aveda school for a hair dye. Totally mad at myself for trying this new product, should have just stuck to the traditional types.

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