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”.
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.