Do you know the most common complaint about hair dye?
You got it – the maddening drips and splatters that get dye all over the place.
It can be a real mess.
Enough to make you dread coloring.
Okay, smarty pants, if you got the answer to that question right, then let me ask. Have you heard about the solution some are raving about?
This time the answer is the foam or mousse like hair dyes that were developed a few years back.
So this is one of the newer ideas when it comes to home hair coloring. If I remember right the first of these was brought out by John Freida. Then naturally the other brands had to come out with their own “me too” foamy coloring products. Today you can pick up similar kits most anywhere such as Nice ‘n Easy Foam, L’Oreal Sublime Mousse, Samy Fat Foam to name a few.
Yet regardless of the name on the box, their universal claim to fame is that they all but eliminate those two biggest problems with traditional at home coloring kits. That’s right, they are pretty much drip and splatter proof.
ASIDE: As you know, regardless of how you color, the condition of your hair plays a huge role in the results. No matter what system you use, if your hair is frazzled, full of split ends, or has been abused within an inch of its life it won’t respond as well as healthy hair might to the dye.
With that bit of disclaimer out of the way, the next thing you may or may not know is there is less need for sectioning your hair which is done to be sure you get the crème product thoroughly applied to the roots. This makes application a breeze. Being a clingy foam it’s really a cinch to apply. With John Freida’s all you do is squeeze the foam out onto your gloved-hand and run it across your hair. The foam will expand insuring superior coverage. Even the hard to reach areas, think the back of your head, are easier to coat with foam than anything you’ve brushed on in the past.
Video Thoughts on Foam Colour
Felt this was a good overview of this type of coloring product even if it does focus on one brand. She brings up a good point – this is a different approach to coloring than you may be used to. Feeling apprehensive about that is normal. But you can get passed that. And do pay attention to the other points made.
Moving right along with more things you need to know…
Massage Well: You do want to massage the foam in thoroughly to be sure you saturate your strands. If there was any one critical DIY coloring tip involved with this product it would be that basically the more foam you use and the better you massage it in the more likely you’ll be happy with the outcome.
Stylish Salon-like Color: Good Housekeeping magazine reported you can end up with a more salon like color because instead of the one or two tones, the Precision Colour product, at least, offers three for one. The idea is to give you a richer, more vibrant color that is closer to salon quality.
Save Big: What’s another problem with most kits? If you have longer hair you may have to buy two boxes. With foams you get more. So if you regularly get two boxes this can turn out to be a big hair care bargain since one box may color all of your hair. That’s right you get more coloring product than is found in most cream based kits.
Skin Saver: Also you won’t have to worry about stained skin from any dye getting on your skin around your hair line say.
Don’t Skimp: Yet while you can save what you don’t use with some of these for next time, the idea is not to be stingy with the stuff. You want to use enough to do the job. And I suspect that may be why some don’t get the results they were expecting. They simply didn’t use enough product despite their claims they were more than generous.
Little to Rinse Out: Don’t be surprised if you don’t notice a lot of color rinsing out. That seems to be pretty typical.
Smells Devine: Another selling point is some of these have a very appealing scent. So to those upwind, your hair may not end up smelling like a potent chemical dump for a change.
Conditioning Still Counts: As with any coloring product, and hair dye foam is no different, you’ll want to use a good conditioner to seal the deal. Most recommend using the product that comes in the kit. Or you can deep condition. Many report that with the a foamy dye, their hair really does feel better when they are done coloring. Softer with a natural, rather than straw like, texture.
Reality Check Time However
Okay but if this was the best coloring system on earth everyone would be using it. So to be fair I really need to point out what you might not like.
Disappointed and Fuming: Gray coverage is said to be spotty at best, non-existent at worst. This is the common complaint with some brands. So despite what the box may claim foam dyes may not be all that great at covering grays.
All Covered? Sure being a light weight foam the product blends in easily. But this may make it harder to tell if you’ve got all your strands or if you missed some spots.
To the Dark Side: Some report the color came out darker than they expected.
Of course these are not necessarily unique or shocking issues. Similar complaints are made with some brush in creme coloring kits too.
Naturally since this is a different way to color your hair it might be good to see the product in action. This video isn’t necessarily Academy Award worthy, but I feel it does the job.
Confessions of a Desperate Foam Dye Virgin
You can skip the first minute as she gets into why she is using box dye rather than her stylist. From there you can watch as she works through the instructions and technical difficulties (camera not dye) plus we get to see the end result so you can decide for yourself what you think.
Three Somewhat Surprising Ways To Make the Color Last
Saw these in Redbook (forget which month) and thought this would be a great place to share.
- Conventional wisdom says to not wash your hair for at least a day before dying. Some now say the dye absorbs best in dry, just washed hair. I can see how product buildup may not help the dye take up. But the oils may still offer some protection for your scalp.
- Conventional wisdom says to wash your colored tresses less often. Some now feel that may be true unless you use color protecting shampoos since it turns out these will lessen the shade diluting damage done by water. While conditioner for color treated hair helps to lock in the dye and keep the water out. Hmmm. It still may be best to wash less often and use products designed for color treated hair.
- Conventional wisdom usually doesn’t have anything to say about how you dry your colored locks. Redbook suggested that blow drying dries your hair faster which can keep the color molecules trapped inside the strands better. While letting your hair air dry means it is wetter longer which gives the color more time to break out.
Anyway as hair coloring ideas go, if you are looking for a way to color your hair yourself that is drip and splatter resistant, one of these hair dye foams may be the solution for you.
Should you be on the lookout for more fun and helpful hacks that can make your color sizzle please follow our hair color board where you will find plenty of ideas and inspiration!
The biggest problem with Foam Color (any brand) is the shade range(s) are too limited and the foam can be as big or a bigger mess than shampoo-in haircolor. The foam doesen’t lighten as much and the color(s) can turn out much darker than expected. Many complained of light and medium brown shades appearing black after development but I suspect they applied to Over-Processed / Damaged hair and did not check color development.