Hair: DIY At Home Vs. The Salon
We've all felt it. It usually comes somewhere between clutching your payment card, being stood in front of the polished shabby chic counter sporting the biggest bouffant you ever did see or in the 60 seconds after, when you step out the door into the elements and your blow-dry immediately drops into its usual state of "meh"
...I'm talking about the guilt of the hairdressers. Is £120 to retouch an inch of root growth justifiable? Yup, you do get a head massage, a month old copy of Vogue to read and a cheap glass of fizz. But is it worth it? Some salons even have different levels of stylists to choose from too: you can re-mortgage your house to have Howie Von Hairtinklier colour your locks instead of the junior - but darhlling, Howie once walked past Nicky Clarke on the King's Road don't you know!
I was born a blondie. Nowadays I like to think that I'm an "assisted" blonde. As I grew up my natural platinum locks gradually turned a disastrous shade of mousey. An unattractive dingy brown that is on a whole different spectrum to Cheryl Cole's rich chocolatey locks.
These days I'm helped with a bottle of bleach. I used to go to the hairdressers every 6 weeks or so to 'get me roots done' but on completion of one of those lifestyle budget calculator thingys (all very sensible and mature of me!) I realised I was spending a good chunk of my wage - not to mention my life - in a stylists chair for over 4 hours every visit. Could I possibly do this at home for a fraction of the time and money?
The answer is YES! Whilst of course fancy cuts, tricky highlights and intricate updo's are probably best left to the professionals, a root touch up doesn't require half as much skill as the 'dressers price list would lead you to believe.
The home-dye market is huge, the isles in the drug stores are overwhelming. Shelves piled high with boxes of branded dyes, luring us in with fancy scientific sounding words I doubt even Lee Stafford understands. Do you go permanent? semi? washing-in-wash-out, 6, 12, 24, 36 week washes? What brand to pick? The one your Nan swears by to cover her grey or the one that has Eva Longoria staring at you seductively from the box? She's got nice hair hasn't she? Yeah I'll go with her...
I've tried them all; mousses, glosses, fancy applicators, professional brands and drugstores own. The one that ranks No1 in my book? Superdrug's Colour Performance Permanent Creme Colour. The range starts from £3.99 and is often found in the "2 for..." deals. Although the price point is a major plus, it's the product itself that warrants it's praise.
First up it's not gimmicky. You pour the cream colour into the developer bottle and give it a shake. Voila! Your ready. No fiddly click-n-twist thingymabobs, no packaging that takes an age to open, no silly plastic combs that misses bits, no paying for the privilege of a Tess Daley endorsement...
Using the no-nonsense nozzle you pour the dye straight onto your roots. You can use a dye brush if you wish, but I find rubbing the product in thoroughly with my fingers using the gloves provided is just as effective. Sounds like it would be a nightmare on your own? Actually it's not - most of us divide our hair at home for blowdrying or styling with straighteners & tongs. It's the same for accessing our roots. Separate in sections using a couple of clips, doing one bit at a time.
You then leave the dye on for 30 minutes and you're done. Just before I'm due to rinse it off, I rub the remaining dye into the rest of my locks to avoid patching.
Then you wash it out using the Intensive Colour Conditioner included. Tad-dah. Took you the best part of an hour and saved you, what? At the very least 50 quid ...and you never even had to take off your PJs!
Another major plus for me as an animal lover is the Superdrug Colour Performance range proudly displays the 'Cruelty-Free International" leaping bunny logo on it's packaging. You can read more about the anti-cruelty in cosmetics organisation on my previous blogpost here.
Well done Superdrug. You've made DIY home hair dying a doddle and the results are just as good as any of my previous salon experiences...
...even if it means swigging on Ribena whilst waiting for it to develop instead of fancy salon plonk!
How do you feel about DIY home dye? Have you ever tried it? Would you? ...or do you enjoy a day at the hairdressers? Are you happy to pay a premium for the experience and having a professional do it for you in a salon setting?
All reviews are my own. I have not been paid or compensated for this post.