Do do this at home! The new formulations are kind to your hair – and deliver salon-worthy results.
Home hair colour is having a bit of a makeover – which is probably unsurprising since, according to consumer survey experts Mintel, 51 per cent of British women have coloured their hair at home in the past year compared with 39 per cent who have had it done in a salon. So that’s some sizable customer opportunities up for grabs.
As with much in beauty (and elsewhere) there’s a trend towards natural, as well as environmental, awareness and Mintel confirms that 71 per cent of consumers over the age of 16 agree that brands should use natural ingredients where possible. Clairol has taken the cues and made some changes to its Natural Instincts range (£6.99, boots.com) – it now has a new vegan formula with 80 per cent naturally derived ingredients. Packed with coconut oil and aloe vera to hydrate, while blending away greys with a semipermanent formula, it boasts an innovative molecule (which Clairol calls ME+) that has been proven to significantly reduce developing an allergy to dye. It comes in PVC-free plastic bottles and a recyclable carton. Noteworthy, too, is the incredible conditioner included for aftercare, which, incidentally, is one of the best we’ve ever used (but you can’t buy it separately) – a little goes a long way, it smells amazing and revamps parched hair.
Meanwhile, Bleach London, the uber-cool colour destination, has made an effort to work to reduce the single-use plastic in its home dye kits. Its Eco-Conut Hair Dye Tool Kit (£4.50, cultbeauty.co.uk) is packed in 100 per cent recycled cardboard and has a bowl made from 100 per cent natural reclaimed coconut shell.
When it comes to DIY dye, Mintel found that a pop of colour and ease of application were among the other main desires – and the new offering from Moroccanoil ticks both those boxes. Its Color Depositing Mask (from £6.85, feelunique.com and in salons) offers a range of temporary colour in shades ranging from champagne and platinum to bolder blues, pinks, crimson and cocoa brown. Use them as all-over tint or apply them in a balayage style to give streaks of colour. To use, comb in and leave for five to seven minutes, depending on your preferred outcome on the vibrancy front. Then simply wash out and dry. Even testers with very damaged hair found it to be in great nick after just one use.
In other haircare news, we are happy to herald the return of internationally renowned hairstylist and entrepreneur Frédéric Fekkai’s eponymous brand – and his first UK salon at the recently relaunched Urban Retreat, located in London’s Knightsbridge. The handsome French snipper has launched The One (from £23, Urban Retreat at The White House, London, urbanretreat.co.uk), a new, super-luxe haircare range that’s made from 95 per cent naturally derived ingredients and is free from sulphates, parabens, phthalates and silicone.
The man himself said that he had been sad to walk away from the famously smoothing silicone, having hailed it as a great ingredient and saying that there used to be no choice but to formulate with it if you wanted hair to look glossy. But times change. He’s very happy with the results and says now his products give ‘a real shine instead of a fake instant gloss’. We’re happy with it, too. It’s great for use even on fine hair – and smells so good we’d (almost) be happy to wear it as a fragrance.
Column by Edwina Ings-Chambers. Beauty assistant: Alice Robertson