Monday, 28 February 2011

hair dye experiment

Let's get two things straight before you read any further:
1 - This is not a sponsored or paid for post, I bought this hair dye at the generic supermarket tempted by it's launch special offer price.  
2 - I had no intention of running an experiment Or writing this post, I just wanted to dye my hair, but this just begs to be shared

This is the hair dye; Clairol Nice'n'easy colour blend foam
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I used to, pre-Rachel, go to the hairdresser on a regular basis and spend a small fortune having my hair styled and coloured or highlighted. It was a 3 or 4 hour pampering session every 6 weeks or so.  Motherhood guzzumped that time, and money; so I simply transferred to a haircut that needed less maintenance, and started dying my hair at home.  I've had varying success; sometimes picking a colour that came out far too bright or clashed with my skin colour; but mostly it's been just fine.  

So, last week I had a grey hair shock in the car's rearview mirror and decided to get some more dye at the supermarket.  As most households these days I'm trying to cut costs left, right and centre; so seeing a special launch offer by a brand as respected as Clairol nice'n'easy was perfect.

And here we are today; following the experience which became an experiment.  Rachel was my able bodied assistant (it being a teacher training day).

Step one - read instructions
Straight forward enough, clear, large print, even Rachel read them to check for me.

Step two - put on gloves
Fail #1.  What weak gloves, I've never had any hair dye gloves that have split before, but these did.

Step three - mix chemicals to create dye foam
Straight forward, easy. BYou shake the chemicals together until properly mixed, but the foam started firming immediately putting too much pressure on the bottle.  I therefore decided i needed to get the pump dispenser on before I had an explosive situation.  I think that was the right call because I made the transfer without any leaks, but the mixing wasn't complete so then I needed to shake it all more with the dispenser on, very tricky.
Fail #2.  The mixing container is just a few millilitres too small, come on Clairol, that's cost cutting too far.

Step four - apply to hair
I was thrilled with the idea of a foam, but it wasn't foamy enough until a third of the way through the container; before that it was runny and bubbly.  Of course this is no worse than any previous dyes but it's not as advertised.  I think it links back to the problems with mixing (see fail#2).  Eventually the foam was properly foamy and was easy enough to apply.  

It was harder work to get on the hair than the lotions and took a lot longer.  This was because it took at least 20 handfuls of foam to be squeezed to get anywhere near the end of the container.  This results in.....
Fail #3 it took 7 minutes to apply, this meant some of my hair had the recommended 25minutes of applied foam, whilst some had as much as 32minutes.

Step five - was off and condition
The foam washed out easily and the conditioner had a lovely aroma, once you got into the packet.

Step six - dry and observe
Well this is the all important bit isn't it; how the colour looks, whether you are going to be able to live with the colour for the next month or so.

It's shiny
It's healthy looking
It's definitely covered all the grey

That's 3 big ticks in boxes. 

But the trouble with getting all the foam on the hair quickly (see Fail #3) means that the colour is definitely lighter on the top of my hair than towards the back and bottom.

Luckily I prefer a variation of colour over my hair, as my natural hair tends to be (and no I'm not referring to the grey).  So I'm pleased enough.  But I'm sure others might not want that effect.  

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

So what's my overall view:
Great hair dye, good coverage; but design flaws in the mixing and application system make it tricky to prepare and apply.

I reckon Clairol would say it's all about user technique and not design issues, but as an engineer I would beg to differ.  And after all, it's my user impression that matters to me.

1 comment:

Nikki said...

I regularly dye my hair. I have premature gray hair, a side effect of having dark, thick hair, or so I'm told. Anyway, I regularly dye it, but pretty much stink at doing it right, so I've come to love and embrace the patchwork haircolor look! LOL. Looks like you did a great job though!