I'm going to try saving some money and go back to home hair coloring. I have to cover gray, so I guess I need to use a permanent color. What brand do you like best both for ease of use and best results?
Well, I don't have grey hair (at least I don't think I do, since I've been coloring for so long). But I really like the Feria products because they stayed color-true the longest. I usually use a red color, and most reds wash out quickly, but not so much with Feria. I also like the Feria with a highlighter in it, although I'm not great at the application technique yet. My hair is very curly though, so the fact that my highlights aren't perfect is had to notice. The only other one I tried was Herbal Essence, and it didn't stay red very long at all. Oh, BTW, the salon jobs I had done (2 of them) also rinsed out very quickly. That was a giant waste of money.
Meghane, where do I find Feria products? Thanks for the tip.
Feria is carried at Walmart, CVS & Walgreens pharmacies, K-Mart, etc. :)
I just used the Loreal Couleur Experte multi-tonal color system today. So far, I am pleased. Since it is a two step process, you have highlights, but they are very subtle, so it seems to look very natural. I got it at Walmart for $17. Not the cheapest, but it really is nice.
I use the Garnier Nutrisse. I found some very good reviews on it on the web, so I gave it a try. It's inexpensive (about $7. @ Walmart), has a nice scent and works well on my very straight and fine hair. I'm not dealing with gray yet.
I also like Nutrisse. Have tried all different brands and finally this one looks great. I use Blond 101. Really like the shine.
Garnier Nutrisse when I was still fighting reality...
but I've got such vibrantly silver hairs coming in that I started treating them as a design element, instead of a flaw...
at the moment, they're an interesting shade of periwinkle, the fade-out of cobalt blue and royal purple temporary dyes by Special FX. MY husband (the artist) does my hair once a month in three colors with a toothbrush, and he's always playing with the blues, adding greens one time, purples the next. they darken by ash-brown hair a bit, but not much...and I get none of the problems of doing accent colors over stripped hair (like everything turning green after the first wash because of the blonde underneath)
but not everyone's ready to be the 'blue haired old lady' of this generation. so I'd definately go with the Garnier.
Any brand will wash out if you are using crappy shampoo, try a sulfate free shampoo. I like L'Oreal preference color myself, but also use professional color being a stylist. The professional color is usually less damaging and stylists are trained on what color works best for what skin color. Also if you want to keep long hair only use permanent color on new root growth and find a demi that matches to do touch up on the rest of the hair to prevent more damage.
What I like to do (for all over color at least, I let the pros deal with the complicated stuff) is buy professional hair color online (for cheap) and activators as well.
Basically for all over color (and good grey coverage) you mix 2 oz of the color with 2 oz of the activator and so on.. so 4oz color = 4 oz activator. Use a bowl and brush (cheap at sallys or online)
I like Mastey personally because it is ammonia-free and safe to leave on stubborn grey hair for a little longer than 45 mins without heat.
Anyway, you should leave the color on 45 mins. Initially it may be more expensive than buying at home color, but the creme activator you get is pretty big and can be used more than once. The color on this site is 7.99 and the activator is 5.99 (you would use 20 vol).
It's a very cheap way to get professional color results. Make sure to use a good post color conditioner treatment to lock in the color.
Here is the website for Pro Salon Products (where I get my color):
Here is a link that might be useful: INEXPENSIVE PRO SALON COLOR
Buing professional hair color products sounds like a great tip, Leslie. Do specific instructions come with the products?