Ever since I had my hair bleached, I’ve been dying to try some fun colours on my light tresses. As a brunette, I haven’t been able to experiment much without damaging my hair, so let’s just say I was itching to try something new. Sadly, since my workplace is quite conservative, I couldn’t do anything permanently drastic – no matter what, my hair had to go back to normal by Monday morning. So when I saw Garnier Color Styler on sale at Shoppers, I was very excited to pick up all three colours on the shelf – pink pop, purple mania, and blue burst.
The box promised “intense wash-out color” that would last for 2-3 shampoos. After reading up on the product online, I discovered a lot of negative reviews – mainly complaints of dry, unbrushable hair, and a few mentions of colour that didn’t look like the one on the box. That certainly gave me pause…which is why I left the boxes under my sink for a few weeks, until last Friday when I was intensely bored…and you know what they say about idle hands.
More after the jump!
Upon deciding to go full-on Rainbow Bright with Color Styler, I applied blue dye to random strands, followed by pink, and finally purple. Applying the colour was pretty easy, but I had to remind myself to be gentle, as rubber gloves on delicate bleached locks is not the best combination. Once all three colours were applied, I rubbed the purple dye on top of random blue and pink strands to ensure that I didn’t end up with perfectly striped hair – I wanted my locks to look like a Rothko, not a Mondrian.
After I was done, my hair looked and felt pretty bad – it was dry, matted, and way too bright for my liking. First I tried brushing out the knots…which was a mistake. It hurt and I probably broke a lot of hair that way. Color Styler uses the Colour-Coat Technology Enriched with clay, creating a thin colour-coat on the surface of the hair fiber, which means that the dye does not penetrate the strands, but instead sits on top of it enveloping it until you wash it out. Imagine hair wax all over your head, followed up by hair spray – that’s what it felt like post-application. I gave up on trying to brush it and decided to wash it instead, hoping that the texture would improve a bit.
Shampooing my new rainbow hair was an ordeal…strands were stuck together, my roots were hurting from the weight of the hair and water, my fingers kept getting stuck in the knots…After a couple of shampoos, I applied a moisturizing hair mask, and washed it out after a few minutes. I could see colour running off my hair as I was rinsing it off. Once my hair was dry again, the texture was a bit better, but still felt like I had globs of wax all over the place. I curled my hair strand by strand, brushing it very carefully as I went. Once I was finished, I was left with a decent-looking head of unicorn hair – slightly frizzy, definitely not something you could run your fingers through, but perfectly rainbow-like.
These photos were taken after the first wash, and you can see that the colour is still pretty vibrant. That night I washed my hair for the second time, and was relieved that it felt like actual hair – soft, brushable, and still colourful! This is when I changed my tune from “never doing this again” to “I will probably do this again”…After the second shampoo, the dye was holding up pretty well, but this time it looked more pastel. Three shampoos later, I only have a few sections of light blue and pink, which looks really cool on my grey hair.
So, my final verdict is…I would buy it again. At only $7 per box, this was a bargain. It was super easy to apply, the colour payoff was amazing, and it lasted me a few washes. I would highly recommend washing your hair right after application, as the texture does improve with each wash. I loved that the colour didn’t rub off on my clothes or pillow like hair chalk does (though keep an old towel on the floor while brushing your hair so that the flecks of dye don’t stain your floors). I also didn’t find a major difference in my post-Color Styler hair – the dryness wasn’t permanent, but I did break a few strands by trying to brush it out before the first shampoo. I would recommend using a wide tooth comb to gently comb your hair in small sections starting from the ends and working your way up to avoid the damage.
So tell me, have you ever tried Garnier Color Styler? Share in the comments!