When budgets get tight, many women cut back on trips to the hair salon to save money.
Companies are making it easier than ever for you to keep your color looking fresh at home with simple to use do it yourself products. We had three women put three products to the test.
"At the salons it was like $100, and I have really short hair,” said Anne Marie Jaeckin, who traded in those salon looks for do it yourself hair color. She asked her stylist for help choosing at at home shade.
"I decided it was a good way to save money," Jaeckin said.
Amy Hering did her own shopping for an at home color that would work. "It was kind of trial and error."
Lori Tringali-Dennen hasn’t cut her hair colorist just yet, but she cut back on visits.
We asked these three women to try at home products that promise salon quality results for a cheaper price.
John Frieda Precision Foam Colour put to the test
Hering tried John Frieda Precision Foam Colour for $12. It's marketed as an easy to apply no drip formula. That wasn't Hering’s experience.
"First reaction. Not so fond of how much this drips. It actually drips everywhere and with applying it by your hands, you don't have as much control as you do with a typical applicator bottle," Hering said.
John Frieda said to avoid dripping, the product needs to be mixed properly. You just tilt it gently five times. Hering gave it a few extra tilts and that may have added air which made the foam less firm.
After drying, Hering liked the color but wasn't sure it distributed evenly. She thought the color was lighter underneath.
"I think it’s a little lighter. I’m wondering if it really covered well, and I think it’s because it’s so light. That foam was so light to deal with,” Hering explained.
The company said the more foam, the better the color results.
On John Frieda’s website, video shows you how to oversaturate your hair with foam.
In a statement the company wrote, “It is unfortunate that this experience with our product did not result in the salon-quality colour experience our product is known for delivering. The John Frieda® brand team confirms that users of Precision Foam Colour should read all directions and cautions prior to using the product and should perform a skin allergy test 48 hours prior to use.”
Despite Hering’s experience, it’s a look she can live with.
“It feels amazing. It's about the color it normally is after I color," Hering explained.
eSalon put to the test
Jaeckin tried eSalon . A salon like product customized for you based on your picture and an online survey. It cost $25 with shipping.
"We recognize that today’s woman doesn’t want to spend $100, $200, sometimes more, every month, just to refresh their color,” said Estelle Baumhauer, eSalon’s color director with over 17 years in the beauty business. “Women of today want an affordable alternative. But they don’t want to sacrifice quality or service. We give them all three: quality products, personal service, at an affordable price.”
The company has created over 300,000 color applications and recently launched in Canada and the UK. Professional grade dyes are used.
It was quick and easy to apply, but the results didn’t leave Jaeckin smiling. "It's very heavy and greasy, and I have no styling product in this," Jaeckin explain.
Jaeckin washed her hair twice, but it didn’t change the greasy feeling.
"Either she didn't get the color rinsed out properly enough. Maybe it was the conditioner applied afterward. May be it was too heavy for her hair," Professional hair colorist Heather Budai said.
Budai is the educational director at Posh in Sheffield. She says it’s hard to pinpoint what went wrong. It could be the product, or something Jaeckin did.
"It's all in the application," Jaeckin explained.
Applying color is a work of art that takes time to master.
So, how about a product that you just point and spray to temporarily cover up that annoying gray?
Rita Hazan Root Concealer put to the test
"It looks like it's covering pretty good," said Lori Tringali-Dennen.
No mess and great coverage.
“I was real happy with the consistency of it. I don't feel like I have something in my hair," Tringali-Dennen said.
It took half the bottle to cover the gray, and the 1 ounce bottle isn’t cheap. Rita Hazan Root Concealer costs $25 at Sephora.
"I think it's disappointing the bottle is as small as it is,” Tringali-Dennen explained.
Tringali-Dennen liked the results, ,but sorry ladies they are temporary. The concealer is supposed to last until your next wash, but Tringali-Dennen said those stubborn grays were back the next day. She’d still use it in a pinch.
The results in our test may be different if you give these products a try. When you're doing it at home, there is a greater margin of error.
That's why all the companies tell you to carefully read the instructions.
Hair stylists say if you can’t afford salon prices, be honest rather than no longer showing up. They might be able to work with you so you can get professional results