Would this make you switch to a DIY hair dye?

A new launch from Bleach promises to rebrand the permanent colour aisle.

Would this make you switch to a DIY hair dye?

News / 19 Feb 2024

Originally published by The Financial Times

Box hair dyes. Would you? Should you? Historically my stance has been: no, not ever. I put them in the same category as fixing light switches and altering clothes: best left to the professionals.  “The permanent colour aisle has stayed the same for decades – Photoshopped boxes that often give disappointing results due to a lack of formula efficacy,” says Alex Brownsell, founder of London- and Los Angeles-based salon and brand Bleach London. Permanent dyes are typically developed to colour match and cover greys, relying on harsh formulas that create monotone results. “We paint our nails and apply our own makeup. It doesn’t feel right that people don’t have the option of great permanent hair colour at home.”

This week, Brownsell launched a collection of permanent hair dyes (£12 each) made entirely without bleach. It’ll join the brand’s existing offering of bleach kits and rainbow-hued DIY colourants, and comprises two “go darker” shades (glossy black and rich brown), three “go lighter” shades (natural copper, blonde and brown) and two tones for the more adventurous (vivid copper and vivid red). By splitting the range between people wanting to go lighter or darker, Brownsell has taken a salon professional’s approach: altering the level of developer – the chemical agent that allows colour to penetrate the hair shaft – to the specific pigment. Even without bleach – historically used even in darker hair dyes – the goal is to achieve “transformative results”.

Brownsell, who has created looks for Gucci, Byredo and Vivienne Westwood, started Bleach in her kitchen sink, dyeing friends’ hair with homemade concoctions. The new range is the result of more than 10 years of research and 3,000 salon hours. “The efficacy of a colouring product is not related to whether they contain bleach,” explains Brownsell, “but what product to use for what result. Many shades actually need the support of natural hair pigment to allow tones to shine through.”

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