Hair Care

By Marie Bargas


"Surprise, Surprise" For the woman whose hair is over-worked and over-processed, Color by Robert Craig, really does deliver permanent hair color without damaging chemicals. When I first tried the product I had the usual expectations. I was almost sure that the color would wash out leaving me with my gray exposed in a few weeks. And, I was betting that it would stain my towels. I can't tell you how many towels I've ruined over the years.

Just the thought of covering my own first gray strands seemed anti-climactic after years of sporting shocking pink hair college, or the platinum blonde I did a few years ago on a dare. But, those years made me a seasoned home hair color veteran and I have unfortunately learned the hard way what not to do to my naturally curly dark brown hair. For almost a year and a half after I stopped bleaching, my hair went through a slow and arduous process of recovery that included a lot of deep conditioning and constant trimming, so I was very reluctant to use peroxide, ammonia and alcohol on my hair again. Color by Robert Craig seemed promising on paper, so I was willing to give it a try without too many expectations because I was assured that it would not damage my hair.

The kit contains a plastic bottle, gloves and a dye powder. I simply mixed the powder in the bottle with warm (not hot) water and waited for the mixture to turn into what was really a very fluffy looking chocolate mousse. The first thing I liked was there was absolutely no odor. The second was that the mousse mixture really gripped my hair, unlike the watery dyes I'm used to slathering all over my poor head. The third thing was that I experienced none of the usual burning and itching I've had to endure all these years of coloring my hair various shades of pink, red and a high-voltage glam platinum blonde.

I left the mixture on for about 40 minutes while viewing my fave show Bravo's PROJECT RUNWAY in re-runs and almost forgot I had anything on my hair. I actually expected it to wash all out in the rinse or at least stain my towels, but to my surprise, it rinsed clean and all those stray little gray hairs I've been getting as a result of my engagement and imminent wedding had disappeared. Phew"¦ After blow drying my hair I checked it very carefully for shine and texture and am pleased to report that my hair came out very soft, smooth and very shiny. Now here's the real test. It's been about two weeks since I first applied the color and no gray hairs have broken through. The color is still very rich and my hair texture is a silky as ever.

For those of you who are eager to try this fabulous find, keep in mind that since the dye comes in powder form, it's very potent, so try picking a color about two shades lighter than what you want, especially if you have processed or very porous hair. Also, the powder allows you to mix your own color by combining the powders in a bowl or on a piece of tin foil before mixing it in the bottle. Always do a strand test. And, if you're trying to repair a bad color job this is the product for you since it can be used over color treated hair. This product is not available in stores, so for more information log on to:

Originally published March 2006
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