Foiled again. That's what I'm thinking when I submit to the usual two-hour session at the hairdressers that, until now, has been the only way to touch up my blonde highlights and lowlights. But now there's good news on the way, thanks to Wella's latest hair-colour innovation.
The company recently devoted four years of research to a project that resulted in the creation of a new polymer. This particular polymer contains a patented technology (dubbed InvisiDivider) that acts as a flexible matrix within the hair dye, which can separate and hold different hair colours.
What this means in layman's terms is that stylists can place two (or more) hair dyes side by side and they won't bleed into each other or combine to make a murky shade. (The reason we must sit looking like silver television antennae at the salon is because the foil is required to keep the different dyes from running onto other sections of the hair.)
The new product is called Color.iD, and it works with Wella's two professional hair colourants, Illumina and Koleston Perfect.Color.iD launched in Europe last year to rave reviews. It's launching here in February, but select stylists have been trialing it over the past few months.
During the colouring process, dyed sections are simply twisted and arranged on the head (it looks a bit like you have creamy dreadlocks). Stylists simply apply colour to the hair like an artist painting a canvas. As for the end result, it creates a blended look that should be less stripey and obvious, with softer transitions of contrasting tones.
While consumers will likely love the new product because it's more comfortable and saves time (a lack of foils equals faster turnaround time), stylists are particularly excited about its creative potential.
Colourist Cinnamon Scholes of Toni & Guy explains: "When using Color.iD, foils and meche are eliminated, making the colour application a lot more freehand."
She thinks this will open the doors to new creative techniques. "Colourists will start thinking of inventive ways to use this product that will create interesting colour applications. This will inspire not only future colourists but clients into having more fun with their hair."
There are some limitations with the new product, however. It's only for use with Wella's Illumina and Koleston Perfect and works best for clients who want a multi-tonal look. "It's not designed for highly contrasting colours and high-fashion shades, " cautions Scholes.
When it comes to blondes, Scholes says that highlights are a specialised technique of their own, so some clients will prefer to stick with foils. But for those who want to try a multi-tonal blonde look that's applied freehand, Color.iD is a great new option.
And the million-dollar question - what will Color.iD cost? Prices will vary depending on the salon, but it's likely to be slightly more expensive than a regular colour service when the stylist is creating a completely bespoke look. (For example, with no foils blocking the view, they can place colour in extremely specific places, such as to hide a particular grey patch or to create a face-framing effect).
Wella Color.iD will be at Wella salons from February.
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