For many years, home hair colour and salon hair colour were as diametrically opposed as the proverbial chalk and cheese. The former was affordable but unpredictable, with a margin for error the size of the Grand Canyon. The latter offered peace of mind and a professional finish but with a price tag to match.
Now though, a new middle ground is emerging, giving you the power to refresh and revitalise your colour without the need for those six-week touch-ups. Meet the colour deposit mask.
You might be wondering how they differ from traditional colour care products, which contain ingredients to help shield your colour or perhaps have sulphate-free formulas to stop colour fade. These masks contain pure hair dye pigment suspended in a nourishing mask formula to noticeably lift and freshen up your colour as they treat strands. What’s more, they work on both box-dyed and salon-dyed hair, and in some cases, can even add lustre to virgin hair. In other words, they’re pretty innovative.
"In salon, we give a gloss treatment to almost everyone whose hair we colour, so that was a natural starting point," said Josh Wood, a salon supremo who recently launched a collection of Shade Shot Glosses – think creamy, sun-kissed blondes and rich, textured brunettes. Applied like a mask, actual hair dye pigments in the blend boost colour in next to no time, saving you from having to whip up a box dye or book a freshen up appointment. "They are a mixture of conditioning agents and something called 'direct dyes' which offer the pigment part of the process," explained Josh. "About half of our customers who buy them don’t even dye their hair otherwise, they just use these to really brighten and refresh their hair and make it look healthy and glossy."
Josh Wood isn't the only brand to get on board the colour deposit mask trend. For blondes, brunettes, those with candy coloured hair and other shades in between, the new Moroccanoil Colour Depositing Masks, £6.85, use the brand's signature argan blend to deliver a colour wake-up to platinum, pink, blue, rose gold and red lengths. If you have a so-called 'fashion colour' like pink or blue, you’ll know firsthand just how difficult it can be to keep those tones bright between salon visits, and that’s exactly where these masks shine.
If you’re nervous about compromising the artistry of your salon colour with a haphazard DIY session, heed Wood’s wisdom. "The porosity of the hair dictates how much the direct dye will colour the hair. So if you have, say, a full head of highlights with a bleach and two shades of tinted highlights, the colour will adjust accordingly to those tones as they all have different porosity levels on the hair. It’s not going to mask or cloud anything, just help revitalise it," he explained. Wood offers four shades – two blonde and two brunette – which give a beautiful, radiant finish to the hair.
Legendary Parisian colourist (and I mean legendary – Kylie Minogue and Tilda Swinton are regulars) Christophe Robin calls his version Shade Variation Masks, £39. There are two blonde and brunette shades, as well as one copper hue, all infused with buriti and apricot seed oil to condition the hair. As well as providing a hit of hydration, each one is fine-tuned to deliver a specific result, such as toning down brassiness, neutralising greys or adding warmer undertones.
They can even be used as a way to 'try out' a new shade. Just like a box dye, which you otherwise have to mix yourself, the longer they’re left on, the stronger the result, meaning they can be anything from a quick refresh to a temporary colour change. More of an icy girl? No problem. Anna Short, senior colour director at Daniel Galvin said her go-to for Nordic-haired clients is Kérastase Blond Absolu Masque Ultra Violet Treatment, £29.12. "It really prolongs the life of those really crisp, almost grey blondes," she explained. "I advise clients to use it once a week and then they don’t need to come in for toning treatments as much. The purple pigment takes away any brassiness that might have accrued and really brightens the hair without actually shifting the colour. It’s really common to get fade or unwanted orange tones with blondes, just like how wearing a white T-shirt around London all day will mean you come home looking a little bit grey and grimy. The pollution and the mineral build-up can really dull blonde hair."