Trend Spotting: The reinvention of at-home hair color

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Trend Spotting: The reinvention of at-home hair color

Related tags Color Hair coloring

In an effort to meet the expectations of the modern consumer, at-home hair dye products, formulas, and business strategies are getting an update thanks to long-standing beauty companies like L’Oréal and Coty, contract manufacturers like Mana Products, and startups like dpHue and Madison Reed.

Consumers are looking for fresh, convenient, effective options for covering their roots between salon visits, to hide grey, and to add in a bit of bold color just for fun. And, nearly every demographic expects more from their hair color today than what was available a generation ago.

Temp job

In June Coty’s Clairol brand launched the Color Crave collection. Meant to be more than temporary color, Color Crave is washable hair makeup, according to a press release about the new product. The mass market brand which is a go-to for boomers is targeting a younger shopper with Color Crave.  

The product comes in “six metallic shades…infused with 3D crystals that transform all hair shades and textures, even the darkest hair,” ​explains the release. The colors, which span shades of amethyst, ruby, platinum and rose gold, are applied with a sponge-top stand-up tube applicator (something like a bingo stamper), and wash out with a single shampoo.

L’Oréal launched its Colorista product line in late 2016. That collection comprises over 30 customizable shades in both bright and pale colors. Consumers can decide how long the semi-permanent color will last by using various application processes. The product line even includes a Colorista Fading Sampoo to help color wash out faster.

Grey today

For consumers who rely on salon professionals for their regular color, there’s the issue of mismatched roots between appointments. Style Edit is one brand innovating in this space to deliver hair color products that meet consumer expectations without eliminating the need for regular salon visits.

In July at Cosmoprof North America, Cosmetics Design sat down with Miguel Corvalan, the brand’s artistic director, and marketing director Ana Maria Gallegos-Maxwell to explore what Style Edit is doing to improve consumer options in this ‘concealer’ category.  

The Style Edit root touch up binding powder is applied with a removable textile-quality sponge applicator built into the bottom of the package. Designed to cover roots without being dusty, the product washes out with shampoo, and is packaged to be portable. Corvalan tells Cosmetics Design, the touch up formula includes makeup pigments, a polymer to adhere the color to hair, and silicone “so the hair feels natural.” ​He acknowledges that consumers are “going to use something [to cover their roots] anyway​” and his objective is to "give them something made for the job.”

Exhibiting the week at the Indie Beauty Expo​ in New York City is dpHue, the brand founded by Donna Pohlad in collaboration with colorist Justin Anderson, which is also offering consumers an alternative for at-home maintenance of pro hair color. The brand offers a full collection of products, ranging from a “salon-quality Root Touch-Up Kit,” ​to shampoo, conditioner, treatments, and a line made with apple cider vinegar.

DIY or not

Madison Reed​ has already established itself as an up-to-date at-home hair color brand. The brand got its start online, has moved into more conventional retail through partnerships with QVC, Ulta, and Sephora, and is now moving into the salon business. CEO Amy Errett is opening quick, personalized service salons, offering something like the Drybar experience expect for color.  

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