We’ve all been there (or at least pretend we have, for my sake). You decide it’s time for a change, so you ask yourself – what can I do to switch up my look that’s inexpensive and easy to do? Change your hair colour. Yes, yes, a trip to the salon is obviously the preferred way to go about this, but that’s not always in the cards. A trip to the drugstore, on the other hand, is much easier to manage. No appointment necessary, inexpensive, and relatively easy to do even on your own. Maybe you grab something a few shades lighter than your current color, maybe you decide it’s time to go red like you’ve always wanted, or maybe you grab a box of bleach that you’re pretty confident will easily take you from black to platinum.
Disaster typically ensues. I can speak from experience – as a teenager, I would often insist on going from one extreme to the next with my hair. Black-brown one month, red the next, blonde to follow and every now and then I’d throw in some adventurous highlights (sorry Mom). This led to many awful hair colours, including my personal favourite, the oh-so-awful brassy, yellow blonde that looked anything but natural.
In recent years, Color Oops had piqued my interest after passing it in the drugstore a few times. Sadly, I hadn’t discovered it during those pivotal teenage years to correct my hair woes, but being someone who can’t remember the last time she had a head of naturally coloured hair, I wondered if it could be something to take me back to square one and erase my recent dye jobs. When the chance to give it a shot came about, I jumped at the opportuniy to use it as a colour “reset” before going a bit darker for the winter.
The product is very similar to applying a regular box of hair colour at home. The box includes gloves, a cap to wear while the product processes, and two solutions that are to be mixed together and applied to your hair. Full instructions can be found here, but as I said it’s very similar to applying regular hair colour with two key exceptions I want to highlight:
- This stuff stinks. I can’t sugar coat this, and I just want to make sure I include this because I wasn’t prepared for how stinky this would be. It’s not a make or break aspect of using this (especially if you’re trying to solve a total disaster), but just know this is not going to be a lovely scented experience.
- The product is much more runny than typical hair colour. As a result, you have to be very careful with application so as not to get it on your clothes (it stains). Wear your rattiest clothing and oldest/crappiest towels for this.
All of that said, it’s very easy to use. Once you’ve applied, you put the cap on and wait 20 minutes. I personally managed to get through almost a whole episode of Friends while I waited.
The hardest aspect of this process is rinsing, believe it or not – I was not prepared for how much rinsing is involved. Once you’ve rinsed the product out initially, you have to rinse for another 15-20 minutes solid. That meant standing under the shower doing nothing but rinsing for all that time. Be prepared to get comfortable, sit under the running water and think about your life. It’s annoying, but the price you pay for wanting to correct your hair colour without a trip to the salon (a trade-off I’m happy to get behind).
So, here were my results (drumroll please!)
- I’m thrilled with the results. It’s important to note that Color Oops reverses the most recent dye job, so for me that was a box of brown colour over a brown-to-blonde ombre job I had decided I didn’t want anymore. My hope was to try and eliminate the more obvious lighter tips, and this definitely help do that.
- That said, the in-between colour (post Oops) was sort of a weird, yellowy tone you can’t quite see on camera, probably because my previous situation was trying to erase the ombre. It wasn’t a colour I’d walk out of the house with, but I knew it had helped to make my hair more porous for the darker shade I was about to apply.
- As a result, the new colour for the winter was super vibrant and dark, just like I’d hoped. I know the result wouldn’t have been this great if it weren’t for the Color Oops process in between.
Next time you’re thinking you want to update but are afraid it might go wrong, consider picking Color Oops up as a safety net. I used it as a “reset” button of sorts and was really thrilled I did, even if it meant dealing with the smell and sitting in the shower for 25+ minutes. Color Oops is available at select Shoppers Drug Mart, Pharmasave, IDA, Guardian, Rexall/Pharma Plus, Value Drug Mart, Overwaitea, Brunet, and Lawtons Drugs stores, as well as Jean Coutu and Uniprix in Canada (basically, everywhere) and retails for $16.99.