Nowadays, our hair colouring options are virtually limitless: blonde, brown, black, auburn, chestnut and even green, blue, pink… Hair dyes are quite simply one the most frequently used cosmetic products. In our society, colouring your hair is now considered normal and even routine. But why do we actually do it?

Hair colouring products aren’t only designed to cover grey hair. A dash of colour can do a lot more than you might think: from boosting one’s self-esteem, to highlighting our features, or as part of a full makeover. Besides, contrary to popular belief, not all hair colouring products actually damage our hair. We’ve designed this article to answer all your questions and doubts regarding this beauty product.

Key Facts

  • Hair colouring products are designed to give a certain colour to your hair. Many different types of dyes exist depending on colour, composition and how long they last.
  • Colouring your hair isn’t simply useful to mask appearing grey hair. It can provide multiple benefits on both cosmetic and psychological levels.
  • While it is true that certain products can harm your hair, not every dye will. In fact, some even positively affect hair health.

Ranking: The best hair colouring products on the Australian market

We’ve designed a selection of the very best hair dyes available on the market right now, and it’s right here in the next section for you to discover. The main features of each product is also briefly summed up for you to easily compare them. We’re confident this will help you pick the hair colour that’s just right for you.

No. 1: Garnier Olia (permanent)

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Garnier is a beauty brand by French cosmetic giant L’Oréal, and it’s been in the industry for over a hundred years already. Their Olia product line offers a permanent ammonia-free colouring, based on natural floral colour-enhancing oils. Its exclusive formulation allows coverage of up to 100% of grey hair. Unlike other permanent dyes, this product respects your hair without damaging or drying it.

These aspects allow this Olia dye to visibly improve the look and vitality of your hair. For a correct application, it is recommended to use it on dry and unwashed hair. Once the product is applied, massage your head and leave the dye act for 30 minutes. You can then remove the product using water.

No. 2: Arctic Fox (temporary)

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Founded in 2014, Arctic Fox is an American company that prides itself in providing quality hair colouring products that don’t impact the environment. This natural dye is made from vegan ingredients and completely free of harmful chemicals. Arctic Fox’s semi-permanent colour line offers a wide range of the most striking and cheerful shades out there.

Its ammonia-free composition means you can colour your hair in a way that is both long-lasting and respectful of your hair. The results are expected to last between 4 and 8 weeks. Past customers have appreciated the fact that little actually washes out, so pick from the 19 colours available and add a vibrant touch of colour to your hair.

No. 3: L’Oréal Paris Colorista Washout (semi-permanent)

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L’Oréal Paris is a premium brand of L’Oréal, and its exclusive Colorista Washout range of products will allow you to switch up your look without committing for months to come. This semi-permanent hair dye is extremely convenient, and its application is as easy and simple as applying it to clean and dry hair.

The Colorista Washout dye gives you the opportunity to create the style you want with spectacular results. The formula is designed to wash out after 2 to 3 shampoos, so it’s truly ideal for a weekend look, for instance. This hair colouring product also protects your hair fibre and promotes it shine.

No. 4: Light Mountain Natural Hair Colour Kit (semi-permanent)

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Light Mountain is another US-based hair colouring and conditioner company, and all their products are 100% natural, using only top-quality henna and botanicals. This means that this dyeing kit contains no ammonia or any other chemicals. It is also certified organic by the International Certification Services organisation (ICS).

The botanicals present in this product contribute to protecting and nourishing your hair, and help restore its body and shine. The kit includes a cap and gloves for safer application, as well as a conditioner to further care for your hair. According to past users, this dye gives a beautiful and natural look to your hair.

No. 5: HailiCare Hair Colouring Wax (temporary)

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HailiCare is a Chinese brand of beauty and health products, and their line of temporary hair dyes offer the brightest and most fanciful colours you can think of. From bright blue to the purest white, you’ll find what you need whether for daily use, Halloween parties or your favourite music festival.

Unlike other hair colouring products on this list, this HailiCare dye is a wax, also allowing you to style your hair just the way you want. According to the manufacturer, this product is made from 100% natural ingredients, preventing scalp irritation and other potential risks for your health.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about hair colouring

There are a number of key criteria you should consider regarding hair dyes before taking your decision. In the following section, we have included the most important factors regarding hair colouring products to help you make an informed purchase. We also tackle the most frequently asked questions by past users.

Woman choosing hair colour

There’s no set time for when you can start dyeing your hair, nor how often you have to do it. 
(Source: Bialasiewicz: 46637611/ 123rf.com)

What is a hair colouring product exactly?

Also called hair dyes, these products are designed to give your hair a specific colour. Nowadays, the market offers a wide variety of dyes in terms of composition and characteristics. Natural substances were formerly used to formulate hair colouring, but most of them now include chemical compounds to increase their durability.

You can dye your hair in a specialised centre or from the comfort of your own home. Nowadays, many products available on the Australian market make domestic use much easier. While the duration will vary from one hair dye to another, none can offer permanent results. This is why you’ll need to regularly repeat the process.

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Did you know that there are different types of hair colouring? We identify permanent and semi-permanent dyes depending on the duration of the results.

Why should I use hair dyes?

The number one reason for people deciding to dye their hair is naturally to cover grey hair. These hair colouring products allow you to hide emerging white hair and to maintain the young and beautiful aspect of your hair. That being said, this isn’t the only reason people use hair dyes, which now have many other applications.

One of the main ones is to give greater shine to our hair. Quality hair colouring will help you get reflections that will bring luminosity to your mane. Many also use hair dye to change their look and give a big boost to their self-esteem. Certain products now also include nutritious and beneficial compounds for healthier hair.

Hair samples

Hair dyes can be used in salons or at home.
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What types of dyes are available out there?

As mentioned earlier, you can find permanent and semi-permanent hair colouring. Vegetable dyes are also available on the market. These three main types differ in:

  • Permanence
  • Formulation
  • Purpose

Hydrogen peroxide and ammonia are present in permanent dyes. They allow you to drastically change the colour tone of your hair, as they have the ability to remove a large part of its natural pigmentation. Semi-permanents also include hydrogen peroxide and pigments, but not ammonia. This means they are less aggressive, and can change the natural colour of your hair without altering its structure.

Last but not least, vegetable dyes consist of pigments of natural origin obtained from vegetable oils or extracts. They nourish your hair and give it a beautiful shine, all the while being free of chemical compounds. The cumulative action of these products mean that you need to use them almost constantly for a greater binding.

Type of hair colouring Advantages Disadvantages
Permanent Radical changes, great variety of colours and long-lasting results They require constant touching-up of the root, greater hair damage and more allergic reactions
Semi-permanent Less aggressive with your hair, they cause less allergic reactions and enhance your natural colour They don’t allow drastic colour changes and the results are less durable
Vegetable or temporary The natural ingredients are less harmful to your hair, and nourish and brighten it. They cause less allergic reactions Short-term results and dry hair after multiple applications

What is hair colouring made of?

As we mentioned earlier, their composition can vary significantly from one product to another. The ingredients of a permanent, semi-permanent and vegetable dye will never be the same. Permanent dyes, for instance, base their action on ammonia, which semi-permanent and vegetable dyes lack.

Despite these differences, we can identify eight basic components of hair colouring. They are the following: base cream, colour precursors, dyestuffs, alkalising agents, caring agents, antioxidants, complexing agents and perfume. Once combined, they create a creamy substance with a pleasant aroma capable of colouring your hair.

In the table below, you’ll find out more about the different functions of these eight base components, as well as examples of each.

Component Function Examples of ingredients
Cream base This is the body of the dye. It combines an aqueous and an oily component. Fatty alcohols, emulsifying agents and surfactants
Colour precursors They penetrate your hair to form large colour molecules. Para-toluylenediamenesulphate, resorcinol and meta-aminophenol
Dyestuffs They provide colour and reflections. Plants, metals, compounds, synthetics
Alkalising agents They facilitate the penetration of dyestuffs into your hair. Ammonia
Caring agents They protect the integrity of the hair and keep it healthy. Polymers, silicone derivatives, natural compounds
Antioxidants They promote the preservation of the dye. Sodium sulfite, sodium ditionate, ascorbic acid or vitamin C
Complex agents They prevent unwanted reactions between metal compounds and hydrogen peroxide. Various
Perfume They give a pleasant smell to the dye. Various

When should I start dyeing my hair?

There is no specific time at which you should start using hair colouring products. There are several criteria to take into account, and these depend on a number of different factors. Hair colouring experts advise you to consider three key points when you’re thinking about dyeing your hair.

First and foremost, dye it when you feel the need to. Grey hair doesn’t mean you have to use hair colouring at all: certain people are comfortable with them, while others can’t wait to get rid of them. Secondly, and if you want a more specific limit, it is recommended to dye when over 50% if your hair is grey.

Hair dye powder

Colouring your hair at home requires some technique, as it is not the easiest of processes.
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Last but not least, experts advise you to start dyeing your hair when you’re actually ready to care for your colour. This process is by no means a one-off, permanent thing. It will most likely require constant maintenance on your part, with recurring touch-ups. This is why you need to be willing to devote time and resources to your new hair colour.

How often should I dye my hair?

There are several factors to take into account to determine how frequently you’ll need hair colouring. These include how fast it grows, how damaged your hair is or the colour in itself. They are all aspects that experts rely on to recommend how often you should repeat colouring. To give you a rough idea, this usually falls between three to four weeks.

That being said, it is not an exact science and the factors we mentioned above truly influence this. You’ll have to dye it more frequently if, for instance, your hair grows very quickly. In the same vein, touch-ups will be needed more often if the colour of the dye is very different from your natural colour. On the other hand, damaged hair will require you to space out your dyeing sessions.

How are hair colouring products used?

As you know, hair dyes can be used in specialised salons or at home. Nowadays, there is a huge offer for household hair colouring on the market. They generally include several tools to facilitate the dyeing process outside of professional centres. However, keep in mind that colouring your hair isn’t as straightforward as you might think, and it does require some technique.

There are several aspects to remember if you opt for dyeing your own hair at home. First of all, you need to pick the right colour to match your desired results. Before starting the process, make sure your hair is very clean and well brushed. Keep in mind that hair colouring products can easily leave stains, so it is recommended for you to wear old cloths and a pair of gloves.

Woman with hair dyed

Allergic reactions are the main potential side effect of hair dye.
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You want to know of any possible allergies to the product before using it, so apply a small amount to your wrist. You can then start dyeing your hair if nothing happens. Applying petroleum jelly to the hairline is recommended to avoid colouring your skin. Mix the components of the dye together, and spread the mixture over your hair. Use the brush to do so lock by lock and from root to tips.

Once you’ve dyed all your hair, massage your head to further distribute the product. You can wear a shower cap to cover your hair while waiting for the time indicated by the colouring manufacturer. All that’s now left is thoroughly rinsing your hair with plenty of water. And don’t worry about all the dye that you can see in the water: this is completely normal.

What are the side effects of hair colouring products?

While hair dyes offer many great benefits, this doesn’t mean they don’t have their drawbacks. As we mentioned before, hair colouring isn’t a one-time process, and it does require some caring after. You’ll need to give your colour a touch-up from time to time, which also means that it can become a significant financial investment.

On the other hand, hair colouring products may contain components that can be aggressive with the hair’s structure. Repeated use can therefore lead to damaged, dry and lifeless hair. These dyes – in particular permanent ones – contain chemicals that can cause allergies.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of hair dyes?

They are listed in the table below for you:

Advantages
  • Cover grey hair
  • Rejuvenating effect
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Hair nutrition
  • Makeover
Disadvantages
  • Constant touch-ups
  • Financial investment
  • Damaged hair
  • Potential allergic reactions

Shopping Criteria

There are key factors to consider when the time comes to buy your own hair colouring product. In the following section, we’ve detailed the most important ones to help you in your search. If you take them into account, we’re confident you’ll be able to pick the hair dye that best suits your needs. We’ll be looking at:

  • Colour
  • Duration
  • Quality
  • Allergies
  • Type of hair
  • Packaging

Colour

Needless to say that the very first thing you’ll be considering when you decide to dye your hair is the colour. Nowadays, there is an extremely wide range of colours available on the Australian market. You should find just a bout any shade you want, from the most classic to the most fanciful. This is why you need to have a very clear idea of what colour you want to have.

In the end, the choice of the hair dye will mostly depend on the results you’re looking for. You might for instance want to opt for your natural colour if you’re dyeing it to cover up emerging grey hairs. On the other hand, a totally different shade might be in order if a makeover is what you’re after.

Woman getting her hair dyed

Colouring your hair can take from one to four hours, depending on the length of the hair.
(Source: Shupilo: 17365814/ 123rf.com)

Duration

As you well know by now, the different types of hair dyes are categorised based on the duration of their results. This is naturally important for you to evaluate when buying a hair colouring product. Don’t hesitate to ask yourself: what end result am I looking for? This should help you determine which type of colouring to go for.

A semi-permanent hair dye is, for instance, a great option if you’re colouring your hair for the first time.

On the other hand, women who have been dyeing for a while already with the aim of covering grey hair will reap better benefits from permanent colouring products. Being clear about your goal will be key in choosing the right hair dye for your needs.

Quality

You never want to neglect quality when it comes to cosmetic products. A good quality dye offers many advantages that a lower quality product simply can’t. The colour, for instance, will look more natural and shiny. Quality hair dyes also tend to be less aggressive on your hair, therefore minimising damage.

On the other hand, there have been reports of allergic reactions or sensitivity derived from the use of hair colouring. As you can imagine, this is more likely to occur while using poor products. This is why we can’t emphasise enough on the fact that you must absolutely consider the quality of the hair dye you plan on buying. That way, you’ll make the most of this cosmetic product without putting your health at risk.

Allergies

Allergic and hypersensitivity reactions are the most common side effects linked to hair colouring products. While they are not particularly frequent, these reactions are particularly annoying and unpleasant, and can even pose a risk to your health. This is why you can’t overlook this aspect when purchasing your hair dye.

For this doing, it is recommended to check the composition of the product. This will help you rule out any hair dye that includes components that may be harmful to your health. Finally, you should naturally consult your doctor before using any hair colouring product if you suffer from any dermatological pathology.

Type of hair

As you know, our hair is as unique as we are, which means that not all have the same needs. In that regard, remember to consider your hair’s characteristics when making your decision – which will depend on several factors. These include having very damaged hair, or particularly fine and delicate hair.

If your hair is lacking vitality or volume, you should opt for a dye that gives you greater shine and body. Fine and delicate hair, on the other hand, are more easily damaged by hair colouring products. In that case, it is recommended to avoid dyes with ammonia and rather go for natural and moisturising products. In the end, you should always choose the one that best suits your hair.

Packaging

You might not think so, but the packaging of the product actually has a vital role. As we explained earlier, the process of dyeing your hair at home isn’t an easy task: it requires technique, agility and dexterity. You can make this process significantly easier by buying a product that offers the right tools, so take a good look before buying a specific hair dye.

Regarding this aspect, you’ll find certain hair colouring products that include several accessories, such as spatulas, dye-mixing tools and applicators. These will all help you dye your hair more easily, therefore potentially optimising the results. For that reason, we encourage you to opt for a hair colouring product that includes these elements.

Summary

In conclusion, hair dyes truly offer many more properties than you might have originally thought. This is why they have become part of basic cosmetics. If you’re afraid of these new emerging white hairs, a quality product will provide a quick and affordable solution to fight back ageing.

Are you tired of looking in the mirror and seeing the same hair day after day? Do you feel like you’re lacking a little something? Then a hair dye may just be your antidote against boredom and monotony, giving you the makeover you need in a matter of minutes. Quality colouring products will even give your hair its vitality back if it’s taken on a dull look.

The great news is that, contrary to popular belief, dyes won’t necessarily damage your hair. In fact, many now use them to improve the look and texture of their hair. This versatile product has multiple properties to offer and is within everyone’s reach. Will you dare add a dash of colour to your look?

If you liked our guide on hair colouring products, feel free to share this article on your social media or leave us a comment in the section below.

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