L’Oreal Colorista is a new-ish temporary hair colour range that includes a set of spray-on “1-day” hair colours. The pastel shades are designed for blondes, but the brights are advertised to work “on brunettes” as well. Like every other dark-haired Asian, my first thought was “Will they work on me?”
I’ve always wanted pastel hair, but as a black-haired Asian with undyed hair (well, poorly dyed reddish brown hair that’s pretty much black) I’m going to need a bucketload of bleach and Olaplex to get there – if I even get there at all without my hair all breaking off. The hair chalk craze was a sad adventure in disappointment because nothing showed up in my dark hair (I still have a drawer full of chalk and broken dreams). Could L’Oreal Colorista be the answer?
I picked up two shades at the Priceline press event: hot pink (“#HotPinkHair”) which I was told would definitely work on dark hair, and pastel blue (“#PastelBlueHair”) that I was told “could give a subtle effect” if I went into the sun. This didn’t sound super promising, but I still lived in hope…
L’Oreal Colorista Spray in Hot Pink
I tried the Hot Pink Colorista shade first on the ends of my hair. After covering my clothes with a towel I sprayed it on the ends, then combed it to distribute the colour and sealed it with a ton of hair spray. Here’s what I noticed:
- MESSY. This isn’t too surprising, but during application I think it’s made slightly worse by the special skinny Colorista nozzle that sprays the colour in a very concentrated jet, rather than the usual misting spray. It makes it easier to target bits of hair for a mermaidy look, but it also shoots through the hair quite a bit. Afterwards, the colour shed onto my clothes and neck quite a bit even with the hair spray.
- It made my hair turn into a puffball. Colorista sprays don’t contain chalk, but they certainly feel like chalk, and they volumise amazingly well… though it isn’t really something you necessarily want. I had to fight to comb through it, and it left my hair stiff and tangle-prone. I tried dousing it in a silicone-based spray-on hair serum, but it just faded the colour.
- It took a lot of product to get it to show up on my dark hair. I couldn’t really work out how much of the spray I went through but it felt excessive (L’Oreal Colorista comes in 75 mL sprays and I feel like I went through about 1/3 of it).
- It didn’t wash out very easily. Even after a thorough shampoo and condition, I still had pink coming off onto my hands, and the bottom of my hair was still rough and poofy. My pillowcase went a little pink, and so did my snot.
But… Colorista Hot Pink does show up, unlike a lot of other hair sprays on dark hair! And it’s less messy than your usual chunks of hair chalk.
Here it is on the ends of my hair after a dance class, in artificial lighting – still visible (unfortunately my attempts at taking photos from the back didn’t go so well).
L’Oreal Colorista in Pastel Blue
Armed with my pink hair experience, I tried again with L’Oreal Colorista in Pastel Blue, this time in the middle of my hair (after enlisting my sister’s help). I decided to give the Hot Pink shade a second go as well.
Here it is in indirect sunlight, immediately after application:
And after one round of combing:
While it’s not as bright as I hoped, I do really like this muted effect – it’s different but not too extreme. Having someone else apply the colour also made a big difference to how much mess there was, and how much product you needed. Turns out being able to aim is a big deal! The hot pink streaks here were done in about 10 seconds. The pastel blue shade is slightly metallic, which made for a slightly prettier mess.
L’Oreal Colorista also has a turquoise shade that’s meant to work on dark hair, although it’s not available in Australia yet. They also have a range of washout hair colours that last 4-10 shampoos, but they’re only advertised to work on light hair. Unfortunately, I think to get the cool mermaidy hair of my dreams I’ll have to hit the bleach and Olaplex, but this is an interesting product to play with in the meantime if you don’t mind the mess.
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