Sunday, March 15, 2015

Vidal Sassoon Salonist Hair Dye Review

So a while back I applied to take part in a trial of VS Salonist Hair dry - you may have seen the ads on the TV about it - it's basically a 2-step process to dying your hair at home that is supposed to give the same results as getting it done at a hair salon.

I regularly dye my hair - not because I have grey - happily I haven't had one single grey hair yet! - but because I like to change the colour up a bit. My natural hair colour is medium to dark brown and I have a naural blonde streak which due to the way my parting falls looks like 2 blonde streaks - one either side. This streak gets lighter in the summer under the sun.

I was lucky enough to be chosen for the trial.

The trial pack arrived with all the different bits in it - it came well packaged and in a lovely shiny black VS Sassoon baggie

Inside the bag was a black VS towel - perfect for dying your hair as the dye doesn't show up on it :)

A selection of 4 different dye shades - you couldn't choose the exact shades you wanted - you had to give 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice. I wanted a purple colour for myself and was lucky enough to get that choice included in my selection. You get 1 dye for yourself to try and 3 to give out to family / friends / colleagues etc to try.

The shades I received were:

- 3/66 - Darkest intense violet
- 6/0 - Light neutral brown
- 7/0 - Dark neutral blonde
- 9/0 - Light neutral blonde

The pack also included a really comprehensive pack of information, coupons, feedback sheets etc.

I spoke to some family and work colleagues and found new homes for 2 of the dyes straight away:

- I was going to trial the intense violet
- a work colleagues wife was trying the light brown
- my mum was trying the light blond

I did struggle to find someone to try the final dye as most people I know seem to have red or dark hair :\ However I finally convinced my neighbour to give it a try :D

My pack arrived a while ago but due to family circumstances and ill health I have only recently gotten round to trying the dye myself.

So I tried 3/66 - Darkest intense violet

This is my hair colour before using the dye - it's medium/short length as boringly brown

So - what's in the box?

- a pair of very sturdy black rubber gloves
- a small plastic black mixing bowl
- a red brush
- a white bottle and red tube (dye mix stage 1)
- a sachet (to add to dye mix stage 2)
- a tube of conditioner
- instructions!

I feel I should say here that the gloves provided are excellent much better than the usual flimsy ones that tear or allow the dye to leach through!

Stage 1 - mixing it up

This involves squeezing in the red tube into the bowl and adding the white bottle's contents (whilst wearing the rubber gloves)

You then have to mix the two together using the brush so that it forms a smooth paste

I ended up doing this in the sink - it is surprisingly time consuming mixing it together with the brush - with a normal dye its a 30 second job (add tube to bottle close and shake til mixed) - this took approx 2 minutes to do.

You then start the dying process. Wow this was complicated - you apply the dye using the brush and you use 3/4 of the mix - there's a dividing line in the bowl to show you how much to use - first you apply it to either side of your parting, then you apply it to your hairline around your forehead - so far so easy...

Then it get's complicated!

You have to apply it to the hair line along the back of your head - this was kinda hard - I can't see the back of my head even using a mirror I have no idea if I got it all on or not and along the hairline by your ears etc. You then massage it in with your finger tips

This all took around 10-15 minutes to do

Stage 2

You add the red sachet to the bowl and mix - the sachet comes with helpful easy tear strips however by this point you have been massaging the dye into your hair so you have dye on the gloves, its slippery, getting a purchase to tear open the packet is impossible - I ended up using my teeth!

You mix the red sachet with whats left in the bowl and then using your hands add it to your hair - making sure every part is covered and massaging it in with your finger tips.

I took a look at the picture on the instructions which showed a little diagram of someone with perfectly smooth looking hair and no dye anywhere but on her hair - and then I took a look at myself - due on my arms, my neck, shoulders, back (no idea how) ears, cheeks, forehead etc... hmm didnt look quite the same. However I removed the gloves and using a wet wipe removed the excess dye

I will say the dye didn't smell too bad - when mixing there was a very strong smell which wasn't pleasant but as soon as I started applying the smell seemed to evaporate.

I left the dye on for the required 30 minutes and then following the instructions rinsed it out of my hair until the water ran clear, shampoo'd using a colour safe shampoo (I used pantene cos I'm worth it :p ) - at this point I noticed how truly awful my hair felt - it was like a hard mat of straw - I have very soft fluffy hair generally but my hair felt like something dead!!! I admit to a slight panic and had visions of my hair falling out in clumps! Having calmed myself down I remembered I had the conditioner rinse to do - sometimes when you dye your hair you do get that straw feeling but after using the conditioner it normally settles and you end up with super smooth soft silky locks.

The conditioner instructions said to apply for 5 minutes and that the tube held enough for up to 6 weeks (using it once a week).

After 5 minutes my hair still didn't feel good so i added a tiny bit of water and massaged it through my hair and left it for a further 5.

I washed it all out and brushed my hair through - it still didnt feel nice but it did feel better. I let my hair dry naturally and waited to see how the colour came through.

I also spent about 10 minutes scrubbing all the random patches of colour that had stained my skin.

Once dried the colour was a disappointment :( it wasn't an intense violet i.e. purple with a blue tinge. It was more like a plum with a red tinge. The colour is nice but it isn't the colour on the box.

I have since washed my hair 7 times (daily and after exercise class and after swimming) the colour appears to be the same as after the first wash which is a good indicator that it will have staying power.

So my thoughts on the product as a whole:

1. I didn't find it a quick and easy process to do - I think to follow the steps exactly and to manage this properly you need to have someone to help you particularly with the back bits

2. It seemed a bit fiddly with too many different things to do - it was also time consuming - it normally takes me 45 minutes to dye my hair and that includes the waiting time and rinsing it out! This took approx 1 hour 15 mins to do by following the instructions exactly - not a stream lined process

3. The colour wasn't as advertised - it could be that my hair naturally brings out the red rather than the blue colours and someone else would get a different result but I was disappointed - I was hoping for the violet colour which I didn't get.

4. The quality of the product is definitely high - it's a good quality product and the items provided with it - gloves, brush, bowl etc all excellent quality and did the job well

5. Would I buy this? I have to say probably not - it retails at around £9.99 and the dyes I normally use cost around half that at £4.99. It took too long and was just to fiddly for me.

The End Results:


  1. Thanks for the review. I just bought this for $12.99, which is more than I usually spend. Now that I see it isn't as intense as the box advertises, I may return it.

  2. Thanks for the review. I just bought this for $12.99, which is more than I usually spend. Now that I see it isn't as intense as the box advertises, I may return it.