Carin Freidag started with Clairol answering questions on the brand’s hotline 35 years ago; she fell in love with hair colour and secured a full-time job with the company. Now she runs Clairol’s Global Retail Hair Education program. With everything from natural shades to rainbow locks trending this summer, we picked Carin’s brain about hair-hue how-tos and Clairol’s latest Color Gloss Up innovation, available at Shoppers Drug Mart and Amazon.ca. —Noa Nichol
Today we’re talking colour! What makes Clairol a leader of hair colour?
We had started with hair colour and, while we’ve haircare and even appliances in our portfolio over the years, our biggest passion and commitment has always been to colourants. We were the first at-home hair colour kit in North America that lifted and deposited color at the same time. We started at-home highlights with Frost & Tip and introduced demi-permanent hair-colour technology to retail when we launched Natural Instincts in the 1990s. And we haven’t stopped there; our R&D team is always looking into new tech and creating colours that enhance everyone’s natural beauty.
What is Clairol Color Gloss Up?
It’s a semi-permanent colour built into a hair conditioner to give your hair a boost of colour. It comes in a tube as many conditioners do, so it’s very familiar and easy to use, especially in the shower—no bowls, brushes or even gloves needed. Plus, we’ve taken the extra step to add shea butter and argan oil into the already rich conditioner. There is something in this line for everyone since we designed both a natural and intense range of shades. The former, which includes Play It Cool Blonde and Toasted Almond Blonde for blondes and Warm Caramel Brownie, Mocha Me Crazy and Espresso for brunettes, enhances the shade you already have, be it natural or colour treated, and it can be used to tone down brassiness in both blondes and brunettes and add a bit of warmth to dull-looking hair. The latter, including Peach Please, Rose All Day, Pretty In Hot Pink, Blazin’ Red and Out Of The Blue, is best applied to pre-lightened hair to give the most vibrancy of the tone; it can be seen as a hint of colour on hair that is dark blonde or darker. This is also great for anyone who goes to the salon and wants to keep her color fresh until her next visit.
Walk us through the application process.
It’s best to apply this product to damp hair. If you’re in the shower, apply immediately after shampooing. Or, dampen the hair with a water bottle and then apply. But first, determine how much intensity you want to see apply to toning. If you want just a hint, then immediately after shampooing is your best and easiest bet. Rinse during or at the end of your shower to get a shorter processing time, i.e., less deposit of tone. If you are going for the most tone you can get, we recommend processing for 15 minutes. Wear and old shirt, then dampen your hair with the water bottle before you apply. In either case, the next step is to make sure you apply plenty of the conditioner and thoroughly massage it through your hair. This is not the time to be stingy! If you miss any strands, they won’t get coloured or might come out uneven. Once your time is up, rinse until the water runs clear. This is important to avoid staining from any residual product left on the hair. Color Gloss Up causes no damage, so you can freely reapply as often as necessary to keep the hue you want. If you are using the Intense shades on hair that has been bleached, I’d do a strand test on a section to get your timing. The colour will “take” faster, so you may not need the full 15 minutes. And finally, the longer you leave it in, the longer it will last on your hair, even as it fades. Remember: every time you wash some of the colour will be washed away.
Why do you think Clairol opted to create the Vibrant range?
Self-expression is going strong; our trends analysts are seeing more solid applications of bold colours, but this has always been a bit messy when done via a regular colour application. When we were able to create the hues in a conditioner base that is very easy to use, we created the full lineup of natural and bold expressive shades to offer something to everyone. To get the bold colours to really pop and last, put the product on hair that has been pre-lightened to a pale-yellow color. Since this is a conditioner, there’s no worry about any further damage to hair. Just be sure to really saturate and massage the conditioner into the hair to get the best result.