“The home hair dye kit that got me the most compliments ever”

Posted by for Beauty

Stylist’s beauty editor Lucy Partington has always found at-home hair dye to be a bit hit or miss. Then Josh Wood came along and completely changed the game…

My hair has been through the mill. It really has. Naturally curly, I blow-dry and straighten the life out of it every single day. And then there’s the years of dye. I used to be a big fan of at-home colour, and, sure, the results would vary but those boxes saw me through my teens and early twenties. I used them to go purple, orange, blonde, red and back to brunette when I was feeling less adventurous.

Then, after giving my hair a break from the dye for a few years, I discovered the joy of a salon colour and I vowed never to use a box again. Why would I when I can completely switch off, let somebody work their magic and leave with hair that’s better than in an advert? That’s when I jumped on the balayage trend and layered bleach over bleach over bleach in order to get my dream hair.

But, as you can imagine, the bleach was something my hair definitely didn’t thank me for. So earlier this year I had four inches chopped off and dyed it back to brown. 

Over time, though, the brunette started to fade, turning my hair into a nondescript mousy colour. With no time to sit in a salon (apparently I’ve turned into one of those people), I decided to break my sacred no-box dye vow, and take matters into my own hands.

I didn’t want to go a crazy colour, just a nice warm brunette shade that would look glossy and disguise the split ends. I’d heard great things about Josh Wood’s range of box dyes so I jumped straight on those. Available in 12 ‘traditional’ shades (ranging from darkest brown to lightest blonde) they launched into Boots earlier this year after being in development for two years. What appealed to me most was that they come in half-shades, so it’s genuinely possible to find the perfect match - and they’re only £10. There’s also a range of root concealers that include things like blending brushes, root markers and dry shampoo in the same shades as the dyes so there’s no need to dye your hair all over once hair starts to grow.

Lucy’s faded hair before the dye

The other thing that appealed is the option of having a (free) personal consultation from an in-salon colourist to make sure you find your perfect match. I sent pictures of my current hair (above) and said I wanted to go a medium brown shade. Initially I assumed I’d go for shade 5.5 Lightest Brown but - and take this as a warning - the shades run quite dark so I was advised to choose 6.0 Darkest Blonde which genuinely turned out to be the exact colour I wanted.

The kit itself is like any other at-home dye and it comes complete with gloves (that fit like actual gloves rather than being miles too big), a sachet of Josh Wood’s Everything Mask (which is available in a big version and is truly incredible) and a stain remover wipe (clever). I waited half an hour for the colour to develop, washed it out, blow-dried and straightened et voila – my new hair was picture perfect. Glossy, rich, healthy-looking. Exactly what I wanted. 

In the fortnight or so that’s followed I’ve had so many people comment on the colour and tell me how good it looks, how much it suits me, how shiny it is. And you know what? I can’t tell you how happy that’s made me. Mostly because, out of everything, hair compliments are my second favourite type of compliment to get (after perfume, because who doesn’t love a perfume compliment?).

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll never end up sitting in a salon chair again…

Josh Wood Permanent Colour, £10, boots.com

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Lucy Partington

Freelance beauty editor Lucy Partington is obsessed with all things skincare, collecting eyeshadow palettes that she'll probably never use, and is constantly on the hunt for the ultimate glowy foundation.