Update 2/28/17: A new review that shows all the colors on dark hair has been posted here.
Recently I learned about Britelites temporary hair color, which comes in a twist up tube and is supposedly better than hair chalk. With any hair color product, my first question is will show up on dark hair? As soon as I found out that it does, I had to give it a try.
The only place where it is physically sold in this part of the country is Free People. (Or what I call Free-Spending People because their items are pricey and I don’t even like the styles.) They are also sold on the BritelitesColor website, but I figured I could save the shipping expense by going to Free People. It cost the same there as it does online. Ten dollars for lip-balm sized hair color is a lot to me, but my boyfriend was nice and bought it for me.
The store I went to only had the colors Ice and one last Purple in stock. There was a tester for Ice, so I tried it. The color shows up, but it looks too light for my liking (it’s recommended for light hair), so I bought the last Purple without trying it.
Although Purple is one of the colors that is recommended for dark hair and light hair, when I tried it, it doesn’t look that noticeable, unless there’s light directly shining on it. The color that I really want is Red, which is described as “between hot pink and a true red,” and will look better than pink on dark hair.
I did not use hairspray or a flat iron after applying, as neither of those were mentioned in the directions. The following two pictures were taken right after application, with no combing (which includes using hands) or styling.
Here are my impressions so far:
- It’s temporary. I can still maintain a professional appearance when I have to.
- It shows up on dark hair. Yes and no. [Edit: Some colors show up better than others.]
- It’s pretty easy to apply.
- It lasts. The color was still visible 12 hours after application. Then I went to bed. When I woke up the next morning, the color was still there. It didn’t make a mess on my pillow. It was still mostly there after 24 hours. I washed my hair as I normally do and there were still traces of color.
- I needed a lot to coat the strand all around so that the color will show. It’s possible that it’s because a dark color like purple doesn’t stand out on my dark hair, but a lighter color would.
- It’s messy to apply. It washed off my hands pretty easily with soap.
- It transfers. I found some purple on my arm. If I toss my hair behind my shoulders, I find purple on my hands. This is inevitable and goes with other temporary hair color products as well.
- It makes your hair clump, so that it’ll look stringy as though it hasn’t been washed for days. I didn’t brush my hair after applying it because I read a review saying that it gets on the hairbrush. The clumping is taken care of when I follow the directions that say to “use fingers to work pigment through hair.” However, when I do that, the color becomes so diffused that it’s not obvious on my hair. [Edit: Don’t touch it after applying.] Perhaps a brighter color would still be visible, but the purple blends into the black.
One of the ingredients is lavender essential oil. It smells more like spike lavender than English lavender. The scent is pretty strong, so I felt like I was perpetually walking around in a natural foods store. It’s not a problem if you like the smell. Personally, I’m not a fan of it. (I would have listed it as a con, but I know some people like it, which is why I’m mentioning it separately.) The lavender scent was still detectable after two washes, though it was significantly lighter by then.
I am a bit disappointed with this product, mostly because it’s not visibly bright unless I use a lot of it, which causes my hair to stick together. The smell is also bothersome. Had I been able to try a Purple tester at the store, I would not have bought this color.
Compared to hair chalk, Britelites is just as messy (transfers) and temporary, but has that lavender smell and costs much more. I am tempted to say that it doesn’t show up as brightly as hair chalk, but that could be due to the choice in color, so I haven’t established that as fact. After all, black hair chalk won’t be noticeable on my hair. With regards to not being as drying as hair chalk, I don’t use hair chalk so frequently to have noticed any drying of my hair, so that particular benefit doesn’t matter much to me.
That said, I still am willing to try Britelites in Red, in hopes that it will show up more than the Purple did on my dark hair. If I ever get my hands on a tube of Red, I will update this review.
Update 1/26/2016: I was recently able to try other colors of Britelites, and some do show up better on dark hair than others. You can see pictures of all the colors, and additional remarks about the product here.