About eight months ago, my hairdresser bleached my hair and covered it in a baby-pink gloss as I bandwagon-ed onto the pastel-hair trend. I threw down $300. Two-and-a-half weeks later, I was horrified to see that almost all of the pink had faded from my hair. I searched the internet in a panic, looking for a low-maintenance, easy-to-apply, non-damaging solution that wouldn’t destroy my bank account. Finally, I found it in Overtone’s deep conditioners.
Overtone was founded in 2014 by Liora Dudar and Maegan Scarlett, two women who understood the lazy-girl’s hair-coloring struggle (dyeing, touching up, putting forth any effort whatsoever) and developed a line of vegan, cruelty-free, color-depositing conditioners in fantasy, unicorn, and millennial colors. The system centers around two kinds of products: a daily conditioner and a weekly deep-conditioning treatment. Each color is available in “pastel,” “vibrant,” and “extreme,” depending on how bright you want the color and how dark your hair is going in. Though it works best on already-light or bleached hair, the Overtone website says it can be used on darker hair, with caveats (“If you’re working with medium-brown hair, for example, our Extreme Red line will give you a beautiful mahogany tint,” the FAQ reads). The site also has a handy color chart for reference, and you can order sample sizes of Overtone products in case you want to test just a small section of hair.
I first bought the pastel-pink set and used both the daily and deep treatments, but I soon realized that the miracle worker is the deep treatment. I use my hands to paint it on my hair, wait 15 minutes, rinse, and am blessed with a new shock of pink hair that looks like I just had it done at the salon. The color isn’t permanent, and is supposed to be refreshed each week (after each wash, the color fades slightly). Now, I use it every two to three weeks because I like how my hair fades to a different color each time I shower, which means one tub lasts me a couple of months (I have fine, thinnish hair).
But the best part of the product is that it isn’t a “dye” in the traditional sense. It’s pigmented, but contains “no peroxide, no ammonia, and no heavy alcohols,” according to the website. And it’s packed with moisturizing, nutritious ingredients like avocado oil, aloe, and primrose oil.
A month ago, I got my first haircut in, let’s just say … a while. As the hairdresser combed my pink hair, I asked her hesitantly if my hair looked damaged. I waited nervously as she looked deeply into my roots. “Nah,” she said finally. “You’re okay.”
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