As a licensed cosmetologist, I have access to my choice of professional-only hair color brands for routine touch-ups. Those aren’t products I’d even consider for review for the simple fact that they’re sold solely to licensed professionals. After having a go-round with a few at-home box color solutions though, I realized I needed to call in the reinforcements. Over-the-counter color just wasn’t cutting it in the grey-coverage department, and I read a lot of comments from dear readers who were experiencing the same frustrating issue.
Last week, off I went in search of a great hair color product that offers fantastic grey coverage that you could easily purchase too! After perusing the color aisles at my local Sally Beauty Supply, I stumbled across a new grey-busting series of hair color shades from Clairol Professional. While there’s the word ‘professional’ in the brand, this is something that you can walk into a Sally Beauty Supply and buy for yourself. I picked up their Soy 4Plex Liquicolor in 5NN, a permanent rich medium-brown shade. While Soy 4Plex isn’t a brand new color line at Sally, the Gray Busters NN series is.
Since these shades are sold a la carte (like most professional color), you’ll also need to pick up a bottle of developer, and for this I purchased the corresponding Clairol Pure White 20 volume developer. Don’t worry about getting stuck with a huge bottle of developer, I was able to buy a small 2 oz. bottle which is more consumer-friendly. Because of the sale Sally was having at the time (paired up with a coupon in their sales flier), I was able to score this combo of color and developer for less than $4! That beats a box of color at the drugstore, any day.
The Soy 4Plex grey busting NN series offers a selection of 6 shades:
8 NN — light rich neutral blonde
7 NN — medium rich neutral blonde
6 NN — dark rich neutral blonde
5 NN — lightest rich neutral brown
4 NN — light rich neutral brown
3 NN — medium rich neutral brown
Now, keep in mind—this won’t come with a bottle, but you can get one at Sally rather inexpensively too. When I do my own retouches like this at home though, I really prefer to use the brush and bowl method. I just find that it’s much cleaner and easier to control, but that’s a personal preference. I also waste less color that way, as sometimes the sides of a color bottle end up gathering a lot of the product, which inevitably stays inside the bottle instead of on your hair.
When it comes to mixing for the NN series, you’ll want to use a 1:1 ratio for color to developer. So for every one ounce of color, you’ll use one ounce of developer. Once you’ve applied the color everywhere you need it, set a timer for 45 minutes. According to Clairol, this is the optimum amount of time that the Soy 4Plex grey-busting series needs to properly develop and cover grey.
A little tip I have for you…
Unless you really need to use the entire bottle, don’t mix the entire bottle. When I’m doing roots only, I only mix 1/2 oz. of color and 1/2 oz. of developer. This yields an entire ounce of formula. Now you’ve stretched your hair color dollars to more sessions! If in doubt (or are trying to cover long hair), just go ahead and use the entire bottle of each—you’ll wind up with the same amount of color that comes in at-home box color. If not using all at once, tightly cap the remaining color and developer separately in their respective containers, and store them in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.
Once my time was up, I washed my hair, using a color-safe shampoo and conditioner. As I was blowing out my hair, I could not believe how fantastic the grey coverage was! It actually got it all, and it looked multi-dimensional instead of drab like some color can make it look. My hair was also incredibly shiny and pretty soft, and I was completely impressed with this for an at-home option. It’s now exactly a week later, and the color is still holding up—not a grey in sight!
According to Clairol, Soy 4Plex addresses the four signs of healthy looking color; deep conditioning, reflective shine, multi-dimensional shades, and long-lasting results. After my first experience with this, I definitely agree that the Soy 4Plex NN series delivers on its promises.
Make sure you apply a barrier cream (like Vaseline) around your hairline to prevent staining prior to starting application. OH! And don’t forget the gloves!
I’m actually pretty happy that the box color I’ve used lately didn’t give me the grey coverage that I need, otherwise I wouldn’t have discovered Soy 4Plex! I hope that the NN series of Soy 4Plex suits your needs too.