Back when I was in my 20s (I’m in my 40s now…where does the time go?!), it was nothing for me to change my hair color at least a couple of times a month. It actually wasn’t until I decided to grow my hair out a couple of years ago that I learned just how much hair dye can weaken hair follicles. Now that I’m on the road to getting my healthy scalp and hair back, I wish there had been hair color wax around in my younger, hair-reckless days.
What is Color Wax?
Color wax is one of the latest temporary hair color trends that is definitely less harmful than permanent dyes that contain harsh ingredients like ammonia (more on this in just a bit). Depending on the brand you use, they can be made up of a mix of beeswax and color pigments that coat the hair strand but do not permanently alter the structure of the hair, the way peroxide and ammonia do.
If you’re anything like I was a couple of decades ago, it’s a great way to literally go from purple to white to intense red hair, all within a matter of a few days, without totally damaging your natural hair in the process.
Popular Color Wax Brands
As far as hair wax brands go, I did some research and it appears that Mofajang Hair Color Wax, Hailicare Unicorn Purple Hair Wax and ALEXIA & CO Japanese Color Hair are all fan favorites. But if you’re looking for some solid reasons to give hair color wax a try, take a few moments out of your day and I’ll do my best to break it down for you.
Reasons to Try Color Wax
1. It’s less damaging than hair dye
Recently, I was talking to a woman who used to have really long dark hair. About five or six months ago, she decided that she wanted to go blonde. Long story short, her hair is a short lob right now, mostly due to the damage that dyeing her hair caused. The moral to the story is ammonia is nobody’s (hair) friend. This is another reason why hair color wax is so awesome. Most brands contain natural ingredients like beeswax, licorice and some type of oil (like a castor oil); things that are good for your hair whether you used them to color your tresses or not.
2. It works well on all hair textures
If you’re wondering if hair color wax only works for a couple of hair textures only, absolutely not! The straightest of the straight and the curliest of the curly all sing its praises. In fact, if your hair happens to be more of a Type 4, using the hair wax can even elongate your curls, similar to Bentonite hair clay does. Oh, and if you’re wondering if it looks just as good on dark hues as light, it absolutely does (although you’ll probably have to do the layering thing that I mention below).
3. You can switch up as often as you want
Another thing that’s cool about hair color wax is once it’s completely dry, it doesn’t feel icky or sticky. On the other hand, if there’s a downside, it’s that after about the third day, it can sometimes look a little chalky or be difficult to manage. In other words, after day 3-4, you should probably wash it out. But again, if you like to switch up your look as much as possible anyway, that gives you a reason to go from silver to blue to rainbow (yep, you can also mix different colors if you want) all within a seven-day period.
4. It can even make your hair look thicker, healthier too
If you love what dye does for your hair, color-wise, but you absolutely hate what it does to your hair, health-care wise, this is another reason to give hair color wax a try. Thanks to the consistency of the wax and the ingredients in it, it can actually help your hair to appear thicker and feel healthier!
5. It is super easy to use
One of the best things about hair color wax is it’s uber easy to apply. Unlike hair dye, you won't need to reserve hours of your time or make an appointment at the salon in order to achieve this look. You can do it at home with ease!
How to Apply Color Wax to Curly Hair
First, it’s best to put it on freshly-washed conditioned damp hair. Just take some of the wax (which feels more like a cream than a wax, by the way) and evenly distribute it throughout your hair, wherever you want the hair color to go. Then, if you want more intensity, let the first “layer” of color dry for 15-20 minutes before adding another. For the record, most brands easily rub off during the application process, but if you want to be extra safe, put on some rubber gloves before applying. Oh, and if you’re a visual person, you can watch how Laurscurls and Ambrosia Marlborough applied color wax to their own natural hair.
Does Color Wax Rub Off or Transfer?
Just to be as transparent as possible, to me, hair color wax is a lot like foundation. Some brands don’t rub off on clothes and people better than others. Also, although the wax is great on dark hair, it’s kind of hit or miss when it comes to fully covering greys. But if you’re looking for a way to drastically change your hair in (one of) the most low-maintenance ways possible, hair color wax is a (relatively) affordable way to do it—over and over and over again. As often as you feel like doing it!
How Long Does Color Wax Last?
The color will stay on your curls for three to four days until you wash it. You can extend the life of the color in between by covering up your hair with a shower cap when you shower, and by lightly touching up the color with your fingers (although this should be done sparingly).
Laurscurls showed how her color wax lasted throughout the week, and how the color did stay pretty vibrant over three days, but she did experience color transfer, flaking, and a chalky look in later days with the color she chose. It does depend which brand you use and even within the brand, which color. On day three she washed the color out using shampoo.
How Do You Remove Color Wax?
Remove the color wax from your hair by cleansing as you would when you are following a curly clarifying regimen to remove product build-up from your hair and scalp. If your hair is prone to dryness you may want to pre-poo first, followed by a clarifying shampoo and a deep conditioner to infuse moisture back into your curls.