The root of the problem

In Grooming, Hair on November 11, 2013 at 8:38 pm


This post is not sponsored, PR generated, or in any way influenced by anything except my own recent experience. Now we have that clear I can get on to the fun part.

It isn’t very often you encounter an absolutely new genre of beauty product – an idea so clever and new it blows your mind and makes you go WOW! But that happened to me last Thursday when I was getting my hair cut by my treasured stylist Giles Robinson at the John Frieda salon in Mayfair.

When I first met Giles on a magazine shoot about six years ago, he was a young gun at the salon, who did the odd bit of editorial. Impressed by his work on the magazine story and his lovely personality I went into the John Frieda flagship in Aldford Street for a cut and I’ve never been anywhere else since.


With his talent and intelligence, he has quickly risen up the ranks so he’s now the king of demonstration – officially ‘Director, Training and Education’ – for the latest brand dreamed up by John Frieda and his business partner (and fellow genius) Gail Federici.

The first life-changing product those two came up with was Frizz-Ease and since then they’ve dreamed up the Sheer Blonde shampoo and styling range, quickly followed by Brilliant Brunette and Radient Redhead, and the Luxurious Volume products (which I find give brilliant root lift on home blow dries).

Read more about them here:

Now they’ve done it again with ColorWow.

It came up by chance when I was chatting to Giles about what he’s been doing since I last saw him and it turns out he has been gadding around the States with legendary hairdress Ken Pavés (who does Victoria Beckham’s barnet among many other stellar heads) and in the QVC studios demonstrating the product with him and with Kevin Moss, the UK-based John Frieda Creative Director.

This legend (a very funny and very nice legend…) was cutting another lady’s hair in the chair behind mine in the salon that day, so by lucky chance I had an intro to the range from two gurus and all I could do was sit and say: WOW.

This is basically, make up for hair. At first I was bit – meh – about that as a concept. It looks like an eye shadow compact: a sleek black box with brown compressed powder in it (there are six shades from platinum to full black), a brush lying along side.


OK, I thought, that’s clever. I’d dab the lightest blonde shade on my roots where my highlights are growing out and it will make them look light again – but won’t it come off all over my clothes?

No, said Giles. It sticks to the hair so well it’s waterproof. But not shampoo proof – you wash it out – but waterproof. So even if you are covering up grey roots on jet black hair, you can use the product and go swimming without the pool looking like a squid attack.

I was quite impressed with that – then the big reveal happened. I had a go with it, dabbing at my roots with the powder and that’s when I said WOW… because not only does it make the dark roots disappear, the reflectors in the powder bounce the light off each hair shaft, so it looks exactly like shining, freshly highlighted hair – and not at all like hair with eye shadow on it.

As Kylie would say, wow wow wow wow.

At £28 ($49.95 in Aus) for a one-colour compact it’s not cheap – but it could seriously extend the time before you need your colour doing, so you’d make it back.

It’s in store now – check on Google – so go have a play and tell me what you think. I’m still thinking WOW.

Here’s a video showing the product in action.

  1. Definitely wow. In the past I have used a yucky, sticky tube of root touch up; I’ve even resorted to mascara (and texta – desperate, I know).

    I will be buying this one – thanks so much for passing it on. I had my roots etc done the other day, but I am not thrilled with them, so will be doing a little artwork of my own.

    And, I must say, how I would love the thrill of being able to say that my regular stylist was in the John Frieda salon in MAYFAIR…

  2. Oh how timely Maggie. I had just finished reading the latest Allure and ColourWow made it on their list of the most impressive products.
    I immediately goggled like a mad woman and found it was available in Australia and it arrived this morning.
    As someone that only has a few greys around my hairline but needs these banished every 4 weeks at great expense I can’t wait to test drive it!
    Kate Bx

  3. Unbelievable! Will definitely try it out. How clever!!

  4. I am very excited Maggie! I wrote a blog post about the ‘Grey Hair Taboo’ not long ago and my grey regrowth drives me insane. I am only 37. I just got online and ordered some of this in Medium Brown. You’re right – I’m in Australia and it was $49.95 plus delivery. Can’t wait to try it 🙂

    • Let me know how you find it working in real life. I would recommend watching the videos, as I had a go on my own, but it looked much better when Giles and Kevin showed me exactly how to apply it, with a dab at the root and then draw down. xx

  5. Thanks for sharing your discovery, Maggie. I will definitely be buying some!

  6. Hooooray!!! Cannot wait for it to arrive in Australia (if it’s not here already) – a saviour in the lead up to the next hair appointment. I will now be hunting it down – thanks!!

  7. Bingo! Thanks for sharing Maggie, what a handy kit. Bx

  8. I love the idea that if I have something special and I don’t have time to get to my hairdresser I can still look done! Thank you for the (unpaid) advice.

  9. Maggie, I trust you & your taste so much that I ordered my dark brown ColorWow online immediately after reading your blog post! At 46, I have my hair colour religiously every 6 weeks to cover massive amounts of grey, but it grows so fast that I can see the new silver roots starting to come up only 6 days after having it coloured, so ColorWow is definitely for me – will apply to my hairline around my face & part. For those of you living in Australia, I ordered mine online from Hairhouse Warehouse: $49.95 + $9.95 postage & delivery

    • Great – let me know how you find it. I’m really interested to hear from different hair colours. I think it’s the brunettes that this is really life changing for – blondied like me can fudge it for longer. I would advise to watch the video demos to get the technique. x

    • Oh L, doesn’t it drive you nuts!!! I would kill for the regrowth of old (pure ash v dark blonde) now its that silver tinsel in more ways than one – colour, texture … !! The extra dimension of this product might help to hold down those new greys as they (in my case grow so forcefully and sometimes straight UP – very annoying) seemingly pop up overnight. Sure Maggie will want follow up on this. B

  10. Hey Maggie

    Can you do a post on how you are going with the 5:2 Diet? I finally saw Dr Mosley on the episode Eat, Fast and Live Longer last night on SBS. Have you kept on with the diet? How much have you lost? How are you feeling?

    Thanks Maggie.


    • I’m afraid I’ve failed with diet – it works, I did lose on it, but then due to circumstances beyond my control I haven’t been able to do it. I’ve just started my THIRD set of major antiobiotics this year and you just can’t take them on an empty stomach. Then there were the holidays and all in all, I’ve just failed. I haven’t given up hope – I know it works, but I haven’t been able to give it a fair run. I have several friends who have lost loads on it and kept it off – it just hasn’t worked out for me YET x

      • Oh Maggie, those heavy antibiotics are a killer and def not to be taken on an empty stomach or one can end up with gastiric ulsers, etc. Whatever your ailment – hope its all cleared up now for good. BX

  11. Have been using my face powder on my roots( blonde hair) if totally desperate, I have vey fine hair so this has effectively felt like dry shampoo, however will give this a try….

  12. Wow, truly does sound great!

  13. No red 😦

    • OH MY LORD! Do you mean in the Color Wow! That is such a good point – I hadn’t noticed (sorry). I’m going to get in touch with Giles (my hairdresser) and ask his advice. What an oversight!

  14. Maggie, just when I didn’t think I could love you more, you send me this! It is a gift. At 43, with dark brown hair 50% and grey hair 50%, it is a full time job trying to keep them covered up! I am off tomorrow to get me some. I am addicted to your blog and now never more so. Thank you for your great (and hilarious) work. xx

    • Well, that’s just about the nicest thing I’ve ever woken up to (give or take the odd Christmas stocking and my husband). Please let me know how it works for you. I haven’t tried it in real life yet and I’m really looking forward to hearing how everyone finds it.

    • PS I don’t want to be pushy, but in the modern world a writer needs their blog… if you have any friends you think might like it, please tell them xxx

  15. […] an issue with greying hair and being in my thirties it is pretty freaking annoying. I came across this blog post by Maggie Alderson, recommending (unpaid too shall I say) a new product called Color Wow. It is like makeup for your […]

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