When it comes to bleaching and dyeing hair, there are dozens of products on the market.
You can choose your ideal hair dye by what your hair dresser recommends, or by what the internet recommends, or by what your mom recommends. But no matter what you choose, you’re going to have the same nerve-wracking experience as long as you’re taking the Do-It-Yourself route.
What’s scarier than taking your hair’s life into your own hands?
OK, there’s probably a lot that’s more frightening than that, but there is something like a thrill that comes with dyeing your hair yourself. And it does matter which brand you choose, based on the kind of experience you’re hoping to have, what colors you’d like your hair to be, and more.
Splat is a big name in “unnatural” hair colors (AKA blues and purples and pinks and greens, versus strawberry blonde and ashy brunette, for example), but is it right for you? That’ll be up to you to decide.
What Makes Splat Hair Dye Unique?
According to their website, Splat is the “#1 Fantasy Hair Color Brand in Mass.” They offer all kinds of fun colors in their hair products with some pretty inventive names, from Purple Desire to Ombre Dream, and Dusty Rose to Silver Moon.
You can find most colors under the rainbow with Splat – just don’t expect too many natural tones. For those looking for blonde, purple, red, blue, pink, green, orange, black, and even multi-color, Splat will be your speed. For those looking for a natural shade of brown – try elsewhere.
Some of Splat’s dye kits come with both their dye and bleach, but there are plenty of dyes they sell that don’t require bleaching, and are meant to just give a new color dimension to light or dark hair.
They also sort their products by “wear length,” or the amount of washes their dye will last through. Since there are some chalk options from Splat, the lowest wear length is one wash. But you can also find dyes with 10 washes or 30 washes in them.
Furthermore, Splat’s hair dyes and hair coloring agents are vegan and cruelty free.
This is great news for those hoping to dye their hair in the least chemically heavy way possible, and also for those who care about their environmental footprint. You better believe that when you dye your hair, dye will probably get lots of places, including down your sink or shower drain as you rinse it off.
However, to dye your hair with Splat (and all hair dyes, realistically), you’ll have to bleach your hair first for the best effect. Those with already light blonde hair can more easily get away with dyes showing up, perhaps without bleaching, but for those with dark hair, bleaching is recommended for the best results.
One pretty unique feature that Splat offers is their Splat Color Remover, which will remove the Splat hair dye in your hair without using bleach or ammonia. After using the Splat Color Remover, you will likely still have some color in your hair (it removes 1-3 shades of a given color), but that will put you in a great position to put on a different color and change your hair.
Splat is also made in the U.S., and ships free to the U.S. For non-U.S. customers, however, expect at $14.95 flat shipping fee. Splat’s kits come with plastic gloves, but Splat recommends you buy some extra gloves just in case yours rip during the dyeing process.
What Do People Think of Splat Hair Dye?
Most people like Splat hair dye, but some have pretty bad experiences. It has a 3.8-star rating on Amazon, with 874 customer reviews. On Influenster, it has a 3.69-star rating with 2,930 reviews, and on Ulta Beauty’s website, it has a 3.4-star rating with 377 reviews.
Most of the negative reviews are 1-star reviews – or experiences that went especially wrong. In part, this may be due to the difficulty of successfully dyeing your own hair at home, although in many cases, these reviews will offer legitimate critiques of the product, from quality to intuitiveness of use.
The Positives of Splat Hair Dye
One reviewer pointed out that as a hair stain, Splat hair dyes have to be left in your hair for a long time before you get some nice, strong color. This could mean that those who complained that the color didn’t take after 30 minutes should really have been leaving it in for 4-5 hours. That said, there were quite a few people complaining that the color didn’t stick to their hair well enough.
Still, most people were pleased with their results, rating splat hair dyes as easy to use, long-lasting, gentle, versatile, and resulting in great color. Several reviewers even wrote their reviews as responses to the many negative reviews, saying that it sounds to them like most of the negative reviewers didn’t know how to dye their hair and were blaming the product for their lack of experience.
Some tips reviewers gave include shampooing less and dry shampooing more, and washing your hair in cold water only (after it’s been dyed). These tips are meant to help you make the color last. Several reviewers said by washing carefully, their Splat-dyed hair kept its color for as long as 2-3 months.
Reviewers who stringently followed hair dyeing instructions seemed mostly pleased with their results. Many positive reviewers marked on how pleasantly surprised they were that the product left their hair soft.
One reviewer was very pleased by how long it lasted for them – two years, in fact. They did add that the only way they were able to remove the color was by re-dyeing and cutting their hair, and that if you go to bed with wet hair, you better put down a towel you don’t care too much about, as the color will run and bleed. Despite that, they love Splat hair dye and said they often get compliments on their hair because of it.
The Negatives of Splat Hair Dye
There’s a lot that’s good about Splat hair dye, but that doesn’t mean it is without critique.
One user posted that the process of applying the Splat hair dye made their hair look great – but it ruined their tub. Another user complained that it stained their skin, and yet another said it stained their clothes, and another still said it stained just about everything.
On Splat’s website, they recommend putting Vaseline on your skin where you don’t want the color to take hold, and warn that it’s difficult to get out from surfaces like carpet. With some reviews, it’s not entirely clear whether the reviewer was careful enough with their dyeing job.
However, what’s more concerning are the customers saying that the dye still gets everywhere, even after it has dried. This seems to prove that no matter how well you dye your hair, what happens after the dyeing process is still a bit beyond your control.
For example, one reviewer said the dye barely took on their hair, but still appears everywhere else whenever she showers. Another reviewer pointed out that they can’t go out in the rain or snow without the risk of the dye running everywhere and dyeing their skin. Even when they sweat, they find the color runs.
Bizarrely, one person even said that their hair feels sticky ever since they dyed it, and they aren’t able to wash the feeling away. Another still (and this was a popular negative review point) said that their hair has begun falling out and they don’t know why – except that they blame Splat.
Overall, it seems like there’s a lot that can go wrong in the hair dyeing process, and while it may not all be due to Splat and may in part be due to user error, there are enough negative reviews to suggest that it’s a risky enough business to dye your hair with Splat (or at least to dye your hair at all).
What We Think of Splat Hair Dye
Splat is affordable and powerful in its color – most who correctly applied it and got it to stick to their hair could agree on that. But there’s also a lot that can go wrong.
If you don’t research the proper way to dye your hair, you’re going to have a hard time. Better yet, research reviews, video tutorials, and more on this product before jumping in and buying it. While you can have great results using Splat hair dye, as indicated by so many positive reviews, there is also the potential for a disastrous experience.
Most reviewers do not recommend the bleach that Splat includes in some of their kits. It’s a 40-volume bleach, which is pretty strong as far as bleach levels go, and while some people’s hair might be able to handle it for a longer period of time, for thin, already pretty light hair, it could be too much.
A better alternative might be to purchase bleach on your own, separately, in addition to a developer (you’ll need both to bleach your hair properly), and then get a Splat dye that doesn’t include bleach in the package at all. This way, you have better control over how heavily your hair is bleached and affected by the bleach, while still getting that vibrant, vegan Splat hair dye you might be itching to purchase.
Another important tip that many reviewers pointed out is to leave the dye in for longer than you might think. For a stronger color look, leave the dye in for over an hour, at least. For a more muted look, which some might prefer, stick to no more than an hour of sit time.
Other tips to help make your Splat hair dye last longer include avoiding sulfates that could fade the color faster (dry shampoo is your best friend), and avoiding the use of hot water, which can also cause faster fading.
It’s also good to keep in mind that while Splat hair dyes may fade if you shampoo your hair in hot water a lot, it might not ever disappear completely. Most reviewers said that when they switched to a different color or back to their normal color, they did so by either re-dyeing their hair, cutting it, or both.
Only invest in a Splat dye (and the correct application of a Splat dye) if you’re down to keep the color for a long time, or are doing an ombre/just dipping the tips of your hair into the dye.
Another important tip is to use petroleum jelly on your roots, neck, ears, and anywhere else on your skin you’re hoping not to get the dye. Try to keep your dyeing process to a constrained area of your bathroom (with a window you can open if bleaching your hair, of course – use chemicals safely!) if you want to avoid staining too much of your stuff.
Splat recommends using a dishwashing soap and baking soda combo (equal parts each) to remove dye on your skin or countertop area. It will make a paste, which you’ll then have to scrub against whatever surface accidentally got dyed. They recommend doing it twice to have the dye be fully removed.
Also remember that this dye runs or bleeds a little when your hair is wet. That can be from sweat, rain, or showering. Regardless: Keep your hair dry around your clothes and around others if you want to keep the color locked in and away from dyeing everything within its reach. Some people did not note this was a problem for them, but because so many people did, it might still be an important warning to include.
If you do all of these steps correctly, including the instructions that come with your Splat hair dye kit, your hair dyeing process will likely go just fine. Splat will be a great option for those hoping to try lots of different colors, especially colors layered on top of each other in a gradient, because of how affordable and easy to use it is. Just be careful to keep the color on your hair!