Call me crazy (I prefer adventurous), but I’ve always been reckless with my poor hair. Since that first terrible bottle of Sun-In at junior high school (for the uninitiated, a ‘blonding’ spray you’d spritz into your hair before the beach so it fried faster in the sun), my tresses have never been their natural colour. Thankfully, despite the colour assaults, my locks are in surprisingly good condition these days. That’s not my issue.
The catch is that, like the majority of my family, I have incredibly sensitive skin. I suffer if I’m not cautious with the cosmetics I use on my face and I’m so allergic to perfume I have to air kiss my friends if I suspect they’ve spritzed. My husband has a cabinet of favourite colognes he’s banned from wearing near me. But still for the majority of my life, I’ve chosen to blonde my hair, Marilyn-style, to within an inch of its life. And every time I do it, my scalp burns like it’s been set alight.
That’s why, when I heard about a brand new salon colour developed by Wella, a company well known in beauty journalism circles for being ahead of the innovation game, designed especially for people with sensitive scalps, I quickly raised my hand to experience it.
KP Innosense is the first hair colour product or range to ever receive a formal seal of approval from the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation thanks to a patented, breakthrough ‘dye’ molecule called ME+, which replaces the more irritating colour molecules used in all permanent hair colours for many decades. In effect, I was told, it’s a ‘healthier’ or more soothing hair colouring option for anyone, whether they suffered allergies and sensitivities or not.
Though it only launched in Australia just last month, the slick salon owned by Sporteluxe expert contributor Hamish Glianos, People Hairdressing in Potts Point, Sydney, which is a favourite with Sporteluxe staff, already stocked it and are expert in using Wella products generally, so that’s where I headed.
Given I’ve historically used all-over bleach to really blonde my hair (I’m scared of orange – bleach done well has always kept the brass away), the salon’s technical director and colour master, Serena Preston, was quick to point out that I’d need to continue using bleach for the same effect. KP Innosense matches almost any colour in the hair spectrum, except bleached white blonde – but (and here’s the ideal part) she explained that KP Innosense could certainly be used to replace my usual post-bleach toner. Given that’s the point where my scalp is always at its most sensitive, it was an ideal stage to use a soothing non-irritant product to leave my hair shiny, glossy and beautifully finished.
While Serena worked on my colour, salon director Deirdre handed me headphones and a Samsung tablet, which featured a blissful 10-minute meditation created for the KP Innosense launch by Aurora Spas founder Lyndall Mitchell. I juggle a very busy job with two young children aged two and under, so to have 10 minutes of pure guided relaxation with my eyes closed while my colour was applied was utter heaven. And, I suppose, completely in line with KP Innosense’s healthy philosophy of being gentle on your senses.
For the first time in as long as I can remember, I actually enjoyed the scalp massage at the basin once all of the colouring was done. Again, sheer bliss. No tingling, no stinging. But most importantly (because I’m a woman and we’re all about results, right?) I absolutely loved the colour: blonde without being brassy; soft and glossy. (Thanks again Serena!)
In fact, I’m writing this two weeks after that visit, and I’m still thrilled with the colour, condition and the whole experience. Two months ago a stylist cut my hair shoulder-length after almost two decades of very long tresses. I’m still not sure I’ve embraced the new length, to be honest, but when it comes to switching to scalp-friendly colour, I’m already completely won over.
Want to try Wella Professionals KP Innosense for yourself? You’ll find it at most Wella salons across Australia. Chat to your colourist for more information or go to the Wella salon finder here.
TIP: Do you have a sensitive scalp too? People Hairdressing expert colourist Serena suggests you don’t wash your hair for a few days before your appointment. It won’t affect the end shade result, but the natural oils will give your scalp will have extra protection.
A dedicated story for Wella