...and then they did.

I'm sure you've heard it. You've probably said it.

You buy an at-home hair dye, apply it, watch the TV for a bit as it develops, before staining your bath, applying the complimentary after-conditioner for a few minutes and then rinsing. You eagerly dry it off, run your irons over your locks and then stroke your hair in wonder at the silky smooth feeling it's left.

"Why don't they bottle this stuff and sell it?" you wonder.

I'd like to side step for a moment and venture a guess that some of you have also had a stern telling-off from your hairdresser for using these dye kits. The trouble is, we don't really know them as well as we do professional colour. I haven't touched a permanent off-the-shelf colour for years now, and I try to advise others not to, either. In fact, if your excuse is that conditioner, you have no excuses left.

Because they actually did bottle the stuff.

I came across these in Boots the other day whilst looking for Bleach London's direct dyes. (They're gorgeous, by the way, and totally allowed).

These are the exact conditioners included in Garnier Olia and John Frieda Precision Foam hair colour kits:

Now, allow me some snobbery here. I've looked over the ingredients and the John Frieda one is somewhat more advanced, containing palm and rice oils rich in fatty acids and triglycerides, which help to make the hair smoother and stronger by penetrating inside the hair rather than just sitting on the surface like some silicones do. The Garnier one doesn't contain any added benefits like this and, as such, is cheaper. It won't do any harm to your hair, but at £4.99 for almost three times as much in the tube, the John Frieda option is better value for money all round.

Find the products at Boots, linked below.

John Frieda Precision Foam Colour Intense After-Colour Conditioner
£4.99, 150ml

Garnier Olia After-Colour Care Conditioner
£1.99, 54ml