Lilian Min
Updated Aug 26, 2015 @ 11:39 am
hair top coat

We must admit, the words “hair top coat” don’t seem congruous — after all, isn’t that just… conditioner? But what about something that gave hair an instant color-boosting shine? Why, that does indeed sound like how a top coat works for nails, but how does a top coat look on hair? A little something like this:

As the caption states, this color change happened in five minutes, and that’s not an exaggeration: These top coats, which both are and aren’t really dyes (more on that later) are meant to work quickly. Our friends at Pravana came up with the new line of top coats, ChromaSilk ExpressTones, to help process and amp up hair, and among the hues available are Ash, Violet, Clear, and of course, a subtly shining Pearl. The results — a fast track to amped up, but not necessarily retouched, hair.

For those of you who’ve bleached your hair before, you know that just as important as bleach and developer in the process is toner, which helps combat the harsh yellow imparted by the bleaching process. Most professional salons use a variety of “cool” shades (violets and blues mostly) to tone, whereas DIYers usually use just one shade, which is about a step lighter than whatever their bleached hair looks like. The thinking is to neutralize the yellow with its opposite on the color wheel, and is important for setting a neutral base color for any additional dyes. As Seventeen clarifies, a hair top coat is like, say, a deep gloss, but with the added benefit of toning your locks at the same time. So, while it’s definitely not a “true” dye, and it doesn’t do any of the lifting that bleach does, it’s a total color game-changer.

Celeb stylist and colorist Guy Tang worked with Pravana on the line, and judging by his Instagram, oh, he knows what he’s doing. The ExpressTones line isn’t out until September, but until then, we’ll just save all of these photos in our “Hairspiration” folder.

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(Images via Instagram.)