The red-splattered tiles spoke for themselves — this was definitely a crime scene — one worthy of the best CSI investigators.  In fact, I am sure that at first glance that anyone would have concluded that Dexter had recently paid a visit. I could see them pouring over the “blood splatters, speculating on the weapons used, the angles of entry and most of all the absence of the body.

It had all started about an hour beforehand when I decided rather late in the day to let vanity get the better of me and I “HAD” to dye my hair before all the birthday celebration pictures were taken. 50 shades of grey is never an attractive look, and I had been somewhat lapse over the winter months in keeping up with my usual schedule of redoing my roots.  I needed to banish the grey — and fast!

I had grabbed a suitable looking box of hair colour when we visited the supermarket, not realising it was a new product — both to me and Portugal — where I had bought it.

The new aspect was the dye delivery system – mousse – which I discovered was basically a posh word for foam in this context.

So armed with the instructions which, thankfully, had pictures for those that do not read the language, I proceeded to mix the hair colouring adding the colouring to the base mix — so far so good.

Left the bottle for ten minutes — I always do that — even if it says use right away.

I took another look at the instructions, and saw that I have to squeeze the bottle to get the pump to work.  One tentative squeeze resulted in nothing but air being delivered.  OK, I thought, this might need some pressure to build up so I applied a few more vigorous squeezes to the bottle. SPLAT!  A dollop of white foam shot out missing my other hand which was hovering above my hair ready to catch it and it landed fair and square on the tiles above the bath.

By then, I had discovered that this plastic bottle was more rigid than flexible and, mindful of the time, I did not have available for this, I started pumping the bottle furiously to get the foam onto my hair, the shower curtain, surrounding tiles and the bath.

Ten minutes, and a sore thumb later, I had emptied the bottle and my hair was covered satisfactorily, I dutifully covered it with a shower cap and waited the 40 minutes required for the colouring solution to do its job.

I returned after the allotted time and I switched on the shower and proceeded to try to wash off the hair dye.  Normally, a medium flow of warm water does the trick but this dye was made of tougher stuff, warm water — medium flow was not touching it so I ramped up the shower to full blast and HOT!  At last it worked.  Duly applied conditioner, rinsed that off, and pulled my hair up into my nifty turban towel to dry off the worst before finishing off later with some curling spray.

At that point in time there was nothing untoward in the bathroom — no sign of the apparent devastation which greeted me thirty minutes later when I returned to apply the finishing touches in the mirror.

I walked in the door and I was greeted by what appeared to be a bloodbath.  That innocent splat of white foam, and all the others, were no longer white or innocent looking and they had been joined by every drop of dye tinted water from my showering efforts. Even the sink and the floor did not escape.

It took me nearly half an hour to clean it all up and off — yes we were late!

Note to fellow users:  “Intense red equals Dexter blood-red!”


  1. Love this story, Nicola! So much fun and so real — BECAUSE I KNOW!

    Yes, I’ve helped someone color their hair with that awful foam — we used it once and then never again. The foam just sits on top of the hair and never embeds itself in the roots and under-hair. The color did not last long.

    The problem with the foam, as you discovered, it that it is tough to get out of the bottle, and when you do, the bottle becomes super-slippery because the dye leaks everywhere! Dye cascades onto everything!

    I’m curious why you always wait 30 minutes after mixing the dye to use it. I think, with the foam at least, that’s why it was hard to get out and wash out. The “foamy” sensation is set for a certain amount of time and then it begins to change and harden.

    How were you able to remove the color splatter? Once it sets into a color, we find it impossible to remove from the sink and the tile and the shower and the marble floor…

  2. Huge grin.

    I usually leave hair colour that long so it takes – any quicker and I find that the results are not as good. I assumed the same would apply to the foam.

    As to removal – I got Mr P to ask reception for some bleach and a scrubbing brush and scrubbed !

    1. That makes sense to let the color sit — but not the foam — that’s probably why it was stuck in the bottle. SMILE!

      We try bleach — but usually steel wool works best — not a Brillo pad with the soap in it — just the old, rusty, reliable.

  3. This is HILARIOUS! I was so confused when I started reading your article but as soon as I scrolled down and saw that picture of the foam hair dye I knew your pain. That stuff gets everywhere.

    I also agree with you David. The product does not last long at all. As far as getting the hair dye off of things (accept clothes that’s mostly permanent sometimes) have you tried using acetone or rubbing alcohol?

    1. I wonder if acetone would eat away the sink counter? I think the sink is made of some sort of expensive plastic. I have not tried rubbing alcohol. I think we have some somewhere.

    2. No more foam for me !

      I can handle the bottled stuff much better on my own – and at home we have rubbing alcohol so I know what to do instead of stinking the place out with bleach!

  4. My experience dying hair is limited to Elizabeth and Chad and thankfully I have never made big messes — everything gets covered in towels!

  5. We had one travel towel that lives in the car with us that I used – the hotel towels were pristine white as well – that would only have made matters worse.

    1. it is also worth experimenting with different brands – some work far better than others and price is not always the best guide !

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